How to paint a door – expert tips

This Morning: Georgina Burnett shares tips for painting a door

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Painting the doors in your home can make them appear brand new. Doors are important items in your home as they are the entrance and exit points, so they provide the first and last impression for anyone visiting your house. There are various approaches to painting doors, but has put together some expert tips to make this seemingly arduous task a lot easier to handle.

How to paint a door


  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Small paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Rubber gloves.


Begin by taking your door off its hinges and lay it flat on a pasting table.

Remove all the handles, doorknobs and hinges on your door.

Prepare the door for painting by making sure the surface is clean, dry and free from dust and grease.

Scrape off any loose paint and remove any mildew using a cleaning solution of one part of bleach to three parts of water.

Next, sand the entire door thoroughly and then apply a coat of primer using a brush and small roller to help achieve a professional-looking finish.

If you are painting an interior door, you should choose a gloss or satin finish for durability.

For exterior doors, you should make sure to choose specialist exterior paint.

You should then proceed by painting your interior panels if your door has them.

Make sure to use your paintbrush to feather out the edges of the paint to ensure there are no drips.

You should then use a small foam roller to apply a smooth, consistent paint application across all of the flat surfaces, including the outside edges of the door.

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When painting your door, make sure to follow the grain of the door.

You should next use your paint roller on the central vertical area, before proceeding to paint the cross pieces in the middle of the door.

Then paint the door border and finish by painting the edges.

You should avoid painting the hinges because it doesn’t look very professional.

You should let your door dry for about 30 minutes to an hour before following up with a second coat of paint.

When you’re done, let the doors dry for two or more hours before flipping it over and repeating the process on the other side.

To encourage good adhesions you can also lightly sand in-between coats.

Once one side is completely dry, turn it over and do the other side.

You should leave the door for a full day to allow the paint to cure, and then reattach the handles, hinges and knobs and reattach to the frame.

Tips to remember when painting your door

  • Buy sandpaper intended for paint as it may cause some clogging otherwise.
  • Smooth paints are usually labelled enamel or door and trim.
  • Minimise air movement when painting doors to reduce airborne dust.
  • Position a work light four to five feet above the floor as this low-angle light will accentuate any drips or ridges.
  • Paint is a race against time as brush marks will not level out and disappear if you leave the paint for too long.
  • Use a mini roller to get the best results.

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