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Bring New Life to Old Doors


Reading time: 4 minutes


Repainting internal doors

Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to give a door a new look is to give it a couple of coats of fresh white gloss. It can be surprising how much the previous paintwork may have faded or discoloured over time. After sanding and priming, gleaming white gloss paint can lift the overall look of doors, as well as door frames and skirting. But there’s more to life, or the life of a door, than just white gloss.

This is an ideal opportunity to look at different colour options for your internal doors. Even a hallway can go from being a mere connection to other rooms, to an inviting part of the home. While bold primary colours can be vibrant, they may give your home a stark edge that might not pair so well with your existing theme. For a look that’s more homely, earth tones such as terracotta, can give a warmer feeling. Other colours in the blue or green spectrum, such as teal or grey blues, can also be incredibly calming.

New door handles for old doors

Over time, we tend not to notice door handles or door knobs. For many of us, the door handles in our homes are simply what came with the doors when they were originally installed. These are often standard, possibly low-cost handles that are there just to ‘do the job’ of opening and closing the door.

However, replacing old door furniture can be surprisingly effective in giving doors a brand new look. This is a chance to change the styling to something classic or contemporary, with elegant lever latch door handles to antique-style door knobs. 


What can you do with a hollow core door? 

Hollow core doors are usually installed in properties for budget reasons. They’re cheaper than solid wooden doors, and can make a big saving when purchased in bulk. You might be thinking that one of the only options of improving a hollow core door is painting, but there are other ways of giving them an overhaul!

Adding a panelling can give a stylish new look to a boring door. This can be achieved with small pieces of wood to build square or rectangular frames that can be fixed to the sanded door. When painted over, this gives a simple and effective way of making a flat surface far more characterful. 

Another way of livening up your internal doors is the use of decals. These are large scale stickers that feature designs and graphics to suit your personal taste. Choose from wood grain effects, or bold and colourful artwork and other striking designs. 


Restoring old wooden interior doors

Unlike hollow or solid core doors, which often need to be painted or given a decorative finish, wooden doors have their own natural grain and tone. Sanding wooden doors back to their former glory can take a little elbow grease, but it tends to be worth the work.

If your internal wooden doors have been painted over for years, they could be due for stripping down to let the natural grain show. This is a good idea if the paint is starting to peel too, which can happen over time.


Should I varnish or stain internal doors?

Varnish and wood stain work differently when applied to wooden doors. Varnish tends to sit on the surface of the wood. This can be ideal for heavy traffic areas, or in households with children and pets, as varnish gives a tough coating. However, it can also fill in some of the finer detail of the wood grain, so you may lose some of the texture.

Wood stains and oils will soak into the wood, rather than giving it a surface coating. While this means that there’s not much protection from knocks and scratches, stains and oils will enhance the grain of the wood, whilst maintaining a natural tone. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using any wood treatments.


No matter what method you use, there are enough options out there to create a fresh new look for your internal doors. If you’ve found this article useful, we have more door ideas & advice waiting for you.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended as an overall introduction and is not intended as specific advice from a qualified professional. Travis Perkins aims to avoid, but accepts no liability, in the case that any information stated is out of date.