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How to Paint Your Internal Doors

Difficulty: Easy

Interior doors take a lot of wear and tear – on a day to day basis they contend with muddy pets, sticky fingers, a high volume of traffic through the house, so when painting them it might be best to choose a durable finish such a gloss or semi-gloss top layer. 

A glossy layer makes the doors easier to wipe down with a damp cloth as well, this will require two top coats but the end result so often worth it.  

There are certain steps that you will need to take to get a perfect finish, and to prevent any mistakes.

Painting Your Internal Doors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step One  

You'll need to prepare the surface for which the paint is sticking to and you'll need to make sure that any nearby surfaces are protected. Start by protecting the carpets with old newspaper or old sheets.  

Step Two  

Next you'll need to take your screwdriver and take off the hardware of the door.  

Once you've done this you can begin sanding the door. Take a sheet of medium grained sandpaper, if the door is already painted then you'll need to remove all of the old paint, make sure the surface is rough enough for paint to stick to it before painting it.  

You'll also need to hoover up any dust from the sandpapering, as if dust gets on the wet paint it will create an unsightly and uneven finish.  

Once you've finished sanding the door, clean it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.  

Step Three 

There are two options here depending on the style and shape of your door:

Painting A Flush/Flat Door 

You can paint a flat or flush door with a roller fairly easily and it might save time. If you do decide to use a roller, brush the surface over immediately with a paintbrush to avoid roller stipples.  

After painting the door, itself, paint the doorjamb and casing, beginning at the doorstop and working out. 

Painting Rasied Panel Doors  

Painting a raised panel door with a brush is time consuming, but offers a far more superior finish to painting this type of door with a roller – which would be pretty difficult.  

Start by painting the inner panels of your door. This works best if you are very careful and cut in carefully – avoiding getting paint outside of the panels as it will create bumps in the finished paint work when you go back later and paint around the panels. If you do get paint outside the panels, you can always sand the paint off once dry.  

Once you've finished painting your door, you can clean up the sheets or newspaper and reattach the handle.  

When you’ve finished painting, open the doors and windows for as long as you can to air out the house – paint fumes can be nasty to breathe in, especially for small children and pets. Leave the paint to dry for at least 24 hours, before touching it! 

Conclusions and final tips:

  • Leave the doors hanging on their hinges whilst you paint them so you can paint both sides at the same time.  
  • Remove lock sets and any hardware before you start – removing them is often easier than masking them up.  
  • Seal all surfaces of new doors, this will prevent moisture from entering the door which will cause it to warp. This step is critical for a solid wood interior door or solid core veneer door to avoid it warping. 
How to Paint Your Internal Doors Image
  • Screwdriver  
  • Masking Tape  
  • Gloss or semi-gloss paint  
  • Sandpaper  
  • Old sheets or newspaper 
  • A vacuum cleaner 
  • A paintbrush and/or roller 

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