How to Paint Interior House Doors Like a Professional

The right paint for your interior doors can offer the perfect finishing touch for your home decor. Doors are a prominent feature in every room, and they can be an eyesore, they can be a necessary evil or they can be the element that ties the whole room together. While painting your interior house doors like a professional can be time-consuming, it's exceptionally rewarding -- and a lot more economical than hiring someone to do the job.

Select materials

The quality of your materials determines the quality of the finished product. Make sure you pick a good primer and a high-quality paint. Always ask for a test sample of the paint, preferable in the form of a painted piece of a material as close to your door's construction as possible. Paint will always look slightly different after it has dried. Next, select a high-quality synthetic brush and a tray that will allow you easy access to your paint. Don't forget paint stripper and a sander if you're re-doing existing painted doors; if not properly removed and/or sanded, old paint can cause your new paint job to crack, peel or discolor.

Prepare the work space

Lay out a plastic sheet in an area where the door can dry undisturbed for as long as it's needed. Set up a pair of sawhorses for more comfortable work conditions. Make sure that the space is large enough that the door, all of your painting equipment and you can stay on the plastic while working.

Remove old paint

Remove all of the hardware, and lay the door on the sawhorses. Scrape all of the old paint off of the door, and thoroughly sand the entire surface until it is smooth and entirely free of traces of the previous paint job. It is always best to do this part with some form of respiratory protection in a well-ventilated area, especially if you don't know whether the previous paint is lead-based. Wipe down the entire door with a damp cloth to remove any loose dust or debris, then apply a smooth coat of primer and let it dry.

Paint the door

With your door clean and properly primed, wipe the entire surface with a damp cloth one more time. Stir the paint until all color is evenly distributed. Paint the edges of the door first using long, smooth strokes. Next, paint around the edges and then through the middle of any recessed areas or other detailing, working top to bottom. Finally, starting at the top center and working downward and then out to the sides, paint the main body of the door. Apply a second coat if desired, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before continuing. Once complete, replace the doorknob and hinges and re-hang the door.

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