top of page

Guidelines for Care of Architectural Millwork Doors


  • Upon delivery, inspect doors for any noticeable defects.  Do not install or finish doors with defects.

  • Handle doors with clean hands or gloves to avoid oil stains.

  • When storing, lay flat without any twisting pressures.  Protect both the top and bottom of doors with plywood or cardboard.  Cover doors with plastic to protect from dust and light.

  • Do not store doors in damp areas.  Storage area should be dry and well ventilated.

  • Do not store in high humidity conditions, such as freshly plastered buildings.


  • All machining of doors should be done before application of any sealer or finish.  A door is not sealed if the installer trims the door after the painter has sealed it.

  • Excessive cutting for fitting or hardware will impair doors’ strength and life and limit warranty claims.

  • Operating door fitting clearance is 1/8” on the top, hinge side and lock side.  Door bottom clearance is 3/8” to 3/4” depending on field conditions.

  • Select a fine tooth saw to avoid chipping.  Ease all sharp edges with sandpaper to avoid splinters.

  • Doors between 80” and 90” should have three hinges.  Use an additional hinge for every 30” of height or portion thereof.  Some hollow core doors can have two hinges.

  • Exterior doors must have a projecting overhang and weather stripping for weather protection in order to be covered by this warranty.

  • Exterior doors are not intended to receive direct, sustained water.


  • Check panel alignment.  Panels are loose and often move during handling.  If this occurs, tap into place using a soft block and hammer.

  • Sand out or fill any blemishes.  Sand with grain, using 150 grit paper.

  • Clean and dust thoroughly before finishing.


  • Seal doors with a good quality oil-based primer and no fewer than two coats of a solvent-based or latex resin-based paint.

  • Dark exterior colors should be avoided where exposure to hot sun is expected.

  • The warranty will be voided if the two faces of the door are finished in different colors or manners.

  • Proper sanding between coats enhances the quality of the finished job.

  • When finishing glass doors, be sure to cover putty by lapping paint onto the glass to insure a weather tight seal.


  • The first coat should be a stain-and-sealer, which will both color the door and seal the surface.  Use a sealer that has an alkyd-resin base.

  • The second coat may be a solvent-borne (oil-base, alkyd resin-base, polyurethane resin-base) or water-borne (latex resin-base) clear finish.

  • After sealer, finish the door with at least two coats of clear finish.

  • Semi-gloss luster gives the best appearance.

  • Proper sanding between two coats enhances the quality of the finished job.

  • It is good practice to apply stains with the door in a horizontal position.  This prevents the solvents from evaporating too quickly, which is a common cause of streaks caused by stains “setting up” before clean up can be completed.

  • Stains are not water proof and should not be used on exterior doors.


  • Proper finish and maintenance will greatly add to the life of the door.

  • All surfaces must be fully painted: front, back, sides, top and bottom.  The warranty is void if all six surfaces are not sealed.

bottom of page