How To Refinish Water Damaged Door? 7 Manageable Steps

Moisture is detrimental to the longevity of your doors, more so for wooden exterior doors. So, here’s how to refinish water damaged door; indeed, that is what you need if you’re here right now.

In a few steps, you’ll be able to repair and refinish your damaged door. Continue reading to know more.

how to refinish water damaged door


Assess The Damage

Exterior wooden doors, bathroom doors, and laundry room doors are often those that quickly get water damaged. Yet, if your area usually has floods, then doors inside your house would all be affected after a long period of soaking.

After a flood or heavy rain, assess your doors closely to see if water has damaged them. Here’s how you can inspect your door:

  1. Check if some parts are swollen.
  2. See if the bottom corners are rotting.
  3. Push a finger around the door and its frame to see if there are soft parts.
  4. You may also notice visible stains.
  5. Also, observe your door hinges for hints of rust.
  6. Water could also accumulate on your door’s threshold.
  7. See if your locks, knobs, and handles are working correctly.


Considering If It Should be Repaired Or Replaced

After a thorough assessment, it’s time to see if you’ll need a replacement or just a minor repair. For this, you’ll have to consider various factors such as:

  • How long was the door soaked in moisture?
  • Were you able to spot the damage immediately, or did you only notice it after weeks had passed?
  • Was the whole door affected or just some parts?
  • What is the degree of the damage?
  • Can you repair it, or is it too much to handle by yourself?
  • In your case, which is more expensive, replacement or repair?

Those are just a few questions that you can use to assess if you’ll replace your door or repair it. You can also use this for evaluating if you can fix it on your own or if you’ll require a professional’s assistance.


What to do next?

If you decide that you’ll repair it by yourself, then here are a few steps that you can follow for repairing and refinishing a water damaged door:

Step #1. Mark the parts that are damaged. After you’ve gone through the assessment, you probably already noticed which regions are affected and need more attention.

Step #2. For easier handling and if you have more time, you can dislodge your door first to repair it conveniently. Then leave it outside, if the weather is good, to dry out the moisture.

If your time is tight, you may use a blowdryer to go through the damp parts of the door.

Step #3. After drying the damp parts, if the damage is minimal, you can proceed to use medium-grit sandpaper for sanding the door and removing surface water damage.

If the door has peeled in small areas, you’ll need a wood filler to cover it up. Before proceeding to the next step, you may leave it to dry, then sand off the surface for a seamless look.

Step #4. After sanding, ensure that all areas are alright. If you see no more damages, proceed to the application of sealant.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as you use the sealant. Leave the first coat to dry and sand down the surface; then apply the second coat without sanding it after it’s dried.

Step #5. If you have weatherstrips on your door, it would be best to replace them.

Step #6. After the sealant is dry, you can either use a clear finish or paint, based on which you prefer. Be sure to choose a finish or paint that is water and weather resistant.

Both finishing and painting might require second coats for a seamless look. Before proceeding to the next one, make sure that the first coat has dried.

Step #7. Finally, you can reattach your door back after it’s all dry.

You may also view this content concerning how to repair water damaged wood doors to learn further.


Tips for avoiding water damage

There are ways to prevent damage caused by water. You’ll need to be patient, give attention to details, and have specific preparedness to pass similar ordeals.

Here are the tips you can take note of:

  1. If you bought a wooden door, be sure that it is already cured and dried. Choose a day with good weather when you fetch one, so it won’t have to be immediately drenched in moisture.
  2. Be sure that the edges are coated with sealing and paint or finishing.
  3. If you finish your door, you’ll have to sand and coat it again every few years. Occasional touch-ups every year are also needed to keep your door in good condition.
  4. Always inspect how your door is, and look for signs of swell, rot, or dents, so you can immediately repair it.
  5. After a rain, and the weather looks stable already, assess if your doors got damped. Be sure to let it dry.
  6. Have good ventilation or airflow inside of your home.
  7. Make use of dehumidifiers inside.

You may go to this article about “water kills houses” for more information.



In 7 steps, you’ll know how to refinish water damaged door. Follow the step-by-step guide mentioned earlier, and you’ll be fine.

Hopefully, this content was able to assist you. For more related information, feel free to see these articles concerning how to repair water damaged wood door and how to repair water damaged entry door skin.

Leave a Comment