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How to paint doors and door frames

How to paint doors and door frames
Update the colour of your internal doors or simply touch up wear and tear with our easy guide to door painting.

Painting tools and materials

  • Suitable paintbrushes; perhaps cutting-in brush, paint shield.
  • Masking tape; wire wool; white spirit; knotting; primer; undercoat; topcoat.

Before you start painting

Take off any door furniture, put down a dust sheet and hold the door open with a wedge on either side. It's a good idea to keep the door handle near by in case the door closes.

Panelled doors

Paint the sections of the door separately as each section may a have a different grain pattern. Use a brush of a suitable size to paint each part—use a smaller one for the mouldings than for the panels, for instance.
Do not overload the mouldings with paint; this is a common cause of drips and runs. Keep the brush lightly loaded.

Glass panelled doors

Use a paint shield, an angled cutting-in brush or masking tape to keep paint off the glass. Whichever you use, allow paint to go on to about 2mm of the glass to seal where the glass and frames meet.
Paint the rest of the door with a broader brush—about 75mm wide. To avoid drips, do not overload the brush with paint.
If gloss paint gets on the glass, remove it with a rag damped with white spirit before it dries. If paint dries on the glass, scrape it off with a glass scraping tool.

Glass doors

Paint the moulding around the glass before the remainder of the door.

Using two colours

1. If the door is painted a different colour on each side, paint the lock edge the same colour as the side of the door that opens into the room.
2. Paint the hinge edge of the door so that it is the same colour as the adjacent, visible face of the door.
3. In general, you don't have to paint the top and bottom edges of a door. However, if the top edge is overlooked (from a staircase, for example) paint it, so it does not stand out as bare wood.