These huge English Oak doors are part of a project we’re currently working on. We’ve been asked to fully restore four sets of entrance doors, at the grade II listed Royal College of General Practitioner’s building, in Euston. We have just finished restoring the main entrance doors and are really pleased with the results.
The doors have been neglected for years, if not decades and the finish has dulled and flaked to almost nothing. It’s a real shame to see such incredible pieces of work go to near ruin. Even from an economical point of view, the replacement value would far exceed the £100k mark and the timber would be of nowhere near the same quality, so it was certainly worth getting them restored. They’re exposed to the elements, being external doors and were showing all the signs of wear and decay that you’d expect; mould, damp, scratches, flaking finish and deep stains, so were in desperate need of restoration.
(Please click image for larger view)
To restore the doors we fully stripped the old finish off using chemicals and spent a couple of days bleaching out the old stains and repairing the damage. As these are listed doors, they needed to be restored in a careful way, so no electric sanders to remove the old finish, just chemicals that don’t damage the timber.
Once the doors where repaired and stripped we used outside quality French Polish, which is tougher than the French Polish used on furniture and used a good quality varnish for our final coats. One of the few times we will use varnish is on exterior timber, it can take the weather far better than most other finishes. Using French polish to bring out the beauty of the timber and then using varnish for a top coat is a great compromise between beauty and practicality.
If you have external doors that need French Polishing, whether to fully restore them or protect them for the coming winter please contact us online or call on 0845 539 0509