When you're looking to paint your exterior door
.com/modern-solid-wood-doors' target='_blank'>wood doors, any old paint that might have lying around in the garage just won't do. You need to choose the right kind of paint specific to your door, taking things like the present condition, pre-treatments, and type of wood into consideration. In addition, the paint you choose must be able to withstand a lot of abuse since it's going to be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day. It'll need to stay fresh and new looking through many a rain and snowstorm. Read through the guide below to determine how to paint the door you have according to its history and condition.
Brand New Doors
If it's a brand new door that has never been painted, you'll need to start out by coating it's exterior with a water-based latex primer, and then add your top coat. Latex provides a blister-resistance that will help keep your paint from bubbling and cracking.
Previously Painted Doors in Good Condition
If your door has already been painted, but it's free of blemishes (including cracks, mildew and flaking), you'll need to apply two coats of paint: either oil-based or latex will work. However, if you know that the paint that was previously applied was oil-based, you'll need to use a primer before adding your two coats of paint.
Previously Painted Doors in Poor Condition
Cracking and flaking are inevitable after many years of using your exterior wood doors. These unsightly blemishes occur from the surface of the wood expanding and contracting along with changes in the weather. This causes stress on the paint's surface, which will eventually result in a crack. Large cracks cause the paint to flake off.
When you're dealing with exterior wood doors that have cracks and are peeling, you're in for a few challenges. If you simply paint over the old paint, you will still see the flaws beneath regardless of how perfect the paint job is. Before grabbing your paint brush, scrape off all the paint in your problem areas. Then, put on some eye protection and sand the door until it is completely smooth. Consider using some wood filler if the cracks aren't huge, or if you have a few dings that can't be sanded down without bowing the surface. If the damage is extensive, or if it goes well beyond the top layer, consider replacing the door. Replacing sections of wood requires a more advanced knowledge of carpentry.
After sanding, clean and dry the door, and then you're ready to prime. Apply one coat of a high-quality latex primer and then two coats of oil-based or latex paint.
Dealing with Checks and Crumbles
Just like cracking, checks occur as a result of changing temperatures. The main difference is that they often happen as a result of improper prepping. While cracks are usually large and pronounced, checks are more subtle. Think of them as hairline fractures in your exterior wood door's surface.
Since there isn't enough of a rift in the surface for a scraper to be effective, simply sand the area until it is flat. Clean and dry the surface, and then apply primer. After the primer dries, your door is ready for two coats of latex or oil-based paint.
As you can see, exterior wood doors can be quite challenging to paint once they've been damaged. That's why it's a good idea to maintain a smooth surface by painting your doors before they begin cracking, peeling, checking or crumbling.
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