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How to paint your new exterior timber door | DirectDoors

You have your new exterior timber door and now you're wondering.. what do you do next? The most important thing to do once you've checked it is fit for purpose is to ensure that you decorate the door appropriately prior to hanging it. If you choose not to do this, your door will be more prone to warping. It is a timber door after all and it needs to be taken care of... 

Firstly, you need to choose what finish you'd like the door to be whether that be a painted finish or a stained finish. 

For a painted finish:

Use a primer followed by two layers of an undercoat and then finish with a minimum of two top coats. Please only use oil based or solvent based paint that is micro-porous.

For a stained finish:

Use a primer followed by two layers of an undercoat and then finish with a minimum of two top coats. Please do only use oil based or solvent based stain that is micro-porous.

How to decorate the door:

You will need to lightly sand the door down with fine glass-paper (grade 200) or wire wool in the direction of the grain to remove any small chips, finger marks and scratches. Remember not to touch any glass with sandpaper. 

Dust the door down thoroughly, then 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, this includes glazing rebates and all glazing beads. Always ensure you follow the manufacturers care instructions which is usually provided with your door. 

The door needs to be coated equally inside and out and on all four edges to allow a balanced movement of any moisture. 

With external doors you will need to remove one hinge at a time once the door has been fitted to allow you to coat/treat behind them and re-fix each hinge before you remove the next one. Take off all door furniture and thoroughly coat/treat where appropriate, paying particular attention to cut-outs such as hinge recess, letter plate slots etc. Follow this by a minimum of three coats when possible before re-fixing the door furniture and rehanging the door.


Please ensure that no water-based decorating products or wax or danish oil of any type are used on any door that is solid or veneered - this can void your guarantee if the appropriate decoration hasn't been followed.

Manufacturers change the decoration requirements on certain doors from time to time, therefore if you are unsure on what product to use then don't worry, you can always contact ourselves or the door manufacturer directly to confirm what they recommend, giving you peace of mind. 

And there you have a stress-free way to confidently decorate your new front door.