How to restore an old oak door’s colour

John Conlin / 22 March 2017

Chartered surveyor John Conlin’s advice on restoring an oak door’s colour.


We have an old solid oak front door. 

In recent years it has become increasingly black despite treating with teak and linseed oil. 

Is there anything that will restore its natural colour?


The discolouration is likely to be a natural airborne fungus.

Teak and linseed oils are not suitable for fine grained hardwoods such as English oak. First remove the staining using a solution of oxalic acid or a proprietary hardwood bleach then sand down to smooth any raised grain, wash thoroughly with distilled water, allow to dry and then treat with repeated coats of Tung Oil until the wood stops absorbing it.

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