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Why is my timber door cracking?

(13 Posts)
Icyblue Sun 30-Mar-14 17:01:40

My front timber door has started to get lots of hairline cracks. Most of the cracks are where the joints are. At first there were only two small hairline cracks, now there are more each day. Why? Is it due to the wet weather we have had recently? How can I repair the door? I'm a complete DIY virgin so any help will be much appreciated.

Icyblue Mon 31-Mar-14 08:01:43

Am I the only one with a cracking door? sad

BreakingDad77 Mon 31-Mar-14 08:11:43

Moisture can cause wood to swell and stick hence the problem where it sticks sometimes of year and not others. Is the door quite old?

Usually you use seasoned wood to avoid this, you could try getting some products to keep further water getting in

letsgetfreshbaby Mon 31-Mar-14 08:16:39

More information needed!

What wood - hard wood, soft wood etc?

What finish - oiled, stained, painted.

Maintence - Are you doing any? Depends on what finish etc as what you need to do.

How old - new, old etc?

Then we can advise. Fear not a good wood door will outlast us all, if it is properly mainted and looked after,

letsgetfreshbaby Mon 31-Mar-14 08:20:01

Photo - would be very handy.

Are they cracks, rippels, does it look like the joint is seperating, is one side of the joint slightly raised?

Is the rest of the door sound, or do you have areas of softer wood - grab your keys, a screwdriver, and have a GENTLE poke in a few places

If the door is PAINTED; grab a step ladder, open the door and have a look at the top is this painted? Then get down on the floor and or grab a mirror is the bottom of the door (right underneath) it that painted?

Icyblue Mon 31-Mar-14 10:10:57

Thanks all. No maintenance at all since we moved here four years ago. I've no ideas about doors at all so not sure what kind of finish it is. I've checked the top of the door, it's white like the rest of the door so is that pained? The door is sound, no ripples, just lots of hairline cracks.

Icyblue Mon 31-Mar-14 10:11:35

Painted, not pained.

PigletJohn Mon 31-Mar-14 10:16:16

Is is a wooden door, and is it in panels (typically about six)? Or is it flat?

How old do you think it is?

Is it exposed to rain and to sun?

Is it black?

Where are these cracks?

letsgetfreshbaby Mon 31-Mar-14 10:25:30

sounds like it is painted.

OK, then this is simple as.

remove the door furniture - knocker, letter box, number etc.

You need to sand it back aim for going back to the bar wood where you can and make sure it is flat if you leave any paint in places, Consider using very strong sandpaper (90 grit) or even renting a sander or paint stripper take care and read the instruction if you do rent something. If using a random orbit sander then you WILL need to finish by hand - go WITH The wood long strokes.

filler were you need two let it dry and then sand it back. Include all those pesky joints etc anywhere were there is a crack. Use proper wood filler and a pallet brush fill in stages and make sure the filler is flat with the wood when you are finished sanding and then primer let that dry

Then atleast two coats of UNDERCOAT first go up and down with the brush - then let it dry lightly sandpaper to knock back the high points you are NOT trying to remove the paint just make it look flat, followed by a quick rub down to remove dust (use A LITTLE spirit on the rag) then prime again this time going left to right, let it dry and then sand back lightly (240 ish grit) rub down again. in the same fashion as above

Then gloss - one coat let it dry (a good 24 hours if not longer) then sand back lightly again with 240 grit or even wire wool. Then time just aim to make the gloss look slightly DULLER than befor

Then final coat of gloss.

Remember to do all the jams - bits that face into the frame
pay extra attention to the top of the door and the bottom.

Take your time and work SLOWLY. use LONG brush strokes with the gloss or even a gloss roller on the larger pannels etc. then dont touch it untill its dry.

When your done replace the door funiture or by new ones if you like

FYI : If you want to change the colour than make sure you use the right undercoat, light grey for light blue, yellow, etc. DARK grey for Dark green, Dark Red etc. A good paint shop etc will help you out.

Use good quality paint = crown trade paints are very good if you have one locally.

I tend to do, 2 primer, 3 undercoat and 2 or 3 gloss but then I like my doors to look pristine and the paint work lasts for ages.

Remember 80% of your time should be on sanding, filling, priming and undercoat then 20% of your time should be on gloss etc. This will give you a great finish get the bones right first.

Icyblue Mon 31-Mar-14 10:33:22

PigletJohn, the door is in panels. It's an exterior door so exposed to rain and sun. I think it's at least 10 years old. Cracks are mostly located at the edges of panels.

Letget, thanks for the detailed reply. I'm so thick, I thought all doors are either UPVC or painted wood. Have no ideas doors have different kind of finishes. So much to learn.

letsgetfreshbaby Mon 31-Mar-14 10:49:25

Icy your not thick at all.

There are hard wood doors which are can have an oil, sealed or wax finish.

There are doors that can be painted, these tend to be in my experience softer wood

you can have coated doors which come pre painted normally with a polyresin

You can stain and or seal door.

Varinish is another option.

There are loads of possibilities.

Would guess that your being 10 years old and painted it is probably soft wood might be hard wood though. Just depends.

In a perfect world what sort of front door do you want, You never know your luck it might just be possible without changing your door.

PigletJohn Mon 31-Mar-14 10:54:50

If it is a panelled door, and cracking at the edges of the panels, it will be because the panels fit into grooves in the uprights and horizontal members. The can move slightly when the expand and contract with the weather.

When a lot of paint has been applied, the paint tries to fill this joint, and cracks when the panels move. You can't stop the movement. Scraping out the thick paint with a triangular scraper, repainting in dry sunny weather, and avoiding thick paint at the edges of the panels, will reduce the paint cracks. If the paint is similar to the colour of the wood they will be less noticable. They will look worst on a door that has great thick layers of paint.

Icyblue Mon 31-Mar-14 11:03:22

Thanks everyone for your help. You're so kind. I'll give the door some TLC this weekend.

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