How to Paint a Front Door – Top Tips to Revive Your Old Door

November 26, 2020

Learning how to paint a front door can give the exterior of your home a much-needed boost. Believe it or not, it can even increase the resale value of your home. So, if your front door is looking a little bit boring, keep reading to find out how you can revive it.

We’ll show you how to paint a front door that’s made of metal or wood, and which colours you should choose. This guide will take you through the whole process, from prepping and priming to the right painting techniques, so that you can get great results.

Ready to start planning your budget for your painting project? Check out our exterior painting price guide for complete information on all the factors that influence painting costs!

How to Paint a Front Door Made of Wood

Step 1. Work Under the Right Conditions

With any external painting project, painting in the right weather conditions is essential. So, make sure before you begin that there won’t be any extreme temperatures while you are painting.

Drying is also an essential part of the painting process. Don’t forget to factor this in, and allow at least 24 hours of stable weather. Sun, wind, and rain all affect the colour and texture of the paint. Make sure that you always paint in shady conditions.

Step 2. Deal with Your Hardware

Hardware such a letterboxes and door handles can impede the painting process. So, instead of awkwardly painting around them, if possible it’s a good idea to remove them before you begin. Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the screws and slide the hardware away from the door.

However, understandably this isn’t always possible. If you can’t remove the hardware from your front door, there is another way. Alternatively, you can instead use painters tape over the hardware. This should protect it from paint splashes.

Painting your front door

Step 3. Strip Any Old Paint from the Door

Just with any painting project, the amount of time you dedicate to preparing your front door will determine your results.

Start by accessing the door. Are you working with wood or metal? Is the old paint peeling off? If the door is in a bad state, you might need to use a paint stripper and wire scouring pad to remove the old paint.

Paint stripper tends to be very abrasive, so always handle it carefully. You should wear rubber gloves and a face mask. Also, if you have taken the door off its hinges to paint it inside, always make sure that you are woking in a well-ventilated area. Preferably, it’s best to do this step outside.

If the paint on your front door is in relatively good shape, you can skip this step. However, you will definitely need to do the next priming steps, even if the door is in good condition.

Painter and Decorator Price Guide

Thousands of people ask Bidvine for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.
Price Range

Step 4. Sand down the Door

If your front door is made of wood, you will definitely need to sand it before you can begin painting. Sanding down the front door will leave you with a smooth surface that can be easily painted later on.

Initially, you might want to begin by using an electric sander. An electrical sander will significantly speed up the sanding process, and it will save you a lot of hard work. Instead of buying a brand new sander, if you are on a budget you can rent one by the day.

Once the bulk of the door has been sanded, you should go over any intricate areas with a sanding sponge. Using a sanding sponge will allow you to sand down any ridges and grooves in the door that are otherwise tricky to reach.

You should always use a fine sandpaper for this type of job. A 220 grit sandpaper is ideal. As always, it is better to sand slowly and lightly when you begin. This will prevent you from damaging the wood.

Step 5. Clean the Door Thoroughly

Before you begin to paint your front, you need to make sure that it is totally clean. This is the easiest and quickest way to make sure that the paint sticks to the surface. Front doors are exposed to the elements, therefore, they will need to be properly cleaned before you can start painting.

To clean a wood surface, TSP works brilliantly. In order to prepare TSP, you will need to dilute it, usually 1/4 of a cup per gallon of water. Apply the solution using a sponge. Give it time to properly sink into the surface.

You should rinse off the surface with clean water afterwards. Allow your front door to air dry before you move onto the next step.

TSP is a strong cleaning solution. As with the paint stripper, make sure that you are protected by wearing full safety gear at all times. You can find further instructions for using TSP safely in our painting kitchen cupboards guide.

Prime your door before painting with a cloth

Step 6. Apply an Appropriate Primer

Properly priming your door is incredibly important if you want your front door to last a long time. Choosing a high-quality primer will protect your door and it will form a hardwearing barrier.

You can buy a decent wood primer at any local D.I.Y. store. Make sure that you choose a primer that is suitable for external use. To apply the primer, you will need to use a paint roller for the main sections. In the panels and corners, an angular sash brush will allow you to reach the tight corners.

