Douglas Fir OK for exterior painted door?

ativoliAugust 10, 2014

Hi all:
We found a salvaged door that is the style we want for our front door but it is Douglas Fir and I heard that hard woods are better for exterior doors than softwoods. We are going to paint it, if that makes a difference. The price is good so if the wood is fine, we'll snap it up. Thanks for any comments!

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In my opinion Doug Fir is perfect for a painted exterior door. Is it veneered or a solid wood door out of curiosity?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Ahem, I don't actually know the answer to that question (clearly know nothing about doors!) Would love to know which is better. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:24PM
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If the door is an older door, with an archetectural design, with defined styles, rails and panels, and was an exterior hung door, than the shrinkage will already have taken place.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:59PM
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It's not a used or older door - they call it "salvage" but I think it is a factory extra or an ordering mistake...

Also, it's very simple. Glass panel at the top and simple wood on the bottom..

Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:06PM
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Probably veneered then if that is the case and should be stable and fine. The condition of it is good, no water staining or stiles and rails coming apart?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:19AM
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It should be 1 3/4" thick if its an exterior door. If it is 1 3/8" thick it is an interior door.

It more likely has a cosmetic defect so inspect it carefully.

I don't think I've ever seen a D. Fir veneer front door. What would the core be made of?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:31PM
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There are Doug Fir veneered solid core doors . The veneer could be on a door skin, which is a thin (about 1/8") piece of plywood that is glued to the door substrate. The substrate could be MDF or a lesser grade of solid wood. Or the veneer could be directly applied to solid lumber that is then made into a door.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:00AM
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Simpson, Jeldwen, Rogue Valley, Lemieux, are all "veneered" doors today and all are available in all the basic species. This goes for Interior or Exterior. Theonly thin you will get soolid wood any more is from a custom shop and allot of them will be veneer now as well. The better exterior veneered doors are using LVL for the stiles and rails so the veneer type is purely cosmetic.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:55AM
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I now know what I don't know (or at least some of it). So my question now is...what do I WANT in an exterior door?

Is this right?
Door should not be solid Douglas Fir but rather Douglas Fir on top of a laminated interior (is that how I describe it?). Glass should be double paned. Door 1 3/4 inch thick.

Anything else? THANK YOU!

Anything else?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Solid DF would be fine but you are unlikey to find one unless it is quite old. Veneer doors are considered to be more stable due to the fact that more recent doors are made with new growth lumber and not as stable (warping and or twisting) All doors commercially available today will be veneer. Insulated or Dbl Pane Glass is definitely preferable. That is about all......

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:34PM
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