How To Treat a New Door

The day has come, your new doors have arrived and you can’t wait for them to be hung.  But before this happens, it’s important that they are properly treated to prevent any long term damage to their appearance.  Sticky fingerprints, watermarks, scuffs and scrapes can all be preempted with the appropriate treatment, and with this guide, we’ll show you how!

Why treat your doors?

As mentioned above, life happens, therefore it’s only natural to expect a little wear and tear, but if you could protect your doors from the offset, you would right? Right?!  Once treated, they are more likely to stand the test of time, therefore maintaining their beautiful appearance, because after all your doors are just as important as your home furnishings, so it’s important to care for them in the same way.

Pre-treatment checks

First things first, is to check your doors to make sure you are happy with what you have received.  We recommend taking the time to do this on arrival but if this isn’t possible then aim to check them within a sensible amount of time to ensure you are able to adhere to the returns policy should the need arise.  Things to look out for are visible marks, damage, chips of knocks. But if you are happy with your doors then we are good to go!


It’s worth a quick mention that incorrect storage can affect your doors.  Most people are inclined to stand them upright against a wall, however, as tempting as this may be, it’s not advisable.  Storing in this way can cause the wood to bend which will have a knock-on effect when it comes to hanging them. So, if your doors aren’t going to be hung in the short term, then we recommend laying them down on a dry, flat surface until you are ready.

Preparation is key

You’ve heard the phrase fail to prepare, prepare to fail?  Well, this couldn’t be more apt when it comes to treating doors.  So here goes with our top tips:

  • Make sure you are working in a clean, dry, space.
  • Wipe the doors down with a lint-free cloth to remove any dust.
  • If treating the doors are hung then be sure to protect carpets and walls.
  • Remove handles if the door is already hung but remember to wedge the door open or keep the handles close by, you don’t want to find yourself stuck in a room you can’t get out of.
  • If treating glazed doors, be sure to protect the glass by using masking tape or equivalent around the edges.

Paint, Varnish, Wax, Oil or Stain?

Each specific door comes with its own instructions on how to finish and install it, which you must follow in order to retain your guarantee. If you would like this specific information before you receive your doors, please contact us. What follows is general door information.

Now your doors are prepared, it’s time to apply your treatment, but what treatment you choose is down to personal taste.  If you love the wood as it is then a clear oil may be for you, but if you want to accentuate the grain then how about a stain?  Below we have listed some of our favourite options to help you decide.


If you are looking to change the colour of your door completely, then painting is for you.  A popular choice for white or primed doors (those that have been prepped with an undercoat, ready for the topcoat of your choice).  We recommend using two coats of a semi-gloss or satin for durable coverage.


A clear varnish is a great option when you want to maintain the natural appearance of the wood.  It leaves a clear protective layer with a shiny finish. The varnish is a popular choice for high traffic areas thanks to its tough exterior when dry.


When it comes to wood stains there are two main types to consider, solvent-based and water-based.  Solvent-based contains more white spirit giving them a stronger smell and longer drying time, whereas water-based are less harmful and dry much quicker, meaning you can apply two coats in the time you are waiting for a solvent-based to dry.  That said, solvent-based is easier to apply making it a more popular choice. Either way, wood stain leaves a beautiful finish as it absorbs into the wood. Popular choices include oak, teak, walnut, pine and other wood variants. Then for added protection, consider finishing with varnish topcoat.


Wood wax is a great option for a more natural finish.  It offers the same protection as varnish (in most cases) but with a matt finish as opposed to the shine of varnish.  Simply apply the wax using a soft clean cloth, making sure you work it into the grain, then buff away when dry with a fresh clean cloth.


Interior wood oils are becoming more and more popular thanks to its easy application and maintenance.  Like varnish, it is extremely durable, however, unlike varnish, there is no need to sand before re-application, simply clean the area and apply another coat should the wood become a little shabby!  But if you are treating a new door with oil it couldn’t be easier, all you need to do is prime the area then apply using a paintbrush. We recommend following the grain for an even finish.

Top 5 Tips When Treating a New Door?

  • Apply in long even strokes (when using a paintbrush) and try to avoid going over the same area twice in one application, this will result in a more even coverage.
  • Once started, keep going.  Don’t be tempted to stop and start as this will give you uneven drying time.
  • If treating a panelled door, start with the panels first, followed by the cross rails, then the outer frame.
  • Remember to treat around the locks, hinges and across the top, side and bottom too!
  • Take the time to wipe away any drips or excess for a cleaner finish.


We hope this blog has given you the confidence to choose the right treatment for you, however,  if you need any further advice please call our friendly team on 01642 936 033 and we’ll happily guide you through.  

Alternatively, if you still can’t decide and you’d prefer your doors treated on arrival then take a look at our pre-finished internal doors.