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Solved: 8 Steps to Paint a Metal Door

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Whether you want to restore the original beauty of your metal front door or simply want to try refreshing its look with a new color, the best solution is to paint it. Even the sturdiest metal door starts to lose its visual appeal after some time. A fresh coat of paint represents a simple and effective way to boost curb appeal. As opposed to more complicated repainting projects, the work involved in painting a metal door shouldn’t pose too many difficulties to DIYers. Take a look at the right steps needed to paint a metal door correctly:

1. Prepare Your Supplies

As with other DIY projects around the home, painting a metal door involves gathering some supplies unless you already own the tools and accessories needed. First, you need to decide on the best paint to use on metal surfaces. If the door’s surface is already primed, you can probably start painting it right away without having to search for a primer. If you have bare metal areas, primer is important to ensure that the desired paint adheres properly. Check out this protective metal primer.




The primer and the paint are some of the main supplies that you have to prepare to paint a metal door. You will also need some cleaning accessories such as a sponge and degreaser as well as safety equipment like a dust mask and goggles for eye protection. Finally, don’t forget about your painting tool such as the roller or paintbrush of your choice. Sanding requires fine-grit sandpaper.

2. Remove the Door From its Hinges

If you can remove the door from its frame, you will be able to paint it properly and without risking a mess of the surroundings. This is not a mandatory step but it’s highly recommended to make the entire painting process smoother. It’s safe to say that you won’t be able to get a proper finish otherwise.

Because you’ll be focusing on painting the door’s surface, it’s also important to get rid of any other hardware present on the door. Detach the door’s handle and other accessories such as the letterbox. Alternatively, if some hardware is too complicated to remove, consider using painter’s tape to avoid paint splashes.



3. Place the Door on Sawhorses or a Flat Surface

If you decide to remove the door from its hinges, you will need to find something like a large table or another flat surface to place it for painting. The best solution is to use sawhorses because of better access to the edges of the door. Make sure you handle the door carefully to avoid scratches. It’s recommended to use soft cloths like old towels for protection under it.

4. Clean the Door

Proper cleaning is vital to prepare the door’s surface for repainting. You can use a wide variety of cleaning products and degreasers. We recommend tri-sodium phosphate diluted in water because it’s specially formulated for cleaning painted surfaces. Always remember to follow the instructions of the manufacturer regardless of the product chosen.



5. Sand the Door

Old paint can be removed with minimal effort so there’s no need for powerful sanding equipment. Fine-grit sandpaper should work just fine to lightly remove flakey paint. This step is important if you want to prepare the surface of the door thoroughly before applying the primer and the paint. Use a dust mask with safety goggles to avoid any sanding hazards.

6. Apply the Primer

The majority of metal door repainting projects will require a high-quality primer for durability reasons. Keep in mind the choice of paint when selecting a primer because they need to be compatible for optimal results. If you’re not sure how to choose a good primer, consider getting a multi-surface primer that provides great results for a vast range of applications. It’s recommended to apply one or two coats of the primer using a roller.



7. Paint the Door

Once the final coat of primer has fully dried, it’s finally time to paint the metal door. A paint roller works best to ensure a smooth, drip-free finish for most areas of the door. You will still need a brush, however, for painting the bumpier portions of the surface. An extra coat of paint should be added to finish off the project. In some cases, it could even be worth adding a third layer to get a long-lasting finish.

8. Reattach the Hardware and Rehang the Door

After the final coat of paint has fully dried, the metal door is ready to be put back in its frame (if it was removed). Reattach all the hardware that has been taken off to complete the painting.

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