Things to Consider When Selecting a
Screen Door Finish

The first thing to consider when selecting a finish for a wooden screen door is maintenance. You may love the look of unpainted wood, but it may require lots of work to maintain its beauty if it is directly exposed to the elements.

We offer three options when it comes to a finish for your screen-storm door: an oil-based primer, suitable for painting; Exotic Hardwood Penofin (PENetrating Oil FINish) if you want the natural look of mahogany; or unfinished, if you want to apply a stain or other type of product to the door.

If your door is not protected by a porch or roof and is exposed to direct sunlight and rain, an oil-based enamel paint is really the best choice for a durable, low-maintenance finish.

Paint will shield the wood from ultraviolet radiation, which will not only bleach and discolor the wood rapidly but will also break down the lignin that binds the wood fibers together. This is what causes varnish to chip and peel.

Based on our research, a varnish product is not a good idea and should only be considered if the door is in a very well-protected area and not exposed to direct sunlight or rain. Even so, count on periodic maintenance that will be considerably more difficult than maintaining a penetrating finish like Penofin.

If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of mahogany, we recommend a product that was introduced in 2000, Penofin Exotic Hardwood Oil Finish, a superior penetrating oil finish specially formulated for Mahogany and exotic hardwoods.  A natural blend of Brazilian Rosewood seed, Tung seed, flax seed and pine oils deeply penetrates and bonds with the wood fibers, protecting it from the inside out, allowing moisture to escape, not remain trapped as with most other stains on the market.

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Penofin blocks 99% of UV rays, contains a mildewcide and repels moisture.  We apply the first coat and you apply maintenance coats. Finished with Penofin, the wood is a beautiful reddish-brown that will deepen and darken with age and maintenance coats. This finish is easy to clean and apply and each coat further enhances the grain and natural beauty of mahogany.

If you think you want to stain it, you should order your door unfinished and use an oil-based stain, which would be compatible with an oil-based wood protector or varnish clear coat. Because it is a naturally dark wood, don't expect to be able to stain it to look lighter like oak or pine. When you order an unfinished door from us, we will provide you with cut-offs from your door for you to experiment with.

Another product we would recommend as an alternative to Penofin or a varnish type product is made by Sikkens. Our customers have reported success with this product and have been pleased with its longevity. They make a wide family of products, but the Cetol 123 is probably the most appropriate for this application. The Sikkens website has detailed information and locations where this product can be purchased. If you opt for this product, you would order the door from us unfinished and apply it yourself.

One more thing to consider when selecting a finish is that the greater the contrast is in the hue of the screen-storm door to the entry door, the more the detail of the design will be enhanced and visible, especially at a distance. If they are the same hue, they will tend to blend together.

Things to Consider
When Selecting Screen Door Hardware Copyright 2019  Touchstone Woodworks