Painting an interior door is a beginner level home improvement project that most people can complete in just a few hours. 

If your interior doors are showing their age or you would like to get creative and paint them a new color, follow the steps below to paint a door.


Tips and Tricks for How to Paint a DoorClean
Your door should be cleaned with soap and water or a mild detergent before painting to insure good adhesion of the paint. 

Make sure the door is completely dry before proceeding.


Spray or Brush?
You need to decide whether you want to spray paint your interior door or paint it using a brush or brush and roller. 

If you decide to spray paint your door, you will need to have spray painting equipment and you must remove the door to move it to a well ventilated area. 

The good part about spray painting a door is that you will not have brush marks and you will get an even finish. 

If you decide to apply the paint using a brush or brush and roller, you will most likely see the brush marks and you will have to mask off areas that will not be painted, but you can paint the door while it is still hanging.


Tape Off
If you are painting your door in place, tape off the areas that you do not want painted, including your door knob and hinges. 

You may wish to remove the door knob or cover it in aluminum foil instead of taping around it. 

You can paint your hinges with rubber cement to avoid getting paint on them and then use a knife to cut around the edges and peel off the rubber cement after you are finished painting.


Your door will need to be lightly sanded in order for the new paint to stick using 120 grit sandpaper. 

If the door is older and has been beaten up over the years, you may need to use some wood filler and do a little more sanding than a newer door. 

Use a tack cloth or slightly damp rag to remove all sanding dust before proceeding. 

Make sure to be extra diligent with sanding if you are painting water based paint over oil based paint.


Use one light coat of primer on your door.  If you are using a paint and primer in one, you can skip this step.

If you are spray painting, test paint on a scrap piece of wood before painting directly on your door to practice getting an even coat without drips. 

If you are painting with a brush or brush and roller, start by rolling or brushing the raised panels of your doors and follow by brushing in the grooves around the panels. 

Always paint with the direction of the wood grain, not across the grain. 

After that, paint the horizontal pieces (called rails) and then the vertical pieces (called stiles). 

Finish by painting the outside edges of the door.


Once the primer has dried according to the manufacturer's instructions, paint the door the same way you applied the primer. 

You will most likely need two coats of an eggshell or semigloss latex paint. 

Make sure to let each coat of paint dry properly before applying an additional coat.


Leave Door Open
If you painted your door in place, make sure not to touch or close the door and disturb the paint on the edges of the door until it is fully dry.



Enter your email address, then click the subscribe button below.