How To Paint a Front Door

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Welcome guests with a beautiful new look to your door. You'll be amazed how a simple project like this can really improve your curb appeal.  Let us show you the steps to take when painting a front door so you can achieve professional results.

How To Paint a Front Door


You can remove the door and paint or leave it on, it's really up to you on what you're comfortable with for a project at this scale.  To paint a door when still hanging place a drop cloth underneath.  The last thing you want is having paint get on your floors and having it tracked across your home.  Next, tape off the hinges, hardware and any windows with quality painter's tape.   Using a sanding sponge remove any loose or peeling paint that resides on the door.


Fill in any cracks or dings to ensure a smooth finish on the painted door.  On a wood door, use wood putty or wood filler. Use an epoxy patch product on a fiberglass door. When selecting an epoxy patch, be sure to get one that will work on a fiberglass door. There are many options out there from plumbing to automotive.    Let it dry and then use a sanding sponge to even out the patch product you've applied. Next, use a 180 grit sandpaper on a palm sander to lightly sand down your wood door.  This will scuff the surface so the new paint can adhere to the wood door.  Smooth out any imperfections in the door with the palm sander, especially if you are painting with a glossy sheen.

Wash It

Wash the door with a cup of TSP and a bucket of water and let it dry.  TSP helps paint adhere by cleaning and degreasing the surface.  Let the door dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Prime It

Select a primer that is made for exterior use.  On a wood door or one that has been painted before you can use an exterior paint and primer in one.  On a bare metal door use a rust preventative latex or oil based primer. On a bare fiberglass door use a latex bonding primer sealer.

Paint It

Start by cutting around hinges, knobs and hardware with a brush.  An angle sash brush is perfect for those areas.  If your door has panels or windows, work from the top down in those areas.  Use a roller on flat areas of the door and make sure you roll in the same direction as the grain.  First, paint the center of any panel. Then paint the vertical piece running up the center of the door.  The horizontal sections of the door are next.  Followed by the outer edges. The sides of the door are saved for last. If you have one color in the inside and another color on the outside you want the door to appear to be all one color as it opens. So, for the door that swings to the inside paint the hinge edge with the outside color. The edge with the knobs and the locks should be the same as the inside color.  After the paint is dry apply a second coat for an even finish and you're done!  Make sure the second coat dries before closing the door. Avoid adding any hooks or wreaths to the door for 24 hours.

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Published: 3/2/2020