When you are painting or staining a door, different types of doors – timber, customwood, fibreglass – all need to be treated differently.
In all cases, doors need to be sealed on all four edges and the two faces to ensure that no moisture can penetrate to the door. Ensure that no bare timber is exposed. Even where there are cut-outs for locks, any bare timber should be primed. Remove hinges and paint behind hinges.
If a door is made out of natural timber, some clients prefer to stain the product. This can be done, however, tinted stain in itself is not classed as a sealer and will allow the door to absorb moisture. A top coat of an approved varnish or approved compatible product will need to be applied over the top of the stain. Failure to do this could void the supplier warranty.
Doors can be sprayed, rolled or brushed with paint, each giving a different effect and coating thickness.
- Interior Doors – Doors must be completely sealed with a primer as detailed above with at least one top coat on the top and bottom edge with two coats on all the remaining edges. If the product is a natural timber door, this must be all completed with an oil based paint. A customwood skin door can be coated with acrylic enamels.
- Entrance Doors – To adhere to manufacturer warranty conditions, all entrance doors be painted with an oil based system on all edges. For a timber entrance door, a suitable exterior clear coat system should be used for example, Sikkens, Cabots Exterior Varnish or something of similar quality.
When choosing a colour for your exterior doors, light colours only should be used. This is because dark colours will draw heat and your door may swell, warp, or twist due to heat absorption if a a dark colour is used. Most manufacturers will void a warranty if a dark colour is used. If you truly want a dark colour for an entrance door, choose a fibreglass door.
A Cautionary Note…
There is a new painting method for new house builds: you will see a house all masked up internally and then undercoat is sprayed on every surface, including the walls, the door jambs, and in some cases the doors. This product being sprayed is generally a deep penetrating water based wall board sealer and is not recommended for use on bare timber. With doors, this can cause what we call “grain raise” in the timber meaning you can feel the roughness or the grain rise when the surface should be smooth. It can expand the timber distorting finger joints, requiring work on site to correct. So if you are hiring painters or commissioning a new build, and they are using this technique, have the doors removed from the premises and painted separately.