DIY Network

How to Paint a Front Door

A freshly painted front door can boost a home's curb appeal. It's a weekend project with years with worth of curb appeal.

More in Outdoors

front door after home exterior transformation
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Remove the Door and Clean

Remove the door before painting. Use a slot screwdriver to remove the hinge pins and then remove the other half of the hinge from the door. The door will be heavy, so get help to lift it onto some sawhorses.

Remove all the hardware off the door, including the door knocker, peephole and doorknob.

Wash and allow the door to dry before painting.

wash door before painting

Step 2: Prep the Door

Patch cracks in the door with a quick-drying wood filler. When it is dry, sand the filler smooth so that it is flush with door.

Step 3: Apply Primer

If the existing paint is in good condition, no primer is necessary. However, if you are using a dark color like red, it's advisable to use a primer first.

Prime all six sides of the door, including the inside, the outside, the left and right edges and the top and bottom. Any surfaces not primed will absorb moisture. Let dry completely.

If the door's surface still has cracks, fill them with caulk . Let the caulk dry and re-prime the spot.

Use a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 180 grit, to smooth the surface and remove any paint drips particularly in the crevices of the panels. Use an old paintbrush or a tack rag to brush off the dust from sanding.


Step 4: Paint the Door

Start painting with an angled sash brush, painting the corners of the panels first (raised or recessed). Work from the top panels down to the lowest. Don't use too much paint or let the paint puddle.

Use a roller to apply the paint to the raised panels, rolling with the grain of the wood. The paint the muntins (top and then bottom), transoms (top, middle, bottom) and finish with the stiles.

Paint the door with several coats, continuing to use the angle brush first and then the roller. The darker the color, the more coats that will be needed.

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