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Proper Painting Techniques for a Front Door

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By : Jilda Peterson    99 or more times read
When you see a beautiful front door, it has very likely been properly painted, and by following just a few basic steps, you can paint your own front door, the right way.

Remove – If you open your front door, you can see where the hinges are screwed into the framework of the door. Have a helper hold the door, and with a hammer and screwdriver remove the pins from the hinges. Now you can carry the door to a flat work area, such as a pair of saw horses, in a well ventilated area.

Preparation – Continue by removing all of the hardware from your door. If you have any areas of the door that you do not want to paint, such as glass inlays, make sure to mask off those areas with newspaper and painter's tape. Now wash the door with a gentle detergent solution, rinse and let completely dry.

Stripping – It is important to remove all old paint, because it can interfere with your new paint's ability to adhere to the door. You want to make sure that you have a smooth, solid surface for your primer and paint. To strip old paint from your door, you can use a chemical stripper; work in a very well ventilated area and wear rubber gloves to protect your skin. You can also find paint stripper that is a little more eco-friendly and does not contain solvents. However, you still protect your eyes, skin and lungs.

Make sure to carefully follow the manufacturer's directions for use as you apply the paint stripper to the door. In most cases, you will brush on the solution and let it dissolve the paint for a recommended period of time. Then, with a putty knife, you can begin scraping away the paint. Use your tools carefully so as to avoid damaging the surface of the door, and you should have a tarp under your work area so that you can neatly dispose of your discarded paint debris.

To remove the finer layers of your paint, use water or mineral spirits and rub with a fine grade of steel wool. This will let you get the paint out of even the smallest little crevices. After removing the paint, let the door completely dry, and then you can begin sanding it. Start with a coarse grade of sandpaper, and work down to a finer grade. Use a tack cloth to wipe away any sawdust, and when your surface is smooth and clean, it is ready to paint.

Priming and Painting – Begin your painting with a good quality, oil based primer, and make sure that the primer completely dries before continuing on with your first coat of paint. Since this is your front door, you want the paint to hold up to the elements and repeated wear, so it is best to use a glossy finish, oil base paint to do the job. Then cut in the edges with a paint brush and follow up with a paint roller for the larger surface areas. Use a good quality paintbrush and roller so that you do not leave brush and roller marks behind.

Rehang – After your paint is completely dry, you can reattach all of the hardware to your door, remove the masking tape and re-hang the perfectly painted door.
Senior staff writer Jilda Peterson of, writes “How To” articles on decorating with metal tree wall sculpture and tree of life metal wall sculpture.

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