Some neighbors of mine have an old door that has been left out in their
yard for a few years. The door is solid hardwood, and appears to be
quite old (it comes from a house that was built in the 1880s). Despite
having endured rain and snow, it appears to be in good shape. I cannot
see any signs of mold, rot, or splitting. The joints are tight and the
corners are square.
Rather than watch a perfectly good door go to waste, I would like to
use it as an exterior door into my basement. However, I want to make
sure I prepare it properly. My plan was to sand, prime, and paint it.
Can anyone recommend further measures to do make sure it remains in
Allow the door to climatize indoors for a few weeks before painting. let
the moisture adjust to match the indoor climate it will go into. Wood
preservative is optional since you are using it indoors but shouldn't hurt.
Make sure it says you can paint over it with latex.
Joseph - That may be all it needs. Any loose joints. if any, should be
re-glued. If the door is warped it will be a real pain to hang correctly. If
it is warped i cannot think of a good way to straigten it.
If that door is as old as you think, and if it's survived outside on the
ground for a long period, you might want to see if you can determine what
the wood is before you go painting it. You may have a door made of an
extinct or rarely used species of wood, such as elm or yellow birch. Not a
lot of woods last so long, expecially under adverse conditions, so you may
have something special there.
Is it painted under the hinges, or where the hinges used to be? If not,
sand down to where it's clear wood, then try putting a bit of eggwhite on
the bare spot to bring out the grain and take some pictures. I know there's
a website that has comparison pictures of wood grains and colors, I just
can't find it right now. You can ask around for a local antiques restorer
for guidance, but that door might end up as a valued replacement for your
front door rather than the basement one.
Many spar varnishes do not contain UV inhibitors. Traditionally, what makes
"spar" varnish different from most other varnishes is flexibility. If you don't
need flexibility, you don't use spar varnish, as it is not generally as durable
as other varnishes. There are some very durable marine varnishes with UV
inhibitors that also breathe. Those are the ones that really hold up. Some of
them use the term "spar varnish" just because it seems to be a keyword for many
people. It's a misuse of the term.
Heres one of the best:
sand outside, and clean up area using a drop clothe.
with just a door the amount of lead is limited.
be concerned if you have young kids, might be better to do off site
lead exposure is time and amount. on a small job do fast, clean up
well, and bathe before eating etc
Thanks to everyone for the replies. This has all been very helpful
information. I never thought that the door might be something special.
I'll take care not to damage before learning what it really is. If
it's something more than plain old oak, I'll let you know.
Thanks again, everyone.
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