How to protect wooden garage doors in all seasons

When you’ve installed your beautiful wooden garage doors, then next step you need to take is protecting them from the elements. After all, there’s no use making such a large investment only to have to buy new doors in five years. 

Here are some great ways to protect your wooden garage doors in all seasons.


The most straightforward way is to use a good exterior wood paint. You can find these in all DIY stores.

If your garage door isn’t extremely exposed to the elements then a normal outdoor furniture paint will likely be sufficient while also leaving the natural grain showing through the colour.

Alternatively, using a heavy-duty exterior wood paint will cover the grain but provide strong protection.

If, however, you want to maintain the natural wood look of your new door, then it’s worth considering the following alternative options.


Stains are coloured liquids that you apply by rubbing them into the wood’s surface which then get absorbed into the wood, giving it certain desired colours or accentuate certain tones that are already present in the wood.

Wood staining needs time for the colour to be absorbed and rubbed off but can leave the wood looking stunning.

That said, it doesn’t protect the wood on its own. So you usually need to use a varnish on top of stains. There are some stains specially made for exterior wood to weather proof it, but these can also be limited in colour.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that applying stains can raise the grain of the wood – making it feel rough. So doing a light sanding between each coat with either some fine-grit sandpaper or an orbital sander will help keep the wood smooth.


Oils such as linseed oil or danish oil can be used to protect the wood from the elements. Similar to stains, however, oils are only really suitable for decorative purposes where wood isn’t extremely exposed to water. But, it is worth noting that oils are a great option if your garage has large eaves.


Polyurethane is a liquid plastic that coats wood and provides a really hard-wearing finish. It leaves the wood with a plastic-like finish but if you want a long-lasting finish, it may be your best option. 

More recent polyurethane wood treatment, however, can also come in creams that are absorbed by the wood and leave it looking surprisingly natural. It does leave a satin finish to touch but can be effective for waterproofing when you want to have a natural wood finish.


Varnishes are mixtures of oil, resins, and solvents. Varnish is an older style of finish and needs to be applied more regularly than something like polyurethane but it’s both cheaper and provides better UV protection. This will stop your wood from getting discoloured, but the main downside is that varnish tends to dry quite quickly.

Applying Treatments

Each treatment will have its specific application requirements, but you’ll generally be able to apply them with either a brush or a clean rag.

It’s a good rule of thumb, when using brushes, to use a good quality natural hair brush so that you can get the best results.

Regardless of whether you use a brush or rag, apply treatments in the direction of the varnish for best results.

If you have any questions about buying new wooden garage doors or the best ways to treat your current one, give us a call – we love to help out!

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