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Thread: Door Finishing

  1. #1
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    Door Finishing

    I have a torrified mahogany door (overpriced) that is supposed to repel water but unfortunately it doesn't repel mold/mildew. Just took it off to sand off the mold again this year. The first year I tried the Red Label product they recommended for finishing. Last year I went with Spar varnish which was 90% better but mold still got to it. Granted we have had an extremely wet year. I am going to place a glass door in front of the entry door after refinishing it yet again.

    The question is did the wet weather cause the new mold by sneaking in joints at the raised panel area or did the Spar Varnish fail? Is there a sure way to kill all the mold on the door? I don't want this to become an annual project. Any wisdom you can give will be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Rich, if your door gets any significant amount of direct sun on it I would not put a storm door over it. That often is a recipe for significant damage, such as split raised panels, up to joint failure. If you do decide the best option is to add a storm door then I highly recommend you buy one that is vented so that the temps. between the doors is reduced. Also, I would put one of 3M's UV and heat blocking films on the glass to further manage the temp. gain. I had to take both of these actions on a door with a storm door that I couldn't convince the homeowner to remove after the panels cracked.

    Now for the mold. Sanding probably won't eliminate all the mold, just what you can see. I think the only way to really kill the mold that's down in the pores is to use bleach or something similar. Whether or not the Spar varnish failed is hard to say, but if you couldn't remove the raised panels to kill the mold on them where they fit into the frame then you can't blame the varnish. I think the only way you are going to resolve the mold problem completely is to remove the panels and kill the mold on all surfaces of the panels themselves, where they fit into the frame, and the stops that hold them in the frame.

    Once the mold is killed you can pick your poison as to what best to finish it with. I've had really good luck with PPG Cetol Door and Window finish, but there is no reason a Marine varnish shouldn't work well, too. I guess another option is no finish at all. The torrified wood won't rot, and having no finish on it would allow you to wash it with soapy water and bleach as often as needed to keep the mold off it.

    John

  3. #3
    I have to wonder if it really is mahogany. It's so durable it just makes no sense to me that it would get that treatment.
    But,welcome back,Rich.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    I have to wonder if it really is mahogany. It's so durable it just makes no sense to me that it would get that treatment.
    But,welcome back,Rich.
    I also wonder if it's really mahogany. Many places call lots or wood mahogany these days.

    One link calls it "Brazilian Mahogany" and here is a link to it.

    https://www.hornermillwork.com/produ...ors/torrefied/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Rich, if your door gets any significant amount of direct sun on it I would not put a storm door over it. That often is a recipe for significant damage, such as split raised panels, up to joint failure. If you do decide the best option is to add a storm door then I highly recommend you buy one that is vented so that the temps. between the doors is reduced. Also, I would put one of 3M's UV and heat blocking films on the glass to further manage the temp. gain. I had to take both of these actions on a door with a storm door that I couldn't convince the homeowner to remove after the panels cracked.

    Now for the mold. Sanding probably won't eliminate all the mold, just what you can see. I think the only way to really kill the mold that's down in the pores is to use bleach or something similar. Whether or not the Spar varnish failed is hard to say, but if you couldn't remove the raised panels to kill the mold on them where they fit into the frame then you can't blame the varnish. I think the only way you are going to resolve the mold problem completely is to remove the panels and kill the mold on all surfaces of the panels themselves, where they fit into the frame, and the stops that hold them in the frame.

    Once the mold is killed you can pick your poison as to what best to finish it with. I've had really good luck with PPG Cetol Door and Window finish, but there is no reason a Marine varnish shouldn't work well, too. I guess another option is no finish at all. The torrified wood won't rot, and having no finish on it would allow you to wash it with soapy water and bleach as often as needed to keep the mold off it.

    John
    The finish that was like a food source for mold and initially used was Penofin red label. Back when Lemieux made the door, they recommended using it. It was terrible, just terrible. So I sanded and replaced it last year with Spar Varnish. I liked the varnish quite a bit until we had record rainfalls. This year very little mold returned, but enough. I am hoping for an alternative to bleach but have not found one.

    I will look into vented doors with the film coating you recommend. Thanks for sharing that information as well as everything else.

  6. #6
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    FWIW, Penofin Hardwood Oil has been a miserable failure due to mold growth on my Ipe' deck, as was Ipe' Oil. I'm trying Armstrong Clark's OB product this year. Time will tell.

    Bleach is cheap and works fast. Why look for an alternative?

    John

  7. #7
    I've made a lot of exterior doors of mahogany, within a year or so they all get painted. Look at pics of multi million
    dollar houses, most of the doors are painted; but who gets tired of saying "I told you so!" ? Mahogany is a luxury wood
    to see and feel close up. Neighbors driving by a mahogany door are not impressed, they are just wondering why anyone
    would have a brown front door.

  8. #8
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    It doesn't have to be that way. I've shown this Sapele door several times.



    It's now 2 years old and looks as good as the day I installed it. As you can see, no porch, no protection, and it faces due West. Cetol Door and Window is the finish, 2 coats of mahogany, 1 coat of satin clear.

    John

  9. #9
    John , I remember that fine project well. Having one guy do the whole job is always good. It might be that the condition
    I described would be seen less often if only one guy did all of it. What I've seen might just be the work of the
    home owner with a can of "varnish stain". I'm not a finish guy. I do think that a painted door has a more formal look.
    It certainly works well for number 10 Downing Street !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    FWIW, Penofin Hardwood Oil has been a miserable failure due to mold growth on my Ipe' deck, as was Ipe' Oil. I'm trying Armstrong Clark's OB product this year. Time will tell.

    Bleach is cheap and works fast. Why look for an alternative?

    John
    Thanks, what portion of bleach do you use to kill the mold? Penofin was a terrible failure.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Riddle View Post
    Thanks, what portion of bleach do you use to kill the mold? Penofin was a terrible failure.
    I use Clorox Outdoor Bleach, available at HD, etc.. I follow the directions which I think is 3 parts water to 1 part bleach to kill mold/mildew, but check the label.


    John

  12. I have a Mahogany door finished with Cetol Door and Window facing east with no overhang that gets hours of Southern sun and weather and still looks great. I would not even consider using anything else from now on- it's really amazing stuff if applied correctly.

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