My mom’s house has a big, flat (no trim, moulding or grooves) wooden front door. It seems to consist of a somewhat-solid core, sandwiched between two layers of very thin plywood or veneer. The whole thing is painted white.
Structurally, the door is fine. The interior side is okay too. The problem is the exterior side of the door; there the veneer is cracked, splitting and peeling in a number of large areas. It has already been repaired a few times in the past decade or so (by installing a kickplate, and using bondo patch putty) with mixed success.
I’m afraid that if I try another go-round of scraping, gouging, puttying, sanding and painting, I will only have to do it again in a couple of years.
So it seems to me (…though I am certainly open to other ideas…) that the best way to squeeze another 5 to 10 years out of the door would be to essentially “wallpaper” the entire front of it – cracks, blisters and all – with a thin sheet of weatherproof something. This covering need not extend from edge to edge – that would mean I’d have to deepen the doorframe; it could be smaller than the front face of the door by, say, an inch all around.
Is this remedy advisable? If so, what covering do I use, and how do I affix it to the door?
My first instinct was a thin sheet of fiberglass or vinyl, framed with plastic-composite moulding. (Home Depot sells 4x8 sheets of FRP – fiber reinforced plastic. Is that any good?) But would using a non-wood covering present expansion/contraction issues? The door gets a fair amount of direct sunlight, plus normal NYC weather.
My next thought was a thin sheet of wood which would probably expand and contract at the same rate as the rest of the door. But wouldn’t I need a special kind of plywood/paneling that is suitable for exterior use?
Thanks in advance for all your help!