Every year a maintenance coat of oil should be applied. This process only takes an hour each year at most unless you have a complex entryway. In the video below I take you step by step through the process of how to maintain your door on a regular basis so that it will look brand new a decade from now or even longer, depending on your attention to maintenance. This video is 28 minutes long.


Note: The following procedure is to be used to recoat doors that have been finished with long oils. If your door has a hard finish such as verathane, varnish or any water-based finish, do not use the following procedure.

1. Check door for dulling. When that happens, another coat is required. It may be that only the bottom half of the unit needs additional oil. The number and timing of recoats will be determined by weather and exposure of your door to the elements. This could be more than once per year or less, depending on exposure.

2. Clean off all surfaces with a damp cloth.

3. Go over all surfaces to be recoated LIGHTLY with 320 sandpaper or a grey scothbrite pad.

4. Use only natural oils that are called “long oils”. These oils are called that because they take a long time to dry. Usually used on log homes. They are primarily made up of linseed oil, tung oil, and UV inhibitors. Do not use a hard finish such as varnish, verathane, or any water-based product.

5. Apply a light coat of oil with a rag on the flat surfaces and brush for the moldings. Brush out any areas of oil that are not uniform.

6. Stir the oil well. The pigments and UV additives will sink to the bottom.

7. Brush carefully around the hardware, tape it up or remove it.

8. Reinstall the hardware if you removed it without touching the fresh oil. If you do just brush it out.

9. The door might be tacky for 24 hours or so, depending on the temperature and humidity.

10. If anything sticks into the finish while drying, wait until it has dried. Then brush it off with a scotchbrite pad if available or even a rag.

11. Oils are flamable and can spontaneously combust, so make sure any used rags and brushes are stored in water until the garbage truck comes.

12. That’s it. With this simple procedure, your door should look great for decades to come.