June 09, 2022

How to Paint a Wooden Front Door

How to Paint a Wooden Front Door

Painting your front door is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to freshen up your home’s façade, while also transforming the door’s effect on your exterior space. Best of all, it’s a fantastic opportunity for you to express your style or make a statement.

That said, it’s important to know how to paint a wooden front door before you get started. In this post, we’ll cover all bases with tips on what you’ll need, preparing your surface and painting the door for the best results.

Choosing the right paint

If your door is exposed to the elements, and not enclosed in a porch, then you will need a suitable durable and weatherproof paint. For ease of application and speed, a self-priming paint is perfect. Many paints require a primer, which means buying extra products as well as adding time to the project. Self-priming paints – like the entire Frenchic range – cuts out that hassle and expense.

What about colour?

Let’s not forget the all-important colour. Think carefully about the impression you want to create. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Does the colour need to fit in with other features, like your garage or windows?
  • Are there brick walls or period tiles you would like to complement?
  • Are you in an area where heritage colours are important?
  • Do you want your door to stand out or blend in?

Sage green is a timeless colour that’s seemingly always on trend, like this front door in Wise Old Sage:


Or for a heritage look, try Constance Moss:


For something that works well with both traditional and modern spaces, vintage pink Dusky Blush is a great option:


Or why not brighten things up with mid-blue Ol’ Blue Eyes:


Assess your front door before painting

You’ve chosen your colour (and hopefully the paint type too)! But hold your horses – it’s important to assess your door before opening the tin. First, check the door is in a good condition for painting. Signs of wear and tear could create problems later down the line.

Rust will need treatment, whilst any algae, mould or moss should be removed. These can generally be removed with outdoor cleaning solutions. Most importantly, always wear protective gear, including a mask and rubber gloves, when cleaning mould.

What do I need to paint a wooden door?

To get started, you will need:

  • Exterior paint (self-priming)
  • Sugar soap with a cloth or sponge
  • Dust sheets and PPE
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brushes and/or rollers or a sprayer if you choose!
  • Masking tape (and cardboard/polythene if you have glass panels)

Selecting the right day to paint

Choosing the right date and time to paint is also important because it impacts how well your paint will apply and cure (harden). Don’t paint outdoors if, for the next 48 hours, one of the following applies:

  • The air temperature is forecast below 10 degrees.
  • Rain is forecast.
  • Moisture is likely to be in the air.

Generally speaking, it’s best to do your outdoor painting within the warmer months. That said, if you apply paint in direct sunlight can also make application difficult, as it speeds up the drying process. This can lead to uneven coverage and overworked paint, so check the weather forecast before getting out your brushes.

How to paint a wooden front door

Surface preparation

Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail. Preparing the surface of your door is just as important as the painting stage itself. With proper preparation, you’ll find it easier to get a smooth, long-lasting finish.

Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Give the door and sides a good scrub with the sugar soap solution and a sponge/cloth to remove any traces of dirt and grease. Rinse off thoroughly, then allow to dry (remember, wood can take quite a while to dry, especially if the weather is damp or cool).
  • Next, if you’re using one of Frenchic’s self-priming Al Fresco paints, use some sandpaper to hand-sand the door. This abrades the surface, helping the paint to lock on.
  • Wipe off any remaining traces of dust, and congrats, you’re almost ready!

Painting preparation

Before you start painting, ensure you follow these key preparation steps to achieve the best end result:

  • Make sure you keep your dust sheet down. Spillages do happen, and it’s easy to tread door paint all over the place before you know it!
  • Use masking tape to cover any fittings on or surrounding the door that you don’t want to get paint on. It is also worth covering any glass panels with cardboard or polythene.
  • Ensure you have all the necessary equipment to hand, including a step ladder, if required.
  • If you’re not using a self-priming paint, you’ll need to prime the door. This can add extra time to the process. Apply primer across the whole door – and don’t forget the sides. If you’ve used our self-priming Al Fresco paint, there’s no need to worry about this stage.

Painting your front door

Now it’s time to get painting! You might like to watch our video guide to painting UPVC doors as the painting process is the same.

Large, flat surfaces can be a challenge to paint evenly. Whether you are using brushes, a roller or a sprayer, it’s good idea to have practised your technique beforehand to ensure that you’re confident when working on your front door.

When you’re ready to start, here are the steps to follow:

  • Apply the paint following the direction of the wood grain as a guide.
  • After the recommended time, apply a second coat – it’s important to follow the instructions on the tin of paint carefully. Check the rate of coverage and drying time between coats, as these can vary between paints.
  • When you’re happy with your handiwork, remove any masking tape. It’s important to do this before the paint begins to dry.
  • Curing is a progressive process, which can take up to three weeks for the paint to fully harden. Treat the painted surface with care during this time.

Ready to paint your wooden front door?

If you’re raring to get started on your own front door, Frenchic can help with a range of self-priming paints to minimise preparation while providing beautiful, smooth coverage. Browse our weatherproof and UV resistant Al Fresco range to find a colour that’s perfect for your home’s entrance – then use our instructions on how to paint your wooden front door for the best results!


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