reclaimed 1930s front door

A look at: Reclaimed 1930s doors

A look at: series examines 1930s doors this week. These distinctive doors are some of the most popular in Britain today. Read on to find out more.

The History of 1930s doors 1930 – 1939

Although this era was fraught with tension in the build up to World War II, the doors made at this time had their own distinctive style, very much influenced by the Art Deco movement. Leaded and stained glass are common features of 1930s doors, and are a very common sight on the streets of Britain. With 4 million new homes being built during this era, this truly was the new age of the suburb.  For more information on 1930s architecture read this article by Bricks & Brass.

The most popular choice of timber for making 1930s doors was Douglas Fir. This well known wood species was chosen specifically for its structural strength and close knit grain. It is also very resilient to rot from fungi.


reclaimed 1930s doors

How  1930s doors were finished

We’ve had hundreds of 1930s doors come through the gates at Historic Doors, and in our experience most have been finished in the same way.  An organic, water-based stain, referred to as Vandyke Crystals, was the most commonly used finish. This wash penetrates the grain of the wood, remaining even after paint removal by a caustic dip.  This means that the lovely pale yellow colour remains. Most pine doors made in the 1930s were painted before being installed, so the unpainted door will look slightly paler than a Victorian door, for example.

Design style of 1930s doors

Internal doors from this period are usually referred to as “one o’er threes” after the paneling style. They have a large top panel made from a single piece of tiger-patterned pine. The bottom two thirds of the door has three panels of matching pine plywood.

If you want to match your new reclaimed 1930s door with the existing doors in your home, you may want to check the heights of the horizontal “rails” (the bottom of the upper panel, and the top of the lower panels), as these heights can vary from door to door. You can email us your specific dimensions and we will find you the best match. This is most important if you have two adjacent doors, you might have some in your hallway. If you can’t see the two doors together, it is less important.

reclaimed 1930s doors

Get in touch today for your 1930s door

If you are looking for a reclaimed 1930s door, we have a great selection on our main website. Click here for reclaimed 1930s front doors, and click here if you are looking for reclaimed 1930s internal doors.

If you are looking for any other sort of doors, we have a very large range, and we are also able to source doors specific to your requirements. For more information visit the website at or email Stick at