Fit & Finish

Handling and Storage Do's and Don'ts:

1. Deliver doors in a clean truck and under cover.

2. Do not deliver or install doors until foundations, concrete floors and plaster or texture walls are completely dry. 

3. Allow doors time to acclimate to the conditions at the job site prior to installation.

4. Never subject doors to abnormal heat, dryness or humidity for prolonged periods (i.e. forced heat).

5. Store doors lying flat on a level surface above the ground in a dry, well ventilated building and keep covered. Don't stack doors on end.

6. If the doors are to be stored on the job site, the entire door, including top and bottom edges, must be sealed with a clear or pigmented based sealer to prevent moisture absorption. All six sides of the door must be properly sealed for warranty to apply.

7. To keep doors protected, use clean gloves and equipment. Cover doors, but allow for air circulation. Carry, do not drag doors over any surface.

Important Note: Panels of stile and rail doors are engineered to float so they can move with changes in climate without causing stress. Make sure these components are aligned before finishing. You can correct alignment by carefully moving the panel with a wood block, rubber mallet and a soft touch. Components that have shifted and must be aligned are not considered "defects" according to the warranty.

Fitting and Hanging:

1. When hanging a door, allow adequate clearance for swelling of door or frame in extremely damp weather.

2. Use designated sizes to avoid cutting door width. For trimming ends, we recommend a sharp fine-tooth saw.

3. Be careful not to impair structural strength of door when fitting for hardware or special features. To prevent distortion, set hinges in straight line. Use three hinges on doors 7' or less; four hinges on doors over 7' high. Jambs and stops must be square and plumb.

4. Protect outward swinging doors that are exposed to elements.

5. Immediately after fitting or cutting, and prior to weather stripping and hanging any door, give the entire surface (including all edges) two coats of paint, varnish or a quality sealer to prevent moisture absorption.

6. To minimize heat loss and reduce energy costs, use any good weather strip on exterior doors.

Preparation and Finishing:

Note: Please follow these recommendations to protect your warranty.

1. Inspect door carefully for defects before finishing.

2. Apply finish to the door immediately after fitting and hanging, but never during or immediately after high periods of moisture.

3. The door should be finished while lying flat for maximum performance of finish.

4. Sand entire door with 180 grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand in direction of grain.

5. Remove all dust with a tack cloth before beginning to apply finish.

6. Hang the door prior to finishing, and then remove to finish properly.

7. Use solvent based paints, sealers and stains, or when applicable, high quality water based paints or stains, and follow manufacturer's directions. Apply finish to all surfaces including top and bottom edges. Don't use dark colored paint or stains on surfaces exposed to prolonged direct sunlight.

8. To stain the door: Apply a stain and sealer combination as recommended by the paint/stain manufacturer for the type of application (either exterior or interior). The stain and sealer combination will stain the door and seal the surface. Apply three coats of clear topcoat, such as varnish or polyurethane. Sand lightly between coats. All exteriors must have ultraviolet (UV) inhibitors in the finish. Do not use solid based stains as the final finish. These finishes must have three coats of varnish or polyurethane as final topcoat.

9. To paint the door: Use a quality solvent-based primer, followed by three coats of a good exterior paint recommended by the paint/stain manufacturer to be compatible with the primer. When finishing glazed doors, apply topcoats generously to bridge wood and glass. To protect against moisture, lap paint onto glass 1/16 inch. For interior applications, use a quality interior primer followed by two coats of interior latex enamel or solvent-based paint. Note: Buffelen is unable to evaluate all available paints and stains or all customer applications our doors are used in. Your paint/stain dealer should be able to help you with choosing the proper finish system for your new stile and rail door(s) that is specific to your region. It is strongly recommended that only the highest quality finishes be used and that all finish instructions be properly followed.

A Finish of Lasting Beauty:

To ensure a watertight seal between wood and glass, some glazing material may be squeezed out onto the visible surface of the glass during manufacturing. This must be removed before finishing.

To remove excess glazing material, score it with a knife along the edge of the wood. Be careful not to cut into the wood or scratch the glass. Once scored, the glazing material can be easily pulled off by hand or with a plastic scraper. We do not recommend tools made of metal or razor blades. Use extreme care when cleaning squeeze out, paint, stain, etc., off tempered glass. It scratches very easily.


All finishes will last longer when protected from direct sun and rain by an adequate overhang or porch. If the door is exposed to the elements, a fine bead of silicone caulk should be used between glass and sticking or panel and sticking on the door's exterior.

All finishes should be checked periodically throughout the year to see if they need refinishing.


All Buffelen stile and rail doors conform to industry Standard FHDA 7/79 and are covered by the Buffelen limited warranty available upon written request. Buffelen warrants each door to be free from defects in material or workmanship for a period of one year from the date of shipment to Buffelen's customer. Doors not handled in accordance with these guidelines will not be considered in any claim for warranty.