Painting A Metal Front Door: The Basics

Metal front doors offer homeowners many advantages. They deter would-be criminals, they’re insect and weather-resistant, and they provide durable aesthetics that last a long time. With that said, metal doors will show signs of wear and tear over time. Luckily, it’s easy to give a metal door a facelift with a simple coat or two of paint. Of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to paint a metal front door, so keep reading to discover a step-by-step guide to painting a metal front door. 

To Remove Or Not To Remove

The first thing you’ll want to do is decide whether to remove the door from its hinges or leave it to hang. The recommended course of action is to remove the door as this will give you easier access to all its nooks and crannies and give you a smoother finish. 

Unfortunately, metal doors are heavy and can be difficult to take off and put back on. If you don’t have help with removing it, you should leave it to hang to avoid injury or damage. 

The Paint

Use at least two coats of high-quality acrylic-latex paint on your metal front door. If the door already has a primer layer, simply begin painting. If the door is bare metal, apply a primer layer first before painting. You can also opt for direct-to-metal paint, which allows you to bypass the primer layer and apply the paint directly to the bare metal. 

*Note: Metal doors painted before 1978 may contain lead, so get a lead test kit to determine if you need to take special precautions when painting your metal front door. 

Metal Door Painting Instructions

Step 1: Remove the door and lay it on a flat, stable surface. Remove all the hardware. 

Step 2: Use a solution of hot water and tri-sodium phosphate to clean the door, paying special attention to the exterior side of the door. 

Step 3: Sand the door if it shows signs of cracked or peeling paint. If the door is primed from the factory, skip this step. 

Step 4: Tape the door where you don’t want paint applied. Press the tape down firmly to ensure proper adhesion and clean lines. 

Step 5: Prime the door if needed. Apply at least two coats and allow them to dry for 30-60 minutes each before applying the next coat. 

Step 6: Paint the door. Apply at least two coats, allowing each to dry for 2-3 hours before applying the next one. 

Step 7: Reinstall the hardware. Get a helping hand when you’re ready to hang the door on its hinges to make the job easier. 

If your metal front door needs repair before it can be painted or you just don’t think you’re up to the task, don’t hesitate to call a professional to get the job done. Most professionals can repair and paint a metal front door in just one day, so you don’t have to worry about securing your home if the door isn’t finished quickly.