If you’re confused about which finish to choose for your exterior wood doors, you’re not alone. There is a seemingly endless assortment, and some only have very slight differences. So, before you make your decision, it’s a good idea to get to know these finishes a little better. This handy guide will help you understand which finish is right for your door.
Although there are many types of wood finishes, they all fall into one of two categories: surface and penetrating. Both are exactly as they sound. A surface finish stays at the wood’s surface, and a penetrating finish actually penetrates the surface. Surface finishes work well for when you want a thicker appearance, and penetrating finishes give a more natural wood look to your exterior wood doors. Since penetrating finishes don’t offer a great deal of protection, they are often used only for interior doors.
Types of Penetrating Wood Finishes:
Danish Oil – This is a common finish used on interior doors. The oil is mixed with some varnish, so it has a bit of a sheen (and isn’t suitable for food prep surfaces).
Linseed Oil – Of all the penetrating wood finishes, this one is the most popular for use on exterior wood doors. It’s also used on exterior wood siding and log cabins.
Tung Oil – Tung oil is sometimes used for exterior wood doors, but it is most often found on interior food prep surfaces.
Types of Surface Wood Finishes:
Lacquer – This is a classic choice for interior wood doors, but it doesn’t provide the level of protection that most people want for their exterior wood doors.
Polyurethane – Polyurethane is among the most popular finishes because it can be used indoors and outdoors,plus it can be tinted to give the wood a warmer or cooler tone. It’s also easy to apply because it can be brushed or sprayed.
Shellac – Shellac is an option for exterior doors, but it isn’t a popular one. It can be difficult to work with because it dries extremely fast. It must be applied with a brush; shellac cannot be sprayed.
Varnish – Varnish is a very versatile choice for exterior wood doors because it can be found in varying levels of sheen and hardness. It can also be brushed on or sprayed. Arkansas Wood Doors
Grain Filler – Since grain filler has zero protective value, it is usually just applied under a top coat. It does help fill in the grain, though, so you’ll have a smooth surface for painting.
Acrylic Urethane – Acrylic Urethane can easily be brushed or sprayed, and it doesn’t have the strong odor that polyurethane does, so it’s a popular choice for those who want to finish the wood themselves. It’s good for indoor or outdoor projects, and produces a smooth and easy-to-clean surface.