Your front door is more than the entrance to your home. It is a crucial design element in the overall look of the exterior of your home and a great place to add a splash of color. Renewing your front door with fresh paint is a great weekend project. Here are the steps on how to do it right.
One of the biggest challenges in painting your front door is scheduling the time for the project. During the project, while you are preparing the door, painting, and in between coats, your entry will be open. Ideally, you would take the door you are painting down and place a temporary door in its place, but most of us don’t have a spare door laying around you we can use. Because of this, we recommend using a latex paint that dries fast to minimize the dry-time between coats and shutting the door.
Let’s get started on painting your previously painted door.
First, you have to decide whether you want to remove the door from its hinges or paint it in place. This is personal choice on how you want to work. Some people will find it much easier to remove the door and place it on saw horses, but these steps will also work well if you decide to leave it in place.
Start by removing the door handle, lock, and deadbolt assemblies. You can also protect these with masking tape instead, but it is much easier to get a nice finish if you don’t have to worry about going around these. Thoroughly clean the door to remove all the dirt, dust, and hand oils that collect over time. To get the smoothest finish possible will require some elbow grease. Carefully sand the entire door surface starting with 120 grit sandpaper and finishing with 220 grit sandpaper to remove all the dings, dents, and rough spots. Make sure you clean off any of the dust from your door before you begin to paint.
Protect parts of the door you don’t want to paint with masking tape and masking paper. Also protect the floor if you are painting the door in place with drop clothes or plastic.
No matter what, we recommend applying a primer first. It just minimizes problems, and our Diamond Prime Universal Primer is a great choice. It promotes adhesion on tough to stick to surfaces minimizing the potential for peeling, and it also has stain blocking pigments which help block imperfections from reappearing in your finish coat. For flat doors, applying the primer by a roller cover is a great way to ensure a smooth finish. A great choice is one of the microfiber or foam roller covers. If you have a panel door, often a combination of a brush and roller cover is the best choice (more information below on how to paint a paneled door).
After giving the primer enough time to dry, you can move on to applying the finish. In most cases, Diamond Prime can be coated in 2 hours but it depends on temperature and humidity.
For the finish, our SureFlo Acrylic Latex Enamel is an outstanding choice. It is available in a satin or gloss sheen. It has incredible flow and leveling, making it extremely forgiving in creating a smooth, even surface. Anti-sag properties also make it much easier to apply, especially on paneled doors. SureFlo can be recoated in 4 hours allowing you to apply multiple coats in a day. In most situations it dries to the touch in as little as 30 minutes. We recommend allowing the paint to dry as long as possible before closing the door to minimize the chance of it sticking to the frame. SureFlo does have built-in block resistance reducing the likelihood of it sticking to other painted surfaces, but it takes at least 24 hours for the block resistance to fully develop.
Remember, paint dries faster in higher temperature, lower humidity, or when exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid painting in these conditions when possible.
Painting paneled doors can be challenging unless you start with a plan. Begin by using a brush to paint the recessed areas of the panels. Then using either a brush or a roller, paint the faces of the panels, followed by the rails and stiles of the door. Try to minimize painting into partially dried paint film to reduce unsightly brush or roller marks.
Need color inspiration for painting your entry door? Learn how to create a stunning first impression using Diamond Vogel. We offer two color collections to help you find the best in exterior color for your project Diamond Vogel Exterior Coordinates and MyHaven Exterior. Stop by your neighborhood Diamond Vogel for more information.
(Diamond Vogel's 2017 Color of the Year Ocean Storms on an exterior door)