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Article by: Ryan Thomas
If you have a tatty front door that needs painting you're in the right place. Here you will find instructions on how to paint a door the right way. They are focused on the easiest way to paint any of your outside doors.
However, you can if you wish, use them to paint interior doors as well. But before doing so you will have to make a few minor adjustments. You will have to remember to use an interior primer, undercoat and paint.
Remove The Door For Painting
Now it's time to start work on the door. The first thing you need to do is detach the door from its frame. This you can do by separating the hinges. All you need is a small flathead screwdriver and a hammer.
Whether you have two or three hinges, start with the bottom hinge. Just insert the screwdriver blade under the head of the hinge pin. Give the screwdriver a few light taps until the pin pops up. Now prise out each pin while someone holds the door.
It's best to lay the door on a workbench or carpenters sawhorses. This way it's much easier to remove all the hardware. That includes the kick plate, letterbox, knocker and locks.
Laying the door on a flat surface will prevent paint runs. It also makes it easier to replace the hardware without marking the paint. Just be sure to use the correct screwdriver and screws.
Screwdrivers can easily slip out of slotted-screws when under pressure. If that happens it can cause a nasty gouge in the door that's hard to hide. There is no doubt that by using cross-head screws, the screwdriver is less likely to slip.
Painting your front door is not something that can be rushed. And it can involve several coats if you want to achieve a professional finish. The more coats you apply the longer it will take. You should be prepared to have no door for several days or more.
If you have carpenters on site they will be able to fit a temporary door. A cheap door will do the job, they are available for only a few pounds. If you can't locate a door to fit your door frame you can make one.
Before you start painting your door, lay it on top of a sheet of plywood. Now mark around it with a pencil - don't forget to mark out the keyhole and letterbox. Cut the door from the sheet and you will have a perfect fitting temporary door. It's not perfect but it will give you some basic security.
Scrape, Caulk And Sand Your Door
Old wooden doors are usually full of dents, marks and scratches. The surface will be very uneven and need repairs and sanding. If you don't sand it down the finish will end up far from satisfactory. Before you start make sure you put on a dust mask and safety goggles.
First, you will need to scrape away any blistered and cracked paint. Next, with medium-grit sandpaper, rub down all the rough edges of paint. For very rough areas you can use electric power tools to sand them down. After that, with a sheet of fine grit paper, you'll be able to get a very good finish.
Now run your hands over the door feeling for any remaining damaged areas. If you find any continue with the sanding until the door is completely smooth.
Any cracks in the door will have to be filled with caulk. You can use a putty knife, decorators scraper or your finger to work it into the cracks. Leave the caulk to dry overnight and then rub it down to a smooth finish.
It's now time to clean up your door before painting. You can start by dusting the door with a clean cloth. Quickly rub it all over to remove any particles.
If you have decorative wood mouldings on the door use a feather duster. They're better at removing dust from detailed woodworking. All these procedures are similar to the ones used when painting wooden furniture.
Finally, wipe the door down with white spirits to remove any clinging dirt and dust. You can also use it to clean your brushes when you've finished painting.
Time To Prime Your Door
Use a 25mm brush to apply a coat of primer to any mouldings on the door. Now use a 50mm brush to prime panels and the mainframe of the door. Then work your way around it and coat the bottom, top and side edges.
You shouldn't get any runs because the doors laying flat. But, keep an eye out. You will sometimes get runs in corners and on mouldings where the primer builds up. If you see any runs, use the 25mm brush to brush them out. When the primer is completely dry you can turn the door over and do the other side.
The Best Way To Paint A Door
If you're satisfied with the primer coat it's time to start painting. If you've never done it before you can learn how to paint a door here.
First undercoat the door in the same way you did with the primer. When the doors dry you can give it the first coat of gloss. Always start at the top of the door and paint downwards.
You can gloss in the same way you applied the primer and undercoat. Use the 25mm and 50mm brushes as appropriate. You can also use a small roller to paint door panels if you wish.
When you've finished let it dry before turning it over and painting the other side.
Bear in mind that the side facing inwards may be a different colour to the side facing outwards. The inward side may be white but the outward side could be a deep red or blue.
Outside facing doors will need a minimum of two coats of gloss. However, three coats or more are better if you want a deep rich finish.
Time To Replace The Door
Now that your door has received its final coat it's time to get it reinstated. So if the door is completely dry you can go ahead and refit the hardware. Or better still, why not fit new door furniture and hinges.
Just as you needed help to remove the door you will need help to replace it. Never attempt to replace heavy doors on your own. It's far too dangerous and if it falls it could cause serious injury.
To replace the door safely it will take a minimum of two people. Once the door is in position get your helper to hold the door steady. All you have to do now is insert the hinge pins. Then gently tap them all the way in and you're done.
Give Your Front Door Road Side Appeal
Now that you know how to paint a door what about the surrounding area. There are a number of things you can do to make it visually pleasing. How about fixing a half lantern on the wall either side of the door. They will make things easier when you're coming and going during the darker hours.
Plants always look good on the doorstep as well. I can recommend ornamental shrubs, one under each lantern looks good. Put them in those huge tubs you often see outside other people's homes. They look very expensive but they are actually very realistically priced.
And to finish it off, what about a new coconut mat. Something for you and your visitors to wipe their feet on. After all, you don't want anyone treading mud across your lovely clean doorway.