How to Paint a Panel Door

The surface paint on doors is one of the areas that is the hardest to keep clean. There are dirty handprints and scuffs from shoes at the bottom of the doors and many other things can make the door accumulate dirt. If it is a paneled door it is just that much harder to keep it clean with the grooves in the door. But with a little paint you can make the paneled door look like new.

It is difficult to keep dirt and grime out of the grooves on the door. You may find that cleaning the door is not enough. This is when it is time to paint your paneled door. Painting this type of door can get a little tricky, because the door is paneled you can not just take a roller and do a quick job. With a little patience and by following a few steps you can have your door looking great.


* The first step you have to take is to prepare the surface of the door so that the paint will take. If you do not prepare the door it can peel off or flake. You can use a typical household cleaner to get all the surface dirt and grime off the door. Once the door is completely cleaned you can use sandpaper, 150 grit will work well, and lightly scuff the flat surface of the door. This will also help the paint stick to the door better.

* If the paint is already peeling off the door you should use a putty knife to scrape the paint off before you begin to sand. You can also sand down any rough edges that are left after you scrape. This step is usually not needed on interior doors but doors that have been exposed to weather.


* When you paint a paneled door it is a good idea to use a brush of high quality. Some people use a smaller roller for the flat areas but you can use a brush to paint the entire door and get good results.

* When you choose the paint be sure to get paint with a semi-gloss sheen. This will make the door easier to clean, as well as more durable.

* Start with the panels. When you use the brush paint the grooves and corners of the door like you would cut corners on a wall. Be sure not to get too much paint on these areas as it can gather in the milled grooves, therefore distorting the appearance of the paneled door. NOTE: It is a good idea to first use a lighter coat of paint and then, if is needed, apply a second coat rather than putting too much paint on the door right from the start.

After cutting the corners of the panels brush over the flat surface. This is the area where you can use a small roller if you wish. Use the roller to apply the paint on the flat surface and then smooth the paint out. By doing this you can avoid having a stripped rolled texture on the smooth surface on the door.

* The last part of the door to paint is the stiles and rails of the door. These flat surfaces hold the panels in place. Much like the flat surface area you can apply the paint with a small roller then finish the texture by using a brush. You can also paint the stiles and rails entirely with a brush. Make sure you carefully work around the corners and edges of the panels so that there will be no drips. This is important as the drips can flow down into the panels and runs can occur.

Author: Jason Green