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Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

How to paint a front door

Posted by admin
May 18th, 2015

Blue front door

How to paint a front door

From time to time you will need to paint your front door, if it is wood that is. Ideally pick a couple of dry days to complete the job such as spring or summer. Pick a good quality exterior paint to ensure a long lasting job.

The front door is one of the most seen parts of your house, a good looking door gives a good impression to visitors, and especially if you are selling your house as it gives kerb appeal.

You should gather all the tools required before starting, you will need:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Sandpaper (various grades)
  • Primer
  • Undercoat
  • Topcoat (Satin or gloss)
  • Paint stripper (optional)
  • Heat gun (optional)
  • Scraper (optional)

Ironwork / Door furniture

The first job is to remove all ironwork or door furniture such as locks, knocker, letterbox, escutcheon, door pull and numbers. This will make it far easier for working on the door. Put everything to one side being careful not to lose any screws as some can be tiny and you will need them again later to refit the ironwork / door furniture. You may need an adjustable spanner for the knocker or letterbox.

Preparation

As with all decorating jobs, preparation is key and will take most of your time. Now is the time to decide if you are simply going to re-decorate your door, or give it a real overhaul and strip the existing finish off back to bare wood.

If you are going to remove all the existing paint finish you can do this either by using a heat gun and scraper, or paint remover and scraper. The choice is really up to you. Once the door is stripped give it a good rub down and fill any crack and holes and sand these level and smooth. Once you have done this you are now ready to move to the next section, prime.

If you decide against stripping the door back to bare wood, or it simply doesn’t need it you should give the existing surface a good clean off to remove dirt and grime with a cloth and maybe water, the give the surface a good rub down. Fill any cracks or unwanted holes and rub them down level and smooth. Dust off and you can move onto the next section, prime.

Prime

Once you have prepared the door you should prime the entire door if you have stripped it back to bare wood, or spot prime bare wood if you have just rubbed down and filled. Allow to dry before moving onto undercoating.

Undercoat

Once you have primed the door, whether it be the entire door or spot primed, give the primer a light sand down before applying one or two coats of undercoat. Allow each coat to dry fully if you give it more than one coat sand back between coats for that perfect smooth finish.

Topcoat

Once you have prepared the door correctly and given it it’s necessary coats of primer and undercoat you can now give the door it’s final sand back and the final coat, the topcoat. This maybe a satin finish or a gloss. Again you may want to give two topcoats, but read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you leave enough time between coats, and a word of warning, if you sandback, you a fine paper and use light strokes. If you are too harsh you could scratch the surface too much, or even worse roll up the first coat and ruin all your hard work.

Non-painted or varnished doors

This post deals with painted doors, such a glossed doors but for other finishes, such as varnish or stained door the principle is the same, apart from you wouldn’t use primer or undercoat, however the preparation part is still applicable and needs to be done.

Painted front doors

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How to paint new wood

Posted by admin
April 30th, 2014

How to paint new wood

It is important when painting new wood to prepare the wood and paint it correctly, this will ensure the wood lasts for a long time. Most interior wood is softwood, such as skirting boards, door frames, architraves and doors. Whereas exterior wood can be both softwood, such as in fascia boards, but maybe hardwoods for windows and doors etc. This post mainly deals with softwood, such as pine, and painting the wood rather than staining or varnishing.

Preparation is the first job for any new wood, a rub down to ensure the surface is smooth and ready for painting. If you are going to be painting the wood, that is to say not going to varnish the wood, you should apply kotting solution to the knots. This can be applied with a brush or rag. Some knotting solution comes with a brush. Apply two or three coats to the knots and let it dry.

Primer

One the knotting is dry you can apply a suitable wood primer. This can either be solvent or water based, I prefer water based as it dries quickly. Once the first coat is dry, lightly rub down the first coat and then apply a second coat of primer.

Once this is dry, again give it a light rub down, you should now have a well coated piece of wood ready for an undercoat.

Undercoat

An undercoat is used to allow a topcoat such as gloss or satinwood to be applied. Apply one or two coats of a suitable undercoat, for some paints a coloured undercoat can be used, such as a dark grey undercoat for a dark blue or black topcoat for example.

If you are applying more than one undercoat, leave to dry fully and give the wood a light sanding between coats. You may have to give the wood two undercoats depending on how well the wood is covered and how porous the wood is.

Topcoat

Topcoat can be gloss, satinwood, eggshell, solvent based or water based they all come under the heading topcoat as it is the last coat or finishing coat to be applied to the wood.

Once you have applied the primer and undercoat you need to rub the wood down a final time in preparation for the topcoat. Dust of the wood and make sure the wood is free from dirt and grease, then apply the topcoat to the wood. In some cases a second coat may be required, if this is the case allow the first coat to fully dry and then lightly rub the first coat with fine sandpaper and then remove any dust and apply the second coat.

Giving a second coat can give a better gloss in the case of water based paints, it can also give a deeper, fuller finish.

Painting new hardwood

To paint new hardwood, such as a front door, the process is the same, you may not require any knotting solution as hardwood has far less knots. Again, rub down, prime, undercoat and topcoat ensuring you rub down between each coat to ensure a good smooth finish.

graphic of wood

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