I live in a 13 year old house in northern California. The front door is
a fiberglass raised panel door that I would like to repaint. I am
looking for suggestions for the best paint and technique to use, since
I'd rather do it only once and the correct way.
Even if there's a screen door in place, exterior doors are often subjected
to quite a bit of wear & tear from sunlight, as well as human hands which
can transfer dirt. Based on my experience, a high gloss paint held up best,
preferably oil-based. Since these paints take time to cure correctly,
logistics can be a bit of a chore. In order to get a perfect finish, it's
best to lay the door flat for painting. I chose days when low humidity was
predicted, and did the work in the garage, for better ventilation (because
of the oil paint). I started very early in the morning, and still found the
paint needed another day to lose all tackiness. So, I ended up making a
temporary door out of plywood, to secure the house. It's sort of a big
production, but worthwhile in the end.
Choose the type of brush recommended on the paint can, and do NOT try to
save money by buying cheap brushes. With glossy paint, every imperfection
shows. And, stick with premium paint, like Devoe or Pratt & Lambert.
I also recommend removing the door and laying flat for painting. It's
by far the best way to do it, but unfortunately not always possible for
exterior doors (I did it once when I had a security storm door already
Another reason to make a temporary door is that obviously, the one you're
painting has to be flipped over after the first side has cured. I ended up
without the door back in place for 4 days. The temporary door doesn't
necessarily have to be operative. I screwed a piece of 3/4" ply in place and
we used the other door to the house for a few days.
I don't know if this is "correct" or not but it should result in a good
1. Remove door from hinges, remove lockset, put door in a horizontal
2. Prep door - remove loose paint, de-gloss, etc.
3. Decide on type of paint (alkyd oil, acrylic, poly) and sheen.
4. Spray one side and edges. Wipe off any drips from underside. Let
dry, turn over and repeat.
If you can't spray, do the same thing but think of each panel and the
frame as separate items...paint frame starting in the most inconspicuous
place (lower hinge, IMO) then panels. If you get runs onto the panels
when doing the frame, wipe them off. Wipe off any runs on the lower
side. Let dry, flip and repeat. If brushing, use a good brush and one
suitable for the paint (natural bristle for oil base, artificial for
dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
I agree with all the advise given so far and would like to add one tip.
Painting doors can take a bear of time because you have to wait for one
side to completely dry before you can flip it over to paint the other.
If you do it too soon you'll ruin the first side. I have a trick for
painting both sides almost simultaneously without ruining either side.
Lay the door flat using two sawhorses, but do not lay the door on top
of the horses. Instead screw two bolts half way into the bottom of the
door, driving the bolts up into the door, not thru the face of the
door. Drive a 5-inch lag in about 3 inches, each a few inches from the
both ends. Do the same on the top end but use one lag in the middle.
Now lay the door flat on the horses but support the door with the bolt
ends. The door will not flip over and will be held up with the 3
bolts. Paint one side and when it's just starting to cure (within
about 15 or 20 minutes) grab the two bolts and flip the door using the
top bolt as a pivot point. You can also do the hinge side and the
striker side of the door with no problems. The whole door will dry at
the same time and more than cut in half the time needed to paint a
When dry, remove the bolts and rehang the door. You will not see the
holes left by the lags since they are on the face edges of the bottom
I worked thru college doing painting and I needed to get in and out in
one day. This was one of many tricks to get done quickly and
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