A steel entry door keeps pests, intruders, and harsh weather out of the home. You are not stuck with the paint color of your home’s steel entry door forever. The door can be repainted if the paint becomes chipped or the color goes out of style. Whether you are remodeling your home or just want to give the entryway a quick refreshing, follow these steps to apply new paint to a painted steel entry door.
You will need:
• Drop cloths
• Flat and Phillips head screwdrivers
• Degreasing cleaner
• Scrub brush
• Paint scraper
• Fine grit sanding block
• Painter’s tape
• Brown paper or newspaper
• Exterior primer
• Semi-gloss or satin exterior latex paint designed for use on previously painted metal
• Trim roller
• Low nap roller cover
• Paint tray
• Paintbrush or small sponge applicator
• Rubber gloves
• Safety goggles
• Dust mask
Step 1: Decide whether you will remove the door in order to paint it. Taking the door off its hinges makes painting easier. However, the door cannot be rehung until the final coat of paint has dried completely, which can be a few hours to one or more days. Drying time depends upon the primer and paint used, number of coats applied, and outdoor humidity and temperature. If you do not have a storm door that can be securely locked, you may not want to expose your home for this period.
If you leave the door on its hinges, repaint it when rain is not forecast. Preparing the door the first day, priming it the next morning and letting primer dry during the day should allow you to close the door that night without ruining the primer coat. You can then apply the first coat of paint the following morning.
Step 2: Put the drop cloths down under the work area. Follow the manufacturer instructions on the degreasing cleaner to wash the door with the scrub brush. You may need to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles when dealing with the cleaner. Rinse the surface of the door with water and allow the door to dry.
Step 3: If your door might have been painted before 1978, it may contain lead paint. Have the paint tested for lead before proceeding. If the paint is lead-based, you must take safety precautions outlined on the Environmental Protection Agency Web page regarding lead. The remaining steps assume that the paint is not lead-based.
Step 4: Scrap away loose and peeling paint with the paint scraper.
Step 5: Put on the safety goggles and dust mask. Use the fine grit sanding block to sand rough edges and the entire area being painted. This allows for better primer adherence.
Step 6: Take off the door kick plate and removable weather-stripping. Use the painter’s tape to tape off any areas you do not want to paint. Tape brown paper or newspaper around a non-removable kick plate and windows.
Step 7: Apply the primer with the paint roller. Use the paintbrush or small sponge applicator to prime tight areas on the door. Let the primer dry.
Step 8: Apply a coat of paint and let this dry. Follow it with a second coat of paint and allow this to dry.
Step 9: Remove the painter’s tape and brown paper or newspaper. Reattach weather-stripping and other items removed from the door prior to painting.
Step 10: Rehang the door if it was removed from its hinges.