Two coats of primer should give you a great result. If you sand the door in between each coat of primer, your surface will be very smooth. This will allow you to apply the top coats with ease. As always, it’s important that you leave enough time for the primer to dry before you continue painting.

Door With Primer

Step 7. Apply Your Top Coats

Once your primer has completely dried, you can finally start to apply your top coats. If you are unsure about what colour to paint your door, scroll down and read the ‘Choosing your front door paint colour’ section.

You should apply your paint in the same way that you applied your primer. Make sure that you don’t apply too much paint at once, otherwise, your paint will start to run. You should take a clean angular sash brush and a clean paint roller for the top coats.

If you are worried about your paint looking streaky, you should apply a couple of coats of paint. This will give you a solid, even colour across your front door.

Roller Brush

How to Paint a Front Door Made of Metal

Perhaps surprisingly, there isn’t much difference between how you need to treat and paint wood and metal doors. The preparation, priming, and painting steps are all largely the same.

However, one important aspect of treating a metal front door is filling and smoothing dents and scratches. First of all, sand the damaged part of the surface using a rough sandpaper. Anything around 60 grit will work well.

Use an appropriate filler to repair the damage. Smooth the filler over with a putty knife. Once the filler has dried, you will need to sand the area again. Leave it to dry fully before attempting to paint or sand the door again.

You should also carefully consider what type of paint you use on a metal front door. A high-quality acrylic paint is one of the best options around for this particular D.I.Y. project. It tends to be longer lasting than oil paint. If the door was already painted with an oil based paint, make sure you add a primer before using an acrylic paint.

Painter and Decorators near you
Thousands of people across the U.K. ask Bidvine for help with their projects every year. Tell us what you need so we can bring you the right local professionals for your project.

How to paint a front door

How to Paint a Front Door Panel

Many front doors have panels. They can be a bit of a pain to paint around. However, there are a few handy tips and tricks that you can use to work on the panels.

First of all, you should paint the panels first. An angular sash brush will allow you to apply the paint the tight corners of the panels. Be careful not to load your brush with too much paint, otherwise, you are likely to see drips forming on your door. Lightly coat the panels at first. You can always go over it with another coat later on.

Always go from top to bottom when you are painting panels. Focus on the corners and perimeters first. Then you can start to fill in the flat parts of the panels with your brush.

Choose a colour for your front door

Choosing Your Front Door Paint Colour

Front doors often attract bright and bold colours. Creating a bright front door is an easy way to inject some colour into your home, without risking it on your interior walls.

So, what colour should you paint your front door? Studies have shown that green is seen as one of the most inviting and welcoming colours, and therefore it is a perfect shade for your front door. Yellow is also a great choice, as homes with a yellow front door sell more quickly.

Essentially, a bright front door can give your home a significant boost. So don’t be afraid to go for a bold colour choice with your front door.

Ready to begin your painting project? Easily get your painting and decorating started with a top exterior painter!

Featured Image Credit

Related Articles
Painting New Plaster - Everything You Need to Know
Painting new plaster is often a key step to transforming the walls and ceilings in your home. Creating smooth, freshly painted walls and ceilings is an easy and cost-effective way of giving your home a makeover. However, there is a lot of conflicting advice online on what the best methods and practices for painting new plaster are.

There are so many things that you need to consider before painting new plaster. Should you seal your fresh plaster with PVA? What type of paint should you use on new plaster? Should you treat skimmed plaster differently to a surface that has been fully plastered? In this article, we will answer all of those questions and more. We will take you through every aspect of plastering and painting so that you can confidently redecorate your home.

How Long Does It Take for the Plaster to Set?

The length of time it takes for the plaster to set will entirely depend on the type of plaster that you use. Below, we have a list of common types of plaster, what you can use them for, and how long you will have to wait for it to set. Once the plaster has set, you should still make sure that you wait for it to totally dry before attempting to paint it.

