When you’re looking to buy new internal doors, you’ll come across three finishing options – unfinished, fully-finished (also pre-finished) and primed.

So, what is an unfinished door? And how is it different from the other choices?

Our detailed guide will explore all you need to know about unfinished internal doors. Read on.

Table of contents:

What is an unfinished door?

JB Kind Matterhorn Unfinished Oak 2 Light Clear Glass Internal Door

An unfinished door is pre-sanded but otherwise not primed or painted in the factory. So, you’ll need to finish it (prime and paint it) before you can hang it.

At this point, you’re probably wondering:

Does that involve a lot of work?

Yes and no. As we’ll see a bit later on, staining interior doors and painting wooden doors can be time-consuming projects that require a certain level of DIY expertise.

However, unfinished doors offer a lot of opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at the main ones.

What is the difference between finished and unfinished doors?

Fully-finished or pre-finished doors are stained, primed and painted in the factory. So, they’re ready to be hanged upon arrival. In contrast, unfinished doors are just pre-sanded when you buy them. This means you’ll have to prime and paint them yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

Why should you choose an unfinished door?

LPD Kilburn 3 Panel Unfinished Oak Internal Door

An unfinished door is an ideal project for the confident DIYer because you’re only limited by your imagination.

The thing is:

You get to choose both the primer for wooden doors and the paint colour that goes oh-so-perfectly with your walls, floor, and the rest of your décor.

So, whether you’re something of an interior designer yourself, or you’re working with a professional, you can customise your door to your heart’s content. Sounds tempting, right?

And it doesn’t end there:

In terms of material, unfinished oak doors are an especially popular choice, but pine, walnut and other options are readily available. Hello, lime green cottage oak internal flush door! You’re looking very beautiful.

Last but not least, unfinished doors are typically cheaper than pre-finished ones. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to buy the primer and paint yourself. And then you need to know how to finish oak doors.

Does an unfinished door need to be painted?

As we mentioned earlier in our guide on What Is an Unfinished Door, an unfinished door needs to be painted. Before you do that, however, you’ll have to prime the door first. While the process of finishing a door can be quite lengthy, it gives you the freedom to customise your door as much as you like.

Here’s a brief overview.

How to finish an unfinished door

LPD DX 1930s Edwardian 4 Panel Unfinished Oak Internal Door

As we mentioned above, your new unfinished door will arrive pre-sanded. But that’s about it! The rest is up to you.

So, you’ll have to do a rub down, followed by slight sanding, priming, and applying several coats of paint to finish the door. The exact procedure differs slightly depending on the type of door – flush, panelled, glazed, etc.

But don’t worry:

We’ve compiled an in-depth guide on how to finish, paint or varnish a door for your convenience. Just follow the steps, and you’ll be good to go!

Once you’ve finished treating your new oak veneer doors, the paint is fully dry, and you’ve taken a step back to admire your work of art, it’s time to hang your doors.

Not sure how to go about it? We’ve got you covered! Head over to our guide on how to fit an internal door, and you’ll be done in no time.

And on that note…

Final thoughts

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing a new internal door, and that includes the type of finishing. Luckily, this last bit is fairly straightforward.

The bottom line is:

If you’re looking to fully customise your new internal door to help create that perfect room ambience and are not afraid of a DIY project, an unfinished door is the right choice for you.

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