How to paint an exterior door?

by Abby

How do I paint an exterior door on my home?

  25 answers
  • Amanda M Amanda M on Sep 07, 2012
    As a DIYer, I like using enamel based paints for outdoor projects. These tend to be tougher in high traffic areas. Also it is easy to clean which is great with little fingers and puppy's nose marks. Good luck!
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jul 24, 2012
    Sherwin-Williams has a range of exterior acrylic latex paints that should work for you. Some of the higher-end paints are even self-priming, so that's another option for you. What is the door made of?
  • Zoe Emiko Zoe Emiko on Nov 24, 2017

    The first thing you'll need to do is give your door a good cleaning and sanding to get rid of all the peeling paint. I would suggest adding a layer of primer and using any good exterior paint to repaint it. You might even be able to get away with using Rust-oleum spray paint. Whatever you decide to do though you'll need to clean up and primer your door first. Paint will be your biggest expense but just painting a door won't take much paint at all. Remember, a couple thin coats of paint letting them dry fully between coats will last much longer, and look much better, than a single heavy coat.

  • Beja Foster Beja Foster on Jul 02, 2015

    If you use interior paint, it'll fade faster in the sun. I did this, and after 3 years, I needed to repaint. This time, I used a Rustoleum glossy indoor outdoor paint that only cost $5 at Walmart.

  • Susan Austin Susan Austin on Sep 13, 2017

    if you have all loose paint off that's fine. then proceed with light sanding. tape off door knobs and hinges if your not going to be removing them. give it a good coat of primer and let dry. then paint.

  • Bonnie Kean Bonnie Kean on Jul 03, 2017

    Exterior Satin...and it will have UV protection and can take the elements and heat better. Sand/prime/scrape door finish if needed. 2 coats of finish (exterior) way to do it. Painter for 43 years. :)

  • It depends on what material your door is but ideally a paint meant for outdoors or an oil based paint such as Rustoleum will wear best in an outdoor situation.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Apr 04, 2019

    I agree with Becky an oil based paint will hold up better to the outdoors.

  • Carole Carole on Apr 05, 2019

    I'm assuming it is a wood door. Use an exterior paint. I would prime first myself no matter what the paint says. Then 2 coats of paint. The finish is up to your preference.

  • Mad29883817 Mad29883817 on Apr 05, 2019

    Would definitely use semi-gloss paint as over time flat paint gets dull

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 05, 2019

    Hi, That depends on what material the door is made from.

    Timber - Gloss Paint

    Aluminium - Metal Paint

    UPVC - Not really recommended - but look for one that will cover UPVC at Paint shop or ask advice from door manufacturers............ Good luck!

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Mar 07, 2020

    1) Clean with TSP

    2) Sand

    3) Prime with exterior oil primer

    4) 2 coats of exterior rated oil paint in any color you want

    (exterior semi gloss latex. Latex directly on metal will cause it to rust)

  • Yvonne 'Nan' Larson Yvonne 'Nan' Larson on Apr 30, 2019

    Use a lightish color if the door is in the sun. It will last longer than a darkish color.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 02, 2020

    I would use a exterior enamel, probly a semi gloss so it will clean easy.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Nov 03, 2020

    Rustoleum has amazing finishes. You may want to spray seal it with an exterior sealer after applying to last longer.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Nov 06, 2020

    Paint store can give good info. Any exterior latex paint will work. Remove door handles before painting.

  • Linda Carl Holder Linda Carl Holder on Jun 12, 2017

    Any good exterior paint if this is an outside door, preferably an enamel paint.

  • I painted mine by laying down a drop cloth, cleaning the door with soap and water, taping off the windows, and painting with a quality brush. Be sure to use a good exterior paint.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 09, 2021

    The best thing is to remove it in order to paint it. If you can't do that, then hang a sheet of plastic over the opening and tape all the way around to prevent dust and insects from flying in. Put a piece of plastic or drop cloth on the floor beneath the door. You will need to prep it, probably with a deglosser. Then you are ready to prime and paint. Make sure you get a paint that is formulated for an exterior door and the type of material your door is made of.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 09, 2021

    your question has posted several times be sure to look at all your posts for answers

  • I highly suggest to use enamel based paints. As it may last longer especially on outdoors.

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 09, 2021

    Hi Abby, you will want to ensure you are using outdoor paint, hope this helps you out,

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 28, 2022

    If you have panels, start with them - Top first.