If your front door is faded and peeling or you are just in the mood for change, a fresh coat of paint is a quick way to improve your home’s curb appeal.
Step 1: Whether you choose to remove the door and place it on a pair of sawhorses or you decide to paint the door where it stands, you will want to cover the ground with a dropcloth or newspaper. For eastern- or western-exposed homes, plan ahead so you will not be painting in direct sunlight.
Step 2: If the door hardware is easily removed, take it off before going any further. Otherwise, cover it completely with blue painters tape.
Step 3: Scrape away the loose paint and fill any holes or cracks with exterior wood putty. If you have a steel door, auto body filler such as Bondo works best.
Step 4: Sand all surfaces to be painted with 100-grit paper. You may need a slightly coarser grit to smooth any rough spots.
Step 5: Wash the door with a nonresidual cleaner such as TSP or Dirtex. Allow the door to dry completely before proceeding.
Step 6: Prime any bare spots with a good exterior primer. For troubled doors, an oil-based primer works best. If red is your color of choice, prime the entire surface area with a gray primer to ensure proper coverage.
Step 7: Once the primer has dried completely, use a good quality brush to apply the paint. Begin with any edges, trim or detailed areas and then move on to the flat surfaces of the door. If you are using a semi-gloss or glossy paint, be sure to stir the paint periodically throughout the process to maintain an even surface sheen.
Step 8: Allow the first coat to dry completely and then apply a second coat in the same manner.
For deep, rich colors a third coat of paint may be necessary. Once the paint has dried completely, remove any tape, re-install any hardware, clean up your tools and close the door on a job well-done.