How To Paint A Front Door – Easy Tips and Pro Secrets

Want to learn how to paint a front door, but you aren’t quite sure where to start?  We’ve got your solution!

Check out David’s video on painting your front door, with all of the tips and tricks from a pro.

If you’d rather read it, the transcript is below the video.

Painting a front door starts with sanding
This door was sanded with 120, 220,and 400 grit sandpaper prior to the painting being started.
Roxy is making sure I know how to paint a door
Ruff, You missed a spot.
Glossy yellow door

How To Paint Your Front Door Transcript

Hi, my name is Dave Klappenberger with Klappenberger and Son

Today we’re going to talk about painting the front door.  September and October are two great months for it – the weather is perfect.  When you think about it, as fall comes closer, people will look at the front door and focus more on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties, etc.

So, this is the time to make it look fantastic!

I’m going to show you how there are two ways to do so.  I want to give you my trade secrets.  Or you can call us, and we can take care of it.

Let’s go ahead and get started.

Step Number One

Clean the door first with a degreaser to get the pollen off, to get the oil from your fingers off, everything.

Second, we’re going to sand it.  Any ditties that are on that front door need to go.  Those ditties will stay there when you put a coat of paint over them unless we sand them.  Sand it first, maybe with some 120 grit sandpaper, second with some 220, and then wipe it nice and clean.

If you have some dents and dings on the door that you want to eliminate, this is the time to do it.  Get some Bondo, or get some wood filler.  I had cat scratches on my door that I’ve wanted to get off for a while.  I filled them in with Bondo, and now that’s all cured.  It’s time to stain it again.  And yes, I have the dust off the door.  It’s essential because dust will interfere with the quality of the smoothness of the finish.

One step is left: spot prime any areas you didn’t put Bondo or wood filler on.  Once completed, you are ready to put the topcoat on the door.

Now, I can use oil paint; I love oil paint.  A high gloss from Fine Paints of Europe is what I put on here.  But oil paints are a little bit harder to work with.  However, if you spend a little bit more time ensuring there aren’t any drips and runs, you will like how it looks and it’s hard to beat the smoothness.  Hard to get that from latex paint, but they are getting better.

If you want to try latex paint – Go to Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc.  Get premium paint from them, and you’ll be happy.

Here are some of the best trade secrets when painting a door.

Trade secret number one – take the weather stripping off the door.


Because when you shut the door, and the paint feels dry, it’s not cured.  If you close the door too soon, the paint will stick to the weather stripping.  Take the weather stripping off, and then paint your door.  Wait at least three or four days, then put the weather stripping back.

Can’t wait that long?  Try this trick!

Take the weatherstripping off and put some beeswax around it.  The latex paint won’t stick to that and you’ll be good to go.

And finally, a paint conditioner can be added to either oil paint or latex paint – two different types of conditioners.  They help to lengthen the drying time, giving you more time to work with the paint.  It also provides the paint with more time to self-level.  This will give you a smoother, more professional quality finish.

And, of course, you can always call us for your painting needs!