Timber finishes

15 Jan 2008
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United Kingdom
As part of our loft conversion we've had to replace all the interior doors in the house with fire doors. The doors we've chosen have an Oak finish and we're keen to retain the natural colouring of the doors. Presumably we must treat the doors with some sort of varnish etc... Can anyone recommend something we can use to treat the doors prior to hanging, which affects the natural colour of the wood as little as possible.

Thank you in advance!
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whatever you treat them with make sure you seal them before exposing them to (gypsum) plaster.

any splashes of gypsum products will stain the oak black! :eek:
thanks noseall - wasn't aware of this but it seemed to make sense not to hang them until the plastering and decorating is complete. Can now use your comment to convince SWMBO that i was right not to, as she's been on at me to get them hung!
To answer your original question, the finish that has the least effect in changing the colour, is white candle-wax.

But I wouldn't recommend it in this situation - its not easy to apply and get an even smooth thin finish, and for a fire door...........!

Your best remaining options are clear varnish, oil or lacquer, though all these will make the oak darker. To get an idea of what effect these would have on the colour, make a small damp patch on the oak with a damp cloth (you may have to lightly sand any raised grain when its dried off).

Which ever option you go for, better get one that's not flammable!
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A water based varnish or laquer will have the least "yellowing" affect on the bare wood, something like Dulux Diamondglaze should be easy to get hold of. About 3 coats denibbing with 320grit silicon carbide paper between coats


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