Doors exposed to direct sunlight can lose their colour over time. This is because the heat from the sun causes the wood to expand and contract. This can result in having cracks on the wood. If left untreated, moisture can penetrate these cracks, causing mould to grow. This can damage the door even further. In some cases, the damage might be so extreme that you will be forced to replace the door. Fortunately, you can refinish a sun-damaged door. This will allow you to add some colour, repair the damage, and extend its lifespan. Let’s look at how you can perform this process.

You might also want to check out: How much would it cost to refinish wooden doors?

Step 1: Remove all hardware from the door

The first step to refinishing a door is to remove it from its hinges and lay it flat across a table. Remove any hardware that is attached to the door. For example, you will need to unscrew hinges and remove doorknobs.

Step 2: Sand the door

The next step is to sand the door. This will remove the old layers of varnish and make it easy for you to see any cracks in the wood.

Step 3: Fill in cracks or gaps

Afterwards, press wood fillers into any scratches or cracks that you can see. During this process, you should be thorough when trying to find cracks or dents.

Step 4: Apply new varnish

Once that’s done, apply new varnish. Painting with the natural grain of the wood will make the varnish seem more appealing. After each layer, leave the door, allowing the varnish to dry. Once it dries up add another coat of varnish. It is recommended that you get at least three coats of varnish onto the door.

You might also want to check out: How do you renew a wooden door?

Step 5: Add an extra layer of protection

You may also place a layer of UV protection on the door. This is usually clear in colour and will help your door deal with the effects of the sun more effectively.

Step 6: Place back all the hardware

Finally, re-attach any hardware and re-hang the door. Now that the door is looking young again, let’s look at some tactics you can use to protect your door from sun damage.

Optional step: Add shades that can help protect your door

There are a few ways to protect your door from sun damage. This will help you extend its lifespan and keep it looking great. One of the best things you can do is use an awning over the door. This will ensure that it receives more shade during the day. Also, it will protect the door from the damaging effects of UV radiation and will help moderate the temperature variations that your door is exposed to. You may also want to consider planting some trees to cast some shade over the area.

You might also want to check out: How do you protect a wooden door from sun damage?

When doors are exposed to direct sunlight, they can lose their colour and start to show some cracks on their surface. For this reason, some people might consider replacing them. However, it’s quick and easy to refinish the door. This will make doors look younger and help better protect from the effect of UV damage. This can be an effective way to increase your door’s lifespan, saving you money in the long run. So, refinish your sun-damaged wooden doors today and see the changes this technique can produce.

Pieter Boyce - Wooden Window and door specialist

Pieter Boyce
Wooden Window and Door Specialist

This article was written on behalf of Fortis & Hooke by Pieter Boyce. Pieter has an intense passion for English Architectural history and has been specialising in the conservation of original wooden windows and doors for decades. His exceptional knowledge of timber windows and doors, both listed or non-listed, is attributed to his hands-on approach to learning all aspects of the complete restoration of original features as well as having personally surveyed thousands of items throughout his long tenure as a head surveyor for one of the largest window and door restoration companies in the UK. He now runs a boutique wooden window and door consultancy and fervently champions the retention of original windows and doors. To learn more of Pieter’s services, visit his website at

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