Wood Screen Doors: Maintenance and Refinishing

Wood screen doors are an elegant as well as beautiful addition to any home. They are an excellent and safe way to have the house open to fresh summer air while still keeping out unwanted visitors like flies and ants. Like any piece of wooden furniture, your wooden screen door will need to be properly maintained for long life. You may also choose to refinish the door occasionally. Learning a few simple maintenance tips can keep your wooden screen door looking beautiful for years to come.

Maintaining your wooden screen door has two main components: the screening and the wood. If you have purchased a newer wooden screen door, chances are that it has a cleverly hidden aluminum frame that makes replacing torn or otherwise damaged screening easy. If you have an older door or have opted for a traditionally made wooden door, the screening is most likely held in place by tiny metal cleats. These cleats often loosen overtime, so a big part of maintaining the screening is simply checking the cleats to make sure they have a firm hold in the wood.

If your screen becomes damaged, it can easily be replaced. Screening is available in most home improvement stores and is relatively inexpensive. If your screen is held in place by an aluminum frame, a special screening tool will be needed. If no aluminum frame is present, simply removing and replacing the cleats is all that is necessary. Make sure the screening material is taut before you reattach it. If you have cleats, be careful when hammering them back in as it can be easy to rip the screening with a misplaced blow.

The second component of maintaining your wood screen door is maintenance of the wood. The single most effective thing you can do to preserve the wood is to remove the entire wood screen door during the winter and store it in a garage or attic space. Wood does not do very well when exposed to harsh winter weather, while your security door was actually designed to withstand harsh weather.

If you choose to refinish your wood screen door, the process is much like refinishing furniture. Remove the screen and door hardware before you begin. A thorough sanding of the wooden frame will ensure that the finish is smooth. Choose a finish product that is appropriate for outdoor use. Stains make excellent choices for this refinishing project and are available in a variety of colors. Consider sealing the wood after you refinish the stain as added protection from the elements.

Wood screen doors are both simple and classy. They make an excellent addition to the home and allow fresh air during warm summer months. With a few simple maintenance tips and occasionally refinishing, your wood screen door will last for years to come.