For Your Home Front Door - Wood

Paint a Wood Front Door

Project Scenario

Fred the homeowner has a wood front door that he wants to paint without removing the door.


  • Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare, prime, and paint.
  • Start between 8:00am and 10:00am and when the outside temperature is above 60°F.
  • Clean door. Remove mildew with retardant solution if necessary and let dry thoroughly.
  • Use blue long mask tape to tape hinges, door handles, and any other objects that might be in close contact with the door.
  • Lay a drop cloth under the door and secure the door so it does not move white coating.
  • Remove weather stripping from jam, if possible.
  • Sand to achieve a smooth, deglossed substrate with 150 grit sandpaper. Remove all dust from sanding.

Primer Coat

Best:     502001x Unique II Enamel Undercoater
Good:   702901x Synthetic Speed Prime

Top Coat

Best:      5320xxx Color Base
Better:   54200x Unique II Enamel
Good:    74500xx Porsalite Alykd Enamel

Paint Wood Front Door

Caution! Things to consider

  • Pay attention to sunlight. Direct exposure can cause blisters and reduce flow and leveling.
  • High levels of humidity can affect dry time and uniform sheen appearance.
  • Temperature extremes can affect dry times.
  • Post a wet paint sign with an actual paint dot when starting. Then you can test this spot instead of marring the door.
  • If it is colder outside, pre-warm the door and paint before coating.
  • If brushing or rolling, additives may help flow and leveling, like 913 Latex Retarder.

For more information about this or other painting tips & techniques, our paint & coatings products, or general DIY paint and coatings questions, please contact us online or by calling 1-800-452-2315.