wikiHow to Paint a Stained Door

You may wish to paint over a stained door because it has become weathered and unsightly or you may want to paint over stained wood doors to change the look of the door. There is a technique to painting over stain successfully. Here’s how to do it.

Steps

  1. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 1
    1
    Choose and purchase your primer and paint.
    • Select oil base primer paint for the first coat.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 1Bullet1
    • If you are painting over stained cedar or redwood, ask an experienced paint store clerk to help you choose the proper primer to cover those woods.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 1Bullet2
    • Choose either oil-base paint or acrylic latex paint for the second coat and finish coats. Read the label on latex paints to make sure they can be painted over oil primer.
    • Choose exterior or interior paint depending on where the door surface will be. A gloss or semi-gloss finish is best for exterior surfaces. Semi-gloss or “eggshell” finish is best for interior door sides.
    • Choose an acrylic clear sealer to cover the paint after it dries to prolong the life of the paint and make it easier to clean.
    • For an average-sized door, you will need 1 quart of each kind of paint and sealer. (You will need 2 quarts of finish paint if each side of the door is a different color.)
  2. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 2
    2
    Remove the door from the hinges if at all possible and move it to a dry, well-ventilated place for prep and painting.
    • Leave one half of the hinge attached to the doorframe to make it easier to re-hang the door.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 2Bullet1
    • If you can’t remove the door for some reason you will need to protect the doorframe and nearby walls with painters tape.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 2Bullet2
  3. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 3
    3
    Remove the door handle and hardware and store it in a safe spot if you will be re-using it.
  4. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 4
    4
    Wash the door well with a grease cutting soap and warm water. Pay special attention to areas around the door handle and the edge of the doorframe.
  5. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 5
    5
    Let the door dry completely.
  6. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 6
    6
    Go over the whole surface of the door with fine sandpaper.
    • Sand to remove the gloss and slightly roughen the surface, not to remove all the previous coatings of sealer or stain.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 6Bullet1
    • Be careful not to gouge or make grooves when sanding.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 6Bullet2
    • Use a wire brush to rough up grooved or ornate design areas on the door.
      Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 6Bullet3
  7. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 7
    7
    Wipe off the door with a damp cloth and let it dry.
  8. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 8
    8
    Fix any holes or cracks in the door with a wood putty that can be painted. Let it harden and sand it smooth.
  9. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 9
    9
    Go over the door again with a tack cloth to remove any remaining dust from sanding.
  10. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 10
    10
    Cover any widows in the door to protect them from paint.
  11. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 11
    11
    Using a roller or a brush apply your primer paint on one side of the door. Let the primer dry completely. Consult the directions on the can for the proper drying time and don’t rush it.
  12. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 12
    12
    Paint the other side of the door with primer and let it dry if both sides of the door will be painted.
  13. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 13
    13
    Apply the first coat of paint to one side of the door. Let it dry. Consult the directions for proper drying time between coats.
  14. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 14
    14
    Apply a second coat of paint to the same side and let it dry.
  15. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 15
    15
    Repeat the above 2 steps with the other side of the door if it will be painted.
  16. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 16
    16
    Wait about 3 days and apply a coat of acrylic sealer to protect your paint job. Let it dry.
  17. Image titled Paint a Stained Door Step 17
    17
    Put on the door handle and hinges and re-hang the door.

Tips

  • Don’t forget to sand and paint the edge of the door that will show when the door is open.
  • If you are going to be using a light colored paint over a dark stain on a door you may need 2 coats of primer paint.
  • Use separate brushes or roller covers for oil base primers and latex topcoats.
  • A pressure sprayer with a painting attachment can do a nice job when painting doors.
  • Suspending the door flat at your working height (like a table) makes the work easier. Use sawhorses or tipped over trashcans to support it.
  • Leave yourself several days to complete this project.

Warnings

  • Use only a fine grade of sandpaper. Other grades will leave a rough surface that won’t look nice.
  • Wear a mask while sanding.
  • Always paint in a well-ventilated place and wear a painter’s mask.
  • Latex based primers will not work well over stain. The paint will soon peel.

Thing’s You’ll Need

  • Tools for removing the door hinges and handles, screwdriver, hammer
  • Grease cutting soap
  • Cloths for washing door
  • Fine or extra fine sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood putty and spatula
  • Paint roller and roller covers or paint brushes
  • Primer paint
  • Paint
  • Sealer

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Decorative Home Paintwork