Can You Leave Oak Doors Untreated?

1st Aug 2023

Oak is a classic choice for interior doors, exuding elegance and durability that stands the test of time. European oak, renowned for its exquisite grain patterns and rich hues, possesses a captivating natural beauty. Many homeowners are drawn to the idea of keeping oak doors untreated to let the wood's inherent splendour shine through. The untreated finish showcases the authentic character of oak, preserving its unique knots and figuring, allowing it to age gracefully. But can you leave your oak doors untreated?


Untreated Oak Doors: A Viable Option?

While leaving internal oak doors untreated can be appealing from an aesthetic standpoint, it's essential to recognise the potential consequences. Unfinished oak doors are more susceptible to external factors, such as moisture, dust, and stains. Over time, exposure to these elements can lead to discoloration, warping, or even structural damage.

As humidity levels fluctuate, oak doors without any protective finish can be prone to absorbing moisture. This can result in expansion and contraction of the wood, leading to misalignments and difficulty in opening or closing the door properly. In areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens, untreated oak doors may be particularly vulnerable.

Solid Oak Door Ledge Close Up

Stains and Grime

Untreated oak doors are also susceptible to stains and grime, especially in busy households or commercial spaces. Without a protective layer, spills, fingerprints, and other marks can penetrate the wood, making it challenging to clean and maintain the door's pristine appearance.

Durability and Longevity

By treating oak doors with appropriate finishes, you can significantly enhance their durability and extend their lifespan. A well-sealed oak door will be more resilient to wear and tear, providing a lasting investment for your property.

Finding the Right Finish

Choosing the right finish for your oak doors is crucial in preserving their natural beauty while safeguarding them against external elements. There are several options available, including oil finishes, lacquers, and varnishes. Each finish offers distinct benefits, such as enhancing the wood's colour, providing water resistance, and offering ease of maintenance.

Solid Oak Door Finished

To preserve the unfinished look of the timber, there are a number of clear finishing products designed specifically to protect the timber without substantially changing the raw colour. Products such as the Blanchon Original Wood Environment are designed for this purpose and can be applied to internal solid oak doors. Always check with your chosen oak door supplier for their wood finishing recommendations.

Solid Oak Door Ledge Unfinished Hinge

In conclusion, while the allure of leaving oak doors untreated may be tempting, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully. While untreated oak radiates natural beauty, it may not be the most practical choice in terms of durability and longevity. Treating oak doors with suitable finishes (including finishes designed to keep the raw colour) will protect them from moisture, stains, and wear, ensuring they remain a stunning addition to your home for years to come.

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