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How to Paint Your Front Door


You can change the entire look of your home by painting your front door. It is a fairly straightforward project that many homeowners do on their own. Whether you are repainting a door that is ready for a fresh coat of paint or you are changing the look by adding a pop of color to your home, you can follow these steps to get it done. 

Gather Your Supplies

The first step to painting your front door is to get your supplies together. You need the following supplies:

  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Drop cloth
  • Paint brushes
  • Clean rags
  • Stir sticks
  • Step stool
  • Painter’s tape

Preparing to Paint the Door

Once you have your supplies, you need to choose a day when it isn’t too hot or too cold outside. It shouldn’t be windy either. It is important to choose a day when it is sunny outside. Keep in mind that you will likely paint two coats as well as a coat of primer, and you will need a few hours to let the door dry between coats. It is best to choose a time when it isn’t going to rain for a few days. 

When you are choosing your primer and your paint, you need to know what kind of paint is on the door. If it is a latex paint, you will be able to paint over it. However, if it is oil based, you might need to do a primer coat. If you aren’t sure, you can take a Q-tip and dip it into rubbing alcohol. Then, rub it on the door. If it removes paint, it is latex. If not, it is oil. 

If you plan to leave the door on the hinges, you need to use your painter’s tape to cover the hardware. If your door has any windows on it, use the tape to make sure they are protected around the edges. Once you finish, you are ready to begin painting the door. 

Steps to Paint the Door

You will follow the same process for your primer and your coats of paint. 

First, you should paint the edges. This way, they will have more time to dry. You should only paint the edge that is visible when the door is open, and leave the other edge so that it matches the inside of the door. 

Next, you should paint any sunken panels on the door. There are small molded edges around the sunken panels, and these are called the reveals. Take your brush and carefully paint them. Then, go ahead and paint the rest of the panels. Follow the panels with any decorative areas on the door. Some doors have other features such as a shelf. 

Once the detailed areas are painted, paint the cross pieces. Start with those that are horizontal at the top of the door. Paint from the left side to the ride side and continue until you reach the bottom of the door. If there is wind stripping at the bottom, make sure that you don’t paint the rubber. 

Now you can paint the vertical pieces of the door. Start in the middle, and then move to the left. Then, go back to the middle and move to the right side. Make sure that you cover the ends of any horizontal brush strokes as you paint. Once you finish, you have completed your first coat. Let it dry for around an hour, and then you can paint another coat. When you finish, let the paint dry for around three hours, and then you can clean up, and it will be safe to close the door. 

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