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How to Paint a Door

While repainting a room, don't overlook the door. Here are our suggestions on how to repaint an interior door:

  1. Remove the door knobs and any other hardware that you do not want to paint.
  2. Make sure the door is clean (no dust or dirt or smudge marks that might keep the paint from sticking) and dry. If the door has been previously painted or varnished, sand it lightly with a fine grade sandpaper to roughen it slightly so that the paint will stick.
  3. Put masking tape (yellow paper tape) around the edge of any glass (or other surface you don't want to paint) and cover the center with paper so that you don't get paint on it (this is a lot of work but easier than scraping off the dried paint). The coverage does not have to be perfect, but the closer you tape to the edge, the better. Do both sides of the glass if you are painting both sides of the door.
  4. Take the door off its hinges so that you can paint it while it is flat. If it is a regular door, it will have a hinge pin that looks like a large nail that has been inserted from the top; prior this up with a flat blade screwdriver; have somebody hold the door to make sure it doesnt fall once you remove the second hinge pin. Otherwise, you will have to unscrew the hinges. Handle the hinge pin carefully because it is probably greasy. Either remove or cover the hinge plate.
  5. Lay the door flat on some boxes or other support to get it off the ground.
  6. Cover the area underneath with some newspapers or a drop cloth to catch paint drips.
  7. Use regular wall paint, a roller, and a brush. Use the brush to paint the top and side edges of the door (bottom not necessary) and any trim around the glass; then use the roller to roll the flat areas of the door.
  8. After a few minutes, but while the paint is still wet, carefully remove the tape.
  9. Once the door is dry, flip over and paint the back side, if desired.
  10. Repeat, including retaping, for a second coat if necessary.

You can shortcut the process by leaving the doors hanging, which eliminates the removal step and allows you to paint everything at once -- you just have to make sure you put only a thin coating of paint on so you don't get any drips. Also, if you don't use a roller and are careful, you can just tape the edge of the glass and skip covering the center part.

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