DIY Door Basics
A combination of exposure to the elements and daily traffic causes timber exterior doors to suffer wear and tear that affects their appearance and function.
CLEAN TIMBER by using a wood oil soap on a stained finish.
For painted timber, add dishwashing liquid to a bucket of warm water, using a natural sponge to scrub the door in small circular motions, working up from the base and rinsing often.
POLISH HARDWARE with Brasso, protecting nearby surfaces with plastic wrap secured with masking tape.
For lacquered metal, use soapy water then dry and buff it with a soft cloth.
LUBRICATE LOCKS with a blast of powdered graphite, a dry lubricant that can also be used on stiff latches.
SILENCE HINGES by prising up the hinge pin with a screwdriver to aim a few squirts of oil onto the shaft above the upper barrel.
Swing the door back and forth a few times to distribute the oil over the hinge mechanism.
Changes in humidity and the natural movement of a house can lead to a swollen, sticking door but you can fix it DIY.
HOLD A BLOCK against the non-hinged side of the door frame and hit it with a hammer to widen the opening enough to free the door.
CLOSE THE DOOR and check it to find the sticking points along its edges. There should be a gap wide enough for a 20c coin all around.
PLANE THE EDGES with a hand planer using two wedges to hold the door. To remove less than 2mm of timber, use a belt sander with coarse then fine grit abrasive paper.