Asked on May 29, 2017

Is it economical to paint varnished doors or buy new ones?

Michele Morris-DenizeShirley HeikkinenSheree Wolf


7 answers
  • Rhonda S
    Rhonda S
    on May 29, 2017

    That depends on the door and the application. If you do not have to replace the door jamb for an interior door, you can replace with an inexpensive hollow core, raised panel door for less than a hundred dollars - about $30 when we replaced some damaged doors several years ago. However, you will need to cut out the space for hinges, and may have to adjust the existing striker plate (where the door latches into the wall) which can be labor intensive. If you have to replace the jamb and all, it will run just over $110 for a typical door from Home Depot or similar site. A good wood exterior door is going to be $900 or more, and steel doors less, but still 200 without a jamb, and 350 or more with a jamb, depending on windows or other features. . If your door is in good condition but just needs to be cleaned up, the least expensive option is going to be sand, prime, and paint. This option also requires fewer carpentry skills. Tell the clerk in the paint department what you are painting, and ask for a suitable type of paint. Oil based primer and paint is often seen as more durable, and more likely to stick to the varnish, but it is far harder to clean up than water based. I recommend against using a flat paint on any door. At least eggshell or satin, but I prefer semigloss unless the surface is perfect, in which case gloss is nice. Does that answer the question you are asking? The clerk at the paint store can also help you decide how much paint you need. A pint might be enough for one door if it has windows.
  • Chubby58
    on May 29, 2017

    I would sand, paint and prime. I helped a friend of mine who is a builder hang a storm door. It took us about 4 hours. Like he said anyone can put a door up, but not everyone knows how to hang a door.
  • Michele Morris-Denize
    Michele Morris-Denize
    on May 29, 2017

    Thanks for that...

  • Toolpro
    on May 29, 2017

    New doors are not built like old doors.
  • Sheree Wolf
    Sheree Wolf
    on May 29, 2017

    We did that recently. We lightly sanded, then painted with Kilz to cover the varnish and then painted white.
  • Shirley Heikkinen
    Shirley Heikkinen
    on May 29, 2017

    We replaced our entrance doors with steel doors. The bonus is that we found magnetic curtain rods! Interior wood doors were just cleaned and treated with a citrus based furniture oil.

  • Michele Morris-Denize
    Michele Morris-Denize
    on May 31, 2017

    Thanks ... those steel doors certainly secure. I really admire their structure. Wish I'd bought them at the last house. I had an Australian wood for the external door and there was no gaurantee by the manufacturer as it didn't have a porch around it. We were not aware of this when we bought it from the hardware store. DIY certainly makes you wiser. When I think about the porch comment- we had a porch what we believed was a porch- the manufacturer needed one the size of a small room, .. to be gauranteed
    The varnished doors, at our present house, all 7 of them are inside. Cheers M

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