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How To Paint a Panelled Door

Spend what you will on the quality of build and materials on any door and that investment is jeopardised by the choice and finesse of the finish. We will cover the selection process for which options are available when it comes to different types of finishes in another one of our guides. We also have a guide that covers how to select the appropriate paint colours for your doors that complement the surroundings.

This guide however, will look at the recommended process for how to paint a panelled door to give it the perfect finish without unsightly or unprofessional brush marks, a strong coating without cracking or flaking and an even colour.

It's best if you can paint the door first, allow to dry, and then paint the frame after. This way it's less likely someone will touch the fresh paintwork.

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fall" – A wise skydiver

You will need:
one broad paintbrush (2 ½ inch), one slim brush (1 inch - for painting the mouldings only), your chosen paint, sheets to cover floor, 2 pieces of cloth, pot of water, white spirit, tin foil, some old newspaper.

How to Paint a Panelled Door - Step by Step

  • Prepare the room. Lay down the dust sheets on the floor and ensure there is adequate ventilation without the possibility of dust blowing on to wet paint.
  • Remove door handles. Prevent an embarrassing situation that will be trotted out by your spouse every Christmas by slipping a small wedge under the door ensure it doesn't accidentally close on you with the handle fixtures and screwdriver on the floor in the other room
  • Clean the door with a damp cloth then dry with a fresh one. After ensuring the door is clean and dry apply the paint in the following order:- 1st paint the mouldings (the angled edges of the raised parts of the door) with the slim brush, 2nd paint the panels, 3rd paint the muntins (vertical centres), 4th paint the cross rails (horizontal parts), 5th paint the stiles (vertical outer sides of the face of the door), 6th finally, paint the edges of the door.

TIP: when finishing each section of the door use brush strokes in the same direction as the grain of the wood and use the wet cloth to wipe away any unwanted paint.

  • To clean the brushes:- wipe as much excess paint off the brushes and on to the newspaper. Dip the brush in to the white spirit and spread out the bristles to work in the liquid. Rinse out the white spirit and paint residue and apply a small amount of washing up liquid. Work the liquid through the bristles and then rinse thoroughly. Dry then shake the brush to flick out all the remaining water. Cover the brush part with the tin foil ensuring the tip of the brush is pointed to prevent the bristles spreading out before they are used again.

TIP: Do not use cheap brushes. Some people that can't be bothered to wash out their brushes after using them simply throw them away. If you're using cheap brushes, we agree. Throw them out before you use them and then go and buy some to do your home justice. There's simply no point spending wisely on quality doors and paint if the brush controlling the finish isn't up to the job.

TIP: A dog with a lovely glossy coat has everything to do with good diet and nothing to do with DIY. Remember to shut out the pets until the paint has dried to avoid a furry finish to your door.