Storing and refinishing vintage wood doors

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Forum topic by bdresch posted 01-19-2016 04:16 AM 813 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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143 posts in 1606 days

01-19-2016 04:16 AM

I just cleaned out a house that was being torn down of all its original douglas fir 5 panel doors. I have an old house that some animal in the 1960s removed all the original doors and replaced with hollow core pieces of junk. I plan to over the course of the next year or 2 hang all of these doors. My question is how should I be storing these doors over this time to make sure they don’t warp? Lay them flat with stickers? Stand them up?

Secondly any tips on refinishing them?

Third, the panels are some form of plywood. One of the panels has a crack and some bubbling of the top veneer layer. Is there any way to get the back down?


3 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3892 days

#1 posted 01-19-2016 04:33 AM

funny u ask lol
Im just about done on a project where I was handed the same set of cards as you but way worse
rotten doors where just like a human being, standing upright, looks plumb, but isnt
Gonna give you a tip
put a square framing square at the corners and make the %$#@#$ door square before you hang it, and stop the trades and family from getting them wet
if they are old, theres a good chance you and your wife might have sucked some lead paint dust back and maybe even some PCBs ….. who knows once its expiry date
That said and answer to your question, keep them off the ground, and stand them up as this takes up less floor space, sticker them standing flat or a slight tilt out of the rain : )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1563 days

#2 posted 01-19-2016 04:41 AM

During my remodeling days I was taught to store every door we were using or re purposing standing up as close to vertical as possible to avoid twisting and warping.

I put a 300lb 70 year old white oak door flat on a concrete warehouse surface for 3 days ( I couldn’t move it on my own ) and it twisted enough that it was not usable anymore. This was years and years ago but every door I’ve ever dealt with since then has never been stored flat or stickered on the floor.


View bdresch's profile


143 posts in 1606 days

#3 posted 01-19-2016 03:24 PM

No lead paint worries. I only took doors that weren’t painted. I currently have them stored upright in my garage stickered to keep them off the floor.

As for refinishing, all the interior doors have a clear finish that isn’t peeling or worn. Should I just try to clean them with something? The exterior doors are pretty weathered so I will have to strip those.

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