How to Paint a Door with Gloss Enamel

Painting of Door in Melbourne Kew

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Many of you may have asked the question: How to paint a door with gloss enamel? By painting the door in sections will help you to produce a paint finish that is smooth and evenly coated.

Prepare the surface

Firstly it is important to make sure that your door does not contain any lead paint. It is vital to test for lead paint first to determine what preparation is required. Assuming that your door is new or post 1980 and is in sound condition, then the preparation is pretty straight forward and involves the following process:

  1. Making sure that all nail holes, dents and scratches are filled with timber putty and left to dry
  2. A light sand of the entire door is required to smooth the timber putty, to remove any sharp edges and to dull the sheen level of the paint if it has an existing coating already
  3. Wipe down and/or wash to remove any chalkiness, residue dirt, dust or grease
  4.  Spot prime any sections that have bare timber or repaired areas

Paint around the door

Once the preparation is completed you only need a small brush and a small mohair roller.

  1. Start by painting the side edge of the door that has the hinges screwed into it. Careful not to paint them!! The reason for this is that any paint that creeps around the edge of the door onto the face of the door can be removed by the brush and roller immediately.
  2. Once that is done, we move onto the panels of the door. You can start on any panel by using the brush to cut in the groves first and then the roller to paint the middle.
  3. When the first panel is completed, go onto the next panel and apply the same method until all of the panels are completed as demonstrated below.

Paint the remainder of the door

When the panels are completed, the remainder of the door is quite quick to finish as you only need to use the roller to cover the remainder of the door and the brush to feather off any air bubbles.

  1. Begin painting the top, middle and bottom horizontal rails first
  2. Then paint the vertical stiles on the hinge side, middle and lock side as shown below
  3. Remember before you paint the vertical stiles, take the brush and cut in on the edge of the door to the hinge side as the roller will not reach the edge cleanly.

Final Step

Now that you have completed one side, do the other side the same way and when that is finished don’t forget to paint the edge of the door on the lock side. Repeat the process for the second coat after the door has dried and had a light sand between coats.

You are now ready to tackle all the doors in you house.

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Terry Zabak (Author)

Terry Zabak is the Managing Director of TMZ Painting. When he's not painting, Terry's passions include studying Italian, playing acoustic guitar, watching sport, experiencing new foods and cuisines and also traveling either locally or overseas. You can reach out to Terry by dropping him a line at