Care and Finishing Tips for Interior Doors
Take Care of Your Wooden Interior Door
Before installing an interior door in your house, here are a few guidelines. Read through the following steps to help you properly care for your door:
Here are a few helpful tips about caring for your new interior door:
- Do not subject doors to extreme heat, dryness or humidity. Wood will warp when exposed to these factors.
- Store wooden doors on a flat, level surface in a dry, well-ventilated building and always keep them covered. Following these instructions will prevent shape and color distortion of your custom millwork.
- Allow doors to reach room temperature and stabilize 24 hours before installing. This allows for the humidity levels within the wood to acclimate with the new surroundings.
- Remove film from French doors with caution. The tempered glass is sensitive and could scratch by using sharp objects or abrasive cleaners.
Because we use genuine wooden products, the color and wood grain are unique to your interior door. Some of these markings will become more pronounced during the wood finishing process, this is something that is outside our control and something for which we are not responsible. Please direct all questions regarding the proper application of sealers and finishes to your chosen finish supplier.
There is a step-by-step process to prepare your interior door before installing it: Sand, stain and finish
Step 1. Sand
Sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper (180 or finer).
- Sand "with the grain" to avoid scratches.
- Pay special attention to handling marks, raised grain and other blemishes.
- Sand slightly more for dark stains, high gloss paints and spray finishes.
After sanding, clean the door with a soft cotton or fiber cloth to remove any debris.
Step 2. Stain
When staining your interior door, you’ll need sanding sealer (also called pre-stain) and a stain (also called a finish). For best results, choose the same manufacturer for both.
Apply a thin coat of sanding sealer (or pre-stain) for a uniform appearance.
- Test for stain compatibility in a discreet area as some wood types do not react well to particular finishes.
- Notify the finish supplier if you detect an undesirable appearance and discontinue the finishing process until a solution is found.
Apply the finishing products by following the instructions.
- Choose a clear finish for lighter wood types like maple and birch. The natural characteristics of these wood types may make dark finishes appear uneven.
- Allow for adequate drying time after each coat is applied to confirm smoothness and color are correct.
Step 3. Seal and paint
Locate the correct product with the help of your finish supplier.
Seal all exposed wood surfaces with every coat, including the top and bottom rails.
When staining the door, oil-based sealers work best for finishing. If painting the door, be sure to use a primer first. Water-based coats on unfinished wood may highlight joints and raise wood grain.