Learn how to protect an exterior wood door from sun damage. Find out how to apply a clear stain to a wood door to minimize damage from the sun.
LESLIE: Going to the Lone Star state. Talking to Jerry. What can we do for you?
JERRY: I’ve got one little problem here. I just built a house about four years ago and we put a solid, really very thick, mahogany door on the front of our home. It’s really nice and everything, but …
LESLIE: I have one, too. They’re gorgeous.
JERRY: Except when you have to take them off because they weigh like a million pounds.
LESLIE: I know. It’s so heavy.
JERRY: But my problem is it faces west and when we built the home it actually had a little – kind of a tunnel that you walked into before you get into the house; like maybe five or six feet long. I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. But the sun is just – is really damaging that door and I was going to sand it back down and paint it.  Not paint it but stain it  with something. They did some kind of clear stain. On the inside it’s beautiful, but the outside is like this yellowy, almost chalky look to it.
TOM: You know what I would do? I would use a marine varnish on that. Marine varnishes are really good at standing up to ultraviolet radiation, which is what’s going on.
JERRY: Oh, OK. And I can get that a Home Depot or wherever?
TOM: Yeah, you probably can or you can get it in a marine store.
JERRY: Oh, a marine store. OK, any …
TOM: Marine supply, mm-hmm.
JERRY: Is that the same thing as Valspar or something …?
TOM: Oh, Valspar  is one of the manufacturers and, yes, they make a very good-quality varnish.
JERRY: OK, and I just sand it and prep it like I would normally?
JERRY: Just get a clear and just go for it and put a bunch of coats on it?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Exactly. Yep, two to three – two to three good-quality coats and remember, don’t – you know, don’t do it in full sun. Try to do it in sort of cloudy weather or shady and just give it plenty of time to dry.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, and you want it to thoroughly dry between coats; otherwise it just gets sticky and will never dry.
JERRY: What about temperature. Like right now, I mean would it – if it was like 40 degrees outside, would that be too cold to paint it?
TOM: That might be a bit cold. Generally you want to be sort of in the 50 to 70 degrees ...
TOM: … is good painting temperature .
JERRY: Now do you have any idea how long that can last?
TOM: Several years.
JERRY: OK. I just wondered if it’d be something I could do once and never have to worry about it again.
TOM: Not when you’re dealing with a wood door. You’re always going to have to stay on top of that, Jerry.
JERRY: OK. Well, I sure appreciate it today.
TOM: Well, you’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. If you want a door you never have to paint, get a fiberglass door. Looks like wood; never, ever needs paint.
LESLIE: Yeah, but the mahogany doors are gorgeous.
TOM: They are gorgeous.