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How to Paint a Door? Door Painting and Restoration Step by Step

The door in your house doesn't look as good as a few years ago? Are you not ready to replace it? Door restoration might be a good option - you can do it yourself. Do you have no experience in this regard and are wondering how to paint a door and restore its old looks or completely transform it? Check a few tips on door painting and restoration. They will come in handy!

How to Paint a Door? Door Painting and Restoration Step by Step

When does door painting make sense?

When facing a serious makeover, many homeowners wonder whether it makes sense to restore the door, or if it’s better to replace it. Judging by the prices of building materials and home equipment, a door makeover might be a serious saving. Especially if you do everything yourself.

But is it worthwhile to restore any door? If it’s made of wood, a door makeover is useful even in case of a bigger damage or pests found in the construction. What about fiberboard door? A lot depends on the damage scope. If it’s small, you can try to renovate it. If the tarnish is serious, it’s better to invest in a new element, which is cheaper.

When does door painting make sense?

Old door restoration - essential tools

If you decided that it’s possible to restore the door in your house, you can start acting. As the first step, gather necessary tools that will allow you to do most of the repairs.

When preparing a door for painting, you might need sand paper (in large quantities and different gradations) to remove old layers and even the surface. If you want to quicken the work, you can also use a polishing machine.

In addition, you also need:

  • gloves for hand protection,
  • cover foil to protect the surface,
  • a paint tray,
  • paint brushes or rollers,
  • paint or varnish.

If your old door is seriously damaged, you might also need a special wood filler to conceal dents and holes. If you noticed pests (e.g. bark beetles), use a special chemical to get rid of them. After doing this, you can begin door makeover and painting.

Old door restoration - essential tools

Door painting and restoration - how to prepare the house?

Door restoration is a much easier process if you have a garage, a utility room or a roofed gazebo, where you can perform all the work without cluttering the house. It doesn’t mean, though, that if you have no such option, you cannot refinish your door - but be prepared for a small revolution in your house.

Cover foil is the essential item, in this case. Use it to protect the surface and other elements - especially if you are planning to use a polishing machine. The dust from a sanded door tends to linger in the air for some time, and then sits on various objects. If you don’t want additional cleaning - cover everything you can with foil.

Keep in mind that laying the door directly onto a surface is not the most convenient solution. That’s why you should prepare a few wooden blocks to lay the door on.

Door painting and restoration - how to prepare the house?

Door restoration - preparation and cleaning

Not only the interior has to be prepared, but also the door itself. First, remove unhinge the door. You should never paint or renovate an installed door. It’s extremely uncomfortable and isn’t likely to succeed.

The next step involves securing or detaching certain door elements. It usually concerns the handle, but sometimes also decorative elements and glass panels. While you can easily detach the handle, glass element have to be taped over with a painter’s tape instead of dismantling them - as it might cause damage.

If everything is ready at this stage, you can begin door cleaning. They are typically covered with paint - colorful or colorless. To remove the layer, use sanding paper or a polishing machine.

Make sure to be careful when cleaning the upper layer and polish the surface only until the raw material appears. Too strong and too intense sanding might cause irregularities in the surface and the door won’t look good.

In some cases, there’s no need to use a polishing machine. The door might be covered with a layer that can be removed with an appropriate chemical product. Use a scraper for application, and remove varnish or paint this way. Usually, you have to even the surface delicately using a piece of sanding paper.

Many forget about cleaning the surface from dust, washing it and leaving to dry. Why is it so important? Essentially, if dust particles remain on the door, you won’t be able to achieve a perfectly even surface, and the result won’t be very aesthetic. Furthermore, most varnishes and paints don’t stick as well to a dirty surface. It means that the layers might start to peel after a while, and you will have to repeat door painting again.

Door restoration - preparation and cleaning

How to paint a door with dents?

Small scratches and dents can be reduced while polishing. They are typically in the upper surface, and you remove them along with the varnish or paint layer.

Sometimes larger indentations appear, or even worse - marks from pests. You have to be extra careful especially in the latter case. They appear in the wood along with high humidity in home interiors. As the first step, you have to dry out the door, and then use chemicals to kill all the remaining bugs.

If you are sure there are no unwanted guests in your door, you can begin your work. Use a special putty to fill dents. Just spread it over particular spots and leave to dry. If needed, smoothen the surface using sanding paper.

How to paint a door with dents?

What type of paint to pick for painting doors?

The type of paint you use for door painting depends mostly on the result you expect from the renovation. If you want a very natural effect with exposed wood structure, you can use a classic stain or varnish. These products form a protective layer and have no color - they only add some shine.

Check other products that result in a natural effect:

  • oils,
  • wax,
  • wax oils.

Do you want the door renovation to be apparent and want to give some color to the door? You can use covering paint. There are many options, in this case, although acrylic and alcyd paints are the most popular products among experts. They can be also used as furniture paint.

What type of paint to pick for painting doors?

How to paint a fiberboard door?

Wooden door restoration is a simple task just like furniture repair, so everyone should be able to do it. A question remains, though - what about models made of, e.g., fiberboard? Does the door restoration process looks the same, in this case?

In fact, everything depends on the product, its age and damage done to it. Unfortunately, fiberboard is much less durable than wood. It’s not always possible to sand and paint it. What’s more, the result might not aesthetic enough, and you will decide to purchase a new door anyway. But it’s an individual matter - you have to try and see the result yourself.

Front door refinishing - pick an interesting finish

Are you wondering how to paint a front door so that it looks distinct? Apart from renovation and painting, you can also change certain elements like door handles and glass components. By replacing them, you can achieve an effect of a brand-new door - but you will spend much less on it and save some money as a result.

Instead of classic handles, you can pick special decorative knobs, or other shapes. They work perfectly in modern designs, but in fact, they can match any style and your expectations.

Front door refinishing - pick an interesting finish

📍 How much does a door makeover cost?

Door painting and restoration is not very expensive - especially if you do it yourself. Most of the expenses cover renovation tools like sanding paper, brushes, cover foil and products - fillers, paint or varnish.

📍 How to paint a door?

Old door restoration is easy, so you can do it yourself. Just follow the instruction step by step. Make sure to prepare the door - clean it, remove any remaining dust and wash it. Coat the door with a special product - paint, varnish or oil.

📍 How to restore interior door with glass?

Painting an old internal door looks exactly the same as in any other case. The only difference lies in the fact that you have to protect the glass element using painter's tape or remove it for renovation.

📍 How to restore fiberboard door?

Fiberboard door restoration is possible in most cases. Sometimes, although rarely, the damage is so extensive that it's better to buy a new door. But if there's no need for it, just follow the same steps as when renovating a wooden door.