A Guide to Painting Your Doors

thumbnail A Guide to Painting Your Doors

Whether you bought a new place and want it to look cozier or want a change of scenery, painting is always so fun and makes the most significant change. However, for every DIY project, painting requires planning and guidance. 

Especially if you will be painting your doors, there are many things you should be careful not to end up with a door filled with brush marks. This is why we prepared a guide on how to paint your door. This guide will discuss the types of tools you need for this project and give you some tips for a pro-like outcome.

What Tools Do You Need to Paint Your Doors?

Assuming you already have a color in your head, let’s talk about what else you will need other than a brush to paint your doors perfectly. A screwdriver is one of the essential tools required for this project. Because for a perfect outcome, you must first get the hardware out of the way. After removing handles, knobs, and metal plates, your doors will be ready to work on.

If your door is relatively old and has nicks or holes, you will need caulk to fill these gaps. This step is highly recommended and will assist you in getting ready to paint your door. Also, you need to find a location with plenty of natural light, sufficient ventilation, and a dust-free environment. And if you plan to paint outside, ensure there is no chance of rain or moisture in the air, as these conditions will slow the drying process.

Where you lay, the door is another vital point. You need a flat, solid surface, and this surface should be protected with a cover to prevent unwanted paint marks and dust. You can use a tarp, drop cloth, or canvas for multiple uses. To smooth the door, you will also need sandpaper. After that, you will need to prepare your door with primer. This will help your paint apply more smoothly and last longer. 

How to Prepare Your Door for Painting?

Preparation is a crucial step in knowing how to paint your door. Because a pro-like outcome begins with thorough preparation. Even though you can choose to paint them while they are still in place, trust me, removing them will make it a lot easier than you might think. So is getting the hardware out of the way, as we mentioned above.

However, if you cannot remove the door hardware, carefully cover any glass areas and hide the hardware with masking tape. Most newly installed glazed doors will already have a paint and peel film. However, masking tape and newspaper on older doors might be a better idea. After this step, proceed to fill the gaps with a high-quality wood filler to prepare it for painting. 

The entire surface of the door should be sanded and de-nibbed before being cleaned with a moist cloth. Any knots should be sealed with a knotting solution to prevent resin from slowly seeping out over time. Since many new doors have already been primed, you can move right onto the top coat. If not, apply a high-quality primer and follow the drying time recommendations provided by the manufacturer. 

However, if you’re painting an unfinished wood door, use a sparing amount of primer or sealant and let it dry completely before using your preferred paint or varnish for the top coat or coats. On the other hand, how many coats you will need depends on the quality of your paint and your particular preferences. Two coats should usually be sufficient, but you may want to use more depending on your situation.

A Guide to Painting Your Doors

How to Paint Your Door Professionally?

Now that we covered the tools and preparation steps, we can move on to the most critical part, which is the part where you learn how to paint your doors. Even though there are lucky people who find success with just a brush, using a tiny roller might be wiser. Because this way, you may complete the project more quickly and get a smoother result.

For minor areas, you might want to use a detail brush. Use even, fluid strokes while painting, careful not to overstuff the brush or roller. Before applying the subsequent layer, sand the surface in between coats and clean it off with a moist towel. That said, painting paneled doors can achieve the best paint job in a particular order instead of just painting the door from top to bottom. 

Start painting from the flat panels, preferably with a roller. Make sure that your actions are fast. After finishing, smooth it out with a brush and fill in the fine details surrounding the flat panel. One of the most crucial pieces of advice for having a polished appearance is to go with the grain when applying paint with your brush. What does that mean? It means up and down movements for vertical grains and side-to-side movements for horizontal grains.

Afterward, move on to the central vertical piece, using your roller up and down. Note that the horizontal cross on the center should only be painted after the vertical one. Next, cross your brush over the tall vertical center while keeping your strokes horizontal, following the grain. Ink the border of the door. For this final stage, pay attention to the direction of the wood grain. The two sides’ grain alignment should be top to bottom and vertical. 

And lastly, you need to move towards the door’s edges. Remember, hinges and doorknobs should stay paint-free for a professionally painted look. Roll paint onto the edges, then use a paintbrush to smooth them out. Keep an eye out for any paint drips or puddles. Before the paint dries, go back and look for drips on the face of your door. After finishing, let the paint dry, and then quickly and lightly sand your door using sandpaper. 

Apply a second coat of paint after giving your door 30 to 1 hour to dry and wiping away the sanding dust with a tack cloth. When the second layer is completed, let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before flipping sawhorses painted one side at a time. To prevent the paint from adhering to the sawhorses, you might find that placing pieces of cardboard or rags under the door is helpful. 

Along with knowing how to paint your doors, it is also essential to know how long you should let them dry. Even though we gave an approximate time frame for this above, deciding exactly how long the paint should wait might change depending on several factors. For example, the quality and type of paint or varnish you use, the setting in which you are painting, and the surface you are painting are all things that affect how long the paint takes to dry. 

Water-based paints will dry more quickly, typically in three to four hours. However, paint with a solvent base takes a lot longer to dry. Of course, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times and avoid applying another coat too quickly. Generally, two coats of water-based paint should dry in a day under ideal circumstances. 

Additionally, note that avoiding temperature extremes is a good idea when painting. In cold weather, paint won’t dry, and the final finish is likely to suffer in hot weather. And after completing all these steps, it’s time to reconnect the handles, knobs, and any other hardware after your paint has completely dried. For example, if you took the door off its hinges, you can now put it back on. I’m done now! You are an expert door painter.

Final Verdict

To sum up, all you need to do is start painting your home’s interior doors, get the tools, and follow the instructions. As we mentioned above, for this project, you’ll need a range of products and tools, some of which you may already have at home. 

There are various ways to paint an interior door, so it’s crucial to research the paint you want to use and the current paint on your door.

Now that you know how to paint your door and what steps you should take, you can start shopping for tools, looking for colors, and eventually enjoy this DIY process. Even though it may seem scary and tiring initially, following these steps will make this project much easier than you think. Just blast your music and follow the instructions. And at the end of the day, or probably at the end of a couple of days, you will have perfectly dyed brand-new-looking doors!


  • Bayram Sarıkaya

    Hello, my name is Bayram and I’m 26 years old. You may know me from my writings here on Hardware Culture. I'm trying to convey what I've learned over more than four years of blog-searching and forum journeys. I'm a technical employee at a radio station, the almost polar opposite of the natural habitat where I think I belong. I love my job as I used to toy with technological gadgets when I was a kid, too. My hobbies are writing papers on cinema, playing basketball, and playing guitar. Now, let's get back to the plants, the topic of this biography. Why I share my opinions and reviews here is to share the knowledge with others who might be up and coming and having trouble finding the fundamental info on the net. I see myself in those and feel a kind of fraternity. Let's walk this road together for we’ll enjoy the experience of each other.

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