Door Installation and Finishing

///Door Installation and Finishing
Door Installation and Finishing

Door Handling Guide | Door Fitting & Hanging Guide | Door Overhang | Door Finishing Guide

Capital City Millwork Limited Warranty.

To help assure your new Capital City Millwork looks and works beautifully for many years to come, please follow these handing, finishing and installation guidelines.

Wood stile and rail doors are a reflection of quality and good taste. In order to ensure that the final consumer obtains maximum enjoyment and utility from these products, we strongly urge you to read and follow the guidelines detailed below. Failure to follow the guidelines below will invalidate our Limited Warranty. It will be the discretion of Capital City Millwork or its representative to approve or reject any claim due to poor handling, application, installation or finishing.

Door Handling Guide

  1. Handle all doors with clean gloves and equipment.
  2. Avoid dragging doors across one another or across other surfaces. Avoid leaning at a steep angle.
  3. Store on a level surface in a dry, well-ventilated building. Avoid stacking on end.
  4. Cover doors to keep clean, but allow air circulation.
  5. Door should not be subject to abnormal heat, dryness or humidity for prolonged periods. Avoid sudden changes such as forced heat to dry out a building.
  6. Deliver doors in clean truck and under cover in wet weather.
  7. Deliver doors to building site only after plaster, stucco and/or cement is dry.
  8. If the doors are to be stored for long periods or on the job site, the entire door including the top and bottom edges must be sealed in order to prevent undue moisture absorption.
  9. Door shall not be exposed to excessive moisture (above 55%RH), excessive heat (90 degree F), direct sunlight, and/or dryness (30% RH).

Door Fitting & Hanging Guide

  1. All wood doors should be conditioned to average prevailing relative humidity of the locality before hanging.
  2. When hanging door, allow adequate clearance for swelling of door or frame in extremely damp weather.
  3. All glazed doors can be hung with removable wooden bead facing the exterior side or the interior side of the opening.
  4. Avoid cutting doors down in size, use designated sizes. If width trim is necessary, do not trim over 1/4″ per side. Top may be trimmed 1/8″ and the bottom no more than 1-1/2″. Use a sharp, fine tooth saw for best results.
  5. Caution must be used to avoid impairing the utility or structural strength of the door when fitting for hardware, lights, louvers, panels, and/or any other special detail.
  6. Use three hinges on doors 7′ in height or less, and four hinges on doors over 7′ in height. Hinges must be set in a straight line to prevent distortion. Pilot holes must be drilled for the attachment of hardware.
  7. Be sure that the jambs and stops are set perfectly square and plumb.
  8. Where doors are installed for outward swing with no protection from the elements, doors must be properly protected with an exterior grade sealer and finish.
  9. Immediately after fitting, cutting for closures, weather-strip and/or threshold and before interior or exterior door on the job, the entire door including top and bottom edges must be sealed to prevent undue absorption of moisture.


Door Overhang

Adequate overhang is very critical to the life and performance of a wood stile & rail door. A proper overhang will help protect your door from the elements and extned the life of the door. In most climate conditions the following formula can be used to determine the appropiate amount of overhang: X = 1/2Y (where X is the length of the overhang required and Y is the distance from the bottom of the door to the base of the overhang). For example, if the measurement from the bottom of the door to the base of the overhang is 8 feet, then the required overhang is 4 feet. For more severe climates, very wet or dry areas, the following formula should be used: Y = X

Door Finishing Guide

  1. Adjust or align components if necessary.
  2. All doors manufactured by Capital City Millwork require sanding prior to finishing. The degree of pre-sanding will depend upon the owner’s selection of stain and whether or not they are spraying or wiping on the stain.
  3. Capital City Millwork will not be responsible for the appearance of field-finished doors.
  4. Remove all handling marks, instruction labels, stamps and effects of exposure to moisture with a thorough, final light sanding over all surfaces of the door, using 150 or 180 grit sandpaper. NOTE: Small amounts of grease, oil or pitch can be wiped clean with mineral spirits.
  5. Clean door thoroughly after sanding to remove all dust or foreign material. Avoid using chemical cleaners that react unfavorably to certain wood species and finishes. Consult a finish expert. NOTE: Some hardwood species can have an adverse reaction with certain chemical cleaners and finishes.
  6. Apply finish as soon as door is fitted, but before final hanging. Cutouts for hardware must be sealed prior to installation. Capital City Millwork will not warrant product that has been hung prior to finishing or that shows deterioration of wood or swelling due to finish breakdown.
  7. Make sure all surfaces are sealed and finished, including top, bottom and side edges of the stiles and rails.
  8. Use a good grade primer followed by at least one topcoat of a good grade oil or latex base paint. Generally, oil based paints should be used as a primer coat, although latex paint systems have been developed, which paint manufactures may recommend for use with doors. Use exterior grade paint for exterior installations.
  9. For stain finishes, apply a first coat of quality oil base stain and sealer followed by at least two coats of clear finish. Three oats of clear finish will provide greater protection. Not all exterior stains are sealers. Doors must be adequately sealed to prevent excessive moisture absorption. Do not use lacquer-based finishes. Use exterior grade finishes for exterior installations. NOTE: On all stained doors, apply a coat of exterior wood wax and buff with soft cloth occasionally.
  10. Sand lightly between all coats whether painting or staining, making sure that all surfaces and edges are covered every time a coat is applied.
  11. To minimize moisture penetration where wood parts or glass and wood come together, be sure enough paint or sealer is applied to form a bridged film across any voids. Make sure that the finish does not prevent movement of panels.
  12. You can make sure all coatings in the finish system are compatible by using products from the same manufacturer. Finish manufacturers will be able to tell you which of their products may be successfully applied in combination with each other. Finishes should be applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  13. Dark colored finishes is not recommended on doors exposed to sunlight, as expansion and contraction of door components may occur.

Exterior Door Finishing Guide

In addition to the above, exterior doors need additional care.

  1. They must be protected from moisture and sunlight prior to finishing.
  2. They must be finished with at least three coats of an exterior grade material on
    all six sides.
  3. A substantial overhang and protection from the elements will minimize component movement inherent to exterior wood doors.
  4. Use a high-grade exterior primer followed by at least three coats of high-grade paint on all six sides. For natural finishes, use an oil based semi-transparent stain designed for exterior use, followed by at least three coats of marine spar varnish or locally approved exterior grade finish containing. UV inhibitors to protect from sun damage. Do not use high-gloss and/or lacquer based finishes for exterior use.


Your Capital City Millwork will need some periodic maintenance to help ensure that it has adequate protection against the elements. This regular maintenance is required for the warranty that is provided with every Capital City Millwork. Some of the following signs are indicators that it is time to refinish your Capital City Millwork. Chalkiness in finish, flaking of the finish, hairline cracks in the finish, and changes in the color of the finish.