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How to paint doors

From protecting your area to getting an even finish, learn how to paint a door properly with our guide.


how to paint doors

Key steps:

When door painting, make sure to protect your area with these steps:

  1. Remove nearby furniture and decor objects.

  2. Cover anything remaining with protective sheets.

  3. Place mats or sheets on the floor.

  4. Have one space for all your paint and tools.

From adding privacy to keeping in the heat, doors play a huge number of roles in every house - without them, we’d be a lot less safe in our homes! But, they’re more than just practical; your front door is one of the first impressions people will have of the place you live in, whilst those inside can add a lot to your interior decor. With this in mind, it’s important you always keep yours looking their best, and our door painting tips are the perfect place to start.

When painting a door, old bed sheets make great, eco-friendly covers to help keep surrounding furniture splash free!

Painting a door inside and outside your home

When learning how to paint a door, there are a few differences you need to remember for indoors and outdoors:

  • Pick your paint - For outdoor use, pick an oil-based paint and use a semi-gloss finish to protect it from the weather. You don’t have to worry so much with what paint you use on interior doors but remember to use a finish to protect from wear and damage.

  • Think of the weather - When painting exterior doors, always pick a day when rain isn’t predicted, and humidity is low.

  • Avoid a mess - Interior doors will need more surrounding preparation to prevent a mess, so factor this into your time schedule.

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Protecting indoor surfaces

If you’re painting indoors, it’s important you protect your surfaces to avoid paint splashes from ruining your decor. First, remove as many objects from the surroundings as you can, from paintings on the wall to nearby furniture. Anything you can’t move you should cover with protective sheets. You should also lay protective coverings on the floor near where you’re working, and a specific area to put your paint tins and brushes.

How to paint a wooden door

Now you know the differences, you can follow these steps for how to paint interior doors and exterior doors:

  1. Sand down the surfaces to remove old paint and create a flat surface.

  2. Use masking tape to cover any hardware on the door, such as the handle.

  3. Apply a coat of primer, letting it dry thoroughly.

  4. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust and debris before painting.

  5. Apply your first coat of paint, letting it dry before sanding gently and applying a second coat.

  6. Apply your finish and let it dry.

Painting a door frame

If you’re painting door frames, you should always remove the entire door from its hinges first. Then, add masking tape around the edge of the frame to avoid painting the wall - that’s definitely not what you want! You can then follow the same painting instructions as for doors to get a clean, even finish, applying two coats and letting them dry before removing the masking tape.

Whether you’re learning how to paint door frames or want to give your door a fresh splash of colour, the key is to take your time and be patient. Let each coat dry before applying the next, apply masking tape for a neat finish, and always paint carefully for an even finish. Once you’re done, check out our tips to remove the smell of paint from your home and you’ll be done!

Originally published