Metal door with cracking finish

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This is my metal front door on a mobile home. It is more than just cracking paint. It appears to be a coating that has wood grain ...maybe a plastic...but definitely not paint. The cracking is definitely due to the heat. It started first looking like the coating had air bubbles ...like the coating was separating from the metal. Then the cracks happened. The underneath appears to be bare metal.
I am looking for a solution that will either help me temporarily disguise the cracks (at the present there is only this one 4-5 inch one and a few smaller ones) without removing the coating so that I could retain the look of the woodgrain or HOW to remove the coating completely so that I would then address painting the bare metal.
q metal door with cracking finish, doors, home maintenance repairs, painting
  17 answers
  • Irahanna Irahanna on May 06, 2016
    Another view
  • William William on May 06, 2016
    What you have is a steel door with an embossed vinyl wrap made for mobile homes. Heat, sun, and UV rays just broke down the vinyl. I would get in touch with a mobile home supply house and get their advice. The vinyl is more likely bonded to the steel and probably can't be removed easily.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 06, 2016
    Sorry you will not be able to fix this on your own. There is major separation on the door and perhaps there is more then one problem going on. I would call the professionals at the mobile home office.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 06, 2016
    Contact the door manufacturing company. I had a similar problem with a Larson brand storm door and they replaced the door for me at no cost.
  • Sandra Crosbie Sandra Crosbie on May 07, 2016
    Would Gorilla glue or some other ultra strong glue not just ( fix ) it for the present. Doors are quite expensive necessity to anyone's home. I'd try the glue before replacing the door. It can't make it look worse. Don't be too heavy handed with the glue. Good luck.
  • April April on May 07, 2016
    I'm not sure if caulk works on metal, but I'm not sure what to suggest. I pray you find the help you need. :)
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on May 07, 2016
    Well, if you can't get the door replaced,, my husband works on cars and you might try using car Bondo to fill the area after you clean it off to the bare metal. Fill with Bondo sand it down, prime and spray paint. He has done that to things around our house....
  • Diane Stultz Diane Stultz on May 07, 2016
    My front door did this after I painted it red, so I peeled off all the paint down to the bare metal, primed it, then repainted it white. No problems since, five years now.
  • Marra Marra on May 07, 2016
    My front door did this too, the sun caused the metal to heat up faster than the paint and soon....crack! I used epoxy to fill the cracked trim area, sanded it down, sanded other cracking areas, primed and painted my door barn red and then dry brushed a darker red over that. It's lasted a good 10 years - now I see it's time to paint again.
  • Paula Watkins Williams Paula Watkins Williams on May 07, 2016
    My front door on my mobile home did the same thing. I don't think the metal had been primed before it was painted. I took it down, scraped and sanded it until I got it smooth. Next, I put 2 coats of primer, like Kilz, on it. Then 2 coats of paint. It looks great! And, no more pealing.
  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on May 08, 2016
    I concur with Lynn Palmatier & Paula. After using Zip Strip to remove the paint, I used Bondo to repair the dents in my steel clad door. Zinser primer and two coats of Sears best quality exterior paint on all five surfaces made my door look new again. PS-Bondo sands easily and the latex primer and paint have almost no odor. Be sure to choose a NO VOC paint. Mike
  • Faith Rosborough Faith Rosborough on May 08, 2016
    The thing to think about when repainting...use exterior latex paint. Latex is pliable and expand and contract with the temperature of the door. I have had great success using latex on exterior metal doors...and I live in northern Canada with extreme temperature variations.
  • Darla Darnell Darla Darnell on May 08, 2016
    you could just touch it up without taking it all off. We generally scraped off where it had raised, wiped it, primed it, then painted it. I know rules and opinions change over time, however, when we painted houses, trailer homes, etc.. We used a good quality oil based paint. On wood it put an additive in, with metal, we primed with kilz. Kilz covers up a lot
  • Darla Darnell Darla Darnell on May 08, 2016
    most important thing when painting is make sure everything is dry, moisture can get trapped , causing bubbling, flaking.
  • Franklyn Franklyn on Mar 07, 2020

    My door did the same. Vinyl blistered and cracked from direct sun. I was able to peel some of quite easily but used a heat gun on the rest. It took a while but worked well. Now just to prime and repaint

  • Irahanna Irahanna on Mar 29, 2020

    Thanks. Sounds like a project.

    • Franklyn Franklyn on Mar 31, 2020

      I painted the door after wiping it thoroughly with acetone to remove the bit of remaining glue and then sanded lightly with a 180 grit paper on my orbital sander. Wiped once again and then painted the door with tremclad high gloss to match the trim on the house. Turned out fantastic!. Blessings, Franco

  • Day.G Day.G on Apr 06, 2021

    so, my husband and i literally just had this issue... one day i was walking thru walmart and saw some rustoleum spray paint... so i figured i’d get some sand paper and see what i could do.


    my husband and i tried scraping the nonsense off of the metal door, and maybe 30 minutes into it, i said, “THE HEAT MADE IT BUBBLE!”


    i ran for my blow dryer and the job was so easy from there. the vinyl peeled right off with the heat and all i used was my thumb nail. we had the vinyl wrap off in about 20 minutes. however, the edges were almost impossible. so we sanded everything into a smooth surface. once we finished, my husband spray painted the front door for me.

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