Right, so I got an email the other day about someone enquiring about how to paint a front door. Problem is, I’ve never really self-proclaimed my expertise as being a general renovation handyman. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be an expect in any property related field. However, whenever I get an email from someone wanting advise on an issue that I lack solid knowledge on, I’ll do my own research to solve the riddle. Of course, the person who asked the question could have done their own damn research, but I don’t really mind, because it gives me an excuse to learn.
Here’s the emai:
I read an article (Easily Fixable Features That Puts Buyers Off)on your site about how the door colour of a property matters when it comes to first impressions and attracting homebuyers. I’m currently trying to sell a house but it has a very unattractive front door. I don’t want to buy an entire new door because it will cost too much but I want to give it a fresh look by painting it. Can you please advise on what the best way to paint a front door is.
Thanks in advance
My friend Robbie happens to be a very skilled carpenter and property renovator, so I went to him for answers. This is what he came back with.
Equipment you’ll need to paint a front door
- Most importantly, a good quality paint. Getting the right paint is imperative to achieve a good finish. Satin, eggshell or gloss paints are all suitable, although gloss paint will be the most hard-wearing.
- Paint scraper
- Cloth and sugar soap
- Like with the paint, you’ll need a good quality paintbrush. It’s easy to fall for the trap of purchasing a £1 brush, because the general thought is, “all brushes are the same, and I’ll never reuse this”. Wrong. Brushes aren’t all the same, they vary in quality drastically. A good quality brush will keep its bristles and shape, which will reflect on the brush strokes.
How to paint a door
1) Use the screwdriver to unscrew the door handle, along with any locks and plates you may have. One thing is for sure, nothing looks worse than door locks and plates that have the marksmanship of an unsteady painter. Take every fitting off the door.
2) Use the paint scraper to thoroughly remove any flaking paint and rough surfaces.
3) If the door has any holes, fill them with the filler.
4) Once the filler has dried, clean the door thoroughly with sugar soap. The solution is alkaline, a dry powder, used for cleaning paintwork in preparation for repainting. An alternative to prepare paintwork for painting is to clean the painted surface with “household ammonia” or ammonium hydroxide.
5) Sand down the surface with sandpaper. Sandpaper creates an adhesive surface for the paint. If you fail to sand down the surface properly the paint is likely to flake off after a few months. If your door already has gloss paint, use medium grade sandpaper to flatten off the sheen.
6) Now is the time to start painting. The golden rule here is to always paint in the same direction as the grain.
7) Painting the door isn’t a competition. Paint slowly and refrain from using too much paint or it will flood in the grooves. The best way to avoid the pooling of the grooves is to use a light first coat and reapply a second moderate coat.
8.) After the first coat is dry, you’ll need fine sandpaper to down the surfaces again. Paint the second coat in the same way- follow the direction of the grain. A solvent-based gloss, satin or eggshell will be touch-dry in 8 hours, but wait about 16-24 hours before painting a second coat, just to be safe.
9) Congratulations, you’re all done!
If anyone else has any other tips, let me know! Big thanks to Robbie for the tips!