Painting a door by putting it flat on a pair of sawhorses is the best way to prevent drips and runs.

Painting a Door

Painting a door by putting it flat on a pair of sawhorses is the best way to prevent drips and runs. You can paint in a garage or other area that will keep odors from lingering inside your house. It’s also the fastest way – by removing all the hardware, you won’t have to paint around any obstacles. Now is the time to change styles or replace worn hardware. Just be sure to take your old hardware with you when you shop for replacements to make sure you get the correct sizes.


1. Remove the door by driving the lower hinge pin out with a screwdriver and hammer. Have a helper hold the door in place as you drive out the pin.


2. Place the door flat on sawhorses to paint it. On paneled doors, paint in the following order: 1) recessed panels, 2) horizontal rails, and 3) vertical stiles. That way, you won’t leave any unnecessary brush marks.


3. Let the door dry completely. If a second coat of paint is needed, sand the door lightly and then wipe it with a tack cloth before repainting.


4. Seal the unpainted bottom edge of the door with clear wood sealer to prevent moisture from entering the wood. Any water will cause the wood to warp and swell, resulting in a door that won’t close properly.