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Help & Advice

Caring for your Door, a concise and helpful guide for diy door decoration

With over 30 years experience in the industry and the ability to provide customers with top quality doors we have given you qualified advice on how to care for your doors, the end result, if you use our tips, is a fantastic looking door for your home.

When fitting wooden doors, such as oak, mahogany and pine, it is important that you apply the correct treatments to ensure your product realises its full potential in terms of look and durability.   Doors are generally supplied to you already sanded. However, during fitting, they generally acquire some wear and tear.

It is always best to (where possible) add the finishing coat of decoration to doors after they have been hinged/fitted, especially Exterior doors.

When sanding, always go with the grain of the wood to avoid leaving scratches, if using sandpaper (rather than wire wool) fold the edges over and use this folded edge to prevent the sharper cut edge of the paper going into the grain and causing a splinter.  

In our experience wire wool gives a better finish and you don't run the risk of scratching the glass if your hand slips.


Yacht varnish is in most cases too inflexible, it doesn't move with the door and can allow moisture to penetrate over a period of time. The first signs that this has happened will be a whitening at the joints and where the mouldings meet the panel or glass. 

Sikkens is one of the best makes. You will need to sand the wood (see below) in between each application with a fine sand paper or wire wool as mentioned previously. Always make sure that the end grain is adequately coated, ie; the top and bottom of the door.


Before applying anything to a new softwood door, coat any knots in the wood to seal them and stop resin bleeding through to the new coating on the door. If the door has not been pre-treated with a preservative, then you can do this by applying a clear wood preserver. 

The above is for information only, we do not sell the cheaper Knotty Pine doors as they are a constant problem, they move more than a bag of worms.


To decorate any door or frame, use the general directions above and the detail below for Exterior or Interior Doors and Frames including veneered, solid timber or bespoke products.

  1. For a painted finish, use a primer, followed by two layers of an undercoat, and then finish with a minimum two top coats. YOU MUST ONLY USED OIL BASED OR SOLVENT BASED PAINT THAT IS MICROPOROUS. 
  2. Remember to sand the doors down lightly in between each coat. 
  4. Again, remember to sand the doors down lightly in between each coat. 
  5. Please make sure that no water based decorating products or Wax or Danish Oil of any type are used on any door that is solid OR veneered.
  6. Exceptions; Interior doors can have a varnish used but again it must be solvent based or oil based.
  7. if in doubt please ask for our advice.

Your door should be decorated every three years, some wood care products can last up to ten years, however, if you live in a coastal area or a harsh climate, you may have to add wood care protection to the door more frequently to keep it in good condition. 

The above work is the most important part of the job as it is what your friends will notice, take your time to get it right. Now you will definitely feel like opening your second can of beer.

Please see our printable PDF version below.