Renovating an old front door – step by step

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renowacja starych drzwi
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Old wooden doors have their own charm, but if the paint is coming off or they are battered, they disfigure the room they are in. How can old wooden doors be restored to their former glory?

Does it make sense to renovate a door?

It makes sense to renovate a door if it has sentimental value or if it matches the current interior. Classic wooden doors are most often renovated.

Both interior and exterior doors can be renovated. Doing such renovation requires a lot of time and work – my renovation of a double door with a frame took more than a month (!). Renovating wooden doors yourself is a great cost-saver – the cost of renovating a wooden door by a carpenter is even several thousand PLN

In what situations can door renovation fail?

Before you start renovating your old doors, you need to check their technical condition. If the paint on the door is scratched or dull, the door renovation will probably go well.

If, however, the door has cavities or tenants in the form of woodworm, then restoring such doors will require a lot more work and time. If the door is infested with woodworm (there are a lot of small and deep holes in the door), then before proceeding it is necessary to “put into” the holes a preparation that fights woodworm, and then fill the cavities.

Wooden door renovation step by step

1. Assemble the necessary tools

Before proceeding to renovation of doors, prepare all the necessary tools, namely:

  • sandpaper,
  • a blowtorch,
  • screwdriver,
  • brush,
  • roller,
  • spatula,
  • paint tray,
  • wood paint,
  • sander.

Remember, the thicker the paint, the better the coverage and the fewer times you will have to apply it to the surface of the door

2. Remove the door from its hinges

The first step in the job is to pull the door off the hinges and lay it on top of a thicker paint film.

3. Remove the handle and lock

Before you start removing the old paint film, you should first remove the door handle and lock. If the door has glazing, you will need to pull it out or secure it.

4. Remove the old paint coating

You can remove the old paint on the door in two ways:

  • mechanically – such paint removal can be done with:
    • sandpaper,
    • a blowtorch.

Mechanical removal of old paint coating is very effective, but labor-intensive. If the door has decorated shapes, then it is worth very gently tanning, and then grind with sandpaper with a gradation of 120 to 320.When the door is cleaned of old paint, it should still be cleaned of dust with a damp cloth.

  • chemically – The old paint coating can also be removed with chemicals. Each preparation has a different duration of action and method of application, so always read the instructions on the package. Chemicals soften the paint film so it can be safely removed with a spatula.

5. Masking cavities

If there are any cavities on the door, you can fill them with wood putty. Choose a putty that is as close in shade to the door as possible. This will make the cavity hardly visible. Always apply a thin layer of wood putty; if the cavity is too large, repeat the process until it is completely filled.

After applying the putty on the cavity, wait until the putty dries. Then, sand off its excess.

6. Painting doors

Wood paints are available in stores:

  • alkyd,
  • acrylic,
  • chalky paints.

When choosing paint, pay attention to its density – the thicker it is, the better it will cover and the less paint will be used. It is worth buying the smallest can of the selected color and paint a small piece of the door – so you can see how the selected color covers and whether the effect is satisfactory.

How to paint a wooden door?

A roller is useful for painting larger and straight door surfaces. A brush is necessary for painting hard to reach places

Before you start painting, mix the paint very thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of paint evenly on one side of the door. When the paint is completely dry, gently sand the entire surface, dust it off and recoat with a thin layer of paint. Do the same with the other side of the door, and when dry, install the handle and place it on the hinges.

Peter Bowers

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