Painting an exterior door

Kevin Schaben

How to Paint an Exterior Door

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Painting an exterior door is a 1 day project. It is an easy way to freshen up the outside of your home. It only takes a little preparation with a few easy steps to paint an exterior door.


  1. Choose the type of paint for your exterior door. Acrylic latex paint is the best choice for painting most exterior doors. It will cover most types of old paint that may have been applied. If you are painting the door for the first time, you could also use oil-based paint.
  2. Decide on a color of paint for your door. You can always paint it the same color as before. This assures good coverage. It is sometimes fun to change up the color of your exterior doors to add variety to your decor.
  3. Purchase a primer. Using a primer will give the new paint something to adhere to. Priming usually gives better results than choosing not to prime.
  4. Remove the door from the hinges. Use a nail to carefully tap the pin from each hinge.
  5. Place the door on 2 saw horses or a bench. Check to be sure the saw horses are in an area that will not be harmed by dripping paint. If you are inside a building, you may want to put down a paint cloth.
  6. Remove any hardware from the door. Be careful to keep up with any small pieces and where they go back when finished.
  7. Sand the door to prepare it for painting. Scrape away any thick paint or flaking paint before sanding. Use a cloth to remove particles left over from sanding. You can clean the door well with mineral spirits.
  8. Cover any glass or other non-removable items on the door with painter’s tape and newspaper.
  9. Stir the paint in the can with a paint stick to thoroughly mix the paint. Dip the brush into the paint and wipe any extra off on the inside edge of the paint can. If using a primer, stir it the same way and apply it before the paint.
  10. Paint the edges of the door first. Next, paint all the panels that are part of the door. A good technique is to then paint from the top of the door to the bottom.
  11. Go over the painted surface lightly with the paint brush. Do this after you paint each section to remove any brush marks.
  12. Replace hardware when the paint is dry and rehang the door on its hinges.


  • Avoid painting the door on a day when temperatures are below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). Also, avoid painting exterior doors on a day when the humidity is high.
  • If you are painting the door inside a workroom, be sure you have proper ventilation for painting.
  • Make sure the door has several hours to dry before hanging. Paint pulling away at this point is very difficult to correct.

Things You’ll Need

  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Saw horses
  • Paint Brush
  • Mineral spirits
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint stick
  • Hammer and nail
  • Soft cloth
  • Painter’s tape and newspaper

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Paint an Exterior Door. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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