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How to paint your front door | The Paint People

How to Paint Your Front Door

In a recent post, we told you about a study that found the paint colour of your front door can increase the value of your house by up to $6,000. For less than $100 worth of paint and materials.

But then we realized, even if you choose the right colour, it front door isn’t painted properly, it might not matter. So, without further ado, here’s how to paint your front door like a pro.

9 Steps for Painting the Front Door Like a Pro

The tips below can work for previously painted wood, fibreglass or steel doors.

Oil or Water?

Before you begin, you need to know if the current paint on the door is oil- or water-based. Dab the corner of a rag into some methyl hydrate. Wipe the dabbed corner across an inconspicuous part of the door. If the paint colour shows up on the rag, the paint is water-based. If there’s no paint colour on the rag, the paint is oil-based.

Choose Your Colour Outside

Paint colours on swatches can look a lot different outside than in the store or living room. Make sure you look at them outside, near your door.  

Remove the Door from its Hinges

Wedge the head of a screwdriver into the gap between the head of the door pin and the hinge. With the screwdriver angled upwards tap gently to remove the pin.

Prepare the Door

Everything you do to prepare the door for painting will make the finished project look that much better.

Use Sawhorse or Workmates

Lay the door across two sawhorses or Workmates. If you can, set up in your garage so you can vent it properly and leave the paint to dry overnight. If paint the door inside the house, make sure the area is well ventilated. If you’re painting it outside, do so in the shade.

Remove the Hardware

Including all hinge plates, mail slots, knobs and knockers.

Clean & Scrape

Clean the door as best you can. Scrape off any paint bubbles, chips or cracks.

Sand and Fill

Sand the door first with a coarse grit paper and then with a fine grit paper. You’re not trying to get rid of the paint, but to make the surface as smooth as possible. Repair any cracks with paintable filler. When the filler dries, sand it level to the rest of the door.

Wipe it Off

Use damp cloths or sponges to completely remove the dust from the surface of the door.

Tape it Of

Use painter’s tape to protect glass inserts on the door.

Choose Your Weapons

If your door has a clean design, you can use a wider brush or roller to paint the door. To prevent paint collecting in the grooves and contours of door panels, bevels, and around glass inserts, it can help to paint those sections with brushes that are about as wide as the section. Use a wider brush or roller for the surrounding sections of the door (the stiles and rails).

Apply Primer Paint

Using a primer coat is always important, but it’s especially so for your front door. Primer helps seal a wooden door and helps topcoats to adhere better on all doors. Considering the extremes of heat and cold that the door will face, that’s not a bad thing.

Tips for the Topcoat

To reduce the chances of excess paint drips and drops, paint the door panels and bevels around them first and paint the stiles and rails second. A second coat is always a good idea for exterior surfaces to help the paint work last longer.

What About the Door Edges?

If the the inside and outside of the door are different colours and you’re not sure what colour to paint the edges, here’s a general rule of thumb. The colour of the top and bottom edges don’t really matter because they won’t be seen. If the door swings into the home, then the side edge nearest the door handle would get the interior colour and the hinged edge would get the exterior colour. If the door swings out, then the handle edge gets the exterior colour and the hinged edge gets the interior colour.

With the fall just around the corner, it’s a great time of year to paint your exterior doors. It’s not too hot and not too cool. For more tips and tricks, call or visit us here at The Paint People.


Painting your front door | The Paint People