How to Paint a Steel Entry Door


paint a steel door

If you’re looking for a quick way to update the exterior of your home, painting the doors is a great start. Whether you’re looking to change the color, or simply refresh what you already have, repainting entry doors is a quick and inexpensive home improvement that will take about one weekend. We’ve provided easy-to-follow instructions on how to paint a steel entry door. These directions can be used to paint a front or back door, or a steel garage door, as well.
The first step is deciding whether to take the door off the hinges. There are pros and cons to doing so, and there is really no right or wrong way to do it. Removing the door from the hinges will make it easier to paint. However, keep in mind that the door will have to stay off the hinges until it is completely dry. Will you have an alternative method of keeping your home safe while the door is absent? If you decide to paint the door while it is hinged, you will need to stretch the painting process into two days so the door can be safely closed at the end of each one.

Materials needed to paint a steel door:

Drop cloths ‘Simple Green’ Degreasing Cleaner Gloves Scrub brush Fine grit sandpaper Dust mask Goggles Painter’s tape Newspaper Exterior primer Semi-gloss exterior latex Paint roller Paint brush

How to paint a steel door:

  • Step 1 – Protect the ground beneath the door with drop cloth.
  • Step 2 – Wash the door thoroughly with a degreasing cleaner, such as ‘Simple Green’. This will remove any build-up and all dirt and debris to ensure a clean surface.
  • Step 3 – Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
  • Step 4 – If the door is accented with windows, cover and protect them with newspaper. Secure with painter’s tape.
  • Step 5 – Sand the entire door to ‘rough it up’ before painting. This will not only remove loose paint, but it will help the new paint adhere to the old.
  • Step 6 – Remove any hardware, weather stripping, or kick plate material from the door.
  • Step 7 – Use painter’s tape to protect any areas that you don’t want painted. For example, the inside of the door jam.
  • Step 8 – Prime the door with an exterior primer. Don’t skimp on the primer! This step can literally make or break the way your newly painted door will look. Allow the primer to dry completely.
  • Step 9 – Paint the door with a semi-gloss exterior paint. Ask a paint specialist which paint is best to use on pre-painted steel doors. Use a roller to smoothly paint the door, and a paintbrush to get into hard to reach areas. Allow the paint to dry completely and apply a second coat.
  • Step 10 – When the paint is completely dry, remove the painter’s tape and reattach the hardware, weather stripping, and kick plate. Note – This would be a great time to replace these materials with something new.
  • Step 11 – Rehang the door if it was removed from its hinges.

In regards to paint dry time, keep in mind that it will be greatly affected by weather conditions, so don’t rely solely on application instructions. Humidity and temperature can impact dry time, so be sure to take them into consideration.

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