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How to Paint Interior Doors

21 Jan 2019

How to Paint Interior Doors
If you are undertaking home renovation projects, then you will no doubt be spending time painting your interiors.

Painting the walls is a straight forward task but painting interior doors can be difficult. If you haven’t painted with wood before, then you might not realise that it’s quite different from using emulsion based paints. It can be difficult to achieve the perfect finish on wooden doors if you haven’t had any experience with this before. We have put together a guide to help you learn how to paint interior doors in your home.

What Will I Need to Paint Interior Doors?

In order to paint interior doors, you will need some tools that are different to painting walls. You will also need to make sure that you have the right kind of paint in order to paint your doors, as emulsion will not work. This list of materials should be everything that you need when painting interior doors;


  • Wood Brushes or Rollers
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint Stripper
  • White Spirit or Turpentine Substitute
  • Dustsheets
  • Masking Tape


  • Gloss, Satin, Eggshell or Other Wood Paints
  • Matching Wood Primer or Undercoat

Preparing Wooden Doors for Painting

Once you have all the tools and paint you need, you should start to prepare your interior doors for painting. If you are unaware of what kind of paint was used on the doors previously, then you will need to fully prep the doors before you begin painting them. We have put together a step by step guide to help you through the process;

Step1: Cover Work Areas – you don’t need to take doors off the hinges but cover the floor with dust sheets and cover handles or surrounding areas with masking tape.

Step 2: Sand the Door – using medium-grade sandpaper, sand down the surface to remove the top layer of paint, as this will help the paint stick better.

Step 3: Dampen Surface – once you have sanded the door you should lightly dampen the surface with a sponge, as this will increase drying time but will allow you more time between brush strokes.

Choosing Paint for Wooden Doors

After you have prepared your interior doors you are now ready to begin painting them. If you haven’t already chosen your paint then you might be wondering what the difference is between each finish. Gloss is the highest sheen, satin is a mid-sheen finish and eggshell is the lowest sheen. The type of paint you choose will depend on whether you want the light to reflect off your doors and is all down to preference. You do also get water-based and solvent-based paints, too. You should make sure that you get matching paint and undercoat so that they are both either water or solvent-based.

Painting Interior Doors

Once you have prepped your interior doors and decided on which kind of paint you are going with, you are now finally ready to actually paint your doors. In order to get a good finish, you should make sure that you apply broad strokes and apply the paint evenly. Follow these steps to painting your doors;

Step 1: Apply Undercoat – use a good quality undercoat and primer to give your wooden doors a base coat. Allow them to dry fully before applying a topcoat.

Step 2: Start Painting – apply broad strokes evenly across the door with either your wood brushes. You can also use paint rollers but these are better for a second coat.

Step 3: Apply Final Coat – once your first coat has fully dried, apply a final coat of paint using either a wood roller or the same wood brush you used first.