If you have ever wondered how to paint a door (interior or exterior) without leaving brush marks? then continue reading. There are various steps in achieving a professional brushless finish. Painting a door without brush marks is a relatively simple process as long as you follow the advice below.
Painting a Door Without Removing It
Should I remove the door before painting? there is a simple answer to the question. Are you confident that you can rehang the door after you have finished painting. Do you have the available space and equipment (Saw Horses) to rest the door onto? If the answer is NO, then leave the door where it is, you can achieve a professional finish without removing the door.
I generally do not remove doors before painting, unless 1) The door needs repaired 2) The door is being stripped, all existing paint removed using a Heat Gun.
What you will need though, when painting a hung door is a Door Wedge to stop the door from swinging back and forth. Also ensure that you remove the door hardware (door handles), if your a novice painter, mask off the hinges with Scotchblue Masking Tape.
How To Paint a New Door
All wooden doors (bare wood) will need to be primed before any further coats of paint can be applied. This is an essential step that must not be skipped. Primer paint allows the tops coats of paint to adhere to the surface better. Primer is designed to seal new wood preventing the underlying wood from prematurely absorbing the solvents in the finishing paint. Priming bare wood also stops knots from bleeding through your new paint work.
On new wooden doors I use Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer Sealer. Apply two coats, dilute the first coat of primer with water at a ratio of 10:1. This will allow the primer to soak thoroughly into the grain, sealing the wood. Before applying the second coat of primer, sand the door using a Foam Sanding Block 120 Grade.
Brush away all dust and prime the door again with the final coat, (do not dilute). Your door should be smooth to the touch, ready for the next coat of paint which is your undercoat.
Zinnser Bullseye 123 Water Based Primer can be applied with a brush, roller or sprayed. I use both a brush and mini roller for painting doors, regardless of whether I’m using a, (primer, undercoat or finishing coats). Using a brush and roller combination is fast and provides a superior finish, free from brush marks. I’ll explain more on the technique involved in painting a door without brush marks a little later.
Best Tools For Painting a Door
You really don’t need many tools to achieve a great finish on doors. Below is small list of tools that I use daily at Clear Cut Painting.
- Purdy Monarch XL Elite 2 inch Paint Brush
- 5 Litre Paint Scuttle
- 4 Inch Microfibre Short Pile Roller Sleeves
- Hamilton Soft Grip Mini Roller Frame
- Foam Sanding Blocks (120 grade)
- Scotchblue Painters Masking Tape
- Door Wedge
Painting A Door Without Brush Marks
Part of the process to avoiding unsightly brush marks is painting your door in the correct order ensuring even paint distribution. Most doors either have 2, 4 or 6 panel configurations, the process I’m going to explain applies to all variations.
You will notice in the diagram below arrows pointing to sections on the door, both brush and roller are used depending on the portion of the door being painted.
1) The first area to paint is the door jamb (door jambs are the sides of the door frame that run vertically). Use your brush to paint approximately a 1 inch section top and bottom, then roll the remainder of the edge with your mini roller.
2) Next are the beveled edges surrounding each panel, use your Purdy Brush to paint this area ensuring that you paint with the grain. Avoid using to much paint as it will pool in each corner of the lower bevel.
3) Now that all the beveled edges are painted, use your mini roller to paint the face of the panels, remember always working with the grain.
4) Lastly are the panels that create the frame of the door, use just the mini roller to finish applying the paint. Use long, fluid strokes with an even amount of pressure to create a spray like finish.
Always thoroughly sand the the door after applying each coat of paint. Sanding helps to key the surface helping the next layer of painting stick to the surface. Sanding between coats will ensure a spray like finish. Use a Painters Dusting Brush in combination with a damp cloth to remove all dust before painting.
How many coats of paint will a new door require? Painting a new wooden door like a pro will require 4 – 6 coats of paint, (primer, undercoat, top coats). Previously painted doors will require 3 – 4 coats of paint (undercoat, topcoats), but may still require priming depending on the circumstances.
Painting a Door Tips and Tricks
If there was just one additional tip to painting doors without brush marks. I would highly recommend using a product called Owatrol Floetrol Paint Additive. It’s essentially a paint conditioner that improves the flow of paint, helping to keep a wet edge. Floetrol is designed to be used with water based paint products for the purpose of eliminating brush and roller marks.
Paint conditioners give both professional painters and novices extending working time. Most paints are self leveling to a degree, which can be improved with, good brushes, the right choice of roller cover, good technique and paint additives to help with paint flow, (laying off).
Laying off: the redistribute of paint in a more uniform fashion. This technique can be used with both brush and roller, personally from experience, I find that when painting a door without brush marks. Use your brush to access the areas a mini roller cannot and finish with a Ultra Smooth Mini Roller Nap in combination with a paint conditioner.