What Is The Best Way To Varnish An Exterior Door?


Using the proper application technique provides the most protection for your door with either one.

  1. Sand the door in the direction of the grain. …
  2. Remove the sanding residue with a tack cloth. …
  3. Thin the varnish with mineral spirits. …
  4. Apply the varnish with a brush. …
  5. Allow the varnish to dry for at least 24 hours.


A multi-prong approach can be used to varnish the door. This method begins with treating the wood using a water-repellant preservative, followed by a paintable stain to protect the wood from UV rays. This is followed by a coat of sealer made by mixing a high quality varnish with mineral spirits or turpentine.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you apply varnish to a door?

0:201:20How to Varnish an Interior Door - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipStart with the inside panels first work in manageable sections. And follow the direction of the woodMoreStart with the inside panels first work in manageable sections. And follow the direction of the wood grain. When all panels have been completed. Move on to the outer edge of the door.

How do you finish an exterior wood door?

Doors should be sealed with a good quality exterior primer followed by at least two topcoats of either an oil-base or latex resin-base exterior paint. Sand lightly between coats, making sure that all surfaces and edges are covered every time a coat is applied. Clean door of dust before applying the next coat.

Can you use marine varnish on polyurethane doors?

Top coating polyurethane with marine varnish on exterior doors. I have been a professional on site woodwork refinisher for 33 years. It drives me nuts to see people buying new exterior front doors and three years later the finish is turning white and peeling.

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