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Tips for painting your front door

Your front door is the main focal point of your home’s exterior. You probably look at it at least once a day and it’s the first thing guests will see when they visit. That’s why it’s good to keep your door looking its best. If yours is lacking in curb appeal, you might want to consider updating the paintwork. But how can you ensure your painting goes without a hitch? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Clean up first

Before you begin, use something sturdy to prop the door open. This will ensure that it doesn’t accidentally swing shut whilst you’re trying to paint. It’s also a good idea to put the latch on, to avoid accidentally getting locked out.

Next, clean, dry, and gently sand down the door. Make sure that you brush any dust or residue off the surface before you begin working. It’s also important to pick the right day for this job. If it’s too wet, the rain could ruin your paintwork. If it’s too blustery, you could end up with dust and grit in your paint. If possible, try to do your painting on a dry, calm day.

Protect your floor and door furniture

Whilst your new paint might look wonderful on your door, you probably don’t want it on your carpet. That’s why it’s essential you cover the floor with a dust sheet before you open the paint tin. If you have any furniture close by, move it out of the way. If you can’t move it for whatever reason, you can always cover it with another dust sheet.

Use masking tape to protect any parts of the door that you don’t want to get paint on. This might include the edges of the door, glass panels, or hinges. It may also include door hardware such as locks, handles, and numbering.

Choose your materials wisely

paint-117599_640In addition to choosing the perfect paint, you may need to choose a primer or undercoat. The type of primer and paint you need will depend on the surface you’re painting onto. For example, if your door was previously painted with oil-based paint, it will need different preparation to water-based paint.

To test whether the previous paint is oil based, put a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Then rub it over the existing paint on your door. If the paint rubs off, colouring the cotton ball, then it’s probably a water-based paint. If the paint doesn’t rub off, then it’s most likely oil-based. If you’re at all unsure about which paint you need, ask your local DIY shop for advice.

Perfect your technique

If you plan on painting the edges of your door, it’s a good idea to work on these first. This will allow them to dry first. Ideally you would complete the entire paint job in one session. However, if your painting is unexpectedly cut short, having dry edges will allow you to close the door.

You may want to use a smaller brush for painting the edges and going around the features of the door. You can then fill in the larger areas with a wider brush. Another option is to use a small paint roller to cover the larger, flat surfaces of the door. Some people prefer to use a roller and then go over the same areas with a brush, to create a ‘hand painted’ finish.

Work from top to bottom, to avoid dripping paint onto completed areas. Depending on the type and colour of your paint you may need to apply multiple coats. If this is the case, ensure you let the previous coat dry completely before painting the next one.

[Photos by OpenClipArtVectors and Antranias]