Caring For and Maintaining your Exterior Wooden Joinery

Caring For and Maintaining your Exterior Wooden Joinery For as Little as $20.00!

Most people prefer the warm look and feel of wood in it’s various colors and character on certain areas of their homes adding both aesthetic appeal and value to their property.

Wood door and window maintenance really depends on the amount of direct sun and water exposure. The frequency of door maintenance varies with individual applications. A door without an overhang or porch is going to weather quicker than a covered door.

At least annually, examine your doors and windows for signs of damage or deterioration. The sun’s ultra violet rays are severe, but no worse on doors and windows than anything else. When pollutants accumulate on the finish, they are often very acidic and will wear down a finish.

Types Of Finishes

There are 2 types of wood finishes commonly used, oil finishes, which are the least expensive and lacquer based finishes. Lacquer based can be a clear or stained finish or a paint finish in the color of your choice.

Oil Finishes

The beauty of using Teak Oil for example is it’s so easy to apply and maintain -plus - there's the added bonus of a number of your favourite doors being refinished for the meager sum of only $20.00!

For brand new doors and windows sand the entire surface with 150-180 grit sandpaper and/or steel wool to remove marks, fingerprints, stamps, etc. Grease and oily stains can be removed with mineral spirits.

For doors which have been oiled previously simply wash them down with a mild detergent and water.

Clean the door thoroughly with a cloth to remove dust and be sure the wood is dry before applying the finish.

The oil can then be brushed on and left to dry overnight. Your all done, it’s really that simple.

We recommend Teak Oil which will be absorbed into the raw untreated wood to form a gorgeous silky finish and protect your wood from the elements.

Applying more coats will create darker and richer finishes, you can apply as many coats as you wish.

The only downside with oil finishes is they require more frequent maintenance needing a coat of oil applied yearly. After washing down the doors with natural soap and water simply brush on one coat and voila, they are as good as new again!

Lacquer-based Clear and Stain Finishes

Quality lacquer based clear or stain finishes such as Sikkens or Sadolin can also be applied using a quality natural fibre brush for best results.

First a sealer/undercoat is applied and left to dry overnight. Next day it is sanded and then 2 top coats are applied resulting in a pleasing aesthetic appearance with optimum durability.

More time is required to apply lacquer based finishes compared to oil finishes but refinishing maintenance intervals may be as long as 10 years.

Scratches or dents can be repaired using a cotton swab dampened with wood stain. Remove as much excess stain as possible by dabbing the cotton swab on a clean cloth before touching up the door (this ensures an even color tone).

Refinishing will be required at intervals of 2 up to perhaps 10 years depending on weather conditions and the severity of sun exposure.

To refinish wash the door down with a natural soap and water and leave to dry for a few hours. Next lightly sand the wood with fine sand paper, about 220 grit is fine.

When using a quality refinishing product such as Sikkens or Sadolin you will only need one coat applied with a brush. Leave the door to dry for a couple of hours and your all done.

Paint Finishes

To obtain a quality painted finish on brand new unfinished doors and windows, first use a good quality oil-base primer manufactured for exterior use.  Sand lightly when dry.  The second and third coats are "color" coats and may be either oil-base or latex-base exterior paints.

Use primer and finish coatings from the same manufacturer, if possible, to insure compatibility.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions.  Consult your paint dealer.

A quality paint finish can last 5 to 15 years depending on sun and rain exposure and only requires a light sanding with 220 grit sand paper and one top coat to refinish.

Always remember, wood came from a living breathing tree and it is more sensitive to the elements than metal, but it is certainly far more beautiful. It will change and grow in character over its life. With just modest attention and care, a quality wood door will last for many, many years.

Finely crafted wood doors are a source of individual expression and beauty in domestic and commercial architecture. Wood has the ability to adapt to many designs, allowing for thousands of creative possibilities. Wood sets the standard for all other door types to achieve. But no other material delivers the architectural detail, precise shadow lines and mesmerizing grain patterns of wood.

The inherent warmth of wood doors is due to millions of naturally occurring, tiny honeycomb cells between the fibers, which provide a relatively high percentage of air volume, an excellent insulator. According to WDMA sources, wood's insulating properties are 600 times more effective than those of steel and aluminium. And because wood doesn't conduct hot or cold like most man-made materials, the possibility of "thermal bowing" is diminished. Thermal bowing is caused by extreme temperatures, when one surface of the door is very cold at the same time the other side is very warm.

When the cold side of an aluminium door contracts and the warm side expands, the uneven pressure that results will cause the structure to bow. Wood is much less susceptible to this problem.


Posted on June 27, 2013 and filed under Maintenance.