MT: How to paint an interior door — six top tips from professionals

MD: Painting a door yourself is not always easy. This process involves a few intricacies and challenges. Discover six crucial tips that will help you prepare the door for painting and paint it as experts would.

Tags: paint a door, how to paint doors, paint doors, paint interior doors


Best Door Painting Techniques

Painting a door is a quick way to give your interior a fresh look. If you have 6-panel doors, these are the trickiest to paint smoothly. Follow our tips to do it like a pro. Well-painted doors look impressive for many years!

Decide about Priming

This is necessary if the door was previously covered with oil paint, lead paint, or latex. If the previous latex coating is in good shape and you want to paint over it with latex, go for it.

Prepare the Door

You may decide to remove the door or keep it in place. In the first case, you will also need to take off the latch and knobs. Lay the door on sawhorses horizontally. This way, drips will not be an issue. Besides, there will be less pressure on your back. However, removal is not always easy. 

In any situation, protect the area under the door — use some cardboard, rags, newspapers, etc. to cover it. Sand the surface, but only slightly — use some sandpaper or a sanding block. Remove any blemishes or bumps. The surface becomes a little rough, so the new paint will adhere better. Remove sawdust with a damp rag.

Paint Interior Parts 

You may use a brush or a small roller to speed up the process. First, tackle the flat panels. Roll the paint, smoothen it out with a brush (always follow the grain direction), and then work with the surrounding detailed areas.

Wooden doors include different pieces where the grain usually changes direction. If you follow it, you will create a high-quality look even on inexpensive doors with a hollow core. Brushstrokes must always go parallel to the wood grain — the opposite looks awful.

Paint Central Pieces

Use a roller on the inside vertical piece. Move it up and down following the grain. Next, switch to a brush. When you are finished with this element, move on to the horizontal cross pieces in the middle. Again, make sure to follow the grain with your brush strokes. 

Paint The Border

Again, follow the grain. It usually goes vertically. The border includes a header and a footer. These are the panels located between the left and right sides. Paint them with horizontal strokes of your brush.

Paint the Edges

Remember that you must never paint the hinges, as this looks glaringly unprofessional. If they were painted previously, you may consider removing the paint from the metal. The same applies to the knobs.

To paint the edges, use a roller first. Smoothen the areas out with a brush. Look out for any drips of paint in the process. 

Finishing Touches

Check the door face for imperfections before the paint dries (this should take between 30 and 60 minutes). Apply another coat of paint, and let the door dry for a couple of hours. Next, paint the other side following the same logic. Voilà!