Metal doors are often used for exterior doors on residential structures. While these materials are designed to have a long lifespan, they are often difficult to maintain when painted with inferior materials. With a good coat of exterior paint, a few materials and these five tips, you can easily paint any metal door without troubles.
Oil vs. Water Based
Before you decide you’re going to paint over your old metal door paint, you may want to add a coat of heavy primer like Kilz. Most of today’s paint materials are water based. That means they clean up easy and aren’t very hard to apply. However, many older homes have been painted with oil based paint. If you plan on painting over your oil based paint on your metal door, a primer is a must since oil and water based paint don’t work well together. Prime all oil based paint with the appropriate primer or you’ll end up with peeling paint in no time at all.
Before you do any painting or sanding, it’s a wise idea to clean the door using a natural degreasing agent. Remove all of the hardware and scrub the door down. After it dries, you can then sand and paint. Without a good degreasing agent like this one, your paint isn’t going to stick too well to a metal door covered with greasy fingerprints.
For the new paint to stick to the old paint best, it’s important to lightly sand the door. A simple 220 grit sandpaper is all you really need to get the surface worn enough to accept the new paint. You don’t need to sand all of the paint away-in fact a light sanding is all that’s needed. A few light passes will score the surface enough so that paint will stick to the door. After sanding, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess dust and debris.
Keep it Hung
Many people think that the door needs to be removed to be painted. Removing the door from its hinges can make the door out of whack once it’s been rehung. All you really need to do is remove the knobs, knocker or other hardware. Cover the hinges with a bit of rubber cement and paint away. With a good drop cloth under the door and a thin coat of rubber cement over the hinges, you can easily paint the entire door without removing it from the frame. Once the paint has dried, you can peel away the rubber cement.
Using the Right Roller
Metal doors are tough to paint with a regular brush. Lines and marks from the bristles will be visible all over the door, giving it an unprofessional look. Instead of a brush, a small ½” nap mini 4″ roller cover is the best tool for the job. It will roll out smooth and consistently without paint lines or other blemishes. Plus, the smaller roller cover will help you to get into those small nooks and crannies that many exterior doors possess.