How to Make Woodgrain Doorpanels for 1967-1972 Trucks
By: Travis Gadberry
ï¿½" Spade Bit
ï¿½" Spade Bit
Jigsaw w/fine tooth blade
Course and fine sandpaper
Long flathead screwdriver
Brushes and towels
Optional, but suggested, gloves for working w/stain and poly
Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastics
Vinyl Spray paint
IMPORTANT: Make sure to test the stain on a scrap from the specific board you are using. Mine turned out a little lighter than I wanted, so the project took a little longer.
MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS DRY!!!….Curing times are always important, and being in a rush is deadly to a project.
Let me start by saying I have no idea what I’m doing. I take on projects and figure them out as I go, hoping to learn from my mistakes and help others. However, this is an easy project, doable in a weekend.
First what you have to do is remove the old door panels, which requires a (preferably deep) socket set, a philips screwdriver, and a long flathead screwdriver. Take off the window handle, followed by the 3 screws holding on the armrest. There are then 2 small bolts holding on the door handle. Take a look at it while you’re taking it apart, so it’s easier to get back together. The rest of the door just comes off by pulling the clips out of the doorframe. If you are certain you are going to replace them, it’s probably easier just to pull and let them rip out, then go back with pliers. Either way works.
Next, get your wood replacement. I went to Home Depot and chose a nice 2×4 ft oak panel, which cost about $7 apiece. Simply lay and clamp the old door panel on top of the new wood and trace around it. Cut it out with a jigsaw, leaving a blade-width extra for sanding and finishing room. Next, line it up with the old one again, making sure you have it the direction you want. Clamp it again, and trace the door handle hole, the 3 armrest holes, and the window handle hole. Cut those out with the jigsaw and spade bits. A ï¿½" spade bit works well for the armrest holes, and a ï¿½" works well for the single window handle hole.
Now hold it up to the door and see how well it fits. You might even want to put it together to get a better idea of the fit. After it’s all working, sand everything. Get the edges really well, and also use very fine paper with a block on the top, to make sure it’s perfect. Nothing is worse than rough wood.
Stain comes next. I used a gel stain, just rub it on with a cloth, and….well, just follow the directions on the can. I used an "Antique Maple" stain.
After the stain sets and it is the color you want, use an indoor or indoor/outdoor polyurethane to finish it. I suggest 3 coats. For each coat, let the poly dry a few hours and then very lightly sand it with very fine sandpaper. 220 grit will work fine, but I’d get even finer. WalMart has finer paper with their car paint area. 600 grit is beautiful.
After everything is dry…MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS DRY!!!….Curing times are always important, and being in a rush is deadly to a project.
Attach the door panels just like the old ones. Installation is easy. The window handle goes on first with one philips head screw (or you might have the clip kind). The plastic handle cup goes next, then the door handle, which is held on by 2 nuts. The armrest goes on next, with 3 lag screws.
That’s it. You’re done.
However, if you’re like me, nothing’s ever done until it looks perfect. If your truck is like mine, the plastic cups are a white/tan along with the busted up arm rests. I will probably end up buying new arm rests, but for now, I’ve decided to paint them. Stores sell a spraypaint for vinyl, and I chose the gloss black to match the interior. Also I bought the Krylon Fusion spraypaint for the plastic cups. Those are also the gloss black. The two paints do not match, but they look great together. They are about $4 each at WalMart. LMC Truck offers both for sale relatively cheap. The cups are about $12 a piece and both armrests together are $50 for a black pair, or $80 for other colors. Also…for those of you who ruin your door panels and can’t figure these instructions out, LMC also sells plastic door panels for $110 a pair in multiple colors.
I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me on the forums if youï¿½have any questions or suggestions.