A good-looking exterior wood door can be just the thing to add eye-catching, curbside appeal to a home, just what you need, especially if you are planning to sell. Residential exterior doors come in all shapes and dimensions, though, so it is important to decide what you want, whether it is 8 foot exterior doors with sidelights or just a relatively plain, four-paneled classic wood door with a peephole.
Exterior doors can be purchased in a variety of woods: oak, mahogany, walnut, hemlock, poplar, hickory, alder, fir, and cherry, for example. Their naturally warm, rich appearance complements nearly any architectural style, and high-quality wood doors come designed to meet building code requirements that protect against wind and storm damage, a real concern in many areas.
Staining and Clear Finishing
To stain and clear-finish an exterior wood door, avoid lacquer-based toners and finishes as the first coat. Apply only alkyd-based stains and sealers initially to add color and to seal. The second coat may then be either alkyd-based or a latex finish, with marine-grade varnish recommended.
Finishing with paint includes first sealing with an oil-based primer. A minimum of two coats of high-quality oil-based or latex exterior paint then may be applied for a suitably durable finish for exterior wood doors.
The finish of any exterior door made from wood eventually deteriorates over time. To ensure correct maintenance for the lifetime of your exterior wood door, inspect it yearly for signs of finish deterioration, peeling or chipping paint or a dulling of a clear finish indicating that it is wearing off. Most wood doors will need some type of finish reapplication, whether it is paint or clear finish, every two or three years.
Despite their maintenance issues, nothing says sophistication like a premium-quality exterior wood door. So take the time to check out some of the better-known, reputable manufacturers: Jeld-Wen, Craftsman, South Beach, Portofino, and more. Good wood doors are not cheap, so be prepared to pay a fair price for a quality product.
With that said, there are many gorgeous, well-built exterior wood doors from which to choose, but there is only one that will find itself as the special entry into YOUR home. So enjoy the search and good luck!