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How to Paint a Door with a Professional Finish

How to Paint a Door with a Professional Finish

Getting your door to look like it was painted by a professional is easier than you might think. You’ll just need some basic materials, a little time, and a little concentration.

To paint regular six-panelled doors, you’ll need just 5 materials:

  • sandpaper
  • primer
  • rubber gloves
  • 5-inch paint brush
  • small paint roller.

That’s it!

Step 1: Sanding

To begin, sand the whole door lightly with your sandpaper. The idea is that all bumps and blemishes are eliminated, so that the primer you’re about to use is able to stick properly.

Step 2: Priming

Next, apply the primer. It is possible to jump straight into using paint, but primer is advisable if the door is a dark colour originally and you’re going for a far lighter look; if the door has previously been painted with oil and the paint you’re using is latex; or if the wood on the door is either completely bare or stained. In these cases, primer is recommended in order to achieve a professional-looking finish.

Can you skip priming?

Primer may be skipped if the door has been painted with oil and you’re using oil now, or similarly, if the door was painted with latex and you’re now using it again. In order to tell if the paint is latex, simply apply ammonia to a small area of the door, and see if the paint comes off. Latex paint will come off with ammonia, whereas oil won’t.

Step 3: Painting

Once you’re done with the primer (or the sanding if you skipped the primer), it’s time to paint. Use your roller to apply the paint to the panels of the door. After you’ve rolled on the paint, you can use the small brush to fill in any light spots, or to level the paint. Remember to paint in the direction of the woodgrain, in order to guarantee that professional-looking finish.

After the panels are painted, roll the paint on the inside crosses, still following the direction of the woodgrain. The pieces in the middle of the door and the vertical centre should be painted horizontally. When this is complete, it’s time to paint the door’s border. Again, remember to keep an eye on the direction of the woodgrain.

The edges of the door are the last part to be painted. As before, start by rolling the paint onto the edges, and levelling them with the brush when you’re finished. To get the door to look as professional as possible, make sure you don’t paint the hinges.

Step 4: Drying

Give your door enough time to dry. This should take between half an hour to a full hour. Once it’s dry, apply the next coat of paint in the same way. Following this, allow the door to dry for even longer before you begin work on the opposite side. Be patient, as this usually takes no less than two hours.