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Door Refinishing vs. Painting: Which is Better?

Door Refinishing vs. Painting: Which is Better?

When your property’s doors start to look dull or damaged, it can significantly affect the house’s charm. After all, the door is one of the first things visitors notice about your home. For this reason, homeowners often ponder the best way to spruce up their doors — with the two main contenders being door refinishing and painting. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the better option depends on several factors, including the type of door, your time, budget, and personal aesthetic preference.

Understanding Door Refinishing

Door refinishing is an intense process that involves stripping the old finish or paint, sanding the surface, fixing any damage, and applying a new finish. This approach enhances the door’s natural wood, showcasing its natural beauty.

Pros of Refinishing

  1. Preserves the authenticity and appeal of the natural wood grain.
  2. Allows you to repair minor damages during the process.
  3. Increases the lifespan of your door.

Cons of Refinishing

  1. It is typically more time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  2. Generally, it costs more than painting.
  3. Not a suitable option for doors made of artificial materials.

Delving into Door Painting

Painting a door gives you the flexibility to choose from a diverse palette of colors and finishes, from glossy and satin to matte. It involves cleaning the door, applying primer, and then applying paint.

Pros of Painting

  1. Gives you limitless color options.
  2. Whether it’s a DIY project or hired out, it’s generally faster and less expensive.
  3. Works well on doors of any material.

Cons of Painting

  1. Can hide the natural grain of wooden doors.
  2. Paint may chip over time and require touch-ups.
  3. If done incorrectly, it can result in streaks or drips.


Which option lasts longer, painting or refinishing?

Prolonged lifespan highly depends on the quality of work and materials used, but in general, refinishing may provide a longer-lasting outcome as it treats the wood directly.

Can I switch from a painted door to a refinished one?

Yes, you can. However, the process can be time-consuming as it requires removing all traces of paint before refinishing.

Which is better for increasing curb appeal?

Both options can increase your home’s curb appeal. Painting offers numerous color options while refinishing brings out the door’s natural charm.

In Conclusion

Choosing between door painting and refinishing is a personal decision that depends on several factors. If you’re after quick results with a range of color options, painting might be your best bet. However, if you’re willing to invest more time and love the aesthetic of natural wood, refinishing could be the way to go.