Diamond Certified DIY: How to Paint a Door

by James Florence
diy door painting

Do you have a door in your home that needs to be repainted? While there are professional companies that will do this for you, it’s also something you can do yourself if you’re DIY-inclined. However, painting a door isn’t as simple as it may seem—to achieve a successful result, you’ll need to use the right tools and techniques. Follow these steps:

1. Surface preparation

Use a towel and a mild solution of ammonia and water to wash the door. Pay special attention to the areas around doorknobs and hinges where grease and oil tend to collect. Next, take a piece of sandpaper and gently sand the door. Even it if feels smooth, go over it at least once to remove any imperfections you may have missed. After sanding, carefully tape off the doorknob with masking tape. Better yet, remove the doorknob altogether—while not mandatory, this will make it easier for you to achieve even, vertical brush strokes across the whole door.

2. Painting

Use a roller to apply your first coat of paint. Start with the top half of the door and end with the bottom half. For the second coat, switch to a paint brush and follow the same sequence as you did with the roller, doing your best to ensure the paint is evenly applied throughout the surface of the door. When using a brush, be sure to paint with upward strokes—otherwise, the paint will start to pool at the top of the door, resulting in drip marks. Also, make sure you engage your shoulder and elbow in addition to your wrist to ensure an even finish.

3. Touch-ups and fixes

Once applied, the paint won’t take long to dry, so after completing your final coat, take the last couple of minutes to do any finishing touch-ups and ensure even distribution. As soon as the paint starts to form a skin, leave it alone—if you break the skin with your brush, it’ll create an imperfection. If this occurs, don’t try to fix it; wait for the paint to dry, then sand and repaint the spot so it blends into the rest of the paint.


Surmounting Security Issues

If you’re painting an exterior door, make sure you consider the potential security issues involved. Since the door must remain open until the paint is dry, if you need to leave your home during this period, you could find yourself in a tough spot. Fortunately, Dean Knecht, owner of Dean Knecht Painting, Inc., has a couple of workarounds.

1. The Vaseline® trick

Even when new paint is dry to the touch, it can still have a stickiness to it, and if you close the door prematurely, the paint around the edges can get ruined. If you need to leave your house before your door is fully dry, use this simple trick: rub Vaseline along the edges of the weather stripping that come into contact with the door. When you close the door, this will keep the paint from sticking to these areas.

2. The hairdryer solution

If you removed your doorknob prior to painting, simply closing the door won’t solve your security issue. What’s more, replacing the doorknob before the paint is dry can ruin your clean paint job. Dean’s solution: apply a hairdryer to the area of the door where the knob goes to hasten drying. Within 20 minutes or so, the area should be dry enough to reinstall the knob.

To learn more DIY tips or find a local, top rated company, visit www.diamondcertified.org.