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If you’re getting ready to paint your interior doors and you want to make sure you’ll get a great outcome that you can be proud of, check out our top 16 pro tips that will help you paint your doors like a pro.

1. Prep the surface

To get a good final result, the woodwork needs some basic preparation before you start painting it. You need to make sure that the surface you’re painting on is dry, free from dust, grease and dirt and there are no holes, cracks and bubbles on it.

2. Take off all the door accessories

Take the time to remove the doorknob, door knockers, mail slots and so on, so you can have a cleaner surface to work with and avoid any unwanted spills and splatter, that you’ll need to clean up afterwards.

3. Choose the right paint

There are a few different options you can go with when painting your door. The choice depends mainly on the state of your door and the colour change you want to make. If you’re going with the same colour and your door didn’t require lots of filler, a single coat of gloss is more than enough to get your door in great condition. However, if you’re going with a lighter colour or you had to use a lot of filler, then you should definitely apply a coat of primer before you apply your paint.

4. Make bold choices when it comes to colour

While we are used to painting our doors the same colour as the surrounding area, if you’re looking to achieve an amazing result that will really draw people’s attention, you’ll need to break out of your comfort zone and consider going with a bolder colour choice, by selecting strong, bright colours.

5. Purchase high-quality tools and supplies

To get the job done right, you will need to invest a bit more in tools and supplies. Luckily, buying top-notch tools and materials will help you get a better result, so you don’t end up needing to repaint your doors the following year.

6. Repair cracks and holes

Before you start painting you need to fill in or repair any holes and cracks in your door so that you can have a nice and even surface to work on. Use a wood filler and a small putty knife to apply the filler and scrape off the excess. Apply a generous amount of filler, particularly when you’re working with deep holes, making sure you get a good amount of filler all over the area.

7. Sand the filler properly

You can use a sanding block, or make your own using a piece of timber and wrapping the sandpaper around it so you can have a nice, flat surface to work with.

Work with the grain of the wood, taking your time, so you can make sure you get a smooth area to apply the paint on. Make sure to wear a mask while you’re sanding, so that you can stay protected.

8. Sand the entire door

Use a finer grade sandpaper to sand the rest of the woodwork so you can have a nicely sanded and smooth area for the paint to adhere to better. The idea here isn’t to remove any of the old paint or expose the bare wood. The reason behind sanding the entire door is to give it a nice texture for the paint to bind better.

9. Clean the surface using a microfiber cloth

Once you’ve sanded the entire surface of the door, you can use a damp microfiber cloth or a dusting brush to get rid of any leftover dust, so you can start painting.

10. Wash the door before painting

Although you’ve probably cleaned all the dust and debris off the door using your dusting brush or cloth, to make sure you get out any greasy stains or leftover dust you can use a sponge and a solution of warm water and a few drops of dish detergent and scrub the surface until it’s completely clean. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface, removing the last of the soapy water. Let it dry completely before you start painting it.

11. Prepare any bare wood for painting

If you’re working with bare wood that hasn’t been painted before, you will need to take a few steps to prepare it properly. Use a knotting solution on the knots to stabilize the resinous wood, so it doesn’t bleed back through and discolour the paint that you’re going to apply to your door.

Once the knotting solution has dried, you’ll need to prime the wood before you apply your first coat of paint.

12. Paint the beading first

Start with the panels first, and once they’ve been painted, you can continue painting the rest of the door.

13. Paint without stopping

Once you start painting, make sure you finish the entire work at once, without taking a break within a coat. You can take your break between coats, but never during. This way you won’t risk your paint drying too quickly and unevenly, leading to a patchy finish.

14. Use a sprayer to save time

If you’re looking to get the job done faster, or you have a lot of woodwork that you need to paint, you can save a lot of time and effort by using a sprayer. You can rent a sprayer from your local home improvement store and get everything done much faster. Make sure you detach your doors or windows before painting them and work outside, so you don’t get paint on any of the nearby surfaces.

15. Use a roller on larger areas

Another way to save time and get an even, great-looking result is to use a foam gloss paint roller for the larger, flat areas.

16. Leave the door open to dry properly

You will need to leave the door open after you’ve finished painting it, so it can dry properly. Check the drying time on your particular paint to know how long you need to leave the door open.