One of the biggest challenges in painting your front door is scheduling the required time. We’ll prepare the door, paint, and apply in-between coats during the project while your entry is open. Ideally, we would take the door we are painting down and place a temporary entrance in its place. Most of us don’t have a spare door laying around that we can use. Because of this, we recommend using latex paint that dries fast to minimize the dry time between coats.
Remove the door or paint in place?
First, we must decide whether to remove the door from its hinges or paint it. This is a personal choice. Sometimes it is much easier to remove the door and place it on sawhorses.
We’ll remove the door handle, lock, and deadbolt assemblies.We can also protect these with masking tape, but it is much easier to get a nice finish without worrying about going around them. We’ll thoroughly clean the door to remove all the dirt, dust, and hand oils that collect over time. Getting the smoothest finish possible will require some elbow grease. We’ll carefully sand the entire door surface starting with 120 grit sandpaper and finishing with 220 grit sandpaper to remove all the dings, dents, and rough spots. And we’ll make sure to clean off any dust from your door before we begin to paint.
We will protect parts of the door we don’t want to paint with masking tape and paper. Also, we’ll cover the floor if we paint the door in place with drop cloths or plastic.
No matter what, we recommend applying a primer first. It minimizes problems and promotes adhesion to surfaces—minimizing the potential for peeling. It also has stain-blocking pigments that help block imperfections from reappearing in your finish coat. Applying the primer with a roller cover is a great way to ensure a smooth finish for flat doors. A great choice is one of the microfiber or foam roller covers. If you have a paneled door, a combination of a brush and roller cover is the best choice. After giving the primer enough time to dry, we’ll move on to applying the finish. In most cases, a primer can be coated in two hours, but it depends on temperature and humidity.
Latex enamel is an outstanding choice for the finish and is available in a satin or gloss sheen. It has excellent flow and leveling, making it highly forgiving in creating a smooth, even surface. Anti-sag properties also make it much easier to apply, especially on paneled doors. The painted surface can be recoated in four hours, allowing us to use many coats in a day. It dries to the touch in as little as 30 minutes.
We recommend allowing the paint to dry as long as possible before closing the door to minimize the chance of it sticking to the frame. Latex enamel has built-in block resistance, reducing the likelihood of sticking to other painted surfaces. Still, it takes at least 24 hours for the block resistance to develop fully. Paint dries faster in higher temperatures, lower humidity, or when exposed to direct sunlight. We’ll avoid painting in these conditions when possible.