Giving an interior door a fresh coat of paint can freshen up your home and add curb appeal. Making sure you know what to do and have what you need to get the job done right can make the process easier. At Jaeger Lumber, we offer a full line of Valspar interior and exterior paints and primers that can keep your home looking its best. Our New Jersey home improvement professionals provide some tips for what you need to know when painting an exterior door.

Check the Type of Paint on Your Exterior Door

Before you get started, it’s vital to check the existing paint on your door to see if it is oil or latex based. Using latex paint on top of oil without proper primer will cause the paint to flake and chip, which means you’ll need to do it all over again. Determining what type of paint is on your exterior door is easy – dip a cotton ball in some rubbing alcohol or acetone and rub it on the door. If the paint comes off, it’s latex. If not, it is oil-based.

Choose Paint

Acrylic latex exterior paint is great for exterior doors because it’s durable and easy to clean. It works well for wood, steel, and fiberglass doors. You can also buy latex exterior paint that includes primer, eliminating the need to apply a separate coat of primer before painting.

Oil-based exterior paint is also durable and resistant to moisture and chipping. If the existing paint on your door is oil-based, it’s easiest to use the same thing for your new coat of paint. Otherwise, you’ll have to de-gloss the surface or apply a special primer to put latex paint over it. Oil-based paints work well for wood or steel, but if your exterior door is fiberglass, use acrylic latex paint.

Select a Color and Finish

Choosing a color for your exterior door is exciting but can also be overwhelming. Select a few paint samples and tape them to your front door to decide which ones you like best. Keep in mind that colors look different as the lighting changes, so you may want to check them out at various times during the day. High gloss or semi-gloss finishes are best for exterior doors. These eye-catching finishes make your door pop and stand up better to scratches and scrapes than eggshell or matte finishes. For a single exterior door, you’ll need about one quart of primer and one quart of paint, unless you choose to use a paint that already has primer in it.

Gather Materials and Prep Your Door

It’s important to check the weather before starting your painting project. The best time to paint an exterior door is on a dry, temperate day. If it’s cold outside, you can remove the door and paint it inside, but this means you won’t have an exterior door until the paint is fully dry. In addition to paint and primer, you’ll need:

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Paint brush and roller
  • Paint tray
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth

You can leave the door in place or remove it to paint it. If you have a storm door, you’ll want to remove the door you’re painting. Remove all hardware from the door and put painter’s tape around the edges and any peepholes or panes of glass. Clean the door with a damp rag and then sand it to roughen the surface and remove any imperfections. If necessary, scrape off chipped paint before sanding. If there are multiple coats of paint and the door is extremely beat up or warped, you may want to consider purchasing a new door.

Paint Your Exterior Door

Unless you’re using paint that has primer in it, start by applying exterior primer to the door. You can use a roller and paintbrush to do detail work around any panes of glass or hard-to-reach spots. Let the primer dry fully. When you’re ready to apply your paint, use a low-nap roller or paintbrush. Doing the entire door with a paintbrush will give it a hand-painted look, while a roller will produce a smoother finish. You may also want to consider cleaning and painting the molding or trim around the door to completely freshen up your entryway. When the paint is fully dry, reinstall the hardware, hang the door if you’ve taken it off the hinges, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done!

Contact Us to Learn More About Exterior Doors

Jaeger Lumber offers quality exterior doors from the most respected brands in the business. Since 1937, our dedicated team has provided quality materials and top-notch services to builders, contractors, and homeowners throughout New Jersey. To learn more about exterior doors and other products we offer, contact us today. We’re ready to serve you at any of our eight convenient locations in New Jersey.

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