Interior Doors – Top Tips for wooden door care and maintenance


Interior doors have a lot to contend with from everyday knocks, bumps, scuffs to hand-prints, dirt from passing pets and more. So how do you keep wooden interior doors looking great when exposed to all this and more throughout the years?

If you’ve bought a set of lovely new interior doors, or are thinking about renovating or restoring some old period feature doors, our top tips will help you to get the best out of them so they look wonderful and stay protected for longer.

Antique Walnut Interior Doors
Antique Walnut Internal Doors – from

Choosing the right door treatment

It’s amazing just how many interior door types there are. Two, four, six and eight panel, made from Oak, Pine, Walnut or Cherry, to name just a few. Door construction can also vary from solid wood to veneered or engineered. Internal doors can also be finished or unfinished.

What are Door Finishes

A door finish is the treatment that protects wooden doors from day to day wear and other hazards associated with busy environments. Interior doors are usually finished with an oil, varnish, wax or paint. The choice of door finish usually comes down to the desired appearance: clear, semi translucent or opaque, the sheen level, matt, satin or gloss, the amount of protection it offers, ease of maintenance and of course budget. All things considered, making the right choice can be a challenge.

Pre-finished interior doors

When buying pre-finished internal doors, you can usually find out which type of finish it has by checking the manufacturer’s literature. If this doesn’t make it clear, ask the seller or even the manufacturer themselves. It’s worth asking if they can supply the name of the finishing product and brand as this may be useful for door cleaning and maintenance. Although interior doors can be waxed, most pre-finished wooden doors are varnished or oiled as these provide the best all-round durability.

Unfinished interior doors

Unfinished doors come with a world of possibilities. There are countless options in terms of colour and finish choices. They can be stained to virtually any colour or shade and sealed to a matt, soft satin sheen or gloss finish with a clear or coloured wood wax, door oil or varnish. If you prefer to keep the natural, untreated look of the wood whilst protecting doors from day-to-day dirt and knocks this can be achieved to.

Varnished interior wooden doors
Varnished Interior Wooden Doors – from

Types of Door Finishes

Most ‘clear’ door finishes tend to enhance the natural character and grain of the wood by slightly darkening the timber to give it an almost ‘damp like’ appearance. Wood oils tend to darken and enhance the wood the most followed by clear varnishes then clear waxes. It is recommended to always do a test area before finishing any door to assess product suitability and final finish.

Varnishes for interior doors probably offer the best all-round protection. Whilst most ready-to-use varnishes are ideal for homes and other domestic properties, 2-pack or 2-part varnishes offer better durability for commercial environments such as shops, flats, community halls and other doors that are subject to a high degree of contact and use. The disadvantage of varnishes is that should they become worn, chipped or badly scratched, the only real option is to sand doors back to bare wood and re-finish.

Top 3 Wood Varnishes for Interior Doors

  • Manns Extra Tough Door Varnish: A highly durable, clear, water-based varnish for wooden interior doors, door frames and architraves. Provides a high level of protection against knocks, scuffs, scratches and day-to-day wear.
  • Ronseal Diamond Hard Interior Varnish: A general purpose, fast drying interior varnish that is suitable for internal doors and other wood trim in domestic settings. Available in a range of sheen levels.
  • Fiddes Clear Glaze: A solvent-based, high build polyurethane varnish for interior wood. Formulated to be super durable and recommended for use on high demand surfaces including bar tops, doors, floors, wood panels and joinery.

Door oils offer almost as much protection from dirt, moisture, scuffs and scratches as varnishes do. Available in a range of clear and coloured variations, and a range of sheen levels, door oils have the benefit of being very easy to apply, maintain and repair. If an area of a door becomes stained, scratched or worn, it can be cleaned and re-oiled for a seamless repair making it as good as new. Clear door oils will darken and enhance the natural character and grain of the wood. If a more natural, untreated finish is preferred, using Osmo Door Oil Raw 3033 will offer the same level of protection whilst better retaining the untreated look of the wood. This product is designed for lighter coloured timbers such as pine and oak and is not suitable for dark exotic timbers like mahogany, iroko and walnut as it may produce a slightly milky looking finish.

