How to paint doors! Make your doors look brand new with a fresh coat

How to paint doors! Make your doors look brand new with a fresh coat

Many homeowners in Australia want to know how to paint doors properly. If you want to paint your old door and give it a long-lasting finish, there are several simple steps you have to take. It takes the right tools and supplies, proper door preparation and good painting techniques to get quality results. Selecting the right type and colour paint also impacts the way doors look after being repainted. The following tips for painting doors or repainting doors can create doors that make a lasting impression on people entering any room or home.

Materials and tools

  • Ladder or stepstool: Use the ladder or stepstool to reach the top hinge holding the door in place. 
  • Drill/screwdriver: Use the drill or screwdriver to remove the screws holding the door in place, put lag screws into the top and bottom of the door and remove the hinges, doorknobs and other door hardware.
  • Sawhorse: Lay the door flat with the lag screws on each end on the sawhorse.
  • Tarps or sheets of plastic: Use the tarps or sheets of plastic to cover the floor under the area where you will be cleaning, sanding and painting the door.
  • Grease cutter cleanser and some rags: Apply liquid or spray cleanser to the door to remove oil, grease, dirt and stains using the rags. 
  • Sander/sandpaper/chemical stripper: Remove paint buildup on a wooden door with a sharp carbide or stainless steel scraper and smoothen with the sander. Using the best sander for doors is important. On metal doors use sandpaper. Use chemical stripper on doors made of fibreglass to remove flaking paint.
  • Filler: Fill door dents, cracks and holes with spackling compound, two-part filler or epoxy wood filler.
  • Door primer paint: Paint the entire door with door primer paint that’s grey or white primer whether you are painting internal doors or external doors.
  • Paint trays: Pour a little paint at a time into the paint trays. 
  • Paint, high-density foam mini rollers and paintbrushes: Using a paintbrush, edge in around panels and windows. Use mini rollers to paint the entire door. 
  • Painter’s tape: Cover weather stripping with painter’s tape so the door won’t stick when you re-hang an exterior door. 
A fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference to your home’s look / Source: Ozland Painting Group

What type of paint to use on doors

Oil-based paints are ideal to use when painting interior doors. Water-based paints are better for exterior doors and damp areas.

How to prep interior doors for painting

The following are some simple steps for preparing interior doors for painting.

  1. Clear the area and lay down a drop sheet: Remove furnishings from the area where the door will be cleaned and painted and cover it with protective tarps, plastic strips or drop sheets. 
  2. Remove door: Take the door off its hinges and remove the doorknobs, handles, locks, kick plates and other hardware.
  3. Wash the door: Apply spray or liquid cleanser to the door and use rags to clean and wash off the door.
  4. Sand the surface: An electric sander or sandpaper can be used to remove loose paint and smoothen out imperfections in the door’s surface.

How to paint a door

Here some simple steps and helpful tips for painting doors. 

  1. Apply a primer if necessary: When painting bare wood or putting a light colour over a much darker one, you should apply a primer. When using self-priming paint or painting over surfaces painted in a similar colour, primer isn’t required. 
  2. Apply an undercoat: When applying an undercoat, use a paintbrush to do the edges of the door. Then use a paint roller for doors in a ‘W’ pattern to cover the door with undercoat evenly. 
  3. Paint edges: Use a paintbrush to paint the door’s edges to seal it and keep moisture out. Apply the same number of coats as on the main surface.
  4. Paint the main surface: When painting the door’s main surface, use a paint roller for doors. Apply the paint using a ‘W’ pattern technique for a neater, more even coverage. Painting doors with a roller is the most efficient way to get the job done.
  5. Leave to dry and apply a second coat if necessary: Leave the painted door to dry for a few hours. If you see imperfections or incomplete or uneven coverage, apply another coat of paint.
  6. Reattach door when completely dry: When repainting doors, to prevent them from sticking, let them dry completely before reattaching them. That takes 6 to 24 hours depending on the paint, temperature and moisture in the air.

How to paint door frames

When painting door frames, first put down a plastic drop cloth and use 7.6-10.2 cm painter’s tape to line the wall area around the door frame. Clean the frame with grease-cutting cleanser, sand it lightly, fill in any small chips and gouges using wood putty. When painting door frames, the right door paint is important. Use semi-gloss, latex interior paint or exterior trim paint, if the frame opens outside.

Use angled tip handheld brushes for efficiency, precision and to get into tight spaces. Hold the metal band below the bristles for better control over paint placement. Start painting from the frame’s upper inside corner using long, sweeping strokes. When you get to the interior surface’s bottom, repeat the process on the opposite side. Work your way outside the frame and paint the jambs on both sides. To avoid leaving seams, overlap your strokes. Let it dry for 2-6 hours and apply a second coat. 

How to paint a door without removing it

The best way to paint a door without removing it is first to wedge the door and cover the hinges, doorknob and lock with painter’s tape. Clean the door to remove grease, especially near the doorknobs and handles. Use a paintbrush on the top, edge and bottom of the door. Use a foam roller when painting doors with a roller. When you are done painting, carefully remove the painter’s tape. 

Before and after a new paint job / Source: BODEK Painting & Plastering

How to hire a painter

Hiring the right painter is essential. There are three main factors to look out for to ensure you hire the right professional for your job. 

1. Licencing and qualifications 

Make sure the painter you hire has the proper licencing and qualifications.

2. Years of experience

It would help if you chose a painter with years of experience painting and who knows lots about door paint and the best way to paint a door. 

3. Positive reviews and references

Do some research before you hire a painter to do door painting. Choose one that consistently gets good reviews and can provide a list of references for door painting they have done.