The Best Finish for an Exterior Mahogany Door

A new door is always a fun project that will make your home instantly more stunning. However, it is not uncommon for rich woods to arrive unfinished. Mahogany doors are no exception. The reason for this is to allow the homeowner to customize their door’s appearance even further with a hand-laid finish. Every kind of wood absorbs color and varnish differently, however. The best finish for an exterior mahogany door is a question worth the extra consideration.

Steps To Finishing a Door

There are a couple of steps to a great finish, but luckily, the process is nowhere near as hard as people think. In a lot of ways, finishing wood is like painting. Besides a paintbrush, some rags and a can of stain or varnish are all you will need. As the name implies, a stain alters the natural color of the wood. A seal is the outer polish that locks in the wood and color. The stain is applied first. Depending on how thick you apply the stain and how long you allow it to set before wiping away the excess, the stain color will vary. You can also add additional coats for a bolder tone. When the door has been stained and is dry, apply the varnish in the same way that you would apply a coat of paint.

Different Stains To Consider

You can find a variety of stains at any local home improvement store. Depending on the brand, each stain may have a creative name, but usually, it will also state the recommended wood species. Mahogany stains typically range from rich brown, deep purple-red, a few rich red tones, and very dark brown. At Nick’s Building Supply, we offer a wide range of finished mahogany solid wood entry doors in a rich range of deep colors. Heavier colors match better with this type of wood and express the details of the grain more subtly.

Types of Protective Seal

The final step is to varnish your new door. There are many choices for the best finish for an exterior mahogany door, but generally, a waterproof seal will last the longest. Polyurethane based seals will create a tough and handsome shell. Other options are lacquer, which is a sap-based coat; varnish, which is oil-based and helps treat the wood; and shellac, which is another tough seal that is made from insect shells. In addition to the way the seal is made, there are also various texture options to consider, including matte, semi-gloss, and gloss. Generally, a gloss is more weather resistant, but semi-gloss is also an attractive option for mahogany.

Upkeep and Maintenance

Despite popular belief, wood doors stay healthy and beautiful for a long time. After a couple of years of being ignored, however, the wood becomes subject to weather damage. This is due to the outer varnish gradually giving in to the constant impact of rain, snow, moisture buildup, and sunlight. Because of this, a yearly touch up is recommended. Usually, brushing the wood with a high grain sandpaper will smooth over any rough spots, and adding just a dab of stain will fix any lightening of color. Varnish can be reapplied without taking the entire door off, so upkeep is never the same amount of work as the initial finishing project. This little amount of effort ensures the door stays as perfect and stunning as the day it was hung.