Get The Look Of Elegant Wooden Exterior Doors For Less With TikTok's Paint Hack

If you've got a glint in your eye about a specific renovation and then discover the true cost, you might find yourself coming up with unique, creative workarounds. DIY TikTok queen, Jennifer Gizzi from @makingprettyspaces sure did. She transformed her plain white garage doors into convincing faux wood by using paint and an overlay of distressed gel stain. And there's great versatility here — you can replicate this faux-wood hack on any exterior doors, not just your garage. 

Instead of getting three new wooden garage doors priced between $6,500 and $10,000, Gizzi's paint and stain renovation cost $200. That's a stunning savings. Note that one typical wood garage door might cost between $1,000 and $5,000. Painting a front door would come in at an even lower cost. While getting a new front door might add value to your home, expect an average cost to be $1,000. If it's a wooden door, it's more; the higher-end cost can be up to $5,000.

Covering a two-car garage door requires one gallon of paint, and a typical front door needs about a quart. Consider an option like this brown paint from Glidden, which even has a built-in primer. Additional items for this hack include a quart or less of gel stain, a roller with covers, a good paint brush, one roll of painter's tape, and a metal paint roller tray. If you hop online and add up all the supplies, the estimated cost of this reno is about $100 — less if you already have any supplies. 

How to fake the look of a wooden exterior door

When choosing colors, you'll want some contrast between your base color (a bit lighter brown) and your stain (a bit darker). To make sure this combination works, if possible, you might test it on a surface painted the same color as your door. Experiment with a light brown or off-white base color paired with a gel stain to create a lighter wood color. For best results, consider unhinging your door, removing the hardware, and painting it on a sawhorse. Although the usual advice for any painting project is to sand first, you may not need to if your door is in great shape with no chipping or peeling. After sanding, or even if there's no sanding needed, do a thorough job of washing the door to remove all dirt and debris. 

Paint the front of the door with your paint-primer combo and let it dry completely. Don't shake the can of wood stain, otherwise, you'll get bubbles. You'll need to work one section at a time, applying the gel with your paintbrush and then swiping it with a cloth rag, lifting off some color to create that wood effect. Stains dry quickly, so complete each small section (i.e., paint on the stain then wipe with the rag) before moving on to the next. Paint and wipe the stain all in the same direction to suggest the direction of the "grain." Once you've covered the entire door, let it dry and rehang your faux-wood door!