How To Paint An Exterior Door With Windows

How To Paint An Exterior Door With Windows

by Annie Leftovers with Annie

Welcome guests to your home with a fresh new coat of paint on your exterior doors. Let us show you the sheen that makes it easy to clean and stand up to wear and tear throughout the year.

Alright, first things first make sure today and tomorrow has no rain in the forecast.  If the door is in direct sunlight, avoid painting until it’s in the shade. You will need to keep the door open while you are painting as it dries, so you’ll want to find a time when it’s not too hot, too cold, or too windy.

Step 1 – Clean & Prep Your Door

The first thing you want to do is make sure your door is clear of any dust, lint, or dirt. Use an all-purpose cleaner or some soap and water to clean your door.  Allow the door to completely dry before moving on. Cleaning your door well will ensure you have crisp paint lines and a smooth and durable finish that lasts

Step 2 – Tape the Door

You have two options when painting a door, you can either leave it hung or you can take it off and do the prep and painting on sawhorses. I prefer to leave the door attached to the door frame, it’s just easier for me. Once your surface is completely clean, apply painter’s tape on windows, glass, doorknobs, deadbolt locks – basically, over anything you don’t want painted. Make sure it’s smooth and apply pressure to the tape to ensure a tight seal for the paint. I like using the Ace Clean Release painters’ tape, its strong adhesion makes it ideal for painting front doors.

This is where it might get tricky depending on the angles of your windows. Try your best to cover all the glass but don’t worry if some paint sneaks through, I’ll show you how to clean it up later.

Step 3 – Painting Your Front Door

This door is in good shape with no bare paint spots so I can skip priming and move straight to painting! If your door needs priming, I recommend Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 White Water-Based Primer. When painting an exterior door, I’d recommend using an exterior paint because it is designed to hold up better against harsh weather. I’m going to use Clark+Kensington High-Gloss Premium Paint Exterior and Interior Paint. Now, just wait till you see the color, it’s called Tango Red 07C-7, it’s it gorgeous!

Start by painting the detail work first which includes this window, decorative areas, or panels with a 3- or 4-inch synthetic angled brush. Once you have painted the detail areas, start from the top of the door, and make your way down. That way you can catch can any drips. Allow that first coat to dry and come back to apply a second coat.

Here’s an Annie Tip, to get a smooth consistent paint application across all flat surfaces, I’d recommend using a small 6” roller with a low-nap texture (or a high-density foam roller).

Step 4 – Remove Painters Tape + Let Dry

Once the door and window areas have been painted, carefully remove the Painter’s Tape while paint is still tacky. If paint snuck through the tape and dried on your window, don’t worry! Here’s a way to remove it. Take a cup of white vinegar and bring it to a boil in the microwave. Wearing a pair of thick rubber gloves, so you don’t burn yourself. Dip a rag into the vinegar and use a little elbow grease to rub the paint spots away.

If you are still having trouble removing paint off the glass, here’s one more trick. Fill a dish or a bucket with warm water and dish soap, dip another cloth in and wet the paint spots. This acts like a barrier. Then take a razor blade at a 45-degree angle from the window and push the blade in a smooth motion to scrape the paint away.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using any product.


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