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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.

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 starts to come closer, people are going to be looking at the front door focusing more for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties etc.

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

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

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 are going to stay there when you put a coat of paint over top of it unless we sand.  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 get rid of, this is the time to do it. Get some bondo or get some wood filler. I had some cat scratches on my door that I’ve been wanting 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 important because dust will interfere with the quality of the smoothness of the finish.

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

Now, I can use oil paint, I love oil paints. 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 making sure there aren’t any drips and runs, you are really going to like the way it looks and it’s hard to beat the smoothness. Hard to get that from a latex paint, but they are getting better.

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

Now, here’s 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 actually not cured.  If you close the door too soon, the paint will start to 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 a little bit more time to work with the paint. It also gives the paint more time to self-level.  This will give you a smoother, more professional quality finish.