Painting a Front Entry Door: Project Photos

 Painting a Front Entry Door: Project Photos

On most homes, the front entry door has double visual importance. First, it is a focal point when you see the home from a distance. Additionally, it is the opening that admits guests who come to visit. This two-fold importance makes your entry door especially significant when it comes to exterior painting.

That said, the paint on your entry door does not just serve an aesthetic function; it also protects your door against the elements that would otherwise degrade it!

Let's take a look at the process involved in painting a front entry door so that it will look fantastic and last a long time.

Front Door Painting, Step 1: Remove the Hardware

The best way to get unobstructed access to every surface of a door is to take it off the hinges and lay it flat. Sawhorses or a utility table are a great place to set it down. Next, remove all hardware, including the door knob, deadbolt, and the door knocker (if there is one).

If you are not able to remove any of these items, the door can still be painted, but it becomes more difficult. You need to use painter's tape to precisely mask off anything you don't want to get paint on, and you will need to keep the door open throughout the painting process.

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

For a door that has been previously painted, you need to start by washing it well. If the prior paint is still in good shape, that should be all the preparation you need. However, if there are any areas where the paint is chipping, peeling, cracking, or otherwise damaged, this will need to be addressed. Scrape off any loose or peeling paint, and if there are any gouges or deep scratches, fill them in with wood putty. Let it dry, and sand the area smooth.

In the case of a stained door, it is important to sand the protective coating to remove any glossiness, so that the new paint will stick.

In both situations (stained or painted door), you will want to apply a primer if any of the following is true:

  • There is any bare wood or bare metal
  • You have patched or repaired any area with wood putty or glue
  • You are making a significant change in color
  • You are transitioning from a stained door to a painted door

Finally, if you have a metal door that has never been painted, you should again begin by cleaning it. Next, use Rust-Oleum primer or a similar product if there is anywhere that rust seems to be present.

Step 3: Apply the Paint

There are a couple different methods for putting the new paint on your front entry door. Let's discuss them each a little bit.

Hand Brushing: The most traditional method for painting your entry door is with a paint brush. The two main tricks to making sure this turns out well are first, to make sure you don't leave any puddles, runs, or drips, and second, to always follow the grain of the wood.

The advantage to hand brushing is that it proves a more classic look, harkening back to the days when craftsmen did everything by hand. When it is done well, many homeowners prefer this look.

Brush and Roll: Another way to paint a front door is by using a paint brush to get into all the grooves and contours, and then use a small, smooth paint roller to get all the flat areas.

The brush and roll method can go a little quicker, and it provides a finished look that is more similar to what comes out of a factory, lacking brush strokes and texture.

Spraying: If you have access to a paint gun for spraying, this method gives the smoothest, most "factory finished" appearance. The paint spreads evenly into every groove and onto every surface, leaving no discernable texture.

The downside to spraying is that you need to buy, rent, or borrow the equipment, and you need the technical expertise to know how to use it well.

Step 4: Voila!

Once your paint has dried and cured, you are ready to put the door back in place and admire the work! If your previous hinges and hardware are outdated, this would be a great time to replace them with something new. Now, step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Williams Professional Painting

For homeowners in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas of Maryland and northern Virginia, the company you can trust is Williams Professional Painting. We are ready to serve you, no matter what kind of painting project you have in mind:

For a free estimate for your next painting project, use our online estimate request form, or call our office today. We look forward to meeting you!

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