how to paint a front door without removing it

How to Paint a Metal Front Door Like a Pro

How to Paint a Metal Front Door Like a Pro

how to paint a metal front door

Painting a metal door is not only to beautify it but also to extend its durability and prevent it from rusting.

Instead of calling for professionals and spending more, why not do the painting yourself. Get the right materials and paint needed. Your paint should be of excellent quality because the quality of the paint you choose will also determine the outcome.

Here's a guide on how to paint your metal front door like a professional. First, let's look at the essential things to have in mind before painting a metal door.


Things to Consider Before Painting Your Front Door

  • When to paint

Just like other parts of the house, your front door needs proper maintenance. Give it a new and appealing look once in a while. But before you do, consider the weather condition. What is the forecast? Paint needs a lot of time to dry well, so paint on bright and sunny days. This is the most conducive time for painting.


  • Color of choice

Narrow down your choices to three colors. Then purchase a small portion of the colors to be very sure. Swatch the three colors on a surface side by side and watch as they change. Check out what the colors look like during the day and choose the best.


  • Type of paint

The type of paint suitable for a metal door is oil-based or water-based acrylic paint. Latex is most commonly used for painting metal doors. It is an easy-to-use water-based paint. You don't need to acquire a skill to apply it appropriately. Latex is suitable for both exterior and interior painting.


  • Required materials

Gather up everything you need. No material is too small or less important, so don't overlook any. Make sure you have all you need and prepare well before you begin.


Materials Needed When Painting a Metal Front Door

The following are the necessary tools to have in place before you begin painting.

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Sandpaper
  • Safety goggles
  • Painter's tape
  • Dust mask
  • Painting roller (trim size)
  • Primer
  • Latex paint
  • Paint tray
  • Paint stripper (if your metal door is cracking or peeling)


How to Paint

Step 1: Remove the door

Your first step is to detach the door from the entrance. Use a hammer or screwdriver to loosen the hinge pins. Then pull the door gently out of the frame.

Before you do this, make sure you can secure your home without a door. The metal door will take a while before it dries, so you should have an alternative. If you don't have another means of protecting your home, leave the door in place and paint it there. But you may not get the desired result.

Also, you don't need to remove the door completely if it is not peeling and cracking. In this case, your aim is just to give it a fresh coat. Sand it slightly, clean, and paint.


Step 2: Take out all hardware

how to paint a metal front door

Hardware includes doorknobs, strike plates, door knockers, and any other type of fitting you may have on the door. A screwdriver is most suitable for removing the hardware instead of an electric drill. An electric drill is faster but might damage the fitting. And you may have to replace it, thereby costing you extra money.

If you don't want to remove any of the hardware, cover it with painter's tape to prevent it from paint. It is recommended that you remove all for a better outcome as it is not easy to brush around these fittings. The weather-stripping should not be left out. Take out the weather-stripping as well and if you can't, cover it with tape.


Step 3: Remove old paint

how to paint a metal front door

Do this with a paint stripper if the paint is cracking and peeling. This move is essential so that you can achieve the desired outcome and avoid paint flakes. The cracking and peeling paint can make it difficult for the fresh coat to appear smooth.

Do not use abrasive materials on the metal; this can damage the metal.


Step 4: Tape areas you don't wish to paint

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Use a roll of painter's tape to cover the areas you don't wish to paint. Taping will help to give your clean edges. Curvy and long areas may be difficult to tape. But if you take your time and do it properly, your work will be easier and neater.



Step 5: Sand, wash, and clean

Now that you have fully taken out old paint and taped certain areas, the next step is to degrease the surface. You can use any mild cleaner to remove finger grease and grime. Dentures alcohol is an excellent example of a degreaser. Wipe the surface of the door with clean rag and dentures alcohol. This way, you are removing any fore of contamination. Leave the door for some time before you continue.

Then, sand the door to allow primer and paint to stick to the surface. At this point, wear safety gear to protect your eyes and nose from the dust.


Step 6: Fix dents and repair door and frame

There is a limit to what you can do at this stage, depending on the condition of the door. If the door is new or previously painted, don't overlook the dents. They become more evident after painting.

Here's the remedy for simple dents and scratches. Use auto body filler after sanding the door properly to help with adhesion. Follow the manufacturer's instruction and mix the body filler, then slightly over-fill the affected area. Allow the filler to dry for about 40 minutes and sand it to a level that is smooth on the door.

Use sandpaper to level the filler by removing most of the excessive filler with 100grit sandpaper. Then continue with 150grit sandpaper and finish with 220grit. Run your fingers on the repaired surface to check if all is now smooth.

Use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the dust. Do this thoroughly so that the dust doesn't get caught in the paint and affect the new look.


Step 7: Prime the surface

Use an oil-based primer and a small paint roller to do perfect priming on the door you wish to paint. Cover the door with two coats of primer to give it time to dry after each coat.

Your primer should be compatible with your choice of paint. This information is often written on the container, but ask the retailer if you need more clarifications.

Different products take different times to dry. It may take 1 to 3 hours for each coat to dry. Touch it lightly at intervals to check if it's dry. If you are painting both sides, do it one at a time. You have to carefully and patiently prime the door surface well.

Not all paints need a separate primer. If you’re using direct-to-metal paint, you don't need to apply a primer. Always read and follow the instructions on the products before using them.


Step 8: Paint

how to paint a metal front door

It is necessary to do a minimum of 2 coatings on the door. After the primer has dried completely, apply your first coat of paint with a small roller. Professional painting doesn't have brush stokes, so don't use a brush. It is recommended to paint in the morning or evening so that paint doesn't dry while you are still painting. Leave the door to dry for about 6 hours before adding the second coat.

Do some touch up if necessary to ensure that the paint is evenly spread on the door, then allow the finished door to dry for about 12 hours or longer. If you are painting two sides, work on one side at a time to avoid ruining wet paint.


Step 9: Replace hardware and hang the door

When you are sure that the paint is dry, remove tapes, and replace the hardware. Then rehang your beautiful front door back at the entrance.


Extra Tips

  • The color you choose is also a determinant of how long your paint will last. If you use a dark color, your paint is likely to fade faster
  • Try not to expose your finished metal door to sunlight. Metal doors become hot and fade out when frequently exposed to direct sunlight
  • Top-quality exterior acrylic paints are more resistant to sunlight than traditional oil-based paints


Wrap Up

Follow these instructions squarely, and the result will be so perfect that your family and friends will wish to contact the professional in charge. A properly painted and maintained metal door will not require another painting for up to eight years.

The rules are simple; remove the door and hardware, take out old paint and mask up areas you don't wish to paint, sand the surface, fix dents and scratches, prime, and paint. Do it like a pro!


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