SELECTING & APPLYING PAINT FOR A FRONT DOOR
If your trying to decide on paint for a front door or any other exterior door for that matter then this the page for you
Below you will find how to application advice along with information regarding the best type of product to use for the kind of door being coated.
A little help with choosing a front door color can also be found at the bottem of the page.
Prior to doing any paint project be sure to check with your local paint supplier regarding products, tools and paint for your specific type of front door.
Front doors can be made from an assortment of materials including wood, metal or fiberglass.
SELECTING & APPLYING
PAINT FOR A FRONT DOOR
Before selecting paint for a front door you may need to apply primer or sealer to it. Primers and sealers are used if the door is raw and has never been painted before, or if the door has marks that will bleed through the top coat (ink, grease, etc). Primers can also be used as a bridge between an alkyd or oil based product and latex paint to help the latex stick better. Your paint dealer will be able to help you select the best products to use for the job at hand.
COATINGS TO USE
If you don't want to apply paint for a front door or any other exterior door for that matter and the door is raw uncoated wood, it can be can be stained with an exterior solid or semi-transparent stain. Clear coats can (if you want) then be applied over your stain. When clear coating, use the best product that you can buy.
Most other type doors, whether they are made from metal, vinyl, or manufactured woods need to be coated using products recommended specifically for the type of material being primed, stained or painted, ask your local paint dealer for assistance regarding selecting paint for a front door, tools and materials.
Alkyds (oil based products) do have some advantages, durability is one and the way alkyd flows over a surface with few brush or roller marks is another. If your door has been coated using an alkyd, it might be a good idea to stick with the same type of product when recoating.
Disadvantages with alkyds are the smell, long drying times, and of course clean up is a little more intensive than with a latex product when puting on paint for a front door.
In most cases an exterior latex will work well when deciding on paint for a front door, even if the door has been coated using an alkyd (oil) based product in the past. Just be sure to prep the door and frame properly and sand glossy areas if needed, then use a high quality exterior latex product designated to go over dried alkyd or oil coatings.
CHOOSING A PAINT SHEEN
Doors and jams are considered to be high traffic areas, so semi gloss in most cases is the best sheen to apply to your exterior entrance ways.
Some people prefer a glossier paint, as the higher shine of gloss coatings will make the paint's finish a little more durable and with that durability comes ease of cleaning when the coating for a front door becomes dirty. Do keep in mind though that when it comes to a high gloss finish, they tend to enhances all the imperfections that your doors and jambs may have (cracks, bumps, dents etc.) making it the least appealing sheen to appreciate without the use of a good pair of sunglasses.
Semi gloss gives you the shine level you need for both durability and ease of cleaning, yet isn't overly glossy or hard to look at. Semi gloss can also add contrast to a homes paint scheme, especially when the paint for a front door and it's trim are done in a semi gloss application and the siding of the house has a, satin, eggshell or flat finish.
DOOR COLOR SELECTION
When selecting paint for a front door or other exterior passage ways (and trim) you should choose a color that enhances, compliments and accents the siding of your home. The absolute best way to pick colors for the exterior of a home is to drive around neighborhood streets looking at each houses color scheme, find one you like, then use it on your own home.
Another good color selecting idea is to pick up a few of the paint stores exterior color suggestion pamphlets. All the good stores carry such pamphlets and they will usually show you a group of three or more colors that work well together to accentuate the trim and focal points of the outside of your home.
When buying paint for a front door and you need to select colors, keep in mind that the lighter a color is the longer it will last. With that said, the trim on my own home is a dark burgundy, I may have to repaint a little sooner than if it where white but I like the uniqueness that the darker color gives and it compliments the two taupe’s that my siding, trim and doors have painted on them.
DECORATIVE DOOR DESIGNS
To add a little pizzazz to your entryways, you might want to consider spicing up your exterior doors. The following are a few ideas that may help.
- APPLY A WALL DECORATING TECHNIQUE
- FAUX THE DOOR
- PAINT THE DOOR AS A FLAG (USA, CAN, AUS etc.)
- PAINT THE DOOR WITH A CARTOON CHARACTERS
- PAINT SHAPES ON THE DOOR (STRIPES, STARS, TRIANGLES etc.)