Top 3 Internal Door Oils

  • Osmo Door Oil: A highly durable, protective door oil for all softwood and hardwood internal doors. Suitable for solid wood, engineered and veneered doors including oak and pine. Available in both a clear and ‘Raw’ version that better retains the natural, untreated look of lighter coloured wooden doors.
  • Mann Premier Door Oil: A premium grade door oil that enhances and protects solid wood, engineered and veneered interior doors and dries to a natural matt finish.

Wood waxes have been used to protect wood for centuries and produce a silky-smooth finish that has a distinct, unmistakable waxy feel. Like door oils, waxes are quick and easy to apply, maintain and repair but don’t offer the best durability. Waxed doors can mark easily in high moisture environments and if water is splashed on to them. They can also be scuffed and marked more easily.

Top 3 Wood Waxes for Interior Doors

  • Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish: A high quality wax polish for suitable for interior doors and other wood. Available in clear and and a range of other colours it can be applied and left for a natural wax look or buffed to increase the sheen.
  • Manns Classic Beeswax Polish: A clear, traditional high quality beeswax for use on sealed and unsealed interior wooden doors and other surfaces. Can be applied over previously oiled or varnished doors to produce a luxurious wax finish.
  • Osmo Uviwax: A unique product that is more like an oil but dries to a wax-like finish. Contains UV filters that help to prevent the natural yellowing and fading of interior doors exposed to direct sunlight. Dries to a gentle satin-matt finish.

Things to check before finishing unfinished doors

At Wood Finishes Direct, we often receive calls from people who have bought veneered interior doors, only to discover that the door label advises against using some types of wood finishes. More often than not this is usually wood oils such as  Danish Oil Teak Oil, door oils and hardwax oils but can also include wood waxes and wood varnishes. But does it really mean you can’t use these products and if so, do you risk damaging the wood? It’s an interesting point and one worth investigating further.

What is a veneered door?

Veneered wooden doors are usually made from a hollow or solid wooden core. The core can be made from solid timber, particle board or medium density fibreboard, AKA MDF. A layer of high quality wood veneer is attached to the core of the door using powerful glues and bonding agents. The quality of modern veneered doors is usually down to the type of core, the type of wood used and the thickness of the veneer.

About 20th century mass production of doors

Wood veneers have been used for centuries to produce high quality finishes. But mass production in the mid to late 20th century saw quality take a tumble as the drive for cheaper, thinner veneers and glues took hold. This sometimes led to door veneers de-laminating or peeling off in extreme heat or when certain products, usually solvent-based finishes were used. In reality, things have moved on a great deal since then and the risks of delamination are virtually non-existent. So why do door manufacturers still warn against using certain products?

Why do manufacturers still warn against using wood finishes on veneered doors?

It’s estimated that most veneered doors originate from the Far East. It’s highly likely that these door manufacturers have taken the lead from one of the larger producers, giving warnings about wood finishing products without checking whether the risk is genuine. Unlike the manufacturers, we at Wood Finishes Direct are well placed to talk about wood finishes – it’s our area of expertise. We supply a vast range of different products from different manufacturers, all of whom agree that stains, waxes, varnishes, oils, paints and so on DO NOT penetrate deeper than 1mm into a veneer.

Why does the thickness of the veneer matter? Modern veneers are rarely less than a millimetre thick and because modern wood finishes never penetrate more than a millimetre into the surface of the wood, there’s very little chance of them interacting with the glue that bonds the veneer to the core of the door. In short, unless the veneer is very thin, badly manufactured and / or glued, modern wood finishes simply can’t penetrate deeply enough to cause the veneer to peel off.

Modern wood finishing products designed for veneers

In our experience we’ve never come across anyone using a wood oil, wax or varnish that has caused a door veneer to peel off. It just doesn’t happen. In fact, companies like Osmo and our own Manns brand produce door oils and other wood finishes specifically designed for solid wood, engineered and veneered interior doors.

There’s just one common sense thing to bear in mind: while we can say with confidence that the products we sell are perfectly fine to use on interior doors, using them against the manufacturers advice will likely invalidate any warranty that comes with the door.

Reclaimed 1930s interior wood doors
Reclaimed 1930s Interior Wood Doors – from

Always do a test area

Our advice if you want to stain, oil, wax or varnish any sort of door is to always do a test area first, ideally where the wood can be sanded if the product doesn’t deliver the finish you were expecting. After-all, you see and use your doors dozens of times a day so it’s important to be happy with the final finish.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. Take your time with any preparation, apply the door finish as directed on the tin and it’s safe to say that you can’t go far wrong. 

