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Forum topic by gridlockd posted 12-05-2012 03:32 PM 1236 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View gridlockd's profile


147 posts in 3023 days

12-05-2012 03:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question door refinishing refurbishing

Hi all LJ’ers! Got a question for you jocks that have made/refurbished entry doors. I have a customer/friend that has a hardwood front door with glass and sidelights. the sidelights are fine, but the door itself is the issue. it faces the afternoon sun and has dried up and cracked at the jointed seams. What is the best way to go about fixing this? is it even feasible to fix? all the joints appear to be glued so disassembly would be difficult. see the pics for a better understanding of what I’m looking at. also, what would be the best finish to use on this? spar urethane? any and all advice and suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!

-- Gridlockd

10 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7841 posts in 3552 days

#1 posted 12-05-2012 03:43 PM

I have no experience with this, but would “guess” that maybe filling with an epoxy, and living with the looks of the cracking might be the best plan of attack. But like I said, this is just a guess. I am sure others that have experience with this will chime in as well.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4383 days

#2 posted 12-05-2012 04:52 PM

Like Mike suggested, you could fill it with something that you could get to match. You might try replicating the moulding and making some vertical strips to cover the cracks. Make it look like it was originally designed that way.
Spar varnish or urethane would be the best finish. If the owners can find a way to shade the door from the afternoon sun, would help tremendously.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2935 days

#3 posted 12-05-2012 05:34 PM

Filling with epoxy paste is the best you can do with that door – maybe mix some fine sawdust into it. Spar varnish doesn’t last in direct sun/weather. Go to a real paint store and ask for a quart of oil based deep tint base with nothing in it (they may be hesitant to sell it that way but insist). It will be milky when you open it but goes on clear and looks stunning when done. It has more UV inhibitors than varnish does. This has been discussed a lot on this site.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3636 days

#4 posted 12-06-2012 02:27 AM

The epoxy is about the only thing that can be done for those checks other than taking it apart and re-jointing the wood and building the door again. The epoxy will also deteriorate from UV and needs to be protected from the sun as well.

Spar varnish would be fine, but with a gotcha. It is a sacrificial finish. You put on lots of layers and they degrade. After a the top layers have deteriorated, you sand it down and re-apply more coats. It is pretty much a regular ritual of boat maintenance. Something like dhazelton suggests would would be about the same with possibly a bit longer lifespan between sanding and re-finishing. Better UV resistance but not as much water resistance which is fine as it is not on a boat.

About the only other choice for an exterior finish for natural wood would be to go bold and strip it all down and go with oil that gets re-applied every two or three months. This would darken considerably and be a life long relationship with the door. Not a bad look but it would be much different than what you have.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3503 days

#5 posted 12-06-2012 02:34 AM

Since most have suggested epoxy and spar I have another. The orientation of the door to the sun means it will require periodic maintenance in the future .

As someone suggested , protecting the door from the elements might be the best long term solution for less maintenance. My suggestion would be to install a full view storm door with high e-value glass. The glass should block most of the harmful UV and slow down the harmful effects it has on the wooden door .

View patron's profile


13696 posts in 3980 days

#6 posted 12-06-2012 02:34 AM

i’ve done some of this

i just make tapered strips
of the same wood
and bang them down with glue
then trim them flush
and go with whatever finish you decide

some of those kids colored felt markers
might get a better match
if the wedge looks to bright

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View NormG's profile


6501 posts in 3642 days

#7 posted 12-06-2012 02:42 AM

I have used Patrons idea before

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View a1Jim's profile


117955 posts in 4216 days

#8 posted 12-06-2012 03:02 AM

The best approach is to take it apart clean the joints and reglue with Titebond III . I’m assuming you won’t want to do that.So another approach would be the following. The cracks seem to small to put glue in other than just on the surface. If you can some how clean the cracks out enough buy threading a piano wire through them and pulling it back and forth or use a exacto blade or even a multi -tool to remove dirt and widen the crack enough to get glue in it. Assuming your successful with that then use a shop vac to suck some Titebond III all the way through the crack. After you have glue all the way through then place some tape on the back and then lay it on it’s back just long enough for the glue to firm up enough to take the tape off and scrap off the excess glue off both sides plus scratch a small furrow in the glue on both sides then apply some colored crayon to the scratches to hide them the best you can. Or …

just get a new door :))


View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3314 days

#9 posted 12-06-2012 03:10 AM

You could do as Jim said and get a new door and install the oval in it. Take into consideration of your time for the repair and this might be the cheaper way to approach this and the crack is repaired…..????

View gridlockd's profile


147 posts in 3023 days

#10 posted 12-06-2012 05:46 PM

Thanks to all for the replies! Filling with epoxy? are we talking about 2 part, clear 5 min epoxy? if not is there another kind more specific to this type of filling? I’m trying to help my friend out in the least expensive, but most durable way possible, but solid wood doors are something I’ve never tackled before. Thanks to all for chiming in! I appreciate it!

-- Gridlockd

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