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Painting your Door and Door Frame

Whether you’re renovating old doors or you’ve just purchased new ones, painting the door and its frame is a great way to add character. Although upkeep on internal doors is minimal, over time general wear and tear can occur if the doorway is susceptible to heavy foot traffic. 

Giving your door and door frame a lick of fresh paint is a great way to update your interiors. The colour that you choose can either blend a door into its surroundings or make it stand out as a statement piece.

Doors are often overlooked when decorating the interior of a home.Still they play a massive role in the functioning of your family. Your internal door and door frame needs a bit of TLC every so often.

What kind of paint do you use on a door frame?

For door frames, the main kind of paint that you’ll need is a topcoat. Depending on whether you’re starting from scratch or repainting a door frame, you may require extra types.

If you’re painting a brand new door frame, you’ll require a primer, undercoat and a top coat. For door frames that are already primed, you’ll only need an undercoat and a topcoat. And, for door frames that need a fresh coat of paint, just the topcoat is required.

Do you paint the door frame the same colour as your door?

You don’t need to paint the door frame the same colour as your door. There are no rules when it comes to colours of paint. Although, it’s likely to cost you more in paint if you decide to go with a different colour.

There are many advantages to painting a door frame a different colour to the door. The main reason people paint their door frames a different colour is because they like to blend the frame in with the surrounding walls so it doesn’t stand out. If you have a small room or low ceilings, painting the door frame the same colour as the walls gives the illusion of a larger space.

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How do you prepare a door frame for painting?

To prepare your door frame for painting, you need the right tools:

  • Masking tape

  • Fine sandpaper

  • A lint-free cloth

Firstly, you’ll want to use fine sandpaper to sand down the entire door frame. Using fine sandpaper will protect the door frame from becoming damaged.

Ensure you have thoroughly sanded down the entire door frame so you have a smooth surface.

Next, you’ll want to use the lint-free cloth to wipe away any dust that may be sitting on the frame. This is a very important step if you want to achieve a well-painted frame. The dust will stick to the primer resulting in a rather bumpy surface. Although this isn’t a be-all and end-all situation, if you’re using a light colour paint, any bumps on the surface of the frame will stand out.

Lastly, you’ll need to use the masking tape to protect any surrounding areas that you don’t want to get paint on such as, handles, hinges, locks, and the area of wall surrounding the frame. If you’re painting your frame a different colour to the door, you may want to attach a plastic sheet to the door to prevent any splashes.


How to paint your door and door frame

Once you’ve prepped the area, the tools you’ll need are:

  • Small paintbrush

  • Large paintbrush

  • Paint roller

  • A primer

  • An undercoat paint

  • A topcoat paint

Priming your door and door frame

Using the large paintbrush, work the primer into the wood on the door and door frame. The primer will sink into the wood and protect it from expanding and warping. Use the small paintbrush to work the primer into any tight corners on the frame to ensure the frame is completely covered. If desired, lightly sand the surface once the primer has dried and wipe with the lint-free cloth.

Applying an undercoat to your door and door frame

The undercoat of your door frame needs to be of a neutral colour. The undercoat creates a blank surface for the topcoat. We often hear of people who have used a topcoat to discover that the colour of their undercoat has changed the colour of the topcoat. To get the desired finish, use an undercoat that won’t change the colour of the topcoat.

Apply the undercoat to your door using a paint roller. For the frame and any areas on the door that are hard to get to with a roller, use a small paintbrush.

If you aren’t happy with the coverage on your undercoat, apply a second layer once the first layer has dried.

Applying a topcoat to your door and door frame

Using the same method as above, apply your topcoat to your door and door frame. As this is the topcoat, make sure you’re careful with how you apply the paint. Too much paint and the paint will start to run and may leave marks if not caught in time.

As with the step above, if you feel the door would benefit from an additional layer, repeat the process again once the paint has completely dried.

Remove the masking tape from your door and door frame

Once the paint has completely dried, you can remove the masking tape from the door and its frame. At this point, you can now add any hardware and attach the door to the wall, if you’ve taken the door down and removed any handles and locks.

Painting your door frame is a great way to instantly improve the interior or your home. And, while the painting process may take some time if you’re starting from scratch, be reassured that if it requires a touch-up in a few years time, it’ll take minimal time and effort to reapply a topcoat.