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Keeping Doors Dry

Keep your new (or fresh-cut) doors from expanding in humid weather

Keeping Doors Dry
Illustration by Narda Lebo
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An often-overlooked step can keep a new wood door from binding over time: Seal the bottom and top edges with polyurethane or paint. Coating the edges prevents the wood grain from absorbing moisture in humid weather and swelling or even warping. This technique holds for both exterior and interior wood doors, and also for existing doors that have been cut to clear a carpet.

Because the surface isn't visible, you don't need an expensive brush — a cheap bristle or foam brush is fine. Apply two coats. After the first is dry, sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to smooth the surface before putting on the second coat.

Keeping Doors Dry
Illustration by Narda Lebo
Keeping Doors Dry

An often-overlooked step can keep a new wood door from binding over time: Seal the bottom and top edges with polyurethane or paint. Coating the edges prevents the wood grain from absorbing moisture in humid weather and swelling or even warping. This technique holds for both exterior and interior wood doors, and also for existing doors that have been cut to clear a carpet.

Because the surface isn't visible, you don't need an expensive brush — a cheap bristle or foam brush is fine. Apply two coats. After the first is dry, sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to smooth the surface before putting on the second coat.

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