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How To Paint Your Door


  1. Avoid touching door with unclean hands. Do not let unfinished door come in contact with any chemicals, greases or oils. Doing so may cause adhering problems with primer/sealer and paint products.
  2. Fit door into its designated opening. Perform any necessary trimming and cut all required hardware holes prior to any primer or paint application.
    With exterior door units, the unexposed back sides and ends of exterior jambs and sills must be primed or sealed with shellac and then let dry before installation. Primer and finish coats of paint can be applied to the external surface (visible surface) after they have been installed into the rough opening if you wish. It is sometimes easier to finish them when they are dismantled.
  3. Find a sheltered, dust free and well lit area or room to work in.
  4. On screen door models, take out the screen unit by loosening brass screws and removing each individual turn button. Keep screws and turn buttons in a safe location where they will not be misplaced.
  5. Position door face down on sawhorses or arrange it vertically by leaning its very top inward against a wall. You can also fasten and then extend a small wooden board or strip out from a wall, lightly tacking the protruding end to the very top of the door. This method will allow you to work your way around each side of the door ensuring that all surfaces have been covered evenly. Be sure the door is secure so it does not tip over.
    When positioning door vertically be sure that the very bottom is elevated off of the ground by placing a flat board directly underneath. This method will allow you to work your way around each side of the door ensuring that all surfaces have been covered evenly. Be sure that bottom is also completely sealed.
  6. Once door is positioned, use a tack cloth to wipe door surface free of any built up dust.
  7. If purchased unprimed, it must be primed before any finish color coats are applied. We recommend priming the door using a Zinsser Bullseye latex primer/sealer. Begin on one side. Generously apply primer until all areas have been covered. Pay special attentions to any developing runs, brushing any out before they dry.
  8. Repeat priming application on each of the doors remaining 5 surfaces. If using saw horses, let surface dry completely before flipping the door to the unfinished side. The top and bottom are the most critical areas to seal. One coat of latex primer should dry within 2 hours. Do not forget to inspect the opposite side to inspect for sneaky runs which may have seeped down the edges.
  9. After the 1st coat has dried, scuff or lightly sand any rough areas with 180 220 grit sand paper and wipe the surface down with a tack cloth to remove dust from sanding. Be careful not to sand down to bare wood.
  10. Apply second coat of primer to each surface. Let dry and then sand again lightly. Again, wipe with tack cloth to remove sanding dust.
  11. Using vertical strokes, apply the first coat of exterior paint to all surfaces. Again, the top and bottom are the most critical areas to seal and should be covered thoroughly. Be on the look out for any developing runs and be sure to brush them out before they harden. A well lit work area will help you to spot runs as well as to highlight any inconsistent finishes.
  12. Depending on the paint you may need to allow 24 hours for the 1st coat of exterior finish paint to dry.
  13. After the 1st coat of exterior paint is dry, lightly sand any rough areas, wipe away dust with a tack cloth and then proceed to apply the last coat of exterior paint.
  14. After drying of the final coat, carefully inspect to ensure all areas of the door have been completely sealed.
  15. For screen doors, reinstall the screen unit and turn buttons. Snug all brass screws to secure the screen or storm frame.
  16. Mount door in opening and install any additional hardware.


You must completely seal and finish all surfaces of your door before installation. We recommend that you seal and finish your doors within a 1-2 week period after delivery. Unsealed and unfinished doors must be stored in a warm and dry moisture free environment. Do not store unfinished doors in a damp environment. Untreated doors will crack and warp if exposed to the elements. Leaving doors untreated or incompletely finished and subject to these elements and environments will void any warranty on our products.