How to Restore Wooden Doors

How to restore old doors?

My name is Victoria Welby and I'll ask all your questions about restoring old doors. I worked as a door repair technician in Toronto at and now I'm a blogger.

The restoration of an old and antique entrance door will make us release a new door without the need to renovate it. Whenever we are going to carry out a restoration process, we must have all the necessary tools and skills to do it in the right way, protecting the wood is the basic pillar.

old door restoration

In most of cases, the best option, to restore to repair exterior or interior wooden doors, is to turn to specialists. In this way, we will be sure that this process has been carried out in a meticulous and careful way. This will translate into healthiness for the wood, and, therefore, longer life for this piece.

Restoring old wooden doors

As a specialist in restoring old wood, Victoria Welby describes six very useful and simple steps to restore old interior or exterior wooden doors.

The passage of time, the action of the sun or humidity, causes this material to deteriorate and lose its original appearance. Although the nobility and quality of the wood is present throughout the life of the door, it is true that it requires certain care. By following the instructions we give you, you will get a new door, without changing it!

Six steps to restore an old wooden door

  1. Remove the door accessories
    The first thing to do is to disassemble the door, and remove all possible accessories that the door may have: handle, knocker, hardware ... It will allow us to work more comfortably while helping us to achieve a better result.
  2. Sanitize the door and remove the old paint
    The second step will be to eliminate the layers of varnish or old paint that the door can present, as well as, possible pieces of deteriorated wood.
    Equally important, as obvious as it may seem, is to remove any dust or dirt from the surface of the door, as we would do when restoring a piece of wood furniture. In this step, it will not be necessary technology with uv rays... we will use caustic soda, it will allow us to obtain an optimal cleaning of the wood.
  3. Fixing small imperfections
    If the interior or exterior doors have small imperfections or bumps, it is time to fix them. To do this, we will use wood putty, as it allows us to cover each of the flaws. Thus, if necessary, we will incorporate pieces of wood to rebuild the door.
    This step is somewhat subjective, depending on the final result we want to achieve, these small imperfections can be part of the finish of the door. Old or deteriorated wood gives the door more character, personality and a very defined style. Even more so if we are restoring an antique wooden gate.
  4. Sanding or sandblasting
    In this step we will sand or sandblast, this will depend on the final look we want the gate to have. We will use the sandblasting technique to highlight the grain of the door. The objective, in any of the two options, is to clean the surface trying to damage as little as possible.
    We will also be able to remove any paint or varnish that could not be removed in the second step. It is important, after sanding the door, to clean the dust created.
  5. Paint or varnish
    It is time to decide what we want our door to look like. If we are looking to give it some colour we will apply stain, this option is more common when restoring interior wooden doors.
    On the contrary, if we prefer a more natural result, we will give a patina of ecological open pore varnish. To achieve a result with a more antique look, you can apply antique wax.
    Remember that painting or varnishing your exterior door will also provide extra protection against the hostilities of time.
    Do you dare to give your door a different touch: white, blue or pink? Or do you prefer a more classic style? Let your imagination run wild and make your door regain the elegance and distinction typical of antique wooden doors.
  6. Furnishing the door
    Finally, we will equip the door according to the style we want to achieve. We can add different hardware, pointed nails, gypsies, knockers.... In addition, these can be made of different materials, bronze or wrought iron are the most common. Now it is time to place the door.

Extra tips for restoring old wooden doors

  1. When restoring old wooden doors, avoid doing it outdoors so that the wind and sun do not affect the condition of the wood.
  2. Use quality products that allow the wood to breathe and contribute to extending the life of your door.
  3. Take your time, rushing is not good. Solid wood is a robust and quality material, but also delicate when things are not done well.
  4. With a little vinegar, salt and flour we can make a paste to clean the hardware of our door. Apply this paste with a brush, leave it for about 10 minutes and then remove it with a little water and a soft cloth.
  5. Grease the hinges so that they do not squeak. With the passage of time, the hinges start to produce a very annoying squeaking noise. If you disassemble them it will be easier to use a lubricating product to remove this annoying noise.

How to restore an old wooden door? Are you still not sure how to restore your door? Or do you not dare to follow this process by yourself? Don't worry.

old door restoration

I have many old wooden doors restored and to be restored. Discover much more in our catalog of antique doors. Models of different styles, woods and finishes are waiting for you. It is worth giving a second life to these authentic works of art!

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