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How to Paint a Front Door in 8 Easy Steps

A painting project is one of the best ways to have a productive weekend at the house. And improving your home’s appearance is always a valuable use of time. It is important to maintain the appearance of your home and the front door is often one of the first things people see when looking at your home. So painting your front door is a great idea.


When you decide to paint exterior doors, such as the front door, you first need to decide on your paint color. You can go over your existing color or you could opt for something new. No matter what color you decide on, Painter Patch is here to show you how to paint a front door properly.


Want to ensure your front door or other painting project comes out looking great? Hire a professional to do it right. Get started with free quotes.


Step 1: Remove all the Hardware


The first step in how to paint a front door is to remove the hardware or any accents on the door, including street numbers or decorations. This will provide a clear working area and will protect the hardware, etc. from paint. You might need a flathead screwdriver to remove some objects. For example, if your street numbers or mail drop has been there for many years, they need that extra nudge to remove them. Use the screwdriver as a wedge to free them from the door.


Keep in mind that primer and paint will likely need to dry overnight. Consider what impacts this might have on closing your door at night before it is dry.


Step 2: Clean the Door


Time is not gentle on front doors. They can receive a lot of traffic as the entry point to your home and will likely get dirty over time. Just like any other surface you paint, it is essential that the front door be clean and debris free. Wash any dirt from the door using warm water and a degreasing cleaner. Rinse off with a clean damp cloth or sponge and allow the door to completely dry.


Step 3: Scrape and Sand the Door


Now that your door is clean, it is time to clear away any chipping or flaking that could be present on the door. Use a standard paint scraper to chip away any flaking or peeling.


After getting rid of the loose flakes, it is time to go a step further and sand the door. The sanding process will differ based on the type of paint that is currently on the door. If you currently have water based paint on the door, give it a good sanding with approximately 200 - 200 grit sandpaper. If it is oil based, sand the door with 100 - 140 grit sandpaper. A sanding sponge might help for the areas that are not flat.


Tip: Use this trick if you are not sure if your door currently has water based or oil based paint. Use a small amount of denatured alcohol (not the same as rubbing alcohol)

on the corner of a cloth or sponge and apply to a very small area of the door. If the paint comes of the door, you have water based paint. If it remains on the door, you have oil based paint.


Painter Patch is where you go for the best painters in NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Westchester for all your painting needs. Get your free quotes now.


Step 4: Time to Tape


When you paint a front door, as with most painting jobs, taping the surface is an important step. You want to tape any areas that you want to avoid getting paint, including any hardware that could not be removed.


Step 5: Time to Prime


Priming your door will help to hide the old paint on your door. It also enables the new paint to adhere well to the surface of the door and helps prevent it from absorbing too much moisture, which can be damaging to its texture.


Use all purpose primer for wood and non-metal doors to provide and ideal base for the paint. If you have a metal door, use acrylic metal primer. Before you finish priming, be sure there are no missed spots and smooth out any areas where the primer pooled. These pooled areas will also show on your finished door if you do not smooth them out now. When you have completely finished priming the entire door, be sure to let it dry for at least 24 hours.


Tip: A paint roller or flat brush can be used to prime the flat parts of the door. An angled brush can be used to get to any nooks or crannies that a roller or flat brush cannot reach.


Step 6: Time to Paint the Front Door


Now it is finally time to paint the front door. Hopefully, at this point you have your paint color selected.


If not, check out this site for help selecting the best front door paint colors.


As with applying the primer, the paint can be applied to the larger flat areas with a paint roller or flat brush. Use an angled brush to get to any nooks or crannies that your roller or flat brush doesn’t get to.


Tip: Whether you use a brush or roller, paint the door in approximately two to three square foot sections. Use several overlapping short strokes to completely cover the section in paint. Then, once the section is covered in paint, use longer strokes to provide a smooth consistent finish.


After you have completed painting each section, allow the door to dry for at least 24 hours. Once it is completely dry, apply a second coat of paint. Allow the second coat to also dry for 24 hours.


Note: humidity or other weather conditions could increase the necessary drying time.


Step 7: Remove Tape and Replace the Hardware


After everything has been given ample time to completely dry, you can go ahead and remove all the painter’s tape and put back all the hardware.


Step 8: Enjoy Your Freshly Painted Door


After the hardware has been replaced, it is time for you to sit back, pour a refreshing drink, and enjoy your beautiful door.


Painter Patch is your source for quality painters in the NYC area for all your painting needs. Check out our services and the areas we serve.


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