How to Paint a Door {without brush marks}

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While painting my front door it occurred to me that I should put together a tutorial to show an easy way on how to paint a door without brush marks, because sometimes this can be challenging!
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Our entryway has received quite the transformation since we moved in our home about 4 years ago. It started as a yellow blah space, lacking personality and design.
Here is what you saw when you walked into our house 4 years ago….
To see the transformation on this space, visit this post: Entryway Makeover
Here are some other projects that took place in this space that you might be interested in checking out:
After adding wainscoting, painting the walls Nomadic Desert, changing out some of the décor and giving the space an overall updated feel, this is what our entryway turned into….
We loved our new entryway! It felt like a completely new house when you walked in. I think the most dramatic change was adding the wainscoting which instantly gave the space class and style. This was an inexpensive DIY project and I will be doing a tutorial on this soon.
So, even though we loved our new entryway, both the Hubbs and I were sick of staring at the beige door that seemed to run into the walls because the colors were similar. It was time to make the front door stand out! I had some leftover black paint from our bathroom remodel that I was able to use; making this project cost $0! I love the sound of that!
Here are my tips and tricks to painting any door like a pro!
Before you began painting, remove the door handle and then check to see if your door is currently painted. Why is this important? Because, you will need to determine if the door was previously painted with oil-based or latex paint. The rule of thumb is this….you can paint oil-based over oil-based and latex over latex but not latex over oil-based. So, determine which type of paint was used previously and then purchase/use the proper paint this time around. Trust me, it will be much easier if you use the right product!
Tip: To test your door and see if an oil-based or latex paint was used, use some Denatured Alcohol on a test spot. If the paint comes off, it is latex. If it doesn’t, it is oil-based.
 
The next step is to PRIME! Yes, priming is essential is achieving a professional, brush mark free finish. I prefer Zinser primer.

This product will help create an even finish, levels out imperfections, adheres well to glossy paints, and creates the perfect base for your paint, giving you a professional finish.

There are a variety to choose from depending on whether you care covering oil-based, latex, or stain, so make sure to pay attention to the label when making your purchase.
Even with primer, it is important to paint in the right direction to ensure a flawless finish. Here is my guide on how to paint like a pro!
Don’t forget to pin this…you don’t want to forget!
#1= Prime all of the “trim” on the door using a good quality angled brush. I prefer Shurline brushes because they give me an excellent finish and clean up easily with Basic H and water. But Purdy is a great brand as well. I do recommend using an angled brush though.
#2, 3 and 4- Prime all of the “boxed out” areas of the door and areas 3 and 4 going in the correct directions like the picture above shows using a foam roller.
After the door is all primed you can begin painting. YAY!
Tip: Professional painters use a product called Floetrol which helps to thin out the paint and keep it smooth during application. This is how that professional finish is achieved. 
 
Prep your paint area, mix in Floetrol with your paint and begin apply it following the same directions that you did for the primer. I chose to use a semi-gloss finish since the front door receives a lot of love and I wanted the paint to hold up well.

The color we used is called Kettle Black and it was actually a primer/paint in one from BEHR’s premium paint line.

If you notice brush marks or roller marks at all during application, just use a fine grit sanding block and lightly sand the door in between coats. You will probably apply 2-3 coats to achieve a great finish.
Let paint thoroughly dry {you may have to install the door handle in between drying times and applying coats, so just be prepared for this} before installing door hardware.
If you are like me and have Basic H on hand, you wouldn’t have to tape of the glass because Basic H will take the paint right up and is easy peasy clean up!
Lastly, stand back and enjoy your beautiful work and new door!
Here is how our painted front door turned out….
I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at blissfullyeverafter3{at}gmail{dot}com or leave a comment below.
Hope you have a great day!

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Jennifer

Jennifer

Founder/Author at BlissfullyEverAfter
Jennifer is the founder and author of Blissfully Ever After, a lifestyle blog featuring the hottest and latest DIY projects, home decor trends, stylish crafts, easy recipes, budget living advice, and health tips. A former 9-5 corporate worker turned savvy Mom and Housewife shares her secrets of creating a blissful life {even on a budget}! Your one stop shop for all things crafty, life, and home!
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Comments

  1. says

    The door looks amazing! Thanks for all the great tips and for linking to the Home Decor and Organizing Link Party. I’m featuring this on my blog today.

  2. says

    @Parents of a Dozen- Thank you! We had toyed around with the idea of painting/replacing all of our baseboards throughout our home to white but the problem is….we paid for wood blinds when we moved in and they match the current trim, so it would be a BIG project and possibly expensive to switch everything at this point…including interior doors. If this ends up being our “forever home,” then we will switch them out. I too agree, that white would look MUCH better!

    • says

      It’s actually kind of nice to see the wainscoting against the wood trim. I have the same trim in my house and like you said we don’t know if this is our forever home so painting it white would be so much work. This give me inspiration to add it to our house! Your entry looks great! Thanks so much, cant wait for the tutorial.

      • says

        Thanks for your feedback Courtney. I really have had a hard time with the trim in our house, but I figured that unless we decided to paint it or replace it…it wasn’t changing so I might as well work with what we had. Adding in the wainscotting and other wood to the walls throughout our home has made a big improvement. I am sure yours will look great!!
        cheers,
        Jennifer

  3. Peg says

    We changed our wood-look baseboards to white. Replaced all down stairs. Priming and painting upstairs. Your wood blinds would still work with white trim and the white trim would give your foyer/rooms a finished look. Love the black door. Great job.

  4. shanel says

    Awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out what color I want my front door, now I’ve decided…black! I’m even going to paint my walls the same as your pic. Love the color scheme. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Ashleigh says

    Is your door wooden or steel? Will this make a difference in the results? I have a steel door that I’m dying to paint!

  6. says

    Thanks for the tutorial. I appreciated the advice. Angled brush….what a great suggestion! You did a great job-am surprised you haven’t painted your trim and baseboards white yet. It would really complete your look.

    • says

      Thanks, Lisa! Glad you found the tutorial helpful. Yes, an angled brush works wonders and helps to get into the tiny spots along the trim pieces. I have talked a lot about why we have chosen not to paint our trim and doors in our current home in previous posts, but in case you missed them, this is not our forever house…we will be building within the next year or so, so we have decided not to paint or replace doors/trim in this house. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

  7. Reanna says

    Love the door… and love the wood trim with it all…. I’d keep it… gives the room more dimension.

    • says

      Thanks, Reanna! I’ve been hearing from my readers more lately that they like the wood trim, so I appreciate your sweet comment. Unless we end up not moving, we plan to keep the trim as is, so we’re trying to work with it as best as possible. Thanks for stopping by!
      xo, Jennifer

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  9. Julie says

    Is the casing an outside trim also black or is it white? Painting our new door today and can’t decide whether to paint the casing and outside trim black, as well, or go with white. Our siding is white and shutters (and now front door) are black.

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