The doors, frames, and casework are all considered trim work. Doors are usually constructed of wood, metal or vinyl. Since doors are the entrance and exit points, paint doors last so the finish will be undisturbed and allowed to dry upon completion of the room. The easiest way to paint a door is on its hinges. Clean the hinges with rubbing alcohol and then mask them. The doorknob, lock, and other hardware should be removed or masked.
Door painting is made easier by bracing the door with wood shims to hold it steady. First place a piece of cardboard underneath the door to keep spills off the floor. This helps immensely in the clean up of door painting.
Buy a high grade paint for your door. Compared with a low grade interior paint, a high grade paint will spread more easily, splatter less, and show fewer brush marks and because it contains more pigment it hides flaws better. High grade paint can actually reduce the cost of your door painting project since it frequently requires only one coat. The result is a tougher, more durable finish that resists fading, yellowing, staining, and washable. Many paints offer special surface textures or effects that can enhance your room. Linen, stone, and other finishes are available in special colors. Ask your paint dealer whether the special paint you choose will stand up for your door painting project.
Start by painting the casing, working up from the inside bottom and across the header and down the striker side.
With a flat door, start by painting the inside hinge edge working in one direction from the bottom up. Apply the paint with a closed end foam roller. Roll two or three roller widths the full height and across the door. With a lightly loaded paint brush finish by brushing from the bottom to the top. This technique allows the roller to deliver the paint quickly and evenly. This door painting technique keeps a wet edge and leaves a smooth brush finish.
Use the same roller and brush techniques to paint a paneled door. Begin by painting each panel starting with the upper left hand panel and working the door face in sequence. Next paint the top member working down. Finally paint the outer edges. Remember to fix any runs or sags as you paint.
On a paneled or flat door allow the paint to dry thoroughly, lightly sand and apply a second coat. The second coat of paint can be flat or you can apply various decorative finishes. With a high grade paint you may be able to skip the second coat and apply your decorative finish on the first coat. A gloss paint resist stains, is easier to clean, and with its hard shiny surface it is tougher and virtually hides brush strokes better than flat paint. On a door that gets constant use it is a very important point to remember.
Remove the masking and replace all your hardware. Clean up is easy with the cardboard you installed under the door. Now all that is necessary is to stand back and admire a job well done.