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entry door dilemma

I have a very contemporary home in Phoenix with the front door facing directly west. The entry gets very little shade. We currently have a flat metal door that is painted red, and it looks plain and tired. I would like to completely update the entry and would love to use real stained wood, but have always been hesitant, given the extreme heat. Any ideas of what type of wood might not crack, split, etc. in the sun? Are there thick coatings that can be used to seal the wood that will stand up to the heat and will also give it a sleek contemporary look? Any other materials that can be suggested? Neighbors use wood-grain fiberglass, but I don't care for the look. Thanks in advance for any help!

Re: entry door dilemma

hmmm, what about painting a door to look like stained wood.

I too have a west facing door. I can't really figure out what else to do, I've seen lots of wood doors suffer but the paint on the metal door does oxidize quickly more quickly than the surrounding painted wood.

Re: entry door dilemma

I have an 80-year-old west-facing white pine door which holds up very nicely with a coat of spar varnish. I do have to lightly sand and recoat every few years, but that's the best you can expect for a clear-finished door. I don't find it a burden. Paint, of course, is the best protection.

Almost any well-seasoned wood should hold up with regular maintenance, especially the harder ones. Stick with the straight-grained woods, rather than flat-grained. Quarter-sawn oak, tight-grained fir or mahogany would be excellent choices. Wood in direct sunlight usually fails because the sun damages the wood fibers themselves, not the finish. So don't forget to make sure that your varnish has a UV additive to prevent that.

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