Need expert help with your doors?

Do you need help with your interior doors? Our wood finishing experts are always on hand to offer free project and product advice. So, if you have a question about a door finishing, restoration or renovation project, contact our team of wood finishing experts to get the help you need to achieve the perfect door finish.

Alternatively, see our door finishes FAQ page that answers many of the more commonly asked door finishing questions. Want to know how to finish a door with a door oil? See our Youtube video below that explains how best to oil wooden doors.

Need help with your wooden doors?

For more information about wooden door projects, contact our team of resident experts who are always on hand to help with project advice and product recommendations. Alternatively, see our door finishes FAQ page which covers many of the most commonly asked questions about door finishes.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any interior door project. If you would like to share your door project pictures with us and our followers, send us your photos or share on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.

Other great blogs that discuss door care and maintenance

  • Interior Door Makeover With Osmo Door Oil
  • Getting Wood Door Restoration Right

    1. I switched my wooden doors out with black metal & glass doors! Do you happen to have any advice on touching up paint or switching out the panes of these types of interior doors?

    2. Hi what can been done for my pine internal doors that I applied a oak colored stain then clear varnish but over the years they have gone a horrible shade of tan/ orange I done fancy sanding the down to bear wood as they are paneled, hoping for a magic product.

      • Good Morning David,
        Paint Panther Paint and Varnish Remover this is a gel that will make the varnish bubble up to be scraped off. It is very quick and effective. If the stain is a penetrating on however you may find this will require sanding out.

        Once back to bare wood and ready for a new finish,to achieve a natural look to the doors you could take a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural this is a penetrating oil, two thin coats will offer a protective finish without changing the appearance of the wood.

    3. Just moved house and think door’s are oak veneered in a honey color But in some places looks like they have either been sanded or faded back to the wood not sure what was used on them and could do with some advice on restoring them as otherwise they are in good condition. Also their is a lot of varnish runs at the top of the door .

      • Good Morning Gayna,

        Thank you for getting in touch and my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Varnished finishes can be difficult to repair however if you would like to send a photo in I will be happy to take a look. You can email via our contact us page and once I respond to you, you will be able send some photos and I may be able to help further.

        kind regards Samantha.

    4. Hi Samantha,

      Thank you for your reply. The door manufacturer mentions only using an oil based finishing product. They say Osmo Door Oil or something similar. Would Manns Premier Door Oil qualify as similar because I like the idea of it being a matt finish and maintaining the natural look of the wood.

      Many thanks.

      • Good Afternoon Matt,

        The Manns Premier Door Oil is the perfect alternative to Osmo Door Oil. Its very durable and hard wearing and will be easy to apply and maintain. The oil will darken the wood slightly and enhance the grain to give the ‘wet look’ and I would recommend a test area first to ensure you like the finish that will be achieved.

        If there is anything further that I am able to help with please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page

        Kind regards Samantha

        • Hi Samantha,

          That’s perfect, thank you for your help and advice. I’ll buy some Mann’s Premier Door Oil next week.

          Kind regards.

      • Good Afternoon Matt,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. It is likely that the doors will have come with a set of instructions that tell you what you can and can not use to finish and protect them with. If it does not rule out an oiled finish then I can recommend Manns Premier Door Oil as a great option, it gives a well protected natural look to the wood, enhancing the grain and natural tones of the wood.

        It is important to carry out a test area first to ensure you like the finish that will be achieved and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    5. Hi

      I’ve bought 11 doors from Travis Perkins –

      It also says about not oiling them etc but have read this article and most of the comments. I have emailed TP to find out how thick the veneer is hoping it’s greater than 1mm so we can risk using some oil.

      After reading a bit more, I’m wondering whether I need to do something different for the bathroom doors? One is an internal bathroom with no window so will be more prone to moisture. If you could recommend something I’d be very grateful

      • Good Afternoon Jonathan,

        Thank you for your question. It is definitely worth checking with the manufacturer about finishes, to use one that is not recommended will invalidate any guarantee that you have with the doors. If you find that you are able to use oils then for your bathroom door you could also consider the Osmo Wood Protector this is added protection for areas of wood that are exposed to humidity and temperature changes on a regular basis.

