Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Paint a Metal Exterior Door

Under our unofficial You Broke It, You Fix Rule my repainting of The Condo's scratched and scruffy front door was long overdue.

Did I mention that it was my fault the paint was scratched and scruffy because I used various loops of tape, hangers, and magnets to hang things on the door in the first place? Yeah. My bad.

Fortunately, repainting the front door was a quick no cost project because the builder left us some touch up paint. So while it may or may not be an environmentally friendly outdoor paint (I suspect it isn’t) using the paint you already have on hand is an environmentally friendly practice (saves money too) so that’s what I did.

Here’s how I did it.

How to Repaint a Door

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1. Wash the door with a mild soap and water solution. I used diluted Basic H. Dish detergent great works too.



2.  After the door is dry, sand down any rough patches or peeling paint with sand paper or a sanding block, if needed.

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Looks like this door could use a bit more sanding

3. Apply painters, masking, or another type of low tack tape around the doorknob, lock, hinges, etc. to protect them from possible paint splatters. (Guess how I know what happens if you don’t.)

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4. Place drop cloth under the door and around the possible paint splatter zone.

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  • Tip:Never cheap out on paint! However, you can cheap out on drop cloths. Reusing an old sheet or holey tablecloth (as in tablecloth with a hole in it, not a religious artifact) for a drop cloth works very well for this project.
5. Apply an outdoor paint to the door with a paintbrush or use spray paint that’s made for metal and rated for outdoor use. Try not to get paint all over yourself in the process. Unlike me.



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Yep, that's my foot. It got worse shortly after I took this photo.


6. Apply a second coat of paint and/or touchups, if needed, after the first coat of paint dries.

7. Remove the painter’s tape.


  • Tip: Follow the edge of the painter’s tape with a utility knife before you remove the painter’s tape to keep the tape from feathering or stripping off fresh paint when you remove the painter’s tape.
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8. Marvel at your newly painted door!