Painting Different Types of Exterior DoorsMay 09, 2018
Tossing a new coat of paint on your exterior doors in Kansas City?
Spring is the season for home improvement projects. Throughout the winter, you often become very acquainted with your home’s flaws. You may already have quite a list of repairs and updates you want to make once the weather warms up again. Maybe among that list you’ve noticed that a few of your doors need a fresh coat of paint. The color may have faded over the years, or maybe your tastes have simply changed.
But before you start painting your exterior doors, keep in mind that the material of your doors will impact how well it receives a new coat of paint. Do you have a wood, steel, or fiberglass door? Each one may have different requirements when it comes to painting. Here are our suggestions for painting different types of doors.
Prepping for the Project
Some things are consistent, regardless of the type of door. For one thing, the weather needs to be just right. Temperatures should be between 40-80° and it should be dry for the paint to dry efficiently. Spring weather can be tempestuous. Check weather forecasts regularly before you start your door painting project. Arm yourself with painting tarp to catch any spills as you work. Additionally, since you’ll need to remove the door to paint it – and paint can take time to dry – make sure you have a temporary replacement to protect your home while you work.
Wood doors receive paint most easily of the three listed here. First, remove the door from its hinges and lay it down flat. Don’t just paint over the old paint job. Scrape off any peeling paint from the old paint job and sand the door down until it’s smooth and ready to accept new paint. If the door has any cracks, seal them before you move any further.
Move the door to a dust free area and apply primer until the entire front of the door and sides of the door are covered. Wait until the primer is dry before priming the back. Finally, when the entire door is primed and dry, you can apply 2-3 coats of paint, starting from top to bottom. Wait for the paint to dry completely (until it no longer feels sticky) before re-installing the door.
Fiberglass doors can be made with a grain texture to imitate wood doors or with a smooth finish. Smooth finished fiberglass doors will paint in a similar way to steel doors, and thus need to be sanded down with strong sandpaper to accept new paint more easily (220-grit sandpaper should do the trick). Once the door is off its hinges and the protective tarp is placed beneath it, clean it thoroughly with acetone. Once the odor has dispersed, wipe it down with a mild detergent and then wipe down once more with a wet rag to rinse.
Allow the door to dry before sanding and then thoroughly wipe off the dust from sanding. Apply a thick coat of primer and allow it to dry. Then apply two thin coats of paint, rather than one thick coat of paint. Make sure the paint can specifies that your paint can be used on fiberglass. Allow the door to dry and then reinstall.
It’s a misconception to believe that steel doors are unpaintable. High quality steel doors are given a baked enamel finish that allows them to be painted easily. However, it can be susceptible to chipped paint, so you may need to paint it more frequently than other types of doors. For steel doors, it’s a good idea to choose an acrylic paint that will resist fading in sunlight.
Take the door off its hinges and then clean it thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies where grime may have built up. Repair any dents and then sand down the door to prep it for new paint (150-grit sandpaper is recommended). If the door is new, make sure to prime it. If not, apply two coats of paint, allowing the first to dry before applying the second. Once the paint is dried, reinstall the door.
Johnson County Siding & Window Co. can help you choose doors with color that lasts so you won’t have to worry about painting them, like ProVia’s steel entry doors. We can even offer tips for getting the most out of your paint job. Contact us today at (913) 782-2878 for more information.