        It is not suitable for use under any other finishes, such as varnish however and should you find that the oil is not suitable to use then I can recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish as a good alternative and sample sizes are available for test areas.

        I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get int ouch via our contact us page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    6. Hi, I had 6 B&Q oak veneer doors fitted and the guy who installed them put a couple of thin coats of wax on them, Fiddes Light Supreme Wax Polish. After about a year or so they are looking marked (fingermarks, oily prints etc) and the marks won’t wipe off. The surfaces don’t feel very ‘waxy’. I was thinking of using Danish Oil on them to give them more protection. How do I get the wax off or can I just oil on top of the wax? Or is there a better/different type of wax I can put on over the existing to give better protection and to keep them the same colour.
      It would be so much easier if I could simply put something over the existing surface!!
      Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
      Many thanks
      Jim Morrison

      • Wood Finishes

        11:14 (2 hours ago)

        Good Afternoon Jim,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Wax is great for making wood look nourished and adding lustre, it offers limited protection to the wood however and unfortunately most products can not be applied over the top.

        An oil or varnish finish will give a more durable and easy to clean surface, to use these you will need to remove all of the existing wax and get back to bare wood. You could have a look at the Woodleys Wax and Polish Remover

        Once back to bare wood you are able to look at a Fiddes Hard Wax Oil which will penetrate the surface of the wood, leaving it looking and feeling very natural and making it easier to clean and maintain.

        Or alternatively the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a very durable finish.

        Both the above have sample sizes to allow you to try a recommended test area first. If you take a look at the product and feel free to get back to me if you have any questions.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    7. Having just bought some oak veneered doors from Howdens, these have obviously now been tested with Osmo Door oil as this is specifically included in the possible options.
      The concern they seem to have with other oils & waxes is that the finish is not water proof enough to prevent delamination should the door get damp.
      I would be interested in how the door oil compares to other hardwax oils.

      • Good Morning Stephen,

        There are a few theories when it comes to oiling veneered surfaces that include the one you have mention, and also that the oil absorbs enough to impact on the adhesive. Some think the same for water base stains and varnishes or even waxes.

        Here at Wood Finishes Direct we have not had any feed back from customers yet, to say that any treatment applied has impacted on the veneer. However we always recommend that you stick to the manufacturers guidelines.

        The Osmo Door Oil is in fact still a Hard Wax Oil, it is very slightly thinner than the Osmo Polyx oil as it has a slightly higher solvent content. It is still exceptionally durable and moisture repellent and so will protect your door as well as the many other hard wax oils on the market.

        For further advice please feel free to call in talk to one of our friendly advisers on 01303 213 838.

        All the Best Samantha.

    8. Hi, I have recently bought some pre finished oak veneer ‘Suffolk interior’ doors from Travis Perkins. The veneer is about 1mm thick. I had also bought some Colron danish oil but reading this thread I am very sceptical about using it. An oil to me is preferred to a varnish simply due to the solvent odour and drying time. Will I be able to use the danish oil? If manufacturers are all putting the warning on re oils on veneer doors then I’m guessing they are just doing it to nullify any guarantee to their products. Any help appreciated

      • Good Afternoon Martyn,

        My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. There is a consensus with manufacturers that oils and veneers do no mix and that the oil penetrates deep enough to impact on the adhesion. Here at Wood Finishes Direct we have never actually come across this happening, however to use products that are not recommended can invalidate your guarantee as you say. So more often than not we recommend a varnish alternative.

        If you would like to use the Danish oil it will give a warm protected look and finish to your doors, you would be doing so at your own risk however and I would recommend test areas first, allowing a number of days for the oil to dry and see if there is any effect.

        I hope this help sand if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    9. Hi Samantha

      I have bought the Burford 4 Panel Oak Veneered doors from Howdens and want to stain them a darker colour.
      The Howdens website states the door is “ready for finishing with varnish, stain or Osmo oil”.
      I have seen the Osmo Polyx-Oil Tint in Terra 3073 on the Osmo UK website and wondered if this is suitable to use on the Howdens oak veneered door.

      Many thanks

      • Hello Sam,

        Thank you for getting in touch. I would expect the Osmo Polyx Oil Tints to be ideal for your doors. Two very thin coats are all that will be required and I would always recommend a test area first to ensure that you like the finish that will be achieved. We have the sample sachets available on our website to allow you to try before you buy a larger tin.

