Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

A door is one of those things most people are uncomfortable doing. It is the end result people are not sure of. That is why a professional painter is hired: so that quality and expedience is maintained.

Painting or finishing a door requires several steps. And the steps are based on the specific type of door you want to finish.

Generally, there are two kinds of doors. Each has subtypes with a variation in the finishing methods.

Wood Doors: Flat, recessed panel, and louvered.

Finishing Methods:

1. Natural finish application done by staining, sealing and clear coating using a brush/roller combination, sponge and rag stain application or by spray finishing.

* Typical finish choice: Oil base stain, sealer and an acrylic or oil based varnish or polyurethane.

2. Paint finish application done by applying the appropriate primer/finish system using either a brush/roller combination or by spray finishing.

        * Typical finish choice: An enamel or a similar oil based product.

Metal Doors: Flat, louvered and rolling.

Finishing Methods:

1. Paint finish application done by applying appropriate primer if necessary and a finish paint recommended for type of metal door. The application may be done either with a brush/roller combination or by spray finishing.

        * Typical finish choice: An enamel, a similar oil base product or a urethane.

The painting process involves a set pattern which provides for a uniform finished surface upon completion.


Step 1: First use a brush to paint the edges of the door.

Step 2: Use a roller with a short nap, say ¼” or 3/8,” to evenly apply the paint from the bottom to the top of the door. Make sure the entire surface is covered.

Step 3: Use a dried roller to “lay off” paint to eliminate any roller track marks and to reduce the number of brush marks.


1. Test out your pattern on a bare wall or flat piece of wood.

2. Adjust spray gun settings to your liking.

3. Apply paint or finish evenly.

4. Allow for enough overlap between spray passes.


1. I recommend applying an initial thin tack coat.

2: Then, apply the final thickness. The resulting paint finish will be finer because of it.

Spray finishing achieves the highest quality finish available. Also, it is a superb time saver.


1. Cleaned and spray painted multiple overhead doors for large truck/trailer service center.

2. Sanded and painted over 800 paneled doors in hotel renovation project.

3. Brushed and roll-painted 65 sand finished metal doors requiring no pre-sanding.

4. Faux painted 13 wood doors to simulate gray rusted metal riveted doors.

5. Spray finished 27 wood louvered doors, upper half white, lower half black.

Wherever you are – and you’re a painter and decorator, a door is waiting nearby for your creative touch.

Look for: “Painting It: Door Projects” blog post.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


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