View Full Version : "Best" way to paint Metal front door?

Russ Filtz
07-09-2005, 12:29 PM
I need to paint an insulated metal front door to match the trim on my house (light beige color). Factory seems to be a fairly glossy enamel, so I'll probably scuff and prime with Zinnser (which is compatible with both oil/latex). If I do this would it be OK then to use a latex house paint, or should I stay with oil? If oil/enamel, should I just go buy some spray cans then?

Scott Parks
07-09-2005, 1:02 PM
I repainted a steel door a couple years ago with Krylon spray cans. It looked terrible. They spray in a circluar pattern, which made it impossible to get even coverage. When I had a strip that sprayed smooth, the overspry would spatter into the area I already sprayed, etc (lap marks?). The doorturned out very streaked due to the inconsistant spray pattern.

My inlaws, and my parents doors are painted with house Latex. I don't like the way it looks, dull, not glossy or duarble and you can easily see the lap marks from brushing and rolling.

For my current front door, I went to a Professional paint store, and they sold me a gloss enamel. I don't remember if it was acrylic or eurethane ??? Anyway, I sprayed it with my Porter Cable HVLP gun ($69 @ Amazon). EXCELLENT!!! Came out high gloss, and perfectly smooth. No overspray, or orange peel. A quart of paint, and a sprayer was about $100, but the door looks awesome.... Like it was professionally painted...

One more thing to mention... Your top coat is only as good as your prep/primer. If you use the Zinnser primer and brush it, any wavyness or brush strokes will appear in your glossy top coat. To make the paint stick, you'll need to sand the current door @ about 150 grit to get the current gloss off, then follow with 400 wet sand. If you go the spray route that I mentioned, use a compatible spray primer when you buy the paint. Two coats, wetsand between. This may sound like overkill, but you'll get the "best" results.

Also, a pro paint store will be able to match your current trim if you can bring them a sample.

Ray Bersch
07-09-2005, 4:31 PM

The key to a good looking front door is technique. Scott offers some great suggestions and here are some others:

Front doors often look better in a contrasting color compatable with the trim and siding colors - using the trim color will make the door blend in, using a contrasting color will make it stand out - depends on your taste and the configuration of the entryway.

For simplicity, you can use whatever you used to paint the trim just be sure it is completely de-glossed and well primed.

If the door is a panel door (ie: made to look like a wooden panel door) and if you brush paint, think of how you would paint a wooden door and brush each section as if it were wood, i.e. - stiles - up and down, rails - side to side, panels - up and down. Done well, the door will look like a wooden door.

If the door is a flat panel then I would definitely go with Scott's method or at least try to accomplish a brush stroke free paint job.

Russ Filtz
07-09-2005, 5:27 PM
Thanks! I just happen to just buy an HVLP conversion gun, but don't have a compressor yet. Yes, the Zinnser leaves a lot of brush marks, so I'd have to wet sand. Using the trim color on the door works because I have a contrasting metal screen door that surrounds the whole thing. It is a single panel door, so any strokes would really stand out.

Scott Parks
07-10-2005, 12:05 PM
I'm not too familiar with the Zinnser prodect, but my GUESS is that it is a thick type of Latex, kind of like Kilz, and wouldn't spray well. If you are going to go the HVLP spray route, I'd buy the CORRECT primer with the paint you use. The type of paint and process I used would be comparable (in technique and ideas) to auto painting...

Good luck!

If you can wait 'til Tuesday... I'll post a pic, and let you know exactly what paint I used for my door...

Cecil Arnold
07-10-2005, 12:13 PM
Zinsser is white pigmented shellac, which is an alcohol based product. It sprays very well and is an excellent seal coat for almost any product. Kilz is, IMHO, a poor substitute for Zinsser, is much thicker, slower drying, and doesnt have the hiding qualities. I do not work for either.