Factory-Finished vs. Field-Finished: Understanding the Difference for Your Doors
Painted doors have the potential to be the perfect visual impact for your projects. From neutral colors that complement your interior to bold hues that stand out as design elements, painted wood doors create a beautiful aesthetic element across the entire built environment.
Ensure consistency across all your painted wood doors by specifying the factory finishing technique. In this post, we’ll compare aspects of painting doors in the field to finishing in the factory to help you understand the differences.
Characteristics of Factory-Finished Painted Wood Doors
With factory finishing, doors have a uniform color, texture and coating, providing consistency across your building. When you specify factory-finished painted wood doors, you’ll receive doors painted with state-of-the-art spray systems that are cured with optimal flash-drying and cooling cycles. This can help provide more durability than field-painted wood doors.
“A more controlled finishing process provides consistent color and uniform film thickness,” explains Rob Boudry, Masonite Architectural product manager. “A monitored paint curing process ensures proper curing and greater field performance. Factory painted doors are more efficient, more reliable, and very easy to specify.”
Contractors can immediately install factory-finished doors after delivery. This gives the construction manager flexibility in his schedule and can help expedite project completion. Finishing doors in this controlled process also allows for specialized finishes unavailable in the field, which can optimize fire spread rates and minimize moisture content.
Also, in most cases, factory finishing costs less than using a field finishing contractor since job site preparation, painting and cleanup are not necessary. The end result — significant labor savings with the consistent finishes across all of your doors.
Less Room for Error
In the factory-controlled environments, there is reduced contact with dust and dirt along with adequate drying and curing time. This process also protects the wood door from unfavorable moisture conditions.
Characteristics of Field Painted Doors
If you choose to specify doors that need to be painted in the field, there are a few challenges surrounding consistency and damage. We’ve outlined some of the common hurdles that come along with finishing doors on the job site.
Doors arrive onsite with instructions to the painter on how to paint the doors. Typically, the doors will come with a note stating that the manufacturer does not warrant the final appearance of the field-finished doors. Meaning, the end result is the responsibility of the field finisher.
Room for Error
When the painting process begins, the painter finds a safe working place on the jobsite and uses clean canvas gloves to avoid finger marks and soil stains on the doors. Then they will sand and prep the doors in a horizontal position. This is messy, dusty business but it’s the only way to ensure the clarity of finish and uniform color you need.
Once the paint is dry, the contractor will hang the doors in place and try to tell the other tradesmen rushing to finish their own work to be careful of these doors. The doors are not cured yet, so the paint gets easily scratched.
After their work is done, the painter cleans up the mess, using solvents where needed to remove any paint. He also properly disposes of the unused paint.
A valiant effort, but you can see the hurdles a contractor faces to get great looking field-painted wood doors.
Creating Successful Environments
If you want a more consistent, efficient and reliable finish done in less time, factory-finished painted wood doors are the solution. We take pride in our ability to serve your needs. Our factory-trained craftsmen have been finishing doors for years. Their experience coupled with our state-of-the-art finishing line ensure beautiful results — today, tomorrow and a lifetime.
If you’re ready to get started on your current project, contact your Masonite Architectural Representative or order your factory-finished painted wood doors samples today. We’re here to answer any questions you have and help you specify the perfect door and finish for your project.