Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Paint a Door

One of my first big projects since starting this blog was painting the front door yellow. I was very eager and completely impatient to do this project. As I've mentioned before, I've always wanted a yellow door; therefore, the sooner it was done, the better. This caused me to rush the project a little, but in hindsight I think it was a good thing. I learned a lot. Hence, a tutorial was born.

Your supplies are important for any project. Sometimes you can get away with using cheap things and sometimes you can't. Here is what I used:

  • The roller was a cheap foam roller but I chose it for a couple reasons. 1. Foam rollers leave less brush marks. 2. Foam is easier to clean than a normal paint roller because you can squeeze the paint out (in my opinion). 3. I didn't see a difference between the cheap one and the more expensive one. This roller worked fine except half way through painting the tip broke off. This has never happened to me before, or to my mom who always uses this brand, so I think it was just a fluke. I went back to Lowes, bought a new one, and haven't had any trouble whatsoever.
  • For paint, I used Valspar Exterior Semi-Gloss and the color is Gold Tone. I have always been a fan of Valspar and find that it covers well and rolls on easy. No complaints. 
  • For the outside part of the door I used a primer first, Kilz Latex 2. I definitely needed a primer to cover over the very deep red that was originally on the door.
  • When it comes to painting, I don't consider myself a seasoned pro, this is my first house after all. So for now I use Frog Tape to tape off edges and anything else I don't want painted. I love Frog Tape!!! It works so much better than the blue painter's tape and I highly recommend it.
  • Yet, out of all these supplies the denatured alcohol is actually your most important tool here. You need this to test what type of paint is already on your door. Oil based or latex based.
Testing Your Door

It's very important to find out if oil based paint was used on the door previously. If it was and you paint over it using latex paint then it will peel off and you don't want that. Talk about wasted hours. All you have to do is put some on a cotton ball, paper towel, or whatever you wish and rub it on the door. If the paint bleeds off onto your wipe of choice, then it is latex paint. If it doesn't then you have an oil based paint. Luckily my door was red so it was pretty easy to tell if the paint came off.

Prepping Your Surface
This next step is important and I feel like many times it is often forgotten (I almost forgot myself). Clean your surface! Take a wet rag and wipe down your door before you paint, especially if you have pets. The door is dirtier than you think and you don't want to paint all that grime onto it, permanently sealing it in. I used a 30/70 mixture of water and vinegar, which I already keep in a spray bottle, and wiped it down until no more dirt showed on the rag.

Now, at this point in time you need to decide if you want to take off your hardware or tape it off. For me, taping it off was the right choice. I knew that this project wasn't going to get done in a day (or even a week) and since it was my front door I needed to have full access to it. This meant keeping the handle and deadbolt in place.  As you're taping though, keep in mind to cover all of the handle, the top, bottom, and all around.. Paint splatters and mists as you roll and you don't want any of that falling onto your handle. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Again, use Frog Tape. It creates such crisp and clean lines.

Let's Paint!
I figured the best way to show you how to paint a door was through diagrams rather than me trying to put it all into words. Here we go:

Step 1 - Paint all the vertical aspects of the door.Go up and down with the grain of the wood (if your door even has grain). Use thin coats rather than thick because you'll get more even coverage that way.

Step 2 - Now paint the horizontal aspects of the door. Once done, run the roller over the vertical parts one more time just to give it a clean edge.

Step 3 - Now, this can also be step one if you really wanted. I've seen it done both ways and I actually did this step first on the other side of the door and saw no difference. I suppose it's preference, but go ahead and paint the indentations. I continued using the roller for these as well.

I ended up going through the steps three times till I was satisfied that everything was even, and make sure you wait enough for each coat to be fully dry. If you try painting a second coat while the first is even a little bit wet, you'll end up removing some of the paint and create uneven texture.

Finally, when you're all said and done your brush stroke pattern should look something like this:
 And again, if you have a door with wood grain you'll be able to see how you should paint. Always go with the grain.

That's all for now and good luck on all your painting endeavors!

1 comment:

  1. Very informative and will definitely come in handy when I have a house. Thanks!


Do you have questions or comments? I would love to hear your input!

Blogging tips