I have a new wood-core external door that was just put in (new
doorframe as well) - it has metal sheeting over the wood and a window
in the middle. I am told that the white color on the door is primer,
not paint, and that I must paint the door to protect it from the
What type of paint do I use? I would like to paint it in-place.
Latex? I have no docs left that came w/ the door - the instsallers
left nothing - can I assume it has latex primer on it?
You apparently have a factory primed door. It could be an alkyd or acrylic
prime coat, but the kind doesn't matter vs what paint you chose as a finish
coat. We used exterior acrylic water based paint over our metal clad door,
which was also pre-primed. Fine sandpaper lightly first, dust off, clean and
rinse thoroughly, dry, then paint. We used semi gloss on it, as it may be
easier to keep clean vs flat or satin. We left the door slightly ajar for
several days so the rim and edge of the door would dry, and not stick once
it is closed against the weatherstripping and jamb.
It is 15 degrees F here at night - could not leave door open long...
Is it too cold to paint, in general? I _do_ want to paint it
in-place, though. The guy who put it in told me it is necessary to
paint or it will expand and not close (or open) - how long can I wait
to paint it? There appears to be primer over the exposed wood at the
sides (metal sheet on the main faces). He tells me to paint 5 sides -
not 6 -- not the bottom as it won't properly dry in his experience
what with the weatherstripping @ bottom, rubber.
Any opinions appreciated. Thanks. How long can I wait? (Till
Blake Patterson wrote:
> It is 15 degrees F here at night - could not leave door open long...
You need to paint it. They will warp. But you may be able to leave it
until the weather is nicer.
Ours were installed last February and I was told I could leave it.
Unfortunately they got forgotten and they are now warped. I don't know
when that happened, whether it was last winter or this winter. Maybe
they were ok in the spring, or maybe I just didn't notice the warping
until I did my fall check for air leaks.
With doors all the literature I've seen says paint all 6 sides to
How cold is too cold to paint?
The door opens into the room, I guess I could crank the heat and
there's not a whole lot of wind because the door is under a kitchen
overhang (basement walkout door). But is it unwise to paint like this
when it's 35-40 degrees outside? Would leave door open into house all
I think the best paint is a quick dry alkyd enamel since you
will be painting mostly metal. This is often sold as 4 hour
enamel. You really need to remove the door from the frame
to paint it. But if you can't, so be it; it will be just a
bit more difficut to paint the edges but you will be able to
paint all of it at one sitting. Tape heavy plastic (4 mil)
to the outside part of the frame so that it is reasonably
tight. If you have to go in and out the door, leave a flap
that you can tape and untape. Next in the center of the
frame opening put an an expanding bar (like they use in bath
tub/shower combination or just cut a 2x4 to wedge in and
hold a blanket for insulation. Now set up a small heater to
blow on the door and warm it up 60-70 degrees. When it
reaches that temperature, but no more than room temp, you
can start painting. Since everything is essentially at room
temperature the drying time should be about what the can
states but I would turn the small heater on within 1/2 hour
after you finish painting. If you can enclose the area
around the door and heat it to 80-85 degrees that would be
great. In any case, you should be able to close the door
with no sticking in less than 8 hours. BTW, don't do the
painting when it is raining or snowing; wait for a dry day.
If you decide to use a latex paint, which probably won't
give you as smooth a finish, make sure that it has a high
blocking (no stick to other painted parts) rating.
Is one coat of the alkyd paint enough? As I said, the door has been
factory primed and it is a massive headache to take the door off
(which I will do) and paint it inside the house, elsewhere, on a tarp.
(I cannot get that room warm enough, soon, to paint properly with
door open.) Will one coat prevent warping?
Ok, leave the door mounted on the frame. Sure you can get
the room warm, do like I said, open the door and seal the
opening with plastic. You do have another door to go in out
don't you? Or, get a big piece of cardboard (from a big
box) or a piece of plywood and cut it to fit the opening;
mountain a handle on it so you can easily open and close it.
Yes, one coat is plenty, at least through the winter. When
it gets warm I would sand lightly and add another coat of
alkyd. That ought to last you a long time. My house was
built in 1976 and has a metal door. I have painted the
front door (faces south) only twice and put on only coat on
it each time. The back door (faces north) and I haven't
seen a need to repaint, but last year somebody put a stain
on it that will not wash off, so I will paint it this coming
Blake Patterson wrote:
You worry too much :o) . I've installed steel doors for customers, and have
gone back for further work a couple years later and the door still wasn't
painted. By _no_ means do I condone waiting this long, just showing as an
example the door won't fall off the hinges if you wait. If the door is
protected under an entry roof, I would wait till spring. If the door is
subject to direct weather elements, paint when the weather & temperature
My entire kitchen hangs out over the door - something like 8' of
overhang protecting it. So I guess I will wait for warmer weather...
It was expensive tho - $1,000 for install + custom door (It's a short
room - 6'4" ceiling, and a large glass window in door).
Sound ok? Thanks.
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