A Guide to Treating Internal Oak Doors
New builds and period properties alike can receive a new lease of life with an internal oak door. The colour of the wood can contrast beautifully against all sorts of interior design trends, from minimalist all white rooms, to country homes with beams and character features.
Oak internal doors are made to last but, as the wood used is a natural product, they do fare best when they are protected properly. Internal oak doors have been slammed in arguments, drawn on by the kids, and slobbered on by the dog, so don’t they deserve some TLC? Applying a protective oil or varnish before fitting, and every two to three years thereafter, will help keep your internal oak doors in tip top condition, even when subject to the rigour of family life. Not sure how? Here’s our guide to treating your internal oak doors.
- Dust Sheet
- Micro Fibre Cloth
- Protective Clothing
- Wide Paint Brush
- Paint Tray
- Mann’s Premier Door Oil
- Making Tape
- Finishing Pad
Why Manns Premier Door Oil?
Manns Premier Door Oil is made with 100% natural oils and waxes. It is a great way of protecting all bare interior wood doors against finger marks, knocks, stains, and delamination. Not only this, but the hard-wax oil dries to a clear matt finish which brings out the natural tones and textures of the wood.
Treating Your Internal Oak Door
Is your internal oak door untreated? If yes, just follow the steps below. However, if your door is already oiled it can be best to do a patch test, to see how the new oil reacts and sits. If you wish to revamp an oak door that has been varnished, it might be easier to over varnish it, after a light sanding, with Manns Extra Tough Varnish. Once you have a bare wooden surface, or if you are happy with the test patch on your already oiled door, it is time to oil your internal oak door.
Protection & Ventilation
Place dust sheets down to protect your floors if needed and make sure you are wearing old clothes or an apron. If is also best to work in a well-ventilated area. This could be outside on a pleasant day (but watch out for insects, as they do like to land on sticky surfaces!) or in a garage / workshop if the weather is not favourable.
Ideally, you will want to be treating a door that is unhung, sized correctly, and is free from all door furniture. However, if you’re treating a previously used door, simply cover up any glazing and remove all the handles and hinges. Lay the door flat on two trestles that way you won’t set any runs.
Stir & Dispense Oil
Once your door is perfectly prepped and ready to be treated stir your oil well. You can then dispense a little of the product into a paint tray for ease. This is also a great time to check that your door is clean and dry.
Take your wide paint brush and apply a thin layer of oil across the door surface. Use long even strokes and go with the grain of the door. Once application is complete, take a good quality microfibre cloth and wipe away all the excess. Again, working with the grain of the wood. (NB. the application process is different for varnish and you would not normally remove excess varnish with a cloth).
You can now leave your door to dry. If using Manns Premier Door Oil this will be approximately four hours. In the meantime, use a quality white spirit to wash your brush as this will make it last longer.
Denib & Final Coat
Once your oak door has dried, it is time to denib before applying the final coat. Denibbing is the removal of imperfections in-between each coat and should be completed with a finishing pad. Make sure to use a finishing pad with a lower grit. Ensure you denib the entire surface of the door without applying too much pressure.
Once the door is free of imperfections you can now apply the second coat, using the same application technique described before.
Oiling the Reverse
Once the first side of your door has dried from its second coat, you can now turn it over and repeat the same process on the untreated side. Now is also the time to oil the top and sides of the door (that meet the door frame) to give the best level of protection.
Maintaining the look of your treated oak door is easy. If simply topping up your door, apply one coat on all sides using the steps above. If your door has a small area of damage, or a stain, use a suitable cleaner and apply a thin layer of oil to blend. If the damage is more noticeable, knock back the area with some light sandpaper and apply a coat of oil to make your door look as good as new.
If you follow steps one to 7 you will find oiling your internal oak door simple and easy. Before diving in, make sure you have all the necessary products (detailed in our Supplies List) and ensure your work area is well ventilated. It is best to keep whichever oil you choose to use away from children and avoid contact with skin and eyes. If you keep safety in mind you will have no problems when treating your door.
Visit the door finishes page for more information about oils and varnishes. Here, you can also see how a professional finishes an untreated oak door.