The Pitfalls of Black Or Dark Colored Wooden Doors

The Pitfalls of Black Or Dark Colored Wooden Doors

Published by Kevin on Jun 1st 2023

Wooden doors have a timeless and aesthetic appeal that can significantly enhance the overall charm of a building or home. When it comes to choosing colors for your wood door, dark and opaque options like black have gained popularity for their striking and modern appearance. However, beneath the surface allure lies a set of potential pitfalls that homeowners and architects should be aware of before making this decision with a wood door.

Consideration For Dark Wood Doors

Dark-colored wood doors, particularly those painted or stained in black or other deep shades, have a way of making a bold statement. Their dramatic appearance can create a sense of elegance and sophistication, adding a touch of luxury to any space. Nevertheless, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks that come with dark colored wood doors.

The Heat Conundrum When Painting or Staining Wooden Front Doors Black

One of the primary pitfalls of painting or staining a wood door black or a dark opaque color is the increased likelihood of heat-related issues. Dark colors, especially black, absorb significantly more sunlight and heat compared to lighter shades. This can lead to an accumulation of heat on the surface of the door, causing the wood to expand and contract as it experiences temperature fluctuations throughout the day.

Potential Warping and Cracking With Dark Wood Doors

The expansion and contraction of wood due to heat can lead to two major problems: warping and cracking.

  • Warping: Warping occurs when the wood fibers on one side of the door expand or contract at a different rate than those on the opposite side. This uneven movement can cause the door to twist or bow, leading to misalignment with the door frame. Warping not only affects the door's functionality but can also compromise its weather resistance, allowing drafts and moisture to seep through gaps.
  • Cracking: The repeated cycle of expansion and contraction can put immense stress on the wood fibers, eventually causing them to for hairline crack. Cracks can mar the appearance of the door and weaken its structural integrity. Once cracks form, they can serve as entry points for moisture, which can lead to further deterioration of the wood over time.

How Dark Is Too Dark For A Wood Door?

Every color possesses a characteristic known as Light Reflectance Value (LRV). Delving into this aspect, with the idea of using black paint off the table, you're left with a variety of alternatives to consider. When selecting a color, pay attention to its LRV, aiming for a value of at least 55 percent. The LRV index serves as a guide – the higher the value, the more light the paint reflects, reducing the risk of causing timber doors to crack or warp.

To put things into perspective, black is situated at the lower end of the LRV spectrum, often hovering around 0 percent. This places it far from the suitable range for preserving the integrity of your door. Rather than opting for black paint to instill dramatic flair into your front door, contemplate lighter hues like soft gray or gentle shades of brown that align with the LRV benchmark.

Here is a good guide for stain colors found in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Warranty Considerations & Impacts

It is very unlikely that any wood door manufacturer will warranty against warping and cracking for any door that is painted or stained black or any dark opaque color. Grand Entry Doors is no exception. Please strongly consider another material if the desire is to paint or stain any of our wood doors black or a dark opaque color. If our customers choose to proceed with painting or staining a wood door black or any other dark color it is at their own risk and no warranty claims will be honored.

  1. All wood dooors must be installed providing sufficient protection from exposure to weather including excessive moisture/rain as well as excessive heat due to sun exposure. This protection required includes adequate overhang distance that is at a minimum projection from the home at one half the distance from the floor of the overhang to the ceiling of the overhang.
  2. Any deterioration of the wood components of the door unit caused by neglect or failure to protect and seal all exposed surfaces and edges of the door either prior to or immediately after hanging the door are not covered by this warranty. Every door unit regardless of exposure must be annually inspected and maintained by the homeowner. Reasonable maintenance includes ensuring adequate clear topcoat that contains a UV inhibitor and is maintained throughout the life of the door.
  3. Staining or painting the door black or any other dark opaque colors will void the warranty. These colors cause harm to the wood components by absorbing excess heat/UV rays.
  4. The use of a storm door will cause the production of excess heat trapped between the wood door and storm door which will increase the chances of warping and cracking. Any use of storm doors would void the warranty.
  5. Manufacturer reserves the right to require on-site inspections of maintenance and installation procedures before any claim will be processed.
  6. Wood is a natural product therefore any variations in color, texture, grain, or the general surface appearance of wood naturally occurring will not be considered defects. Variations in wood color must be compensated for using staining methods preferably implemented by a professional.
  7. All wood doors are constructed using floating panels. This construction method allows for expansion and contraction. Exposure to severe moisture such as rain in an unprotected environment may result in water penetration through the panels and is not considered a defect. In the event of water penetrating through the edges of the panels in this environment, it will be the consumers responsibility to caulk and or provide a remedy for the water penetration.

The concept of a black exterior door might sound captivating in theory, yet the reality of this ebony choice is far from idyllic. Black paint's propensity to absorb excessive sunlight can lead to timber splitting, shattering the prospects of having a secure and durable front door.

In your pursuit of a visually appealing yet resilient front door, exploring alternative colors with optimal LRV values proves to be a prudent approach. By making informed choices regarding paint colors and considering the reflective properties of paint, you can achieve an inviting entryway that not only elevates your home's exterior charm but also upholds the longevity of your door.

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