Easy way to spiff up good wood doors.

by Trish
Help! I have a houseful of wooden doors that were neglected and abused by a former owner. I've tried cleaning them but they still show finger marks, drips of ??, and nicked up edges. Anyone have any idea how to restore them without the labor of sanding?
Thank you in advance!
Door damage
Bottom of door
Door damage
  13 answers
  • Lol7742589 Lol7742589 on Jul 02, 2016
    We have used a glazing product (a dark brown would probably work for you). You can wipe it on and it resides in the nicks and holes. It doesn't hide the hole/nick but kind of enhances it and makes it look intentional. You may still have to add some wood putty to some of those spots, but then try covering it w/ the glazing product (Martha Stewart makes a product that can be found at home depot or lowes. I would try it on an inconspicuous area 1st to see if you like it. It takes a long time to dry, about 24 hrs, then you could coat it w/ a polyurethane w/ a sheen that matches your door.
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  • Betsy Woolford Betsy Woolford on Jul 02, 2016
    Those were once really nice doors. If you like the rustic look, you could paint the doors and then sand a few edges to make the damage look like normal wear and tear. I would put wood filler in any old screw/nail holes because those are not random wear.
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    • Betsy Woolford Betsy Woolford on Jul 02, 2016
      Wow! I saw you said you would try Old English. That's an excellent product and I use it on my antique furniture. That's what my mom used, too. On my oak pieces, I use the lemon oil.
  • Cj Cj on Jul 02, 2016
    A product called Liquid Gold...a furniture polish that works wonders on wood...worth a try! Grab some clean old rags and go for it! Good luck =)
  • Linda 4 Real Linda 4 Real on Jul 02, 2016
    linseed oil. It cost a few dollars at most from hardware. It will clean and treat and give you a new finish that wood will love. Only drawback is the smell when you are applying is a little fishy. Lol. It's a natural wood oil
  • Liz Liz on Jul 02, 2016
    For years we've used Old English furniture polish and scuff cover. It's amazing stuff! Comes in a light wood and a darker wood liquid. We use the darker liquid, and the best part is that you only have to apply it with a cloth, let it dry a few minutes and then buff over it with a clean cloth. Old t-shirts or wash cloths work great. It goes into nicks and scratches and gives them a 'natural' look. Plus Old English makes old, dry wood look like new.
  • Shojdik Shojdik on Jul 02, 2016
    Yes, actually. I am in the process of spiffing up our kitchen. I cleaned the cabinet fronts with murphy's oil soap and a couple days later used a stain pen to fix the knicks and used a liquid leaf pen to outline the routed parts of the cabinet doors and changed the hardware to match. Looks much better and cheaper than a whole cabinet makeover.
  • Trish Trish on Jul 02, 2016
    I decided to try one of the suggestions. The Old English scratch and wood oil. I haven't done it yet but I will post pics, after I complete it. Thanks so much.
  • Linda 4 Real Linda 4 Real on Jul 02, 2016
    If u use a safe deglosser lightly bf the oil, I bet it would make the finished project more dramatic an lasting??
    • Trish Trish on Jul 03, 2016
      Thank You Linda 4 Real. I have some deglosser and I will try that too. Thanks!
  • Annabr.776 Annabr.776 on Jul 02, 2016
    I have had pretty good luck using a magic eraser for cleaning and then rubbing the doors down with wet used coffee grounds. Fills in the scratches nicely. My doors had medium to dark brown finishes. The grounds get a little messy so I suggest laying out newspaper or plastic to catch the mess.
    • Trish Trish on Jul 03, 2016
      Thank You Annabr.776 Wow! That sounds interesting! I may have to try it! Thanks!
  • Trish Trish on Jul 03, 2016
    Thank you everyone for all your amazing suggestions! I have approximately 21 doors to fix. I have decided to try each suggestion on sectioned areas of the worst door. I will post pics when I have completed the project. Thank you ALL for your amazing help! Trish 💛
  • Gina Gina on Jul 04, 2016
    I use coconut oil. The wood completely absorbs it and polishes at the same time. I have even rescued antique checked finish with this.
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    • Kristi K Kristi K on Jul 05, 2016
      Gina, I also have an old house (it's a rental now) with really old wood doors. I don't want to paint them so now I'm thinking of trying the coconut oil. Problem is, I REALLY need to clean all the dirt out of the corners of the recessed panels. Would coconut oil & an old toothbrush work on that part??
  • Gina Gina on Jul 05, 2016
    Soap and water and a toothbrush is good for cleaning crevases.
    • Trish Trish on Jul 05, 2016
      Thank You Gina I will give it a try! Sometimes the simple things are amazing solutions.
  • Carolinerbain Carolinerbain on Aug 28, 2016
    Magic Eraser says not to use on wood so if you do, be careful!