Fix It Friday – Painting Your Front Door

The age old saying “a little paint can go a long way” is definitely true! Painting your front door brings a dramatic change to your entryway and helps amp up your curb appeal.

Follow these 5 simple steps from for a simple weekend project –

Supplies Needed:

  • Flat-Head Screwdriver
  • Phillips-Head Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • 2 Saw Horses
  • Dust Mask
  • Safety Goggles
  • Putty Knife
  • Wide Paintbrush
  • Small Paint Roller
  • Caulk
  • Tack Cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Exterior Primer
  • Exterior Paint


STEP 1 –

Remove the door and all of the hardware. Wedge a chisel or flathead
screwdriver in the joints between the hinges and the top of the hinge
pins, then lightly tap the screwdriver handle with a hammer until the
hinge pins come loose. Pull out all the pins, and then have someone
help you carry the door outside to a pair of sawhorses. Use a
Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the rest of the hardware, being
careful not to strip the screw holes.

Door paint can take some time to dry, so make sure that you have a
temporary replacement to protect your house. You can use an existing
storm door or even a large piece of plywood, which will help keep out

STEP 2 –

Old wooden doors need sanding and priming. If you brush a new coat
over an old paint job, it will result in a sloppy-looking finish. To get
a smooth working surface, scrape off any peeling pieces and sand down
the old paint until the surface of the door feels even all over. Start
with a medium 120-grit piece of sandpaper, and then work your way up to
220 grit. If the door still feels rough to the touch, finish with a
fine-grade 320-grit paper. Always wear a dust mask and safety goggles
when sanding.

If the door has cracks, repair them by dabbing small amounts of caulk
onto the cracks and working the caulk in with a putty knife. Let the
caulk dry, then sand the repaired spots until they’re smooth.

Get rid of any dust from sanding before priming. Vacuum away extra
dust, and wipe the door with a tack cloth. Dampen the cloth with mineral
spirits to remove stubborn dust.

STEP 3 –

Apply paint and primer in a dust-free area so that no particles ruin the door surface.

Brush on a single coat of primer with a wide paintbrush, covering the
front and all side edges of the door. Primer prevents the door from
absorbing moisture and helps smooth out its texture. Once the primer has
dried on the front of the door, flip the door over to prime the back.
If the primer drips or goes on chunky, lightly sand the surface to
smooth it out.

STEP 4 –

Once the primer has dried completely, stir your
paint. Paint the door from the top down, using a wide brush for corners
or crevices and a small roller for flat panels. Make long strokes with
the brush, and clean any visible lines on the front door with a dry
cloth. Just as with the primer, let each side of the door dry before
turning it over to work on the other side. Add at least two coats of
paint to the door, using three or more if you want to increase color

Paint the door sections in this order:

  1. Bevels
  2. Panels
  3. Center stile
  4. Rails
  5. Outer stiles

STEP 5 –

Let your front door dry before reinstallation.
Once the paint no longer feels tacky to the touch, replace all
hardware and have someone help you reattach the door to its frame with
the hinge pins. Align the hinges together while replacing the pins.