Rules For Painting Interior Doors

Great Tips for Painting Doors The Family Handyman


Painting interior doors can be a great way to freshen up the look of your home. Whether you’re looking to update the color or simply give your doors a new coat of paint, it’s important to follow certain rules to ensure a successful and professional-looking finish. In this article, we will provide you with some essential guidelines and tips for painting interior doors in 2023.


1. Do I need to remove the door from its hinges before painting?

It is generally recommended to remove the door from its hinges before painting. This allows for easier and more even application of paint. If you choose to paint the door while it is still attached, make sure to protect the surrounding areas with painter’s tape and be extra careful to avoid any drips or runs.

2. What type of paint should I use?

When painting interior doors, it is best to use a high-quality interior paint that is specifically designed for trim and doors. This type of paint is more durable and resistant to scuffs and scratches. It is also recommended to choose a paint with a semi-gloss or satin finish for easy cleaning and maintenance.

3. How should I prepare the door before painting?

Before painting, it is important to properly prepare the door surface. Start by cleaning the door with a mild detergent and water to remove any dirt or grime. If there are any dents or holes, fill them with wood filler and sand the surface smooth. Finally, lightly sand the entire door to create a rough surface that will help the paint adhere better.

4. Should I prime the door before painting?

Priming the door before painting is highly recommended, especially if you are changing the color drastically or if the door has previously been painted with oil-based paint. A primer helps to create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to, resulting in a more professional-looking finish. Make sure to choose a primer that is compatible with your chosen paint type.

5. What tools do I need for painting interior doors?

For painting interior doors, you will need a few essential tools, including a paint roller, paintbrushes (one small and one larger brush), a paint tray, painter’s tape, sandpaper, and a drop cloth to protect the surrounding areas from paint splatters. Using high-quality tools will ensure a smoother and more efficient painting process.

6. How many coats of paint should I apply?

The number of coats of paint you should apply will depend on the desired color and the quality of the paint you are using. In most cases, two coats of paint are sufficient to achieve an even and opaque finish. However, if you are painting a lighter color over a darker color, you may need to apply an additional coat to ensure complete coverage.

7. How long should I wait between coats?

It is important to allow sufficient drying time between coats of paint. This will ensure that each coat fully adheres and dries before applying the next one. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint can for the recommended drying time. In general, waiting at least 2-4 hours between coats is a good rule of thumb.

8. How can I achieve a smooth and streak-free finish?

To achieve a smooth and streak-free finish, it is important to use proper painting techniques. Start by using a brush to paint the edges and corners of the door, and then use a roller to paint the larger flat surfaces. Make sure to apply the paint in thin and even coats, working in one direction to avoid brush or roller marks. Take your time and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

9. How can I maintain the painted doors?

To maintain the painted doors, it is important to avoid using harsh cleaning agents or abrasive materials. Simply clean the doors with a soft cloth and mild detergent when necessary. If any touch-ups are needed, use the same paint color and follow the same painting process as before. Regularly inspect the doors for any signs of wear or damage and address them promptly to keep them looking fresh and vibrant.


Painting interior doors can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to update the look of your home. By following these rules and guidelines, you can achieve professional-looking results that will enhance the overall aesthetic of your interior space. Remember to take your time, use quality materials, and prioritize proper preparation and technique for a successful painting project.





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