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Tips on Painting Interior Front Doors

by HomeRepairExpert.com
While many people paint the outside of a front door a welcoming color, the interior part of the door is often forgotten, and painted the same color as the rest of the trim in the house. Since front doors are usually larger and more ornate than the rest of the interior doors, it can liven up your foyer to paint them a different color.

While many people paint the outside of a front door a welcoming color, the interior part of the door is often forgotten, and painted the same color as the rest of the trim in the house. Since front doors are usually larger and more ornate than the rest of the interior doors, it can liven up your foyer to paint them a different color.

Preparation Tips

It's usually impractical and unnecessary to remove a door from the hinges to repaint it. The job will be much easier and cleaner if you remove the door hardware, such as the lock set and handle, first. Previously painted or factory-primed wood, metal and fiberglass doors don't require priming, although you should prime bare or varnished wood. Before applying primer or paint, clean the door and sand it thoroughly so the paint will adhere.

Painting Tips

The most practical way to paint the interior of an entry way is with a brush. If the door is flat, a 4 or 6 inch roller can work very well--if you get a mohair roller cover and roll it carefully with two or three thin, even coats, it can almost look like a flawless sprayed-on finish. No matter what method of application you use, paint conditioner (available at most paint and hardware stores) will retard drying, minimize brush strokes and give you a much smoother finish.

Choosing Paint Color

You can't go wrong with painting a door the same color as the surrounding trim. If the wall is a darker color--let's say a rich tan-- consider using a color that is several shades lighter than the wall color for the door, and leaving the door trim white to highlight it. Other options include using a darker version of the wall color, or a complementary color that echoes a color in your decor.

Removing the Door for Painting

If you need to do extensive work on the door, or you plan on spraying it, take it down and set up a work space in the garage or basement. For temporary security, nail or screw a piece of plywood across the door opening. Any decent paint sprayer will work, but a HPLV (high pressure, low volume) sprayer is fairly easy to use and will produce a flawless finish with little over spray. They are typically used for auto painting, but many professional painters use them for trim, cabinets and doors. Most sprayers can be rented by the day at rental yards and some paint stores.