When looking to buy a new internal door, you’re likely to come across the terms pre-finished (or fully-finished), unfinished and primed sooner rather than later. And when you do, you might wonder:

‘What does pre-finished door mean?’ or ‘What is pre-finish exactly?’

Rest assured that you’re not alone.

To answer these questions – and lots more – at Door Superstore we’ve compiled an in-depth guide to pre-finished/fully-finished doors.

Let’s dive in.

Table of contents:

What is a pre-finished door?

Deanta Montreal Fully Finished Light Grey Ash Internal Door

Pre-finished doors, also known as fully-finished doors, are ready to hang. Pre-finish means they have already been stained, waxed or painted in the factory. So, they are quick and easy to install, making them an ideal choice for DIY novices and busy homeowners alike.

What’s more, the professional painting delivers a smooth, high-quality finish without any accidental brush marks. While they’re slightly more expensive than unfinished doors, these internal doors that don’t need painting are hassle-free and save you time and effort. Basically, all you have to do is install the door furniture of your choice, fit them, and you’re good to go!

Even though you won’t be able to customise them to the same extent as unfinished doors, fully finished internal doors typically come in a wide variety of materials (wood, vinyl, plastic), designs and colours. So, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Not sure how to hang a pre-finished door? Check out our step-by-step guide!

What is the difference between unfinished and pre-finished doors?

As mentioned above, a pre-finished or fully-finished door is already waxed, stained or painted in the factory and ready to be fitted. In contrast, an unfinished door needs to be ‘finished’ (stained, painted, etc.) at home before it can be installed.

What is the difference between primed and pre-finished doors?

A primed door is a sort of compromise between a pre-finished and an unfinished door. It comes with a base coat of primer, making it possible for you to apply one or more additional coats of paint.

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Can you paint a pre-finished door?

You can repaint a pre-finished door. However, the process can be somewhat laborious and time-consuming, as you’ll have to strip the door first. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to finish, paint or varnish a door to find out how.

What is a pre-finished door?

Can you stain a pre-finished door?

While pre-finished doors are already stained, you can apply a coating or coloured stain blend over the existing staining. Start by cleaning the wooden surface with a strong degreasing cleanser. Once you’ve wiped it dry, proceed to sanding. Finally, apply the coat carefully and leave it to dry.

You might also be wondering:

Do I need to undercoat a previously painted door?

As long as the old paintwork is in decent condition, you don’t have to undercoat it.

Can you trim a pre-finished door?

That depends on the type of door – not all types can or should be trimmed (fire doors, for instance). We won’t dwell on that in our guide on What Is a Pre-Finished Door, as we’ve covered the topic of trimming doors at length in a separate guide.

What are the benefits of fully-finished doors?

XL Joinery Forli Fully Finished Walnut Clear Glass Internal Door

We’ve already mentioned some of the main advantages of pre-painted interior doors – namely, ease of installation and time-saving.

But it doesn’t end there:

Pre-fixed doors are remarkably durable. A typical DIYer might be able to apply two or three coats of paint to an unfinished door. In contrast, ready-painted internal doors typically come with six or seven professionally applied coats. Extra durability is particularly important if you have a big household.

Why is that?

Because your internal doors are likely to get a lot more wear and tear if they’re opened and closed constantly. And this comes with additional maintenance costs among other inconveniences. When you have fully-finished doors, that’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Final thoughts

A fully finished door is a smart investment on so many levels – from convenience to durability to aesthetics. Now that you know exactly what is a fully finished door and what its main benefits are, you’re all set to choose the one that fits your interior design preferences perfectly.

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