the painted surface
How To Paint a Door
This article will be limited to specific tips about painting doors. We begin with how to paint a six panel door and also discuss how to paint a flat door. It is a companion article to "How To Paint Woodwork" which covers the general tips and techniques for painting all woodwork and should definitely be read along with this one.
Painting a Six Panel Door
Panel doors are quite common as entrance and interior privacy doors. Often the front door is painted an accent color to draw attention to the entrance. With so many sections to paint it is easy for the paint to begin to dry as you paint each section. Painting over partially dried paint can leave the finish spotty and uneven looking. Try these tips for a more uniform result.
Evaluate the entrance beginning with the casing. If the casing needs to be painted, paint the casing first, then the door. This allows you to paint the casing without having to deal with a wet door in the way. A panel door has many sections and each one is painted individually. The rails are the pieces that run horizontal, there are usually three or four depending on the number of panels. They are referred to as top, middle or lock (possibly two) and bottom rail. The vertical pieces between the panels and on each side of the door are the stiles. The panels are the decorative pieces held in place by the rails and stiles, they are usually beveled around their perimeter. Though it seems like a lot of steps, you want to work your way down the door, maintaining a "wet edge". This will help prevent lap marks caused by painting over partially dried paint. Paint the two top panels first, the top rail and partially down the stiles. Then paint the middle panels, the middle rails and middle sections of the stiles. Finish up by painting the lower panels, lower rails and the lower part of the stiles. Going in this order gives you the best chance at achieving a uniform finish.
On exterior doors, for weather protection, it is a very good idea to paint the top and bottom edges.
Should you want a two-tone look, paint the panels first, allow them to dry and then paint the rails and stiles.
A photo of a six panel door and more painting tips can be seen at "Painting a Six Panel Door".
Painting a Flat Panel Door
These doors can be painted with a roller then stroked with a brush. A 1/4 inch nap roller cover is a good size to use as it will hold a good amount of paint, speeding the painting time and reducing the times the roller must be reloaded. If the paint from the roller is drying too quickly before it can be brushed, use an additive to slow the drying time. Using this method when there are several doors to paint will save time. All of the door frames can be painted with a brush and then the flat doors can be rolled.
Using only a brush is a good method if you paint small sections, moving across the door and then down. Try to paint quickly to maintain a "wet edge". The finish will be more smooth and even if lap marks can be avoided. Lap marks occur when the starting and stopping edges of strokes begin to dry or "tack up" during painting and fail to blend in with the wet paint. The doorknob can be easily removed to clear the way for the roller or brush.
These tips will make painting doors easier, but practice may be the best teacher. More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles:
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links.
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors