Shortcut for refinishing external doors

We have several exterior doors where the sheen has long worn off the finish.
Rather than stripping off the full layer of finish and stain, I was wondering whether I could do the following and still achieve a nice result:
1. Lightly sand exterior to make sure that surface finish is removed and that surface is smooth and clean
2. Apply stain as desired to "freshen up" the look since some of the stain has obviously faded
3. Cover with multiple coats of spar urethane.
Will this work or do I need to completely sand off the old finish and stain to get a good result? (I prefer not to since there is a fair bit of trim on the door and a complete sanding will take a long time.)
Any other suggestions for refinishing and/or touching up the finish on a door without having to do a complete scrape & refinish job?
Thanks
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If you truly want an excellent finish, there are no shortcuts. If you don't care about staining, your method is fine to put a sheen on the doors. Stain is meant to go onto bare wood where it can soak in. Lightly sanding may give you some bite for stain but it will not be perfect. Lower your expectations and try one door.
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What about gel stains? I just used a gel stain on a project and it really seems to only stay superficial and barely penetrate. Again accepting that it won't be perfect, do you think a gel stain will give a better result than a typical oil-based penetrating stain?
Thanks
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You could always lightly scuff the existing clear coat, then apply a new finish coat to freshen it up.
If the existing finish is peeling, water damaged, deeply scratched, etc... You need to strip to bare wood. If the finish is in decent shape, but has lost it's gloss, the scuff and refresh may be all you need.
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