HELP_Exterior Wood Door

Old 03-28-07, 10:52 AM
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HELP_Exterior Wood Door

I have a 8'x5' apprx. opening for a crawl space where I have mounted (2 custom cut) wood hospital doors that swing out. The doors are constructed of several layers of wood and covered with a thin oak finished vineer.

3 years ago I set installed these and applied several layers of good polyeurethane, repeating the application multiple times over the next 24 months, when weather began to wear away the finish. I finally tired of this and painted it with a durable exterior paint.
Eventhough the door was dry when installed, over time the layers of poly and paint have started to break open in vertical slats showing where the door vineer is chapping and pulling away.

I've wanted to cover the doors with a trim-like break metal, but haven't found anything wide enough and have been told that covering the doors will a metal vineer will only cause the "deterioration" to worsen.

Aside from installing separate (custom) storm doors - which can be costly - what alternatives are there to restore or cover the exterior face of the doors?

Old 03-28-07, 03:36 PM
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Ron: Welcome to the forums! What you have done is taken an interior door and subjected it to the external elements. No matter what you did to prepare the door for this venture, the glues used in the interior door are not meant to be placed in extremes. Other than giving them a good layer of fiberglas all over, I would be at a loss. The fiberglas may help extend the years of usage, but may not finish as smooth as you want unless you really sand it like a car body.
Old 03-28-07, 04:10 PM
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Wood expands/contracts with weather and humidity changes, so must the finish. Yours apparently does not. From what you describe, I am not sure you can salvage what is there. Latex finishes in general will move with the wood. Unsure what to recommend at this point, sorry. But you may be attacking this from the wrong side. Crawl spaces are notorious for excess moisture, you may need to dry out that space first.
Old 04-02-07, 10:02 AM
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reply - updates

I hadn't considered fiberglass as an alternative, but I'd imagine that it could be pricey. Is it a relatively simple process?

Just Bill,
Yes, the description is correct ... an door manufactured for indoor use ...
Although minimal, the moisture for inside the crawlspace isn't so much an issue; what I mean is that the only evident of consmetic deterioration is on the exterior surface. The crawlspace is large and completely open, there is enough to stand,walk, store lawnmowers and a small boat (if I had one). Both sides of the door have the same veneer, and yet I haven't had to even touch-up the "interior" face.
Old 04-02-07, 04:01 PM
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Fiberglass isn't overly complicated or expensive. You can buy it at most any auto parts store. Basically you would mix the resin and hardner and brush it on the door and then lay the fiberglass mesh on the wet resin and give it another coat of resin. I've never used or considered it on a door - have no idea how well it would work or hold up.

The inside of the door isn't subjected to daily dew, rain or sun rays - all of which play havoc with any coating. I assume you also painted/sealed the tops and bottoms of the doors.

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