The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Paint a Front Door

Over time, scuffs, nicks, and scratches can make a front door look banged up and old. A new coat of paint could solve this problem and boost your home’s curb appeal. Learning how to paint a front door is an great project for a homeowner in the mood for a rewarding DIY job.

You have the option of leaving the door in place or taking it off of its hinges while you paint. Cleaning, sanding, and painting are easier if you take the door down and set it across two saw horses or a long folding table. If your entrance lacks a storm door, you can cover the opening with a tarp. If you choose to leave the door in place, then use a tarp or drop cloth to protect the floor from paint drips.

How to Paint a Front Door Step by Step

  1. Bring home some exterior paint swatches and tape them to the door so that you can evaluate your color options.
  2. Look at them at different times of day because different levels of daylight can alter how a color looks. (Gloss and semi-gloss paints are preferable for exterior doors.)
  3. Once you settle on a color, you’ll need one quart of it to paint the front door.
  4. Also buy a quart of exterior primer.
  5. Make sure to match a latex paint with a latex primer or an oil-based paint with an oil-based primer.
  6. Plan to paint your front door when the weather is dry and not too hot or too cold. A moderate temperature yields the best paint finish.
  7. Remove the hinge pins and lift the door away from the opening.
  8. Set the front door on saw horses or table.
  9. Remove all door hardware.
  10. If you’re leaving the door on its hinges, remove the door knob and lock hardware.
  11. Wet a rag and wash the door.
  12. Once it’s dry, lightly sand the door’s surface and wipe off dust.
  13. Apply primer with a paint brush and roller.
  14. Leave primer to dry according to manufacturer’s directions.
  15. Now you can start adding a new color.
  16. Start with a paint brush to apply color to any ridges, grooves, or other details hard to reach with a roller.
  17. Use a roller to put the color on all of the flat areas unless you want to use a brush and create a “brushed” look.
  18. Allow the door to dry completely.
  19. Hang the front door back up.
  20. Put the door hardware back on.

Tools & Materials

  • Masking tape
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tarp or drop cloth
  • Rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Low-nap foam paint rollers
  • Paint brush
  • Paint pan

Browse Exciting New Front Door Styles

Although a fresh coat of door paint definitely brightens up the front of a house, sometimes a new door is the better choice. This is especially the case if your front door is drafty, badly scratched, or dented. PJ Fitzpatrick installs exterior doors on homes throughout the Mid-Atlantic. You could even find out if you could add sidelights to your front entrance to enhance your home’s appearance. We install storm doors and patio doors too. Contact us to learn more about stylish replacement doors today.

Need help with this project?

We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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