How to Enhance Brand New Oak Doors?

4 Materials
1 Hour

I love the 1 over 3 doors that are typical of homes built in the 1930s. However, over the years, the doors in our house had all been stripped out. We are slowly replacing all the doors with new ones but they all looked "too new" with no patina or character of their own. I decided to wax them all to darken them and enhance the natural grain. Follow our journey here!

The new door before I had waxed it

We ordered new doors, in the 1 over 3 style of the 1930s. The doors are solid oak and are amazing quality. Really heavy and thick. Its just they lacked any real personality, they don't have the patina that comes from being old and original.

Desperately trying to put the "old" back in to the house, I decided to wax them a darker oak colour to bring out the beauty and character of the wood.

Adding the wax to the door

As the door had already been hung, I decided to wax this door in situ. However, this wasn't the easiest solution and following doors have been treated before they were hung!

You will need:

  • Wax for wood (I used BRIWAX Dark Oak)
  • Wire-wool grade 0000
  • A lint free cloth
  • Disposable gloves (unless you want fingers that look like you smoke 200 a day)

Apply the wax in the same direction as the grain, using the wire wool which helps to push the wax right in to the grains of the wood. Once the door is completely covered, use the lint free cloth to polish off the excess wax and achieve a lovely smooth finish.

You can instantly see the difference. The patina and the grain enhance the door immediately.

The finished door

It took me about an hour to do the door. I love the way the door looks. Its much more interesting now, the grain is absolutely beautiful and the finish is lovely and smooth.

People always comment how they love "the original doors" in my house. They look aged and as if they have always been there.

Before and After

My advice to anyone doing up an old house and feeling they need to go modern, as hunting around reclamation yards just isn't for them, then buy new things but take care to choose styles that would have been original in the era of the house. There are lots you can do to make things look old and beautiful.

Treated door with the glazing panel

This is a door that I waxed for my utility room, this one has a glass panel. Its super easy, give it a go!

Check us out on Instagram- thenewfrontwall

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Jeri Walker
    on Aug 11, 2019

    from what I understand with waxing you cannot put a protective sealer over wax. Are you going to have to continue waxing over the doors as years goes by????

    • The New Front Wall
      on Aug 11, 2019

      The doors shouldn’t need re-waxing. I have always used wax on my furniture and find it’s really hard wearing. It protects the wood by the fact it’s a wax finish. Unlike wood stain that just colours the wood but doesn’t protect it. The only thing I had to re-wax was my coffee table surface. We never use coasters so it gets a lot of abuse! (I have done it once in 10 years of use so I don’t think that too bad going!) 😊

  • Stones
    on Aug 11, 2019

    nice Job...!

    can ask you what kinda hot water heater ...brand....I need one for this winter in basement...very nice looking,....I have the cast iron...would like to upgrade....


    • The New Front Wall
      on Aug 11, 2019

      It’s called Stelflow, it’s similar to a megaflo. Apart from the size of it! Tank sizes vary depending on what you need from it. The boiler is a Worcester.

      Both work really well, we are pleased 😀

  • Martha Anne Horning
    on Aug 12, 2019

    Will this wax stand up on an exterior door? I am replacing my front door and don’t want to paint it, probably have to stain and seal it since it’s outside. It’s a small covered porch but still gets lots of afternoon sun.

    • The New Front Wall
      on Aug 12, 2019

      I don’t think wax give enough protection for an external door unfortunately. You may be better staining & sealing or varnishing? X

Join the conversation

4 of 22 comments
  • Dorothy Sittler
    on Aug 11, 2019

    I love that you enhanced the wood instead of varnishing or shellacing or painting!

    • The New Front Wall
      on Aug 11, 2019

      Thank you Dorothy. I just couldn’t bring myself to paint over it. I think it’s different when it’s an old door that maybe past it’s best, but not a newly made door 😊

  • AlexG
    on Aug 15, 2019

    Very nice and what an improvement!

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