- PAINT RAISED INSERT A DIFFERENT COLOR THAN THE DOOR
- PAINT, CHANGE OR ADD MOLDING.
- PAINT OR ADD A WINDOW/SIDE LIGHT TO THE DOOR
- CHANGE OR ADD DOOR HARDWARE (KNOB, NAME PLATE etc.)
A good sales representative from your local home improvement center or hardware store will give you advice and help you choose paint for a front door along with, tools, materials and products for doing any of the ideas suggested above.
HOW TO PAINT EXTERIOR DOORS
PREPPING TO PAINT EXTERIOR DOORS
Protect areas that you don't want to see paint on, by using drop clothes, painters tape, plastic, cardboard or paper.
Stir your coating thoroughly ( re-stir as needed) then have your brush, cut can, filed tray and roller/cover/ along with a roller extension ready to go.
I have found that when I apply paint for a front door or other type exterior door (unless it's the flat panel type), a speed roller works best, as I can paint an entire door and only use the brush on the frame. Speed rollers take some practice, so you might want to stick with a regular 6" low nap roller and 2 1/2" sash brush.
COATING EXTERIOR DOORS
- First, use the brush and cut can to cut in the door frame. Try not to put excess amount of coating on the brush to start, you can make the brush wetter (but not to wet) as you get use to what your doing. Also, don't forget your door more than likely has a weather striping in the frame either remove it (as long as you know what your doing) or cover the striping using painters tape.
Weather striping that has dried paint on it, can be touched up by using exterior paint over the dried paint. I use the kind you buy in craft stores, the kind one would apply to a clay flower pot, it's cheep and works great, just try and get the same color and sheen as the weather striping (e.g. flat snow white, or flat charcoal black).
- Now that the frame is done, cut in any inserts that may be in the door. Inserts are the decorative squares or rectangles that are pressed into the door by the door manufacturer. With the inserts brushed, begin rolling the door from top to bottom, move the roller over and roll from top to bottom again overlapping each roller strip of coating with the last by an inch or so, keep doing this until the door is completely coated.
When applying paint to a front door and your using a small roller or speed roller, you might want to brush the inserts, then roll each individual higher part of the door. What I mean by that is, treat the door like each box or long rectangle that the door is divided into (stamped in by the manufacturer)is an individual piece and just roll that piece. With one section or piece coated, move onto the next. If you do roll the door in this manner, be sure to use a pattern or consistency to the rolling. An example would be to paint the middle boxes then the horizontal lines then lastly your do any vertical painting that may be left.
You don’t want the roller to cause paint ridges, so keep the roller flat and flush with the doors surface.
- Let your coating dry then apply a second coat.
CHOOSING A PAINT COLOR FOR A FRONT DOOR
If your going to coat a lot of doors in one color, you might want to try spraying them, just make sure your familiar with paint sprayer operations, masking and clean up.
For those who are interested in a tool to help narrow down your color choices, Yelna Kublitski who is a fellow painting contractor offers just the thing. She calls it Paint Color Cheat Sheets and it's basically an easy to use set of guides for color selection. The guide is built around Sherwin Williams colors but all the colors can be matched by vertually any paint manufacturer. One of the bonuses she offers is some how to help with choosing a front door color.
Yelnas Website! gives you loads of information on the product if your interested. Cheat Sheets is very good value costing about the same price as a gallon of paint. Yelna also gives a 100% money back guarantee if for some reason your not happy with your purchase.
If your not comfortable rolling on paint for a front door with a roller, then sticking strictly with a brush will work just fine. With that said, when brushing, try to eliminate any paint ridges (brush marks) that occur when you might have a little to much coating product on the brush.
So that the doors edges get painted, you may need a second pair of hands to hold the door when your brushing and rolling it.
Clear coats and semi-transparent stains work best when applied using a brush (or paint sprayer) as oppose to a roller.
When applying paint for a front door or any other door and your using two or more colors, plan out the process your going to use along with remembering to layer each coating. As an example, paint on the main color, let it dry, then apply the second coat. Once the second coat of the main color is dry and it looks good, throw on some painters tape (I like the blue stuff) in the design your using, then paint your next color and design, let it dry, apply the second coat, then move onto the next design, shape or color etc,.
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