How to Paint a Metal Door

This guide will teach you complete step-by-step process on how to paint metal door and save some fortune. This step by step guide have the complete process from prepping the door to priming with my own techniques which are from my experience. You can quickly and easily achieve the desired results which you wanted for your door surface.

Painting a metal door is so easy and does not require much equipment. You can paint doors for a living or for your own home to save money. You only need a few simple steps to follow to get the best results.

painting metal doors

Every homeowner has to, at some point, paint their home. Most homeowners, however, take a traditional approach to painting, using a brush and a can of paint. If you own a steel door, however, applying the paint can be a bit more of a difficult task.

Tool you need to paint metal door

  • Painters tape for protection of those parts which you don’t want to paint
  • Degreaser for removing oil stains from door
  • Paint stripper for removing of old paint
  • Sandpaper or sanders for getting smooth finish for primer adherence
  • Primer (Multi-surface suggested by me)
  • Paint (Preferably Acrylic Satin) and also semi-gloss paint
  • Paint brush or sprayer

Remove the door

To achieve the best results, when stripping paint from a door ensure you remove the door from its frame. This step is not required, but it will make it easier to achieve a better finish.

Next, remove all hardware from your door including your letterbox, handles for opening and closing, hinges (if the door has been removed from the frame), knockers and anything else associated with the door that doesn’t need painting for an upcoming renovation or refurb that you have in mind.

Simply untape them and move them out of the way. Taping over areas where you don’t want paint seems to be much more efficient than trying to paint around them by awkwardly tilting the can or brushing across their surface instead; this will only slow down your process in achieving the best possible outcome while keeping any remaining areas unpainted – which means you can now go back to doing all of those other things on your To Do list!

Clean the door with degreaser

Before beginning to paint your door, you should ensure the surface is clean before applying the paint. Give it a thorough clean with a degreaser and a rag to remove any dirt, oil, grease, or grime from the surface. Once you have cleaned the door, wipe it down with a dry cloth and leave it for an hour or two before moving onto the next step.

Remove old paint before painting metal door

Stripping paint off a door can be unpredictably dangerous! The most important thing to remember when doing this step is to take your time. It’s not great if you have to go the medical center with paint stripper chemical burns, or if you end up getting some of the hazardous chemical in your eyes. There are many ways that something unpredictable like this could happen. See the tips paint metal surface.

So, during this step we really recommend wearing protection such as goggles and long sleeves, remembering that you should always wear protection when working with tools. We want you to finish this job unscathed and having done a good job too.

Sand the metal door

Once you get rid of any old paint (or if your door is already bare), the next step is to sand it in order to prep it for painting. This means once you have donned on your safety glasses, dust mask, and gloves, give the do a light, feathering sand with 400-grit sandpaper/sander to create a flat surface so that paint can adhere better. After wiping it clean with a damp rag, let the surfaces dry.

paint metal door

Prime the door

When it comes to making your front door last a long time and make it look great, the right primer can significantly help. In this article we’re going to review our choice of high-quality multi-surface primer which gives paints an excellent foundation. For the best results, we recommend coating using a paint roller for the main sections but using an angled sash brush for corners and panