Exterior Doors in the Southeast US, more specifically Mississippi and Louisiana, suffer from a tremendous amount of elemental damage.
While the heat might be fine for enjoying the lake, hiking, and swimming pools; sun and heat cook exterior doors like a fried egg on a skillet. Exterior doors’ finish takes most of the damage from direct sun resulting in peeling, flaking, or even complete breakdown of the finish.
The winter does not help either. Door Refinishing causes as much or more damage because of the short duration of exposure to extremes. It may be 80 degrees on one day and then 20 degrees the next, with rain, sleet, or snow.
If your doors were finished correctly, meaning the doors were laid down flat and three coats of polyurethane were applied, your doors have lasted for about 3-5 years in direct sun without fail, longer if your exterior front doors are covered or somewhat protected. In my experience in Mississippi and Georgia I have found that most finishing on new homes is substandard, unless the house was a custom built home.
If your front doors only had one coat applied when you bought the house, after a year or two, you are probably staring at bare wood, and an ugly entryway. It bothers you when you drive up, it bothers you that friends and neighbors see the unsightliness of your entry. You want it fixed.
You can try to do this yourself. I recommend you don’t. You should call a pro. One thing you can always find in and around the South is a ready stable of carpenters, painters and contractors. I have been in the door business in Jackson, MS for years and done many a refinish job on front doors.
When you need doors refinished, look to a local provider, especially in the Southeast, they will have the knowledge about not only the refinishing requirements, but also wood species that perform well under the conditions here in the South.
I have found a few folks who I interviewed for this article and the best one I found is a re-modeler/painter who knows the proper process for refinishing doors, right here in Jackson, MS.
I’ve also taken the opportunity to see his work throughout the Jackson Metro area, including Ridgeland and Madison. My point is you can find someone who is a professional when it comes to properly refinishing your door.
Do as I do. Take the time to research local Southeast Door refinishers, painters, contractors. Interview them over the phone. Ask and take the time to see their finished work in your local area. And finally, make sure they are DoorSmart. Ask questions about their experience and their process for refinishing.
If you take the time to do this, you will find you can drastically improve the look of your front entryway tremendously and get rid of that nagging dilapidated annoyance you call a front door and finally get back to that rocking chair on the front porch.