How To Paint A Door

This guide will show you how easy it is to paint an interior door. Just follow these 8 easy steps and you will have a beautiful interior white door.

You will need the following for the job:

  • Medium Sandpaper
  • Fine Sandpaper
  • Wood Primer
  • Finishcoat
  • Paintbrush
  • Cotton Cloth
  • Dust Sheet
  • Masking Tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Sugar Soap
  • A Door Stop
  • Dust Mask

Step 1 – Prepare the Area

The most important thing before you start is to ensure your area is well prepared. You should make sure to wedge your door so it doesn’t move during painting. Push back your door until it is firmly wedged. Put down a dust sheet under where you’re going to be painting to avoid damaging the floor. If possible remove the door handle. If not, cover with masking tape to avoid damaging it with paint. Make sure you have plenty of space to work, and that the area is well ventilated. Doors that have been previously painted or varnished, should be washed down with sugar soap. If it is a raw door you can go straight into sanding it. Don’t forget to put on your dust mask. If the door is in poor condition, the paint must be stripped back to the bare wood.

Step 2 – Sanding Down

Begin by sanding down the door using the medium grit sandpaper or sponge. This will remove any blemishes or dirt on the wood and will help the primer to stick to the door, and give a better finish. When sanding wood, always sand in the direction of the grain. Be sure to wipe away any dust off the door before painting.

Step 3 – Using the Right Primer

If you’re going to use a water based paint use a water based primer, and if you’re going to use an oil based paint use an oil based primer. Don’t forget to give your tin a good shake before you start. Now you’re ready to start priming your door. Remember to follow the same steps whether you’re priming or painting.

Step 4 – Priming the Door

Paint in the direction of the grain using even strokes. Make sure to get yourself a good quality 2 or 2 ½” paint brush which won’t shed its hairs. Follow the same order of work whatever you’re painting or staining. When painting interior doors, paint any mouldings first, then the panels, then the central verticals and horizontals, then the top and bottom horizontals. Remember to paint the rim of the door to match the room the door opens into to blend with the decor.

Step 5 – Sanding the Door

When the door is dry you can gently sand it with a fine sandpaper or sponge. This will ensure a nice surface under the paint. Once you have finished your fine sanding, make sure to dust off your door thoroughly.

Step 6 – Painting Preparation

Now that you’ve finished sanding the door, you can start painting. If you use a one-coat finish paint, you won’t have to use undercoat. Some people might prefer to use a gloss finish, it doesn’t make any difference. Whatever paint you decide to use, make sure to read the tin. Brush on your first coat of paint. The same method applies to the finish coat as it did for the primer.

Step 7 – Painting the Door

Lay the paint on by making two or three separate downward strokes. Without reloading the brush, fill in by cross brushing. Still without reloading the brush lay off with light even strokes and smooth out with a light upward stroke. By not overloading your brush, you reduce the risk of runs and drips and it gives you a far better finish. You should leave it to dry over night.

It’s a good idea between coats to wrap your brush in tin foil or cling film, to stop it drying out between coats.

Step 8 – Finishing Touches

Now that your door is dry, all you have to do is replace the handle and remove the dust sheet.

Sometimes you may need to apply another coat of paint. If this happens, gently sand the door down, clean off all the dust before applying the other coat and follow the steps in this guide.