Tips for painting doors like a pro

August 04, 2022

Tips for painting doors like a pro

Tips for painting doors like a pro

Painting doors is a tricky job, even for professional painters. Doors are usually painted with glossy paint, so the finish needs to be very smooth or it will ruin the final look. Taubmans make it easy for paint selection for doors and trim with its wide range of paint finishes and sheen levels.

You can group door painters into two main types: the brush lovers and the roller riders. Each type has their preferences based on speed, finish and habit. We like to get the best of both worlds and share tips to help you do the best door painting job, whether you’re a brush person or a roller person.

Why use the brush?

The brushes have traditionally been a faithful companion of painters since forever. Most painters will tell you they personally like working with a brush; however, time is of the essence, and painting your door with a brush usually takes much longer. However, brush aficionados swear by the results. When painting with a brush, make sure to buy a good quality brush of the size you feel most comfortable with when painting.

Why use the roller?

Rollers are the new BFF of the painters, competing with the brush for the top spot in the home painting toolbox. Rollers are much quicker and evenly coat the surface with minimal effort. They can also leave a stipple finish on the door, and some people might not want a stipple finish. If you are one of those, you may want to go for the brush. Using the roller, you can get the job done in a third of the time you would spend painting with a brush. The latest innovation in roller cover sleeves means it is now easier to apply the paint and end up with an even and consistent finish. If you plan to use a roller to apply the paint on the broad flat surface of the door, we recommend buying a Microfibre Roller Sleeve, generally with a pile length of 4 - 10mm. 

Insider tips from the pros

  • When painting a new door, refer to the door manufacturer's warranty before buying your paint. They may have caveats around dark colours with an LRV less than 50 — this may void the warranty on the door as it could cause warping, especially when painting the front door. 
  • If you are painting a new door, still follow the usual surface preparation and give the door a light sand and dust off prior to painting to remove any surface imperfections or containments.
  • Painting an old door? Give the door an extra good sand to remove any runs and ensure the new paint sticks to the surface. Use a suitable wood filler to fill up any cracks, dents or holes.
  • Always remove the door fixtures such as the lock or tape them up to ensure you don't get paint on them. Also, have a drop cloth on the floor to prevent the paint from splattering on the floor. If you are taping up the fixtures, be sure not to leave the tape on for long after the paint has dried.
  • When painting the edge of the door always make sure you don’t overload the area with paint as this may cause the paint to run on the edges. Heavy edges will cause friction with the door frame or the other door if you have a double-door entrance. Always make sure you leave the door open until the paint has dried, as per the manufacturer's recommendation.
  • The new Low VOC paints dry quickly, making it easy to paint a door and the door is back in use quickly. Check out Taubmans Doors and Trims paints for a range of low VOC, anti-microbial, washable and durable options available in 1000′s of colours. Have you chosen a colour yet? Check out the 15 Favourite Front door colours article for inspiration. Alternatively, visualise the colours on your door using the free Taubmans Colour Visualiser Tool.
  • Paint in sections. Start with the rails, then paint the panels, and then move on to the other styling elements. With Panel doors its common to have little runs at the bottom of the panel recess; just keep an eye on that as you may need to tidy up those runs before the door dries completely. You can generally tidy these runs up by wiping the run with a dry brush.
  • There's a reason you're meant to let paint dry for 6 hours between coats. It might feel dry to the touch, but it won't have cured as intended. Make sure you let it breathe and give it the full drying time for a longer-lasting finish.
  • Three coats of paint also help protect the underlying material — slowing deterioration and increasing the life span of your door. 
  • Want to know what sets apart a professional job from an amateur job? Remembering to paint the top and bottom edges of the door!
  • Using both a brush and a roller gives you the best of both worlds. Use a roller for the first two passes to make it quick and finish it off with a brush for a smooth, professional look. 

One last tip

Place your paint tray on a table so you don't have a sore back from bending all the time to load your brushes or rollers. Also, sit on a small step stool when painting the lower parts of the door. It will save you a trip to the chiropractor.