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Unfinished vs. Pre-Finished Doors

The front door is more than just an entryway; it’s a focal point and a statement about your style and a testament to your home’s overall aesthetic appeal. Because of this, many homeowners grapple between choosing pre-finished and unfinished doors. Each has its pros and cons, which we explore in this post.

before and after glass doors in tampa flPre-finished Doors


Ready to Install: As the name says, pre-finished doors come with a completed surface treatment, whether it’s paint, stain, or sealant. The benefit is that it ensures a consistent, professional finish, eliminating the guesswork and labor that comes with finishing a door on-site.

Time Efficient: If you’re a homeowner in a hurry or aren’t thrilled about a DIY project, pre-finished doors offer a quick solution. Simply purchase the door, install it, and you’re done.

Durability: Pre-finished doors typically come with industrial-grade finishes, which might be more durable and longer lasting than those applied manually.


Limited Customization: The main drawback of a pre-finished door is that there can be a limited range of colors and finishes; you’re stuck with whatever is available at a given time.

Price: Another factor to consider is that pre-finished doors typically cost more upfront because of the additional labor and materials used to finish them at the time of production.

Damage:  During the installation process, nails and screws must be penetrated through the pre-finished door and frame. Pre-finished doors may also be damaged or scratched over time. Though a touch-up paint/stain kit is typically provided to the customer, the touched-up area will not look exactly the same as the areas that were pre-finished by the manufacturer.

Unfinished Doors


Unlimited Customization: What makes unfinished doors attractive to many homeowners is the ability for them to tailor the doors to their exact taste and to perfectly match their home’s visual aesthetic. Whether you want a specific paint color, unique stain, or particular finish, you can have it.

Cost Savings: Most often, unfinished doors are less expensive because they don’t come with any treatments. If you’re adept at DIY projects or can find an affordable professional for finishing, you could save money versus getting a pre-finished door.

Visible Quality: Another significant advantage of unfinished doors is that most finishes allow you to see the raw material and the quality underneath. Paint, stains, and sealants can mask flaws on certain pre-finished doors.


Time and Effort: Finishing a door requires time, patience, and skill. For people who are unfamiliar with the process, or aren’t handy with tools, there could be an extensive learning curve, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it right. Mistakes can lead to higher costs or unsatisfactory results.

Inconsistencies: Again, if you don’t have the proper tools or training, getting a smooth, even finish can be a challenge, and any inconstancies will stick out like a sore thumb, which isn’t what you want if you want your front door to make a lasting first impression on neighbors and guests.

glass door inserts in lakeland FlHow to Choose the Right Door For Your Home

Given the pros and cons of pre-finished versus unfinished doors, how do you decide which way to go? Here are a few things to consider.

Aesthetic Vision: If you have a specific color or finish you’re looking for that’s not common, and you want your door to look unique among your neighbors, an unfinished door is the best way to get there because, for the most part, if you can dream it, you can have it.

Budget: Unfinished doors can be a more cost-effective option up front, but remember to account for the costs of paint, stain, brushes, and possibly professional finishing services.

Time: Finally, ask yourself how much time you have and how much you want to invest in putting in a new front door. If you’re in a hurry, the quickest route to a complete look is a pre-finished door. On the other hand, if you enjoy the work and completing home projects yourself, an unfinished door can be very satisfying.

Get Help From the Pros

The Glass Door Store is here to help you achieve the most stunning front door for your home. We have decades of experience and offer a giant selection of glass inserts and complete doors to make your home stand out from the crowd. We offer an all-inclusive solution and will handle everything from start to finish, including providing resources of local, experienced door painters’ contact information.

Contact us today in Tampa, Florida, at 813–991–0028 or in Lakeland, Florida at 863–272–7311.