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finishing dilemma - oiling or lacquering?

Oiled or Lacquered?  This must be the million dollar question when it comes to deciding the finish on your hardwood door. Here is a list of Pros and Cons to help you make that all important decision.

  1. Although oiled doors look very natural and beautiful, the downside of oiling is that it needs to be done quite often. This all depends on which side of the house your door is on and if there is an overhang or porch over the door. Reapplying the oil would need to be done every 6-8months or possibly once a year if the door is set back and doesn't get any sun or rain. Oiling is quite simple and anyone can do it though so something to weigh up when trying to make that decision.
  2. It's also worth noting that hardwoods change in colour depending on their finish. An oiled Iroko will go darker, but an oiled Wenge or Fumed oak door will go lighter. Walnut will initially go darker and then go blonde in the sun over time. So this is a big impact on how you'd like the door to look in the future.
  3. Some clients don't go for either oiling or lacquering because they want their door to grey. In this case, you would use an anti-fungal oil that would protect the wood but not allow it to keep its colour. This is definitely a way forward for a more contemporary look and feel.
  4. Lacquered doors can look a little less natural and have a slightly satin sheen, but they can, depending on their situation on the house, last anywhere between 4-6years without any maintenance.  Doors on houses by the sea and houses that face the elements on the frontage would probably need to be maintained more often.
  5. If you have cladding on your house, the finish of said cladding can determine the finish you choose on the door. If you are allowing the cladding to grey and the door wont be matching, then it's a good idea to be creative and go for something totally different. But if they are going to match the two, lacquering may be easier as it is less maintenance all round.
  6. Occasionally the house interior design can determine which finish will be  a better match to a floor or staircase.

Please see the images adjacent for some idea on the difference in appearance of these different choices and do give us a call if you'd like some more inspiration.