Setting Time
BrowningBasecoat for walls, brickwork, blockwork, breeze block, plasterboard 2 hours
BondingBasecoat for walls, brickwork, blockwork, breeze block2 hours
Multi-FinishTopcoat for browning and bonding1-1.5 hours
Board FinishTopcoat for plasterboard1-1.5 hours
One CoatSmall DIY jobs2-2.5 hours

How Long Should You Wait Before Painting New Plaster?

One of the most common questions that arise about plastering and painting is how long you have to wait before painting new plaster. Above all, recently plastered walls should be left to dry thoroughly before any painting begins. The time you should wait before painting new plaster depends on several factors. Firstly, have you used plasterboard, or backing plaster?

Plasterboard takes on average 2-3 days to dry when plastered, whereas backing plaster takes 4-6 days.

No matter what material you have used, it is advisable to wait at least a week before painting new plaster. Sometimes it may even take up to a month for the fresh plaster to be completely dry. You should ensure that there are no dark patches on your freshly plastered surface before you attempt to paint it. Uniform light colour is a key sign that your plaster has dried thoroughly. We have included images below of to show you what the drying process looks like so that you will know what to look out for. Even if your plaster is only showing a couple of small, dark patches, you should only start painting when they disappear.

But… Isn’t a Week a Long Time to Wait?

A week may seem like a long time to wait, and it’s understandable that you may get frustrated with the delay. But, if you want to achieve the perfect finish, the wait time will be worth it. The time fresh plaster takes to completely dry will differ in every case. Factors such as the time of year, central heating, and how many layers of plaster there are will affect the time that it takes.

You should make sure that the room that has been plastered is well ventilated. Opening windows and doors to let natural ventilation flow through the room will gently dry your new plaster. This will also help you to avoid the risks associated with rapidly drying new plaster, such as cracking.


Dry-Plaster-1 more
10 Inspiring Hallway Paint Ideas That Will Elevate Your Home

The first area anyone sees when they enter your home is the hallway, so it’s important to get your hallway paint colour right. It sets the tone for your decorating style! It also gives people an impression of your home as a whole. 

The right decisions can make your home seem welcoming, fresh, and trendy. A coat of paint is a cost-effective and simple way to update your look. Plus, a good hallway design complements the rest of your home. 

We’ve collected 10 of the most inspiring hallway paint ideas to help you get started with your transformation. So read on to find the idea that sounds great for your space!

Already have an idea in mind for your interior painting project? Get free painting costs from a top interior painter and start planning out your project today!


10 Inspiring Hallway Paint Ideas

10 Inspiring Hallway Paint Ideas

1. Make It Inviting

With the right paint colour, your hallway can be the perfect welcome to you after a long day. Indulge in a colour for all seasons so this space will be inviting throughout the year. A pale or buttery yellow can be just the thing to see when you walk in the door.

Yellow Hallway Paint

Pastel shades of yellow can also brighten any hallway, creating a more spacious look by allowing natural light to reflect easily off of the walls.


2. Bright and Bold

If you love a bold look then, you may want your hallway to reflect your warm and inviting personality. Choosing a bright shade of red, green, or blue is the perfect way to add a bright modern burst of colour to your hall.

Bold Paint Colours

Energetic and fun these colours will make anyone happy to come over for a visit. It also creates a fun statement an adds a bold stylish look to your home. more
Removing Paint From Plaster in 7 Simple Steps

Are you updating one or more of the rooms in your home? Is it time for a new coat of paint? It’s always exciting to pick a new colour for your room, but it’s vital to prep your walls before you start to paint so that everything looks superb! 

If your current paint is in good condition, and it is lighter than the colour you want to paint your walls, you might be lucky and be able to paint over the existing paint. Check the walls for chips, cracks, or bubbles to decide whether you do need to remove the paint from the plaster. 

More often than not, the existing paint will need stripping from the walls, either because it is in poor condition, or it is too dark to paint over. This blog post is the ultimate guide for removing the existing paint from the plaster on your walls. more

Why Bidvine is the best place to hire experts

Answer a few questions and we match you to the right pros.

Get custom bids from pros who match your needs.

Compare bids, send messages and hire the right pro for you.