How do I paint interior doors black?

by Kimmpossible

We are remodeling the interior of a bowling alley and I was chosen to paint all the interior doors and trim black. I cannot believe what a nightmare it is turning out to be! After the paint dries, the finish is awful! It's "shiny" in some places and "flat" in others.

I've tried using both a roller and a brush and the result is the same. These are metal doors. Prior to painting, the doors were cleaned and had a coat of primer applied. The paint we are using is Sherwin Williams semi-gloss Tricorn Black.

I am attaching some pics showing the wonky finish. These pics show how the doors look after they're completely dry. I have no clue where to go from here to try and get a nice looking, uniform finish. Any suggestions would really be appreciated!! Thanks

  12 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jul 05, 2020

    Did you use latex? It sounds like it. Hopefully your primer was oil or your doors will begin to rust. Only use oil on metal. The best thing to do at this point is strip off the paint and redo. If you try sanding it will gum up the sand paper and start to peel. I'm so sorry you are having a bad time of it. The paint store should have advised you better.

    • Kimmpossible Kimmpossible on Jul 06, 2020

      Thanks so much for the kind words and yes, latex was used. At the time we purchased all our painting supplies, we didn't really provide any detail as to what we were painting. I do plan on stopping in our local SW store and explaining the dilemma to them. I think you are 100% correct about stripping and redoing, it totally bums me out but it is the way to go to get high quality results. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, very helpful! Thank you

  • Cindy Cindy on Jul 05, 2020

    Hi Kim. I'm Cindy. Have you talked to anyone from Sherwin Williams? Did you tell them what you intended to paint? That's where I would start. They would be able to advise you where to go from here. Good luck Kim.

    • Kimmpossible Kimmpossible on Jul 06, 2020

      Thanks for your response Cindy, I hadn't thought to ask someone at our local SW store. Your advice certainly helped me to establish a starting point in trying to salvage this paint project disaster! I am determined to get a beautiful finish on these doors if it's the last thing I do. I certainly appreciate your response, Thank you!!

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jul 05, 2020

    Hello. Sounds like a nightmare. Have you contacted the customer support number on your paint can? When we have had paint failures and problems the support has been excellent even to the point of shipping us replacement product. It might be a good place to start.

    • See 1 previous
    • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jul 06, 2020

      We were shipped an extraordinary amount of replacement deck sealer and deck cleaner when the properly applied coating failed ( extremely heavy sunny exposure)and another time with another paint manufacturer the primer was not sealing out the knot hole outline the ceiling kept coming through.

      It doesn’t hurt to count your contact your manufacturer on your paint can.

      Although it is unfortunate and upsetting to have to redo it again, at least with the right guidance and troubleshooting the product may perform differently. Best wishes.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 05, 2020

    Honestly, it is hard to get a good finish, especially if the door is still hanging, because you are working against gravity. Throw in a metal door with imperfections, and it is even more frustrating. Check with the company as the others suggested, because it may be the paint and the gloss level. If you have to repaint them I would suggest paint intended for metal like Rustoleum. Also, if you have access to a paint sprayer, you will usually get a smoother finish. If the door can be put on sawhorses to paint, it will make your life easier! Good luck and stay safe!

    • Kimmpossible Kimmpossible on Jul 06, 2020

      Thank you for your response. I think I may get better results removing the doors to paint,

  • William William on Jul 05, 2020

    For metal doors you need to use DTM paint (direct to metal). Sherman Williams sells it. Nursing home I worked at had metal doors and we only used DTM paint. Metal expands and contracts differently than wood with temp changes. You will need to scuff up the surface to remove any shine.

    • Kimmpossible Kimmpossible on Jul 06, 2020

      Thanks for the info William, this is the first I've heard of DTM paint. I plan on stopping in my local SW store this week and will def mention this product. Thanks for the tip about scuffing the surface too, I'm grateful for any advice that will help me get through this project successfully! I am just looking forward to it being done and over.

      Thank you again!

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Jul 06, 2020

    Ahh that sounds awful. If there is any way you can strip it all. I have heard of applying stripper and adding plastic wrap over night. I hear this is easier to redo a job. Geez sounds like a mess. How many doors are already complete? Sherwin Williams has great paint for specific applications. DTM by Sherwin Williams would be the better paint for your job. Also, Rustoleum paints. You might be able to order rustoleum in a can rather than a spray since you have a large area to paint. Good luck! I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 06, 2020

    Using a semi-gloss will often yield odd results. You will need 3-4 coats to get it uniform. I would have gone with an enamel paint. You are stuck with same if you re paint but it's so durable with reliable finish every time.

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Jul 06, 2020

    I have been doing finish work for nearly 30 years and it took me a while to figure out how to get a smooth finish, but I had to before I could begin doing and selling work to customers. The ‘trick’ is to lightly sand between coats. This knocks off what are known as the ‘nibs’, small particles that settle in the paint while it’s still sticky. You are probably using enamel paint seeing as how you’re painting metal doors, and enamel dries very slowly. This means that nibs have a lot of time to settle in the paint. There are products you can buy to shorten drying time that you just add to the paint.

    You don’t mention if you are an employee, or owner. If you’re an owner another option is to knock out the hinge pins and remove the door. Then paint it and lean it against a wall at about a 30° angle with the painted side down, and leave it until the paint dries. This will probably give you the best finish.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 06, 2020

    Curious why would you paint the trim the same color as the door? By trim you mean things like door handles?

  • Dee Dee on Jul 08, 2020

    I would buy Rustoleum. They have a nice black paint that can be put on with a roller, brush or sprayer. I am talking about a quart of paint, not the spray can.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jul 08, 2020

    You just need to do a couple of coats of paint

  • Dave Mansfield Dave Mansfield on Jul 14, 2020

    If absolutely no bare metal test an area with black emulsion paint. Good luck