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13 Top Tips for Door Painting

13 Top Tips for Door Painting

Painting doors is a great way to add beauty and character to your home exterior, or to buildings on your HOA property. There are lots of ins and outs to door painting. Here are some tips from our painting pros about how to get the best results when painting exterior doors.

How to Properly Paint a Door

#1 Remove the Door

Trying to paint the door while it’s still on the hinges is going to lead to drips and uneven spots, and you don’t want to have to spend all day painting your door just to do a repaint. Remove the door so you can lay it flat and properly apply primers, paints, and finishes. Make sure you remove the fixtures, too. Dirt, dust, and other debris can get trapped there, and you’ll want to get all that out of the way so your primer and paint goes on smoothly.

#2 Paint in the Right Environment

Another advantage to removing the door before painting is that you can paint in the environment that will get you the best results. If your basement, workshop, or garage is well-lit and spacious, those areas will work great as painting spaces.

#3 Use the Right Tools and Equipment

Primer and paint aren’t enough to get the job done when it comes to painting doors and other surfaces. You’ll need cleaner to remove dirt, paint remover, sanders or sandpaper, and a shop vac to keep things tidy. Make sure you have professional-grade products and materials. Cutting corners now seems like an appealing way to save costs. But that will likely lead to costly repaints that will only mean more time and more money spent.

#4 Clean the Door and Hardware

Clean doors you plan to paint with a grease-cutting cleaner. You should thoroughly clean the entire surface, but pay particular attention to the fixtures, the places where fixtures attach to the body of the door, and the grooves and niches in any door details and paneling. Be sure to allow time for drying after cleaning.

#5 Remove Paint

Use a paint remover to completely remove paint after cleaning. Be sure that you have proper protective gear, and that you’re working in a well-ventilated area. Cleaners and paint removers are effective, but their fumes can be strong.

#6 Fill in Gaps

Applying fillers to any gaps that sanding or paint removal has exposed will further smooth the surface of the door. You may have to fill in surfaces twice where the gaps are deeper, since fillers can shrink after you apply them.

#7 Sand the Door

Sanding gets the door surfaces smoothed out, which puts them in optimal condition to receive primer and paint. Using a lightweight sandpaper or sanding sponge is recommended to get your door ready for priming. You may need a sanding block for areas that require more work, especially around areas where old paint and primers are stuck on to the door and its panels. Once the surface of the door is smoothed and leveled, you’re ready for next steps.

#8 Clean Up Sand

It’s important to clean up after each round of sanding, wiping surfaces down with microfiber picks up grains, and you can use a shopvac to get sand off the floor, work surface, and grooves in the door where it can accumulate. This is a time-consuming step, but getting all the sanding residue off the door you want to paint is key if you want primer and paint to go on smooth.

#9 Prime and Sand (Again)

After sanding and cleanup is complete, it’s time to apply primer to your door. You’ll want to match the type of primer (oil or water-based) to the type of paint you plan to use, and you want to be sure that the primer you select will bring out the beauty and depth of the paint color you’ve chosen for the door.

#10 Time to Paint the Door

Painting the door with a high-quality roller will give it a smoother finish, as will using professional-grade, water-based alkyd paints. Recoating and finishing will add extra layers of beauty and protection, and get your door back to looking like new.

#11 Allow Drying Time

As you did after applying fillers and primers, it’s important to allow drying time between re-coating and finishing your door painting job. Most water-based alkyd paints are slower-drying than other paint types. Depending on your product instructions, and how well your workspace allows for proper drying, it may take up to 24 hours for your door to be ready for the next coat.

#12 Reinstall Hardware and Door

Once the paint has dried, closely inspect your door. If the paint is smooth and has a good shine, and if the finishes are even, your door painting project is complete. You can clean up the work area, put the fixtures back on, and reinstall the door, being careful not to let the fixtures or the reinstallation process damage the fresh paint.

#13 Ask Professional Painters for Help

As you can see, DIY door painting is a lot of work, and it can take a lot of time to get it done right. While a job well done is satisfying, there are a lot of potential frustrations that come along with painting exterior doors yourself.

If you don’t have the right materials (like the best sanding equipment, primers or paints for your surface), you might end up getting stuck midway through your door painting project, which could keep you, your family, tenants, or residents, from using rooms on your property with safety and privacy.

If you have a question about door painting, we can help. If you want complete confidence in your project and beautifully painted doors that will last for years to come, hiring professional painters is a smart investment, and the most efficient way to get your painting project right the first time.

Trico Painting offers door painting as part of our exterior painting services for homeowners and HOAs. If your entryways need sprucing up, our teams are ready to get started. Call us for your exterior painting estimate today!