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Tips on painting metal exterior entry doors?


Joe Shmoe
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So with the new house comes all of the repairs/upgrades etc. We replaced the front door with a new door, but it needs painting. I was told to take it to a body shop and have them spray it? I just am weary of using a roller or brush and having it turn out less than spectacular. Can anyone speak from personal experience?

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The typical factory primer is usually very thin. Make sure to get all the corrosion off first. I like to use a good quality house primer and two coats of enamel. I brush mine but then I'm very good with a brush and don't mind the brush strokes. Always work toward the wet area so you lap marks don't show.

But taking it to a body shop might be a cool option. Same thing with any corrosion though, it'll bleed right through any paint in a hurry. If you go that route let me know, I've got a metal door on my shop that needs to be painted.

M

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Metal doors are a PITA to paint unless (as previously mentioned) you don't mind the brush strokes.

If you decide to wail on that mother your own self, I'd recommend a 6 inch foam roller. They make them with differing pore density. You'll want one that's fairly fine. Schlep on down to your local paint shop...or Homie D's if you don't have a dedicated paint store and axe 'em what they recommend.

I just painted my GFs front door black, and every little blob shows. Looks great from the driveway though!

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I have done these a number of times. First if you want GOOD results remove the door and lay flat. Mask off any window panes and remove all hardware, use a good metal primer and metal paint. Apply with a fine 4"or 6" foam roller. Do not over-roll it and leave any bubbles you may immediately see, most if not all will disappear, any that do not go will not be as bad as the resuls of trying to get rid of them by brushing. I always use satin or semigloss, seems to be more forgiving than high gloss. John.

PS. don't force the drying of the top coat, it will give the paint time to remove any bubbles, don't roll rapidly this will also cut down airation.

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Oil based paint will lay down better ( reducing visible brush strokes). You can get additives for paints to make them dry even slower, for a more even surface. Shoot, for just one door you could get some spray paint (no brush strokes, no brush to clean). Around here there's a paint shop that will mix custom colors and put 'em in a rattle can.

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I've had good luck repainting metal kitchen cabinets using oil based enamal and a small 4" disposable roller.

It did leave a texture but it was pretty fine and consisent. I've got a door I need to paint on my garage so the timing of this thread is good.

(edit) I think the rollers I've used were not foam just very short nap similar to a large roller.

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Stand door up on a 45 degree angle, pour a gallon of paint evenly across the top till it covers the whole door, let dry for a month ! [:#]

My wife don't let me paint anything, you can guess why. If you do a bad enough job the first time you never have to do it again ! [;)]

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I've used Krylon spray cans on metal louvered closet doors with excellent results.

Make sure the surface is clean. Wipe it down with mineral spirits, let dry, then wipe again with a tack cloth.

Apply light coat. Don't get too close to the surface. Recoat as per instructions on can (within 4 hours or after 24, I think). Apply second coat.

My doors had an almost glasslike finish to them when I finished. Way, way better than I could ever do with brush and/or roller.

And I've painted hundreds of doors in my day.

It will help to practice on a hunk of cardboard prior to shooting the door to determine spray pattern and distance from surface.

I'd paint it standing up. Much less chance for dust to settle on.

My 2 cents.

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Stand door up on a 45 degree angle, pour a gallon of paint evenly across the top till it covers the whole door, let dry for a month ! Zip it!

My wife don't let me paint anything, you can guess why. If you do a bad enough job the first time you never have to do it again ! Wink

......er just fiull yer bath tub full of paint n dip it as needed, this way ya get both sides painted at the same time[H]

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Oil based paint will lay down better ( reducing visible brush strokes). You can get additives for paints to make them dry even slower, for a more even surface.

Yes and Yes. Good stuff Fini, oil paint, if allowed to dry slowly, will 'lay down' and the brush strokes will be minimal.

ugh, never a foam roller, yuch.

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I sprayed a few doors at one bodyshop I worked at, they turned out mint. I ended up putting 2" wood screws in both top and bottom (into the wood) and hanging them, so I could shoot both sides at the same time. Preparation is easy, clean with wax and grease removers, red scotchbrite scuff the primer, blow off the surface, wipe down again with wax and grease remover, tape any glass panels, and you are ready to shoot.

To shoot 4 doors, it took about 2 hours of prep time, and 1/2 hour in the booth. No exterior house paint is going to outlast an automotive finish, in terms of gloss retention, DOI, UV resistance, chemical resistance the whole ball of wax. I would recommend a single stage polyurethane, as it is will last longer than an alkyd or acrylic enamel.

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Wow...thanks for all the response! The door is on special order from Home Depot.... unfortunately the one I picked out didn't match my existing hinge locations. I only wanted to replace the door portion & not the sidelites. I was thinking that the hinge & door handle locations were pretty much a standard.... NOT THE CASE! Learn from my mistake! I had to bring the door back to HD and special order one with my measurements. Even though the original door came prehung, the one on order (door only) is about $100.00 more! Turns out being a special order, I dont get the special bulk pricing [:@]

Anyway, I will check with a local body shop on prices to do the painting. I already have more invested into this door than originally planned, so if it's too outrageous I will be doing it myself. I do have some ability, but my plate is pretty fulll lately. I have used those snap on sprayers that you snap on to a can of spray paint before. I may go that route... if we find a color we like?

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i agree wth hurd, i have sprayed a couple doors b-4 (although i didnt have a booth) and they came out fine i used acrylic enamel though (i beleive this will still outlast either the door itself, or the rest of the houses finish) and the paint was pretty reasonable if you have the equipment to spray this is definately the best route

Joe

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today's paints go on pretty smooth and look pretty good.....use rustoluem oil base metal paint with a roller...do not use more than 15% thinner...use a low knap roller...stay away from water base paints.

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Joe,

In retrospect (20/20, right?), I would have advised you order a door blank (just the slab, no hinge mortises or holes bored), and hire a good carpenter to hang it. You probably would have saved money, and gotten a custom fit as well. Often times, a doorframe has, over the years, sagged or heaved (just like us old men!), meaning the new, perfectly square door you buy needs to be cut to fit, so as to get an even reveal (gap between the door and jamb). Feel free to ask any questions regarding installation and fitting the door. Oh, remember to paint all six sides of an exterior door.

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