Before and After Painting

Why paint my door?

  • You should paint your door every 4-5 years to protect the door from rot or rust and to keep your door looking its best, especially if you have high sun intensity/darker colors, which can fade more quickly
  • Fresh new look
  • Fun and easy project you can do in just an afternoon

What type of paint should I use for the exterior of my door?

  • For best results and durability, we recommend Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel paint
  • Acrylic latex paint (exterior grade) also can work well as it is fairly durable and also easy to work with (doesn't dry too quickly or too slowly)
  • Oil based paint can be used with sanding/priming, but fades faster and is not as durable for exterior applications and has tendency to crack if door expands/contracts (e.g., with a wood door)

How long will it take?

  • Total project time: ~8 hours
  • Active preparing/painting: 2 hours
  • Waiting time/drying time between coats: 6 hours (2 coats, 3 hours each)

What supplies do I need? (see our paint section for paint and a supplies kit with everything you need)

  • Paint (~1 quart acrylic latex exterior grade)
  • Stirring stick
  • Brush (2” synthetic bristle sash brush)
  • Scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper (120 grit & 220 grit)
  • Painter’s tape (1.5” blue by 3M)
  • Cotton Cloth/Rag
  • Degreasing cleaner (Krud Kutter)
  • Bucket (1 gallon plastic painter’s bucket)
  • Caulk (siliconized acrylic white - Sherwin Williams max flex)
  • Spackling (DryDex)
  • Drop cloth or old towels
  • Wood epoxy (to fix any larger holes or dents in door)
  • Screwdriver (for removing parts from door)
  • Utility knife

How to Guide:

Check Before Painting

1. Check before starting:

  • Temperature between 50-80 degrees
  • No rain in the forecast
  • Lead-free paint on your door (for doors painted before 1978, see

Prepare Your Door

2. Prepare the door

  • Note: Removing door from hinges can make sanding & painting easier. However, it is also fine to leave the door on the hinges in the open position
  • A. Take it off or tape it! Remove or tape to cover edges of lockset, door glass & frame, kickplate, peep hole, mail slot, pet door, etc. - anything that is in the door. Also remove weatherstrip and doorsweep (if possible)
  • B. Sand the door, scrape any spots with loose/flaking paint or stubborn dirt. Make sure to sand any rust spots thoroughly down to good steel underneath
  • C. Wash the door thoroughly with cleaner, making sure to get all the grit and dirt off. Let dry for at least 30 minutes
  • D. Use spackling to fill in any shallow imperfections on the door’s surface. Use wood epoxy to fill in larger dents and holes

Paint Your Door

3. Paint the door

  • Note: Do not paint weatherstrip or any rubber or vinyl parts of the door
  • Note: Use long brush strokes and work from top to bottom for even, consistent coats of paint
  • Note: Stir paint with stirring stick before use
  • Note: After each step, wipe any excess paint on the face of the door with a damp rag
  • A. Start with the top of the edge of the door near the hinges, then paint the lock side edge of the door. Then make sure to wipe clean any excess paint from the face of the door with a damp rag
  • B. Paint the face of the door based on the diagram below:
1. Paint the top and upper sides of the door, as well as the raised (embossed) panels of the door
2. Paint door glass frames after lightly sanding/priming (if needed)
3. Paint the remaining areas of the door
  • C. Let dry for 3 hours, leaving the door in the open position. Repeat painting steps to apply a second coat. A third coat may be required to reach your desired color, for example if you are switching from dark to light or light to dark color (e.g., navy to white or beige to black)
  • D. After final coat dries for 3 hours, you are ready to shut the door or put door back on hinges (if you removed)

Paint Face of Door Step 1

Paint Face of Door Step 2

Paint Face of Door Step 3

Optional – paint exterior brickmold, which is the wooden frame that holds the door into the home. Follow same steps to prepare and paint the exterior brickmold.

Questions? Email us at and our professional painter will help with an answer!