Discover How Custom Carved Wood Doors Are Made

The art of wood carving dates back thousands of years and has remained relevant today. From public works of art to the intricate designs within your home, this time-honored craft looks beautiful when done well. An intricately made carved door makes a statement and is the first sight guests see when visiting. You may want to discover how custom carved wood doors are made. If so, check out this in-depth dive into the process.

Nature of the Wood

Many people choose wood for their homes’ entrances due to wood’s durability and customization. However, there is more to crafting a door than choosing a lovely color. You must think over many factors regarding the type of wood, direction of the grain, design, and other considerations before approaching the actual construction stage.

The Type of Wood

The type of wood you choose determines the methods you use when carving the door. When it comes to the types of wood that one must think about when crafting a door, there are three main variations:

  • Solid Wood
  • Solid Core
  • Hollow Core

Solid Wood

The most important factor about solid wood doors is manufacturers craft them out of 100 percent natural wood. They either make this type of door entirely out of a natural wooden slab (which is quite difficult to obtain) or put it together through frame-and-panel construction. These doors tell a story and offer a classic look to those willing to go through the effort of having one custom-made for them. Additionally, they provide excellent durability and security.

Solid Core

Solid core doors are wooden doors filled with wood or a mixture of different composites to create an easily customizable and sturdy door. These types of doors are what most people typically picture for interior office spaces. Their large variety of finishes also allows them to fit into many designs.

Hollow Core

Hollow cores are lightweight doors that are semi-hollow due to the usual honeycomb design on the inside. You can choose these doors for areas where soundproofing or privacy aren’t necessary, like laundry rooms, sheds, or small closets. Only one person is needed to install these doors, and they are affordable. However, they lack the overall security and durability of the other two choices.

Species of Wood

Wood species are one of the most critical aspects to consider when constructing carved wooden doors, as the different levels of hardness play a role in the type of designs available to artisans. The numerous options may seem intimidating, so here are a few popular choices for many doors.


Walnut is a durable species of wood that is naturally resistant to long-term degradation. These doors don’t fade dramatically over time, maintaining their finish. Aside from being naturally resistant to rot, walnut is a popular choice among artisans and shows no signs of slowing down in that regard.


White and red oak are the typical contenders for a good and solid door with approximately 500 available variations. Oak has a recognizable grain pattern and offers a homely appeal at first sight. Along with being resistant to insects, oak is a dense wood species, creating a solid and reliable surface that stands the test of time. Oak is plentiful and not endangered, but you should still obtain it from a sustainable source.


Mahogany is a select species that makes a statement. With a rich history and reliable characteristics, mahogany brings grace to an already polished home. When polished, this wood has a high luster and differs in its grain patterns, creating attractive shapes when carved. Mahogany is a high-quality wood often used for fine furniture or impressive entryways.

The Process of Carving

Wood carving is a longstanding tradition. But with each year, it becomes rarer to find those who still do it by hand. The amount of work and meticulous care required for each project requires concentration and years of experience, especially for the most intricate designs. Nowadays, technological advancements have provided several different carving methods that save time with specific software and machines. Though the favored carving method has changed over the years, the process remains the same.


Whether done by hand or machine, planning the design of a door is always the first step when trying to discover how custom carved wood doors are made. The planning phase requires an understanding of one’s capabilities for themselves and the tools they are working with. Especially with custom designs, there is no book to reference when designing a door. There is an art that remains in this step, which relies on the craftsman’s creativity. The more skilled a craftsman is, the more intricate the design, naturally requiring more time for the process.

Hand Carving

The craftsman needs a good understanding of fine art techniques to bring out the most complicated designs. Hand carving, one of the oldest remaining arts, takes one of two approaches when designing a door. A subtractive method, much like sculpting, uses special tools to remove from the base material to reveal the art within.

The second method is a bit more standard and relies on engraving the wood with specific patterns. This style can take more time to complete. Engraving has its complexities, but for the most part, it’s closer to delicately carving into the source material than taking away portions of it for the end result.

Machine Carving

Over time, software and hardware development has provided a solid pathway for efficient design. Manufacturers need less overall care with this process, leaving the job in the hands of a machine and its software. Although the process lacks the human touch, machine carving is faster in comparison, and it can recreate the same design repeatedly with few opportunities for mistakes.

Many people dream of having their own custom carved wood front door; however, they don’t always know the best place to start. By understanding the basic principles behind the creation of one, you can nurture an appreciation for the craft while providing the necessary knowledge to make the perfect selection for your home.

Discover How Custom Carved Wood Doors Are Made