How to maintain timber doors and keep them looking great

It’s important to maintain any timber doors you have at home. After all, they put up with quite a lot: stocks, bonds, scuffs, handprints, as well as scratches from pets. Despite this, we still expect them to look great! That’s why we’ve put together this little guide on everything you need to do to keep your doors looking great.

If your door's timber is unvarnished

Here’s a step-by-step process as to how to keep your own unvarnished door in tip-top condition.

•  Fill a washing-up bowl with hot water and add a small squirt of detergent, alongside a little vinegar and olive oil.
•  Take a regular sponge or squeeze and dip it into the solution.
•  Squeeze out any excessive water, and then lightly wipe the wood down using the abrasive side of the sponge (without being too rough).
•  Ensure that whilst wiping the wood, you work in about the same direction as the woodgrain itself: you’ll avoid leaving scratches this way.
•  Try working as quickly as you can, whilst making sure you don’t allow any drops to run down the door.
•  Once you’ve finished, wipe down the door using a soft cloth. Again try to do this in the direction of the woodgrain.
•  If you’d like to, you can fill a second bowl with warm water and simply add around 15 ml of olive oil to it per 4 L of water. Use the clean soft cloth to wipe down the entirety of the door using the solution. This is a really great way to emphasise the natural beauty of the timber.


Most doors in the UK tend to be varnished and, as such, there are a number of different ways in which you can maintain yours. Fortunately, they’re all fairly easy to do.

The most obvious method is to ensure that you use high-quality varnish on the door. A really good varnish will help to maintain the life of the door, and varnish can be purchased from nearly any good DIY store.

Another very effective method is to use a wax paste. This can be a great way of helping protect the door from both dust and moisture. All you need to do is to apply the paste lightly using a lint-free cloth. Simply rub the wax over the whole door, and then let it dry for at least twenty-four hours.

Then, simply need to repeat the process on the other side. The main thing to bear in mind when using wax is that you don’t want to use too much of it: this can negatively affect the finish of the door. Alternatively, you can actually buff the wax using a cloth if your door’s finish is duller than average.

The other thing to bear in mind is that, if your door is a softwood, you’ll need to coat any knots in the wood before adding a new coat of varnish to the rest of it: knots can allow resin to bleed through, which isn’t a good look!

beware veneers!

In this article, we are assuming that your doors are made of solid timber. However, if you are unsure whether or not that’s the case, double check. Doors made of veneer can react very badly to varnishes and waxes, so don’t apply too much without knowing what yours are made of. Simply apply your wax or varnish to a very small area of the door, preferably an area that won’t be too noticeable!

don't just varnish: wash!

It’s also worth remembering that the wooden surfaces in both windows and doors need to be washed as well as maintained. This can help to remove dust and impurities which can – over the long term – damage the finished surface. Fortunately, plain clean water containing some kind of neutral cleaning product (Teknoclean is a good example) will be enough to get the job done.

the livingwood range

At Livingwood, we have a substantial range of different finishes available in our product catalogue. All of our wooden doors have a thermal barrier in place and are constructed around a 2mm steel frame, and they all come with the following standard features:

•  10 year guarantee against warping
•  An outstanding factory finish
•  An acoustic guarantee of 36dB
•  Both slum shot and biometric opening options

If you’re looking for wooden doors that look stunning and can save you money, get in touch with Livingwood today!