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Popular in Home Improvement

How To: Paint an Exterior Door

Follow these steps for painting an exterior door to increase curb appeal and update your home inexpensively.

Sometimes, all you need to do is complete a small, inexpensive update to fall in love with your home all over again. By painting a front door a vibrant color, you get the most bang for your buck and it's easily changed for future updates or owners.

Get our FREE front door color chart!

How to Paint an Exterior Door

Painter's Tape
Fine-grit sandpaper
High-density foam mini rollers and brushes
1 quart adhesion primer
1 quart satin or semigloss exterior paint (Valspar's Sassy Green is pictured)

1. Remove the door and place on sawhorses outside or in a well-ventilated area. Tip: Allowing your door to properly dry between coats may mean letting it dry overnight. Screw a piece of cut-to-size plywood into existing hardware holes to cover the door opening if necessary.)

2. Remove the hardware and hinges. Cover any glass accents or windows with painter's tape (right).

3. Clean the door by scrubbing the surface with a wet sponge (right), then lightly sand the surface.

4a. Apply adhesion primer to the door using a foam roller (right).

4b. Use a foam brush to paint any raised or depressed panels (right). Let dry.

5. Using the same technique, apply paint, starting at the center and ending with the sides (right). Let dry. Apply a second coat for a flawless finish.

6. Hang the door and reattach hardware.


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