Wondering how to paint a door? Well, you buy a can of paint, dip in a paint brush, and smear the paint on the door . . . I’m kidding, of course! There’s more to learning how to paint a door than simply slapping pigment on a surface. Without the right tools and techniques, it might end up being a splotchy, hideous mess. So today, we’re going to teach you how to paint a door the right way. Whether it’s an interior or exterior door, and whether you’re using light paint or a dark paint, we’ve got just the tips you need.
How to Paint a Door
1. First, you should remove the door from the frame and take off any hardware. Set the door horizontally on saw horses if you can, to eliminate potential drips, or set it on the ground. If you can’t remove the door from the frame (or you’d just rather not), you can paint the door while it’s hung up. You’ll just need to watch for any drips and remove them as they come.
2. Then, wash the door with a damp sponge and sand it lightly. If you have a power sander, go ahead and use it, but sanding paper or a sanding block will work just fine. Your goal is to eliminate bumps and give the door a bit of friction. This will help the new paint adhere to the door.
3. After that, decide if you ought to use a primer or not. Not every door needs it. However if your door is bare wood or stained wood, use a primer paint. You should also use a primer if the door is a very dark color and you want to paint it a lighter color or if the door is covered in oil paint and you plan to use latex paint.
4. Time to start painting! Begin by painting the panels (labeled number 1 in the photo below) with either a primer or your first coat of paint. You can use a small roller or a paintbrush. Paint vertically on the center sections and the left and right indentations. Paint horizontally on the top and bottom indentations.
5. Then, paint the vertical strip down the center (number 2) with a vertical stroke, followed by the horizontal strips (number 3) using horizontal strokes. When you’re finished with this step, there will be a rectangle of color in the center of the door, leaving two unpainted strips on the left and right.
6. Finally, paint the outer edges (number 4) with a vertical stroke. Don’t paint the hinges (if you left them on, that is).
7. Finish by painting the edges of the door. Be sure that the paint on the edges is very smooth so that it won’t catch on the door frame. Then, check that there are no missed spots, drips, or splotches.
8. When you’re finished, let the door to dry for 30-60 minutes. When the door is dry, add another coat of paint using the same painting technique. If you’re using a very dark paint color, you might need to add a third coat. Allow the final coat to dry for 3-6 hours before you try to move the door so that you can paint the other side.
That’s it! You’ve just learned how to paint a door.
- Always work in a well-ventilated area.
- If there are any windows on the door, cover them with painter’s tape.
- Brush with the grain, not against it, for a professional look.
- You can test to see if your door currently has oil- or latex-based paint by rubbing on denatured alcohol. If the paint comes off, it’s latex. If not, it’s oil.
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