        I hope that helps and if you have any questions at all I am here to help.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    10. Hi,

      I have bought a pre finished oak veneer door, I understand that I need to finish it.. I would like to keep the colour it already is what would you recommend?

      Many thanks


      • Good Afternoon Michael,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your enquiry. Often new veneered doors come with some warnings about products that they do not recommend. And often oils are included in this as they are believed to impact on the veneers adhesive. It is the manufacturers being very cautious as here at Wood Finishes Direct we have never had a customer report back to us that this has happened.

        And so to keep the wood looking as natural and untouched as possible but still offering good protection you could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural this contains a minute amount of pigment to counteract the darkening effect of a clear oil.

        A test area as always is recommended to ensure that you like the finish to be achieved. if you are unable to use an oil then you could also consider a wax, it is not as protective but will leave the wood looking quite natural, Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish

        If there is anything further that i can help with please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    11. Hi there, we’ve just had 17 oak veneered doors fitted (Howdens) and now need to finish them. Our joiner has recommended a lacquer instead of a varnish – what would you recommend, please? Thanks.

      • Good Afternoon Christine,

        There are a wide range of finishes that are suitable for use on doors Door Finishes these range from oils, varnishes and paints. If you want to stick to a surface sealer such as varnish or lacquer, which are almost the same thing I would recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish this is a durable finish that comes in a range of sheens to suit your needs, it is available in a sample size and I would recommend this to carry out a test area first.

        If you take a look at this product and feel free to get back to me if you have any questions.

        Kindest Regards Samantha.

    12. Please can you tell me the difference between using a stain and a varnish? Would a stain be sufficient to seal and provide protection for unfinished doors?

      Could you please recommend a stain and varnish which could be used to have as little effect on the colouring of the untreated wood as possible (I quite like the current colour of the untreated doors).

      Many thanks

      • Good Morning Emma,

        Thank you for getting in touch with your question. A stain is to give colour to the wood and a varnish is to seal and protect the wood. That’s the simple answer, however in reality it is not quite that simple as many products that are called stains are actually a coloured varnish and so offer colour and protection and some varnishes come in coloured finishes so it is not always clear on what type of product you have and often manufacturers will use clever words to describe there product with out actually telling you what the product is.

        Luckily we have a great team of advisers who know a lot about wood finishing products and if you wanted to call and talk to one of them they will be very happy to help – 01303 213 838.

        For your doors, if they are internal, you will not require a stain as you are not looking to change the colour instead if you look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural it is an oil that soaks into the surface of the wood and leaves it looking and feeling very natural and it leaves the wood looking as natural as possible. Sample size sachets are available and I would strongly recommend test area first.

        If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get int ouch.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    13. Hi we have 8 genoa oak doors from howdens. At the recommendation of our builder we applied danish oil. I’ve only done one which was hung and when ready to do the unopened ones I saw the notice – no oils wax etc. Only done 1 coat and it looks good.
      Before I do the other 7 my question is… Should I?,!
      Or should I try and remove the oil and use something water based as howdens recommended.? Would I ever get the one I’ve done back to normal? It’s gone darker. Will it go light and be removed with white spirit?
      Should I just replace the one door and do all 8 in the recommended stuff?!
      Help me please.

      • Good Afternoon Kelly,

        Worry not it is a common issue that I am regularly asked about. Many many years ago when veneers became very thin, applying an oil could result in a reaction with the adhesion. This would cause veneers to peel away, however this was a long time ago and both glues and veneers have moved on since then. Manufacturers however still worry about this occurring and so recommend against the use of anything that can impact on the adhesive.

        Here at Wood Finishes Direct we have never come across a customer who has had this issue with their veneered doors. However any guarantees that you have with these doors will be void if you use a product that is not recommended.

        We often recommend the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish as an alternative option. You will have to remove the Danish oil first in order to apply the varnish however and you can do this with White Spirits or light sanding.

        I hope that helps and if you have any questions at all please do feel free to get in touch via our contact page.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    14. Hi there,

      I’ve read the comments above which have been really helpful! We’ve recently had some new oak veneer doors fitted and we’re hoping we can use oil instead of varnish but I’m a bit worried as we had to trim quite a lot off of some of the doors due to funny shape and sized doorways (it’s an old Victorian house). This has meant that the veneer was removed and the door was trimmed to the wood below on some sides. We fitted side trim over the top to make it smarter, but I’m worried that this makes a thin gap where oil could seep to the wood and adhesive below. What do you think?

