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Whether you have a gorgeous antique wooden door, or you just want to save money on your re-modelling project, knowing how to renew a wooden door can help you save money and restore your home to its former glory. By reading on, you can learn the important steps in renewing your door, giving it a fresh look for a fraction of the cost of buying a new door, especially if you need to get a custom-sized one.

Step 1: Clean the wooden door

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that your door is cleaned thoroughly. While wearing gloves, put some polish or wax remover into a bowl. Then, take a fine steel wool pad to clean the surface, ensuring that you work the solution with the wood grain. Afterwards, while the wood is still wet, use a lint-free cloth to wipe away any grease and dirt from the wooden door. You want to ensure that every swipe is done with a clean side of the cloth; otherwise, you are just rubbing the dirt back onto the door. You will need to wait at least 24 hours after this before you can put your finishing oil on it.

You might also want to check out: How do you clean old wooden doors?

Step 2: Conceal visible screws or gaps

If you have any visible screws, conceal these using wooden plugs. Once you have firmly put the plug in and wiped away any excess glue, you can saw off the wooden peg that is sticking out of the hole to make it flush with the door. This will give it a seamless look. Fill in any other gaps, holes, and cracks using wood filler as well. To make it easier for you, these are usually available in the exact shade of wood that you are working with.

Step 3: Renew the door and its components

After you have filled in the gaps and it has been at least 24 hours since cleaning the door, you can move onto the restoration process. This is where you can either paint the door, use a different colour stain, or use a finishing oil to simply restore the sheen of the door. If you are just restoring the sheen, use a cloth, brush, or a plastic scouring pad to apply the first coat of finishing oil. The oil should have about 10 minutes to penetrate the wood, then wipe off any excess oil. Any other coat should be applied after 5-hour intervals between each coat. The more coats that you add, the more durability and sheen you will get, so keep that in mind when doing this.

The final steps are to replace the hardware like the hinges and knobs or to restore these items by using varnish and polish. This all depends on the look that you want to achieve with your doors. Sometimes an old door can get some new character with the right hardware. This can be a time-consuming process, but it will be one that you will more than love if you take the time to do it right.

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 www.boultonboyce.co.uk.

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