Best woodstainy type stuff for exterior hardwood door

My front door is a glazed hardwood type affair (more glass than wood) of unknown make and vintage. Knowing the previous owner it's probably a cheap and cheerful B&Q thing like all the interior doors. I'm ashamed to say I haven't painted it with anything for 17 years and it's now a fairly tatty, faded, slightly cracked mess. At the top where it's sheltered from the weather by the roof overhang you can still see some of the original colour and shine but lower down it's fairly comprehensively buggered as I believe the technical term goes.
What's the best way to restore it to at least enough of its former glory that a potential purchaser won't take one look and run away? I was thinking of rubbing down with either wire wool, stainless steel pan scourer mesh or sand paper and slapping summat on it. What's the best thing to rub down with and what's the best thing to slap on it? Or more pertinently what's the cheapest stuff to slap on it that'll do a reasonable job and make it all the same colour again? Something that would soak in and give it a bit of life back would be better than a hard varnishy type liquid that would just seal the outside and leave it bone dry deeper in.
Maybe it even needs something like linseed oil to soak in first and plump out its poor little fibres but then would any sort of varnish go over the top of that ?
Dave Baker - Puma Race Engines (www.pumaracing.co.uk) I'm not at all sure why women like men. We're argumentative, childish, unsociable and extremely unappealing naked. I'm quite grateful they do though.
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On 08 May 2004 14:54:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comma (Dave Baker) wrote:

Hi,
Linseed oil may affect the adhesion of any coatings you subsequently put on.
Is the door currently painted or varnished and how do you want to finish it?
cheers, Pete.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comma says...

Don't even dream of putting linseed oil, boiled or otherwise on it.
Probably best to strip it with a chemical stripper and rub it done with 120g ao paper. Then if there is a large colour difference 'tween top and botton due to the sun bleaching the lower half you can either bleach the whole door the the same depth of colour or apply a heavily tinted varnish.
Alternativeley paint it white/black/blue/red, whatever.
paul Mc Cann
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Try Sadolin Advanced Woodstain, or similar. I believe it is microporous and superior to varnish. Get the 'extra durable' variety ( I believe there is a quick drying variety ). It does not soak in though. I have tried teak oil on hardwood ( teak, as it happens ) and find that it turns the wood black eventually, and rain does not bead up on the protected wood, so I think it's inferior to advanced woodstain in protection and appearance ( but what do I know ).
Getting painted wood back to natural, especially when there are complicated beadings involved, is a bugger. I strip back the existing paint with a hot air gun and scraper, ensuring the heat is kept off the glass, and finish with multiple applications of woodstripper. It is all very tedious and there may be a better way of doing it. I have seen wood that has been dipped to remove paint, and it always looks a little rough, as though the fibres have been loosened by the chemicals.
Andy
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Sorry, I was maybe unclear in my OP. The door isn't painted with paint. It's just varnished hardwood and the varnish has now flaked off except for a bit at the top under the roof overhang where there's a tiny bit of the original hardwoody shine left. All I want to do is treat the wood with something to to restore its 'woodiness' rather than its cracked nasty dryness as at present and varnish it again.
I recall the ads for that stuff that supposedly does 'just what it says on the tin' but can't recall what the actual product was - lol. Anyway, back to you guys for advice.
Dave Baker - Puma Race Engines (www.pumaracing.co.uk) I'm not at all sure why women like men. We're argumentative, childish, unsociable and extremely unappealing naked. I'm quite grateful they do though.
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On 09 May 2004 00:50:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comma (Dave Baker) wrote:

Naturally speaking, hardwood doesn't shine :-)
I have an oak front door which I maintain with a mixture of boiled linseed oil, wax and turpentine. I do this twice a year though.
The doorstep (also oak) is vulnerable to the kid's foot traffic, so I have varnished that.
I used Rustin's Flexterior for that, and it's an excellent product. It's a gloss, but not high gloss finish, is easy to apply and is UV resistant. Above all, it has a degree of flexibility which makes it more resistant to abrasion and copes well with the movement in the wood through the seasons.
First of all, I would strip off everything that's on the door using Nitromors, clean and thoroughly sand. Clean again with white spirit.
Then you can apply the varnish with a brush. I used four coats with a light sanding between each.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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On 09 May 2004 00:50:46 GMT, Dave Baker wrote:

You mean there is exposed and weathered timber, white/light grey in colour with a slightly furry/fibrous surface?
That timber has broken down and for treatment won't last very long on it. You need to remove every last trace of grey right back to sound correctly coloured timber...

On sound timber...

That's the catch phrase for Ronseal products.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
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On 09 May 2004 00:50:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comma (Dave Baker) wrote:

Hi,
If the door is mostly flat and so easy to sand, then a random orbital sander and detail sander will remove the weathered surface layer quite easily and give any topcoats a better chance to stick. When sanding, care is needed to keep the surface flat, especially if a gloss finish will be used.
If it's a cheapish door and a fairly opaque finish is OK then Sadolin could be the way to go, there are a few different varieties of it.
If it's a really expensive door and a more translucent finish is preferred then you could consider something like Deks Olje 1 and 2, but a lot of coats are required. This would also restore the wood.
If there are cracks or joins in the door where water can get in, then a breathable finish like the above is better than varnish.
Otherwise if a varnished finish is OK and a darker colour is acceptable then a spirit based woodstain will help dye it to a more even colour, but try it on an unimportant area first and practice applying it to some scraps.
For a really durable glossy finish, clear coat epoxy resin and a few coats of varnish will last a lot longer than plain varnish, though there must be no chance of water getting under it.
To restore the wood boiled linseed oil might work, though you would need to check compatibility with any topcoats and not over do it.
cheers, Pete.
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goes.
that a

If you can get back to bare wood, seal it with Halfords fibreglass resin. This gives you a solid, sandable base that you can paint/varnish. Conventional finishes which form a film will not survive for long on this sort of surface.
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