Painting Your Exterior Doors Like A Pro: What You Need To Know

Your exterior doors tell a lot about what's inside your home. They give someone that comes to your home an idea of what to expect inside. If you have a front door that is scratched up, scraped up, and in dire need of a paint job, this is what they are going to expect to see inside as well. Your front door is the first thing a person sees when they make their way to your home, so it should reflect what is inside as well. If your exterior door needs an update, read on for helpful tips on how to get this done.

Tools And Materials You'll Need:

  • Oil-based paint
  • Cleaning agent
  • Rags
  • Bucket 
  • Screwdriver
  • Sanding block
  • Paint brush
  • Roller


  1. First, you're going to need to remove your door if possible and all of the hardware. If this isn't possible, you can paint with your door hanging in place, but this may prove to be a bit more difficult. You'll also need time for your door to dry before you hang it back up or before you attempt to close the door, so you'll want to do this earlier in the day so it has all day to dry.
  2. Next, you'll need to clean the door. Clean it with a cleaning agent that is safe for the material of your front door and that will clean grease and oils that may be on your door from years of touching it.
  3. Once your door is clean, rinse it thoroughly to prevent the cleaner from preventing the paint from adhering properly to your door. Allow the door to dry before moving on.
  4. After the door is clean, you need to give it a look-over to see any damage the door may have, such as old paint that has peeled or holes or scrapes in the door that need to be filled in. You can use a wood filler if it's a wood door or paintable caulk for other types of doors. Smooth the area out as much as possible using a sanding block. Once the door is repaired and ready for paint, you're going to need to clean it again to remove all of the sanding dust.
  5. You are now ready to paint your door. Use an oil-based paint, which will hold up to weather well and can also be easily cleaned. Apply the paint around any decorative areas with a paintbrush, then use a roller to roll on the paint. Smooth out lines as much as you can for an even paint job.
  6. Allow the first coat to dry, then apply a second one if necessary.
  7. Be sure your paint is completely dry and no longer tacky before you attempt to hang the door back up or before closing the door to prevent damage to your paint job.

Your front door says a lot about your home, so if it's not saying what you want it to, it's time for an update. Talk to a professional who provides exterior painting services about doing this work for you.