Age can do a number on a door. On the other hand, some people wouldn’t want to lose the character of their home by replacing it. In other cases, some people just don’t have the funds to invest in a new door for their home. Whatever your reason is, the simple solution would be to refinish the door yourself. This may seem like a daunting task, but this is a task that you can easily take care of by yourself if you have the time and patience. By reading on, you will learn all about how you can refinish your wooden door and give it new life.
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Smoothing out the surface
When preparing for this task, you should invest in two sawhorses to make your job much easier. Remove the door from its hinges, then be sure to also remove all the hardware and remove or cover the windows on your door. It will be a lot easier for you if you don’t have to work around these extra features. It would lessen the risk of ruining them, especially if you want to keep the hardware that you have. With a random-orbit sander, use an 80-grit paper to remove the old varnish and paint to give you a blank slate to work with. Lay the door across the two sawhorses, and then start on the flat surfaces with the sander. After the first layer, you can do the second and third layer with a 100-grit and a 120-grit paper. Afterwards, move onto scraping the old finish and imperfections from the corners and other intricate detailing. You will have to be careful with the scraping so that you don’t accidentally gouge the wood. Use a sandpaper block to finish off the details.
Applying the finish on the door
After you have completed all of that, you will want to carefully use a finish along the edges of the door. Put the door back on its hinges before you apply any coats of finish on the door. This will ensure that you don’t damage the new finish as soon as you have completed it. Choose the finish and get started on finishing off the rest of the door. It is recommended that you use a new brush that has been dipped in paint thinner for a minute or two. Get rid of any excess left on the brush. Pour out some of your finish into a clean container to make it easier to get the paint on the brush. Cover the brush about one-third of the way, then start painting along the panels on the door. After finishing the panels, move onto the moulding surrounding the newly painted panels. Continue around the door until the entire door is covered then wipe up the excess finish. Let dry overnight before you close the door.
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You can leave it as-is if you want to retain the wood look of the door. If not, after the door has dried completely, you can add a pop of colour using exterior enamelled paint. Enamel paint will protect the door for 8-10 years. You can also add varnish to the door to give it added protection while retaining the wooden look. Experiment on your own and get that finished look that you always dreamed of!
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 www.boultonboyce.co.uk.