      Thanks so much!

      • Good afternoon Rebecca,

        I would be able to make no guarantees as to whether this would be a problem for your doors or not, it will very much depend on how you have adhered the strip and if there are any gaps or exposure to the glue. You could try a very small test area first to see if this has an impact on the veneer, I would recommend the test area being left for a period of days, or even weeks to check for impact on the veneer.

        Should you choose to apply a Varnish instead. This is far less likely too have any impact on the veneer or the adhesion.

        I hope that help and if you have any questions I am happy to help further.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    15. Hi , again I have got 10 number Howden oak veneer doors, again I have read all the information regarding finishes to the doors, however if as you suggest to others above oil the doors this is still not going to seal them ?
      If I varnish them with a water based Matt varnish would this not be a better solution to the best finish, Howdens recommend in there outlets to use Osma oil yet as you say the information suggests to seal them

      • Hello Ken,

        The Osmo Polyx Oil will certainly give more than enough protection to your doors. Two thin coats are all that is needed and this is still considered to be a seal for the wood. It is different to a varnish. Oil soaks in to the surface of the wood and dries hard, whereas varnish is a surface sealer.

        Varnish will last longer in terms of protection, however and oil is easier to maintain and repair. We do have some very helpful videos on our YouTube Channel that give great guidance.

        And if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. In regards to the PV67 that you also asked about, this is advised for flooring and bar tops as it is super protective, I would not really recommend it for doors as it is more for commercial use and is quite a smelly product.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    16. Hello,
      I have bought an internal American oak veneered door. The instructions say only use oil based varnish, paint or stain. Can I use an oil based lacquer as well? I like others would like to keep its natural light colour. What do you suggest I use? Thanks

      • Good afternoon Dave,

        Manufacturers of Veneered doors are always quite cautious about what products can be applied to their doors as years ago many glues would be impacted by the finishing products and veneers would delaminate. This is now very rare.

        So you could have a look at the Sikkens Cetol TSI Satin Plus. This is a solvent-based stain with a range of colours and a colourless version. That will offer great protection to your wood. The colourless is likely to darken your wood very slightly and a test area is recommended.

        If you take a look at this product and feel free to come back to me if you have any further questions.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    17. Hi Sam
      I’ve had oak veneer doors fitted 5 years ago and used danish oil which gave them a horrible orangey colour!! I’m replacing them now and have had 2 new ones fitted. I love the colour of them untreated and want to keep them as near to that colour as possible. What’s the best thing to use to keep them as near to the untreated colour as possible.
      Cheers Kev.

      • Hello Kev,

        My recommendation would be to look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural. This is a protective finish that is designed to leave the wood looking as untouched as possible. Often clear oils will darken the wood slightly, this one contains a minute amount of white pigment to counteract that, it is available in sample sizes and a test area is strongly recommended.

        I hope that helps and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get back in touch. And don’t forget to check out our YouTube Videos for helpful hints and tips.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    18. I have Howdens doors and although they suggest not oiling them I have oiled them with Osmo High Solid clear satin 3060 Door oil. All doors have had two coats all have dried and there does not appear to be a problem – or does it take time for the reaction between the veneer glue and the oil to react?

      • Good Morning Robert,

        We have had no feedback of oils causing veneers to peel away from other customers. Years ago when this first became an issue the adhesives were not as good as they are now, and on occasions would come away easily, this is no longer the case and although I can not guarantee that it won’t happen, I do believe that it is very unlikely.

        If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    19. Hi there,

      We have natural oak veneer doors throughout our house, which are finished in clear varnish. We have had them for around 2 years and recently I have noticed large dark marks just above the door handles, caused by greasy hands. I have read the other posts that advice using white spirit or methylated spirit and/or sanding them back. Can you please advise if this would be the same for clear varnished oak veneer doors and if so would white spirit or methylated spirit be best? Also what do you do first, sand them or try cleaning them with one of the spirits? Once they are clean should we just give them another coat of clear varnish where the geasy stain was?

      Thank you so much in advance!


