So your storefront doors are made of wood. Whether your business is in an historic building, or you’re just going for a rustic, traditional look, commercial wood doors take a lot more care than doors of other materials. When your exterior wood door needs repaired and resurfaced, you want to make a choice that’s the best combination of attractive and protective.

When restoring an exterior wood door, you’ve pretty much got two options: paint the door, or refinish it with stain and a poly coating. If you’re stuck between the two and struggling to make a decision, here’s a rundown on the pros and cons of painting vs staining the exterior wood door on your storefront.

Painting Exterior Wood Doors: Pros and Cons

There are a few compelling advantages to painting your wooden storefront door:

  1. It’s easy to do.
  2. It’s easy to change your mind and repaint it.
  3. It’s inexpensive
  4. With tough paint specifically made for exterior wood doors, a good paint job will last a long time, resisting damage from the weather and the sun.

The disadvantages of choosing to paint your worn out exterior wood doors are:

  1. Colors are trendy: it might be cute now but look dated in five years
  2. Paint is easily damaged: any scratches are really noticeable, and paint peels and cracks as it ages.

The main thing to get about painting your wooden storefront doors is that, while the upfront labor and cost is low, much of the time, so is the staying power. But, wood doors are high-maintenance regardless of being painted or stained, so to some extent it is what it is.

Refinishing Exterior Wood Doors: Pros and Cons

The main advantage to staining your exterior wood door is the aesthetic. A beautifully-finished wood door that has a distinct grain pattern and warm glow makes your storefront inviting and timeless. Natural-looking wood has a high-end look and isn’t susceptible to style trends.

But staining your storefront’s wood door has other advantages, too:

  1. A poly coat seals the surface of the wood, keeping water out of the wood pores. Nowadays, poly coats are made with UV-resistance as well.
  2. If you change your mind again, it’s much easier to paint a stained door that to strip a painted door in order to try and stain it.
  3. Unlike painting your wooden storefront doors, stained doors deal with wear and tear better. Often, a “lived in” wooden door that’s been carefully-refinished is a preferable to a blank slate of a brand new exterior wood door.

The disadvantages to staining your exterior wood doors are pretty straightforward:

  1. It takes way more maintenance than paint.
  2. It’s more expensive both in the short and long-term.
  3. There’s less a wide array of color and shade choices.

Refinishing an outer wooden door is a choice where you have to understand the regular maintenance needed to get a long life out of the door and keep it looking great.

There Are Some Big and Easy to See Difference Between the Two

When deciding whether to paint or stain an exterior wood storefront door, several major factors come into play. These should simplify your choice a little bit.

  • The choice between paint and staining the wood on a storefront door often comes down to personal preference and the desired look. Paint provides a broader range of color options and allows for more customization. Painting is ideal for those seeking a vibrant or bold appearance. But stain enhances the natural beauty of the wood. It highlights its grain and texture, offering a more organic and rustic aesthetic.
  • Maintenance requirements differ between painted and stained wood doors. Painted doors generally need more frequent maintenance. Unfortunately, the paint can chip or peel over time. Repainting may be necessary every few years to maintain the door’s appearance and protect it from wear. Stained doors may need periodic reapplication of stain or sealant. This is to ensure continued protection against moisture and UV damage.
  • If the natural grain of the wood is a prominent feature you wish to showcase, staining is the preferable option. Stain allows the grain to remain visible, offering a more natural and textured look. Paint covers the wood grain completely, providing a smooth and uniform surface.
  • Painting a wooden storefront door generally requires more time and effort than staining. Paint requires proper surface preparation, including sanding, priming, and many coats of paint. Staining is a simpler process, involving the application of the stain onto the wood door. If you’re looking for a quicker and easier solution, staining may be the more convenient choice.

Before You Choose How to Finish Your Exterior Wood Door…

Think about the style of your business’ storefront. Consider the type of business you have and what kind of experience you want for your customers. Then there’s the budget to think about, as well as a budget for future maintenance. Consider the vibe of the street your storefront sits on; you want to be unique, but you don’t want to stick out as the sore thumb on the block.

Finally, don’t forget to consider the building itself. Is it an historic structure with a century or two of history? You should probably stick as close to the original look as possible. It might be helpful to make a pros and cons list that’s specific to your business. Still stuck after all this? Give SACS DOORS a call and get an expert opinion or two.