A job begun well, when not slacked off of in the middle, ends well
The most common problem we find in exterior door restoration projects is that the finish removal and cleaning procedures (if done at all!) have been inadequate. Especially in open grain wood such as the oak door pictured here, surface stripping won’t touch the final layers of dirt and finish that are embedded in the grain. Finishers also often neglect to discern when cleaning and/or bleaching procedures with appropriate chemical agents are needed.
We take door restoration seriously, making multiple passes with a range of different solvents employed with a variety of specialized tools. As was the case with this door (pictured on the right), clients are frequently surprised at how much dirt, residual finish, and stains we have been able to remove.
Here’s what the door Rory was starting to strip above (with a heat gun) looked like after it had been stripped and deep cleaned. One coat of a dark “Jacobean” stain and the first of three coats of clear finish have also been applied. In this picture, Rory is setting the beveled glass in place, a-fixing it with a clear caulk to produce weather-tight adhesion. (The caulk changes color from white to clear as it dries.)
Here, then, are before and after pictures of this impressive door (made more impressive by our recommendation that we fabricate and install bevelled glass in the divided lights). [Note: So pleased was the client with the results that they decided to forgo the storm door. They can get away with this option because this door opens onto a small foyer which has an additional, inner door.]