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Spring Home Makeover: Painting Interior Doors

Adding a fresh new look to your home’s interior doesn’t have to involve a complete renovation. Sometimes, all you need to freshen the rooms in your home is to update an element or two. Today, we’re going to look at how to give your interior doors a complete makeover.

This is one of the easiest makeover projects you can take on in your home. Typically, it only involves two details: paint and hardware.

Painting Your Interior Doors

Before you begin painting your doors (because, it just makes sense to do several doors at once), there’s a bit of prep work to take care of first. You can either paint the doors while still hanging or remove the doors. Removing the doors makes for easier cleanup and allows you to lie the door flat on a pair of sawhorses. However, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave the doors in place, since it allows you to paint both sides without waiting for drying time. It’s really up to you.

Scrape, Sand, Clean

When prepping to paint, place a tarp beneath the door to catch any falling paint and dust.

Begin this next step by scraping any loose paint from the door. Then, get ready to sand. To make this part of your door DIY easier, we highly recommend using an electric power sander. They’re inexpensive and can make quick work of a tedious task. Choose a smaller model, like an orbital finishing sander is powerful enough to remove oil paint from your doors, and lightweight enough to easily control with one hand.

If you don’t plan to sand your doors prior to painting, you’ll at least want to give them a good scrub before you begin. Just be aware that not sanding can result in the paint peeling away after it dries. This is particularly true if the existing paint is an oil-based latex.

Once you’ve finished sanding, give the door a good wipe down to remove dust and debris.

Remove the Hardware

Take the time to remove door knobs, handles, plates, and locks. Because nothing ruins a door makeover like the sight of paint of the hardware. If you’re doing a multi-door makeover, place the hardware from each door in its own ziplock bag and label it. This will prevent you from forgetting where everything goes once it’s time to put everything back together.

You’ll also want to cover the hinges with painter’s tape.

Paint Your Door

Definitely opt for a paint with primer in it to save yourself some time.

If your door is flat … painting it should be fairly straight-forward. Simply use a roller to paint the door from the top down. Add at least two coats for good coverage.

If you have a paneled door … there is a bit of a technique involved when painting a paneled door. The different parts of the door should be painted in a particular order and may require different tools (either foam roller or brush) for best results. Here are the different sections and the order in which they should be painted:

  1. Bevels and Edges (not pictured above)
  2. Panels
  3. Centre Stile (middle stripe)
  4. Rails (horizontal stripe between panels)
  5. Outer Stiles (stipes on each side of the panels)

Once both coats have been applied allow the door to dry until no longer tacky. If you’ve removed the door, this is now the time to flip it over and paint the other side. If you’ve left the door in place, once the paint has dried completely you can now reattach your hardware.

To give your door a complete makeover, add new hardware once it has been painted. Combined with the new paint, new hardware will impart of fresh new look to your home without the expense and time associated with a larger scale renovation.

Of course, if you love the idea of an interior door makeover, but really don’t have the time to DIY, you can always contact a painting pro to take care of it for you!


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