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Exterior oak door which has been allowed to get wet - worth trying to salvage?

(6 Posts)
Quodlibet Thu 24-Mar-16 13:27:26


I scored an exterior back door off Freecycle which was exactly what I was about to spend £300 on - double glazed exterior oak. We badly need a new back door, ours is single glazed and cracked, but we are a bit skint at present.

The issue is that it's been left outside in its packing and water has got in, leading to surface mould and staining. I've scrubbed off the mould and brought it inside to dry out, and it mainly looks superficial and like it might come off with a sand.

If it's not warped/cracked when it dries out is it worth persisting with? And if so what should I treat/paint it with? If the discolouration is noticeable I don't mind painting it white.

Quodlibet Thu 24-Mar-16 13:31:23

It's this one:

PigletJohn Thu 24-Mar-16 14:30:08

It says it is made of engineered wood, so the oak will be a veneer and will not stand much sanding. Wait until it is fully dry.

Let it dry out very slowly, preferably in a cold place such as a garage, not touching the floor but evenly supported, flat, on a lattice of battens. Give it at least a month,

With luck it will not warp. If it does you can put a heavy object on whichever bit is coming up to try and press it down.

As it is not an indoor door it does not need to be bone dry. Presumably the warm dry weather will be here before you are ready to sand, stain and hang it.

You can get oxalic acid crystals from specialist woodcraft suppliers, or ebay, to bleach out stains. After sanding and trimming, I suggest using Colron or other wood dye all over to even out the colour, before you apply your protective coating. The dye need not be much darker than the existing colour. Veneered timber should not be oiled. Use an extra-fine cabinetmakers glasspaper and a cork block.

Quodlibet Thu 24-Mar-16 15:26:16

Thanks for the helpful response.
We don't have anywhere cold and indoors to lay it flat (small flat in London, presumably also why the last people left it outside too!) but will do what we can - currently it's in the downstairs hallway which is unheated on one edge. If we turn it might that mitigate any bending?

What protective coating do you suggest?

PigletJohn Thu 24-Mar-16 18:16:42

I'd lie it flat, but spaced off the floor. Not in a humid room.

Under the spare bed, perhaps.

You could Colron it, then apply a breathing woodstain in a pale or clear colour. Let the dyed wood provide the colour, it is easier to touch-up chips and scratches, and to get an evewn appearance after recoating, than if you uwe a tinted woodstain. The makers change the formulation from time to time, but I have been happy with the Dulux product. Might be called Woodsheen. Let "the beauty of the grain" show through.

I don't like Sadolin which is too opaque and IME goes dull.

A carpenter or joiner will hang it, and fit the locks, better and quicker than any DIYer or handyman.

Lift off hinges will make it easier to put up and lift off. These don't seem to tarnish.

A back door needs a BS sashlock, and rackbolts top and bottom.

Quodlibet Thu 24-Mar-16 20:52:27

Oh you do make me laugh with your funny jokes about 'spare beds'!

Yep to getting a chippy to do it - we can reuse the hardware off the current door, possibly with nicer handles. We will have a house full of builders in a couple of months as having loft converted (so we'll have a spare bed eventually...) and I was planning to sort the door then, but may have to speed up the plan now if I can't find somewhere to stash this door!

Thanks for the staining advice.

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