How to Maintain Joinery

If you’ve opted to have professional joiners craft a beautiful staircase, windows or doors for your home, you might be wondering how you can make sure they look great for years to come. While timber fixtures can last for a long time, there are some small amounts of maintenance you can do every so often to ensure their longevity and keep them from needing a replacement in your lifetime.

Here’s how you can keep your joinery in tip-top condition:



For timber windows, a deep clean twice per year should be sufficient for keeping them in excellent condition, extending their lifespan to the fullest. It’s simple enough to do; take a damp cloth combined with water and soap and wipe them down, no need to use kitchen or bathroom cleaning products that could damage the surface or corrode the hinges. Just use the cloth to clean the sash and exterior frame of your windows. Make sure you open them as well so you can clean all the hard to reach areas.

The same applies to doors. Wash painted surfaces from top to bottom to avoid streaks. Water and a damp cloth should suffice, but if there’s any persistent dirt, you could try a very diluted detergent. Never use abrasive tools or harsh cleaning chemicals, such as ones that contain bleach, as this could damage the surface. Don’t leave any soap on the surface to avoid absorption and avoid saturating the joinery.

General Maintenance

Joinery that is exposed to the elements, such as window frames, can suffer from mould and algae, which is caused by airborne spores that settle on the surface. To remove, wash with a solution of water and mould cleaner, leave for 20 minutes and then rinse. If stubborn, try brushing with a bristled brush.

To ensure you stay on top of your joinery maintenance, at least once a year you should check all hinges and handles on doors and windows to ensure they’re not stiff, and treat them with a light oil to keep them in perfect working order. Keep an eye on your joinery for minor damage, such as coating damage or open joints and spot repair as necessary.

A soft duster should be sufficient to keep the joinery in good condition, but you can also use furniture polish if desired. Wax can also be used but ensure all dust is removed first or the joinery will end up coated in a dust and wax mixture. Ensure that the wax is used sparingly, or the joinery will show every finger mark.


If your joinery has been damaged, such as the paint is peeling off your doors or windows, you can perform some light redecoration to fix the problem. To fix any cracking, flaking or blistering of paint, follow these steps:

  • Wash the joinery with a mild alkaline cleaning solution.
  • Sand the flaking paint away with a fine sanding cloth – nothing too abrasive.
  • Fill any cracks that have developed with elastic filler.
  • Spot repair the sanded surface with exterior alkyd primer.
  • Repaint the exterior using a topcoat paint.

Avoid repainting in the rain or when the door or window frame is damp or exposed to temperatures below 8°C. Allow several hours of drying time between coats of paint until you have the desired effect.

You shouldn’t attempt to remove any paint with paint thinners or strippers as this could ruin the original finish on the wood.

Painting a Door


Your house should be well ventilated if you have timber fixtures. Excessive moisture can cause timber to swell or result in surface blistering and discolouration. If you find that your joinery doesn’t seem to be maintaining its beautiful appearance and needs more maintenance than would typically be required, it could be that your house is not sufficiently ventilated.

At Darcy Joinery, we specialise in creating made-to-measure joinery products to your exact specifications. We can provide windows, doors and staircases in Manchester in an array of timbers. With an inspirational design team backed by highly trained and motivated craftsmen, we can provide you with a truly bespoke joinery service. Whatever you’re looking for, we love a challenge and would be more than happy to bring your dream home to life. If you’d like to learn more, do not hesitate to contact us today.