Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tips to Keep Your Wood Door Looking Great

A wood door is a great way to add a touch of class to any home’s look. However, it also ranks as the most difficult to maintain among popular materials used to make doors. The best way to keep yours looking fresh and vibrant is to practice good preventative care, and perform routine inspections of the door on all sides at least once each year.

Preventative Measures

The most effective maintenance strategies always begin with preventing undue wear and tear. Ideally, exposure to harsh elements should be minimized whenever possible. Wood doors are recommended for installation in covered entry ways to reduce moisture, and to provide a greater degree of shade at least during part of the day. Storm doors can also be of benefit in keeping moisture off of your home’s entry door.

Signs of Problems

The next step is recognizing potential problems so that they can be properly addressed. Telltale signs of damage include cracks in the door’s finish, paint peeling, and dulled or raised grain. If you notice dark streaks beneath a clear finish, or a whitish haziness in the finish itself, then sunlight or moisture could be taking a toll on your front door. These are all indications that it might be time to refinish in order to renew the door’s elemental protection.

Treatment Methods

Minor repairs can be performed without full removal from the doorframe, such as routine cleaning and touching up small spots of wear or chipped paint. However, if it is determined that refinishing is necessary, you will probably want to tap out the door’s hinge pins and remove it fully from the frame. This will also allow for a complete six-side inspection, to be sure no unseen problems are lurking on the bottom face.

Lay the door across supports (sawhorses work well) and use a screwdriver to remove hardware including hinges, knobs, and locksets. Lightly sand the wood surface, and then wipe dust clear using a clean cloth that has been dampened slightly with mineral spirits. Let the door dry completely. Lastly, apply at least two coats of quality exterior polyurethane with an ultraviolet inhibitor, sanding gently between coats. Adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications when applying the finish, and be sure to cover all six sides of the door.


Many doors’ warranties are stipulated on proper maintenance. Keeping up with the finish makes it more likely that your warranty will remain valid, adding to the benefits of regular care. It’s no secret that wood requires the most work, but that effort pays off with the assurance that your door will remain an attractive compliment to your home and look great for many years to come.


  1. these are great ideas for my door, thanks for sharing!!

  2. What an informative post! It reminds me of our wooden doors and I need to check them out ASAp.

  3. they are hard work to keep looking great but it is totally worth it!

  4. Great tips to keep wood looking nice.


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