Typically, all I use to refinish things now is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP). It is amazing and goes on so many different finishes but this time I ventured away from it to makeover our front door.
Technically ASCP can be used on a front door, I really debated back and forth if I should use it. However, I did not want to have to deal with putting some kind of sealant on the front door as well which I would have needed to with ASCP. That would just double the work load for me. I knew I needed a paint and primer in one, so I would eliminate any priming step and would not have to add a sealer at the end. So we took a trip down to our local (and only option- ha ha) Ace Hardware to choose a paint. We grabbed some paint swatches, brought them home and went back to get samples of the ones we liked best. We then painted the samples in small spots on the door and then picked our winner.
Now, depending what type of and finish your door has and what type of condition it is in determines the steps you will take to paint and prep your door.
Our door was fairly new, it was painted about 3 years ago with a gel stain. It is a fiberglass exterior door, and we are assuming since it was a gel stain that it is oil based. You do NOT want to mix oil with latex or vice versa. Figure out what you have and then stick with that base. If you have an oil based paint on your door, continue to use oil based paint and primer as you refinish your door, and same with latex. There are all sorts of technical reasons about proper adhesion… just trust me.
If you are like me and are in a situation where you want to switch finishes, you can. But it takes a few more steps. We wanted to replace the paint with an EXTERIOR, Semi-gloss, latex paint. After googling and doing some research, we kept seeing that latex just had a better application and seemed to last better than oil. I think oil would have worked just as well to, but we went with this paint from Ace, simply because it was all they had that would mix with our paint and we were assured we would like it. So make sure to talk to a knowledgable paint representative. The color we chose was Royal Navy by Valspar and the paint we mixed the color in was Clark + Kensington Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel Acyrlic Latex Paint they have this awesome how-to guide on their website about prep and painting too if you need some more info.
We got home and here is what we did.
- Prep your door, to remove any dust, oil or sheen. We lightly sanded the door, to remove any existing sheen, since we were changing paint bases from oil to latex and wanted it to have better adhesion. Just sand off most of any existing shine if you’re switching. If you’re not just wipe down the door, with a damp rag to remove any dust and then once with mineral spirits (this is something I use all the time in painting and its like a staple you have in your pantry- you need to pick up a can if you don’t have it). Let it dry and then proceed.
- Tape off all windows panes, or hardware. We removed the main handle and just painted and taped off the hinges. We did NOT want to remove the door off the hinges. If we had, we would have had to fully cover the front door opening until it went back up, and painting would have taken longer. We would have had to paint and finish one side, and wait for it to be all done and THEN flip it and do the other side. I wanted this to be a quick project to do on a cool day (before the summer heat hits) and it worked out great. We had a lot to tape off since we have 6 window panes on each side, and the trick to a good tape job is using an EXACTO KNIFE!! Put your tape on, and then take your exacto knife, and run it along the edges and it’ll remove tiny pieces of tape and ensure the tape is good and close to the edges.
- Start Painting, I did two coats of paint. I did not use a roller, but you could if you have several smooth areas on your door. Our door had wood grain all over it and I didnt think it was necessary to have a roller. I just made sure to use a good quality brush (I always use Purdy) and the one I used was 2.5″ and I used it for the whole door. Wait for your first coat to dry, at least 30 minutes before proceeding to the next one and ALWAYS check the label of your paint to see what it specifies. Paint drying time obviously has tons of variables, based on the temperature and humidity outside, the surface its going over, and how thick or thin paint was applied. ** This is super important- REMOVE YOUR TAPE BEFORE the paint dries! If it is pulled off when its totally dry, then paint sticks to the tape and will pull off paint as you go– and you will have to do touchups! You can remove almost immediately. **
- Let It Dry. We left the door partially open because it was a nice cool day and then closed it when we got ready for bed. Check your paint can for specific drying instructions. I waited two days and then put our cute wreath from Kirkland’s back on it.
That’s all! Took a couple hours, since we painted the front AND back (because the stain was on our inside as well) and we were done. This cost under $40 to do it!
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