      • Hello Aimee,

        Greasy marks can often be removed with Methylated Spirit, a bit of a scrub with a cloth and then clean with soap and water. This should remove most or all of the dirt and grease. Sanding will have an impact on the varnish and so should be avoided. patch repairing varnish can be difficult and leave clear join lines. An all over coat will give a smoother more even finish.

        I hope than helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate too get in touch.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    20. Hi
      I have just purchased untreated pesaro solid oak doors. I treated one side of one of the doors with colron medium oak wax but its too dark for my liking.
      a) can i strip that off easily enough (if not i can hide that side on the inside of the cupboard door.
      b) what colour wax would you suggest to make it lighter – i wanted a light oak but struggling to find anything.

      Thank you in advance
      Kind Regards

      • Hello Amanda,

        Wax can be removed with a product such as Woodleys Wax and Polish Remover and a Finishing Pad. Always try a test area first.

        Applying a lighter stain or product to a darker wood will not lighten it. You may be able to maintain it current colour using Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural. This is an oil that protects the wood whilst leaving it looking as unchanged as possible. Again a test area is recommended.

        I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    21. Hello
      We need to widen doorways and replace all the doors with 33″.
      We would like a wood finish and have found some styles we like in unfinished Oak. They are all solid core with veneer.
      What stain would be best to tone the Oak to complement a Sapele Herringbone Parquet floor?
      Some products say no oil, others say oil is Ok. We’d like to use oil, but am assuming suitability depends on how thick the veneer is. What’s the minimum for oil? We so far haven’t found anything over 0.6mm


      • Good Morning Val,

        Applying an Oil to a veneer is often not recommended as it is believed to cause issues with the adhesion of the veneer, that said we have not come across a customer who has experienced this yet. Also using an oil can invalidate any guarantee you may have with your doors if they are new.

        An alternate product to consider is the Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish, which will give durability and protection. And the Manns Classic Oak Stain will give you colour. The water-based stain is very versatile and can be intermixed to create a new colour or lightened by adding water, so that you can achieve the desired effect.

        The key to getting the finish that you want will be test areas and both the above products are available in sample sizes. I hope that helps and if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    22. Hello,

      I have been reading FAQ on your online site.

      Our home has the original 1930’s plain doors and some wood paneling (not the cheap stuff we see today). I want to remove the years of grime (I now have added some hairspray to our bathroom wood door) and restore its shine.

      I do not want to refinish all the doors, just clean it & give it its glow back.

      I appreciate your help & time.

      • Hello Marcia,

        To clean the doors you can wipe down with Methylated Spirit. This will help to remove grease and dirt. The doors may benefit from a light sand or clean with an Abrasive Pad in the direction of the grain.

        This should help and if you would like any further advice on products to apply once lean an d dry please do get back in touch.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    23. Help !
      I recently bought a couple of beech coloured veneered/laminated wardrobes one of which had a slight scratch on the front of the door. I tried to get rid of it by polishing it with furniture wax polish which has only made the scratch more noticeable as there is now a large shiny area around it from the wax polish. What can I do to get rid of this polish mark and then deal with the scratch mark ?
      Many thanks.

      • Hello Sheila,
        Are you able to email FAO Sam with a little more information and some photos? I need to know how modern this furniture is, what type of wood the veneer is and if there is any current treatment on the veneer ? From there, hopefully I can advice further.

        All the Best Samantha.

    24. Hi there,
      We have solid oak doors that came untreated. I have purchased some bees wax from a honey farm as don’t want the doors coloured but before I apply I need to clean then as the babies sticky fingers have left marks. What’s the best cleaning tips I have been apprehensive about using anything on them and risking discolouring patches. Also, what’s the best cloth and method for applying the wax when cleaned? Thank you 🙂

      • Hello Gemma,

        If warm soapy water does not work to remove the finger prints then try wiping down with some White Spirit. This should remove the marks, any stubborn stains may need sanding back. Once clean and dry you re ready to apply your Beeswax. Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    25. Our flat is 10 years old…we moved in 4 years ago. Heavy oak doors throughout but have no idea of their finish…builders went out of business. I would like to know best way to clean off greasy finger marks, especially on dirty edges. I used a spray wood polish and removed some black dirt from the edges but don’t want to proceed further without advice. Also my kitchen is oak and cherry wood…have used warm mildly soapy water (Fairy liquid) for sticky stuff, then used spray polish. I used to be a shiny Formica finish girl but I’ve learned to appreciate the feel and look of wood.
      Regards Geraldine

      • Hi Geraldine,

        Its difficult to advice of how to clean without knowing what the finish is. Often we advice White Spirit, however if the doors are oiled then white spirits will remove the oil as well and the marks.

        If you are able to get a drop of oil on a horizontal surface, if the door has some decorative detail, then you can leave the drop of oil (vegetable or olive) on the surface for 30 minute to an hour. If the oil remains unmoved then you are likely to have a varnish, where as if the oil soaks in or move you may have an oil or wax finish. This will help to move forward with what can be adviced for cleaning. You can email me via the contact page if that is easier.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    26. Hi. I’ve just had 7 York internal oak Veneer doors fitted from wickes. The carpenter that fitted them suggested using Danish oil. I know of the warranty being invalid but which is the easiest to put on, oil or varnish. And which would need the least upkeep?

      Many thanks


      • Hello Matt,

        A varnish will be longer lasting and more durable than an oil. However an oil is easier to repair and maintain over time and gives a more natural look and feel to the wood.

        With no damage, I would expect the varnish to last 5 – 10 years, whereas the oil will likely be more like 2-4 years for doors. But the varnish will need to be removed if it gets damaged whereas the oil can simply be over coated when needed. If you have a look at the recommendations and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

        Kind regards Samantha

    27. Hi Sam, I’ve just had an oak staircase and banister fitted. What products would you recommend to see and finish? The joiner recommended Ronseal ultra tough polyurethane varnish but is there a better alternative? Many thanks. Ross.

      • Hello Ross,

        There are basically two option for a project like this, the first is to apply Varnish, which is the more durable product and will last longer. It is a seal on the surface of the wood. The second is an Oil, which is also durable and hard wearing but less so than the varnish. It soaks into the surface of the wood and gives a more natural look and feel to the wood.

        The Oil finish although not as long lasting as the varnish is far easier to repair and maintain over time, so both have there plus side. If you have a read up of the recommended products and feel free to let me know if you have any questions. Always try a test area first.

        Kind regards Samantha.

    28. Hello, I have been plastering a wall and some of the plaster dropped onto a new solid oak door that has need stained, it has taken some of the stain off, what can I do ?? Many thanks Carol

      • Hello Carol,

        I would recommend that you lightly sand the effected area and restain. If you no longer have the original stain or do not know what it was, please feel free to get in touch via email at with a photograph of the door and any relevant information such as if it is an oil or varnish on the door. And hopefully I can help further to resolve the issue that you have.

        Kind Regards Samantha.

    29. Hi,

      Recently purchased 4 x untreated oak Vaneer internal doors, very much like the colour they are at present.

      I’m aware I need to treat them, could you tell me the advantage of, varnish, wax or oil? Is one better longer lasting?

      I do have a 5 year old son and all the doors are for upstairs including bathroom and 3 x bedrooms.

      I’ve looked at the omro polxy oil looks like it might do the job but also unsure of the finish ( Matt, semi Matt etc) which has the most non shiny natural finish?

      Many thanks


      • Hello Simon,

        The Osmo Polyx Oil is certainly a good option and one that we often recommend for doors. It is just worth checking that your doors do not come with a list of products that are not suitable for use. Many manufacturers advice against using oils as they believe that they can effect the adhesion of the veneer. This is not something that we believe to be an issue however it could impact on your guarantee if you do use something they advice against.

        I would also recommend the Osmo Wood Protector for the bathroom door. It is ideal for use in rooms that have a variable temperature and humidity. The sheen level for the oil is quite subtle and the matt is very flat with no shine, where as the semi matt will have a very mild shine to it. The Polyx Oil is available in sample sizes to allow you to try a test area first.

        I hope that helps and if you have any further questions feel free to email

        Kind regards Samantha.

    30. Hello, i recently bought some deanta walnut veneered doors. In the process of hanging them my carpenter noticed small cracks about 10cm in length in the lipping both at the hinge side and the opposite end. The retailer where we bought the doors refuses to accept fault in delivery or the product and blames the storage of the doors prior to hanging. Is there any recommended product to repair or stain over the cracks in the veneer? Thank you


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