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DIY Guide: Treating and Coating Doors

This page will help guide you on how to treat and coat your door, however the information given below regarding treatment is only to be used as a guide and you should refer to the manufacturers advice which you can find on our Decoration Advice page so you can source the appropriate treatment advice for your door. 

Knowing how to treat your door is a very important factor in maximizing its performance. OakMahogany and Pine doors will last considerably longer when the correct treatments are applied.


  • Do not stand new doors against an outside wall (in the house) as the cold wall can make them twist or bow etc.
  • Do not place new doors in a location where new plasterwork has been carried out within the last two or three weeks.
  • All forms of moisture or the lack of it, rain, condensation and even humidity have a critical bearing on the well-being of your door, especially patterns that have solid timber panels.

We take great care to supply you with what are probably the finest doors available and we certainly derive no pleasure whatsoever from the stressed and sorry state we sometimes see some doors reduced to owing to the ignorance and abuse to which they have been subjected.

After doors have left our premises we have no control over the conditions to which they are exposed and in the interests of the continued validity of our guarantee we cannot stress too strongly the importance of observing the advice contained throughout this site.

Every effort is made to ensure that the moisture content levels of our doors are in accordance with BS1186 part one when they enter and leave our warehouse or workshop. This provides for Exterior doors to be in the range of thirteen to nineteen per cent and Interior doors ten to fourteen per cent. For this reason, it is vital that the moisture levels are retained, and Exterior doors are not used for interior and vice versa.

We do hope that you take on board the advice that we offer within this site and avoid the possibility of becoming dissatisfied with the appearance and performance of your door.

Decorating tip: Please make sure that no water based decorating products are used on any door that is veneered, some of our External & Internal doors and frames may be over-veneered to provide a better quality finish and greater stability, please treat the advice offered above seriously, if in doubt please ask for our advice.

The tip above may differ depending on the product you have bought but you can find the manufacturers recommendations on our Decoration Advice page.

The decoration page will have all the information you need to care, install and treat your door, if you are unsure what manufacturer your door is from then don't hesitate to contact us and we can clarify this for you to ensure you source the correct PDF. 

We recommend that before attempting to fit your door, you first take care to select the finish you require, check with the manufacturer if necessary or again pop over to our Decoration Advice page, that it will give a complete and lasting seal between all component parts.

Many well-known brands of wood finish which may provide excellent surface protection fail to provide this vital element and may permit the passage of moisture around panel grooves.

Please avoid the use of varnish or polyurethane-based products and also Danish Oil on External or Internal veneered doors & frames, solid timber doors & frames or bespoke doors & frames and look for a brand that gives protection against the bleaching-out effect of the suns ultra-violet rays. Use polyurethane finish on veneers or ply doors only; this type of varnish is also suitable for most interior solid timber doors. Again, this depends on the product and the manufacturers advice.

Immediately upon receipt sand the door down lightly with fine glass-paper (grade 200) or wire wool in the direction of the grain to remove nibs, small chips, scratches and finger marks.

We know we are stating the obvious but do not allow any sandpaper to make contact with any glass surfaces.

Dust down thoroughly and apply at least three coats of your selected wood care product inside and out including at least one finishing coat to all surfaces before installation, including glazing rebates and all-around glazing beads, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions which are usually provided with the door. 

Remember, the door needs to be coated equally inside and out to allow a balanced movement of any moisture.

The next paragraph relates to external doors only, it is not necessary to go to such lengths with internal doors, simply make sure you take greater care of a bathroom door to prevent moisture ingress, always coat the top and bottom of bathroom doors. 

Now you have fitted the door remove one hinge at a time to allow you to coat/treat behind them and refix each hinge before removing the next hinge, take off all door furniture and thoroughly coat/treat where appropriate, paying particular regard to cut-outs, (hinge recesses, letter plate slots, rebates for water bars, etc.). Follow this by a minimum of two (preferably three) coats when possible before finally re-fixing furniture and rehanging the door. 

You should now have a beautifully fitted and treated door! Remember, if you do need any help or guidance at all then please contact our team on 01968 671 681 or e-mail them at, they will get back to you as soon as they can. 

Did this page help? If so, then you may be interested in the pages below:

Decoration Advice | Maintaining Doors