Pia’s Door Problem

Pia asked me one day, “Can you save my doors?”  I was doubtful, but as I had grown to love working for designers, and specifically Pia, I took a look. In any other situation, I would have condemned the doors.  The outer laminate was separating and the inner pine core was showing–so naturally, I said, “Yes!”  Sometimes compassion overcomes me.  I’m compelled by it.

These doors are notoriously sold by door companies and building supply chains alike as “solid wood”; technically it’s true but  perceptions are that the outside layers are the same as the inside.  Not the case at all.  Of course, one trip to a custom door shop, and the price on a real wood door betrays that this is a cheap imitation.

Problem Solvers

I got on the phone with American Rope and Tar about how to treat this door when I realized, “I’m applying everything I know about boat and bathtub building to exterior doors and using the same people as a resource!!”  Sometimes it takes me awhile to catch up to the world.  I’ve never been a fast carpenter, talker, or thinker.

This next piece is for free:  American Rope and Tar are the most helpful waterproofing people I know.  They even show every other distributor of the products they offer in the USA.  Pretty rare that someone is not afraid of competition.  So I don’t work for American Rope and Tar and I don’t benefit from knowing them–other than obvious free advice I glean often from their owner.  Call them with specifics, they’ll help with water, sun and salt exposure on anything wooden.

Fixed it

So I bought Le Tonkinois for the doors instead of going with the painter’s suggestions of using urethane from the local paint supply chain–my next post needs to be on Le Tonkinois.  The French invented this beautiful finish.  Old timers in the boat building industry say that brightwork doesn’t have to be an epoxy physics experiment.  Le Tonkinois never has to be peeled or sanded back to re-coat.  Six coats is best when sun exposure is extreme.

These doors were definitely exposed.  West facing in the Arkansas sun and lots of rain made these six doors to a legit party hall very white and weathered after only 3 or 4 years.  Bad news.

I took the doors down to bare wood and exposed everything including the old pine core.  I re-stained and then put Le Tonknois on generously.  They will still need re-coating periodically but will not need to be sanded back down and recoated.  Just a brightener coat every year works great.Robbins Sanford

From Boats to Doors

Pia was so happy we could save the doors on the Robbins Sanford and restore color and class to a very nice party hall in the old part of town.  Since this project, we get calls regularly on wooden exterior door projects.  Crazy how I don’t see some things coming and then they turn out for my good.

Reminds me of grace.