Leeds Clark, Inc. completely understands no two wood door restoration projects are the same. Tom Clark believes inspection of the historic wood doors and its overall condition is vital in developing a historic door restoration plan. Condition assessment of the historic wood doors helps the architect/owner establish needs, offer realistic solutions and specifications, then develop a plan and budget to determine feasibility of the proposed project.

Chemical Stripping of Wood Doors

Copyright 2013. Leeds Clark, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pull the wood doors from the wood door jambs and number according to the door opening on the floor plan. Door number and elevation will be stamped onto each wood door to prevent mix-up of wood doors with corresponding wood jambs. Once the wood doors have been pulled and stamped, the wood doors will be transported to Leeds Clark Inc.'s shop facilities to be chemically stripped, repaired, epoxied, sanded, and repainted or stained.


Cut and install OSB plywood to cover the wood door openings during wood door restoration work. Plywood will be installed from the interior to butt against outside stop of  wood door jamb and secured to wood jamb using 1 ¼" drywall screws. Plywood will be cut to fit wood door jamb; this prevents water infiltration. Since plywood is located at the outer portion of the wood door jamb, rain water will drain to outer portion of wood threshold and not penetrate the interior of the building. This type of plywood installation also allows for daily removal and re-securing during wood door jamb restoration, prep, sanding, and repainting or staining.If the plywood is to much of an eyesore, it can be painted to match wood jamb and window trim color. 

Wood Door Restoration

Once the wood doors have completely dried, the wood doors will be moved into shop facility for carpentry and prep work. Perform epoxy and dutchman repairs, replace missing wood door components, or mill replacement wood doors, where designated, using vertical grain old growth lumber that is called for in the specifications. Wood will be seasoned with a moisture content not to exceed 11% and free of any knots or checks. Match the historic profile of the wood doors.

Sand all wood doors and seal end grain of wood door components with epoxy. Apply one coat of specified primer to all wood door components, unless the interior of the wood door is to recieve a stained finish.

If necessary, reinstall historic glass in wood door and replace any broken or missing glass with glass that has been specified. Back-glaze wood door using a clear siliconized acrylic sealant. Apply push points to seat glass against wood door and sealant and allow time for curing. Glaze wood doors using oil based glazing compound and allow glazing putty time to cure prior to application of specified finish paint. If approved, a beveled wood glazing trim (same lumber as specified) will be used in place of glazing compound.

Once wood window doors have been glazed, apply two coats of specified finish paint to all wood door components, unless the door is to be stained or interior of the wood door is to receive a stained finish.

Once all wood doors are restored, transport wood doors back to jobsite for installation into restored wood jambs.

Wood Door Installation

into Wood Door Jamb 

Remove brick molding from outside perimeter of doors and stamp according to door number and elevation. Chemically strip paint from brick molding at an on-site staging area or off-site at Leeds Clark Inc.'s shop facilities. Remove any caulking or paint from perimeter masonry and wood door jamb.

Strip paint from wood door jambs (on-site) using neutral PH based chemical paint stripper. Care will be taken to mask and contain all removed materials for proper disposal. Leeds Clark Inc. is an "EPA Certified Firm", and both Tom & Chris Clark are "EPA Certified Renovators". Visit  www.epa.gov/lead for additional information about the new EPA rule and other Lead Programs. Leeds Clark is not a licensed or insured asbestos abatement contractor.

Replace wood door jamb components where wood rot or structural stability is in question using old growth lumber that matches in species and graining. Specified wood will be seasoned with a moisture content not to exceed 11% and free of any knots and checks. All replacement wood door jamb components will be primed, back primed, and the end-grain sealed with epoxy prior to installation.

Epoxy all checks and voids on wood door jamb where minor defects or surface deterioration exists such as wood sills and lower wood door jamb areas where joinery connects to  wood sill. Prep and sand all wood door jamb components prior to painting.

Reinstall salvaged brick molding or replicated brick molding . Caulk all wood to wood joints using a siliconized acrylic latex sealant and all exterior surround joints of brick molding and sill to masonry using a one-part urethane sealant.

Prime all wood door jamb components with approved latex wood primer and apply two finish coats of paint to wood door jamb as specified.


Clean, restore, and install salvaged door hardware. Provide new door hardware where missing, matching the original per the specifications.

Following the Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Rehabilitation", Leeds Clark, Inc. has developed a turn-key historic wood door restoration service based on tested and proven methodologies and restoration products. With over 40+ years experience, Leeds Clark, Inc. is confident that no other firm will rate as high in timely completion and within budget, while providing the craftsmanship and expertise expected in historic wood door restoration. Below is the preferred methodology Leeds Clark, Inc. incorporates into its historic wood door restoration projects:

Transport wood doors to Leeds Clark, Inc.'s shop facility for chemical stripping in neutral PH stripper for the removal of paint and/or stain finishes in a controlled environment. As of April 22, 2010, a new law governing renovations that contain lead paint became effective. Aimed at protecting against lead-based paint hazards, the EPA’s new rule applies anytime a lead paint surface is disturbed by renovation or painting projects, including repairs, maintenance, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, demolition, and window and door restoration/replacement. The rule also requires renovation firms to be certified by the EPA, and that they assign at least one EPA Certified Renovator to the job to ensure that lead-safe work practice standards are observed. Leeds Clark, Inc. is an "EPA Certified Firm", and both Tom & Chris Clark are "EPA Certified Renovators". Go to www.epa.gov/lead for additional information about the new EPA rule and other Lead Programs. Leeds Clark is not a licensed or insured asbestos abatement contractor.


Once the wood doors have been chemically stripped in neutral PH stripper, the doors are then moved to an overflow table where the remainder of paint and stain finishes will be removed from wood doors. Any historic glass will be carefully removed from wood door then cleaned and stored away for reinstallation in restored wood doors. Using a gong brush, water will be applied to wood doors and will be scrubbed clean and neutralized. The wood doors will then be set out in sun to fully dry for 48 to 72 hours. 

​Please send all wood door restoration inquires to info@leedsclark.com

Wood Door

Repair, Prep, Reglazing, & Repainting

Pulling of Wood Doors from Wood Jambs & Covering of Door Openings with Plywood

Install restored wood doors into restored wood door jambs. If the wood doors are to recieve weatherstripping, it will be installed at the same time of wood door installation. Leeds Clark, Inc. encourages the use of spring bronze weather-stripping or bulb weather-stripping depending upon the type of wood door unit. 

Install salvaged and/or new wood door hardware such as lock sets, door knows, door controls, thresholds, etc.

If wood door has glass, clean the interior and exterior window glass before the acceptance of architect/owner.

Complete punch items submitted by architect/owner.

Wood Door Jamb

Chemically Strip, Repair, Prep, & Repainting