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Best Wood for Painted Exterior Doors: Not All Woods Are the Same

When it comes to sprucing up the outside of your home, selecting the best wood for your painted exterior door makes a world of difference. But did you know that not all woods are created equal?

In this handy guide, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of various wood types, including their performance when painted and how they contribute to your exterior door’s longevity and look.

The Importance of Wood Selection for Painted Exterior Doors

Choosing the ideal wood for your painted door is a big decision. Why?

You want a wood that will withstand all weather conditions and preserve the paint finish for as long as possible. And also, that’s relatively straightforward to maintain.

Doors Plus - Double Guardian Door - Painted White

Top Wood Choices for Painted Exterior Doors

When choosing the best wood for a painted exterior door, there are six top choices:

  1. Blackbutt
  2. Cedar
  3. Jarrah
  4. Pacific Ash Timber
  5. Spotted Gum
  6. Tasmanian Oak

They have many similarities that make them ideal painted exterior door wood types.

They all

  • Are very strong and highly durable.
  • Can withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • Hold paint well for a smooth, long-lasting finish.

Now, let’s look at the differences between these woods to help you make the best choice for your home.

Blackbutt Doors Plus - Blackbutt Wood

  • Colour: Light yellow to brown.
  • Grain: Moderately dense and straight.
  • Cost: Mid-range.
  • Origin: Eastern Australia.
  • Maintenance: Low.

CedarDoors Plus - Cedar Wood

  • Colour: Reddish to pinkish brown.
  • Grain: Less dense, usually straight.
  • Cost: Expensive.
  • Origin: Various countries.
  • Maintenance: High.

JarrahDoors Plus - Jarrah Wood

  • Colour: Deep red to brown.
  • Grain: Dense and tight.
  • Cost: Expensive.
  • Origin: Primarily Western Australia.
  • Maintenance: Low.

Pacific Ash Timber Doors Plus - Pacific Ash Wood

  • Colour: Light to medium brown.
  • Grain: Moderate to dense. Quarter-sawn, not face cut, giving it a straighter grain.
  • Cost: Low to mid-range.
  • Origin: North America.
  • Maintenance: Low.
  • BONUS: Sustainably sourced, making it an eco-friendly option.

Spotted GumDoors Plus - Spotted Gum Wood

  • Colour: Light to dark chocolate brown.
  • Grain: Dense with wavy patterns.
  • Cost: Mid-range.
  • Origin: Eastern Australia.
  • Maintenance: Moderate.

Tasmanian OakDoors Plus - Tasmanian Oak Wood

  • Colour: Light straw to reddish-brown.
  • Grain: Moderately dense and generally straight.
  • Cost: Mid-range.
  • Origin: Tasmania, Victoria.
  • Maintenance: Moderate.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood for a Painted Door

Climate Conditions and Durability

It’s important to consider the climate in your area when choosing the best wood for a painted exterior door.

Different types of wood may weather better in certain climates. For example, Cedar and Blackbutt are resistant to moisture absorption, reducing the risk of doors warping, swelling, or shrinking in humid regions.

On the other hand, Jarrah and Spotted Gum are known for their strength and resilience, making them a good choice for areas prone to harsh weather conditions.

Grain Texture

The texture of the wood grain will affect the outcome of your painted door. A rough or uneven grain can result in a textured paint finish, which may add character but will affect how long the paint lasts!

Woods like Pacific Ash Timber, Blackbutt, and Tasmanian Oak have smooth grains that paint can easily stick to.

Doors Plus - External Door - Painted White - Glass Panel

Maintenance Requirements

You’ll need to maintain your door with periodic paint reapplications and touch-ups to protect the wood against the elements and keep it looking its best.

Ask yourself, “How much time do I realistically have to maintain my painted exterior doors?” as some wooden doors require more upkeep than others.

Cedar and Jarrah resist decay, while Blackbutt and Spotted Gum naturally resist moisture.


The cost of different wood types can vary significantly based on their rarity, durability, and aesthetic appeal. It’s a good idea to balance your budget with your quality requirements and calculated maintenance costs.

Pacific Ash Timber is a strong and beautiful wood available at an affordable price.

Environmental Impact

Robust, enduring wood doors have a lower environmental impact over their life cycle than those needing frequent replacement. Using reclaimed or recycled wood can also help reduce environmental impact.

At Doors Plus, our timber doors are made from sustainably sourced 100% solid Pacific Ash timber. So you’re making a good-looking choice for your exterior doors and a smart choice for the environment!

FAQs About the Best Wood for Painted Exterior Doors

What Is the Best Wood for an Exterior Door?

To choose the best wood for an exterior door, consider factors like climate, aesthetics, maintenance, budget, and environment.

Popular options include Pacific Ash, Jarrah, Spotted Gum, Blackbutt, Tasmanian Oak, and Cedar for their resistance to the elements and easy-to-paint grain textures.

What Timber Is Best to Use for External Doors?

That depends! On your needs, local climate, preferred maintenance level, and budget.

But if we had to pick the “best” timber for external doors, Pacific Ash is affordable, environmentally friendly, and long-lasting.

What Wood Doors Are Best for Painting?

Ideal woods for painted doors are those with the smoothest, most even grains. Consider using Pacific Ash Timber, Blackbutt, or Tasmanian Oak for the best painting results.

What Coloured Wood Is Best for a Front Door?

Lighter-coloured woods, like Tasmanian Oak, Blackbutt, and Pacific Ash, are often preferred for front doors that will be painted because they provide a neutral base. This makes it easier to achieve the desired colour without multiple coats of paint.

If you prefer a natural finish on your door, the wood’s colour is obviously important! Jarrah’s deep, red-brown colour offers a rich, elegant look, while Cedar’s reddish to pinkish brown colour adds a warm, rustic touch. Spotted Gum is striking in appearance, with its light to dark chocolate brown colours.

We recommend varnishing your door to bring out the wood’s natural colours and grain and to protect it against moisture, UV rays, and wear.

What Is the Most Durable Material for Exterior Doors?

Solid hardwood varieties are generally considered the most durable material for exterior doors. They’re naturally strong and resist decay, insects, and moisture.

Which Wood Is Most Resistant to Weathering and Paint Chipping?

Cedar and Jarrah are known for their excellent resistance to weathering and paint chipping. Their natural moisture resistance and strength help them withstand harsh weather conditions and retain their paint finish better than other types of wood.

How Can I Maintain a Painted Wood Exterior Door to Ensure Longevity?

  1. Cleaning: Wipe your door regularly with a soft, damp cloth. For deeper cleaning, use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap or a pH-neutral cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners that could damage the paint and wood.
  2. Inspecting: Regularly inspect your door for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, chips in the paint, or signs of rot and decay. Early detection can prevent further damage and costly repairs.
  3. Repainting: Repaint your door every few years to keep it looking top-notch and to protect the underlying wood. Properly prep the door before painting by cleaning, sanding, and priming it.
  4. Sealing: Apply a compatible sealant to your door for extra protection against the elements.

Looking for the Perfect Painted Exterior Door?

Doors Plus - External Doors with Sidelite - White

At Doors Plus, we’re committed to providing the perfect exterior door for your home. 

We design our doors to stand the test of time while elevating the look of your home. Trust us; your neighbours will be jealous when they see your beautiful, brand-spanking-new painted exterior door!

Along with our range of premium external solid timber doors, we offer expert advice and professional installation services. So, picking out and installing your exterior door will be a completely hassle-free experience!

Contact us here or find a Doors Plus showroom near you to explore our wide range of quality doors.

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