The finish of an entry door can really make or break the entranceway, whether it be a bright paint colour, or a stain. The quality and character of the finish will change the whole look and feel of the end-result. Read on to understand the different door finishing options, along with recommendations, for each door material type.
Fibreglass doors have either a woodgrain or smooth skin. The woodgrain skin has a slightly textured surface that is shaped like real timber grain. This can either be painted or stained. The painted obviously looks like painted timber. When the woodgrain skin is stained, the stain soaks into the texture and brings out the grain, very similarly to solid timber.
Fibreglass doors are normally supplied ready for painting or staining. Some manufacturers offer to pre-finish the doors themselves, but if this is not part of the actual manufacturing process, it may be more costly for them to supply it this way. Often the painter on site will simply paint the door for a continuation of their square metre rate.
Aluminium doors are finished with a powder coat colour.
To do this, the aluminium is often sanded down to remove scratches or imperfections, it is then put through pre-treatment tanks which give it an acid wash.
The powder is then applied in a colour of the client’s choice. Click here to see a range of standard powder coat colours from Dulux – a good powder coat supplier.
Woodgrain finishes can be applied to aluminium doors to make them like real life timber doors. This incredible finish carries the same warranties as a standard powder coat finish. A reasonable supplier for this Colourtec - Click here for more information.
With both the powder coat and the woodgrain finishes, these are always supplied by the manufacturer as they are part of its manufacturing process.
It is critical that timber doors are pre-finished with the correct products to ensure they are completely sealed to prevent moisture absorption.
Timber is made up of tiny pores that can absorb moisture in the air. When they do this, they can expand. As the humidity drops or temperatures increase, these pores dry out again causing the timber to shrink. In doing so it will often twist, crack and change shape.
To prevent this, a film forming product must be used. A film forming product will line the pores of the timber and seal it completely from the outside elements. This is opposed to a stain or oil that simply sits on the outside of the pores. Film forming products will last longer and require less maintenance.
Good suppliers of such products include Cabots, Intergrain or Sikkens. These companies all offer the finish in a variety of colours.
With Sikkens it is recommended that the coating should be maintained every -7 years.
Some timber door manufacturers offer to pre-finish the doors in their factory, but normally this is left up to the painter or home owner on site. Ensure it is finished as soon as it arrives, or at least has a base coat which will give it temporary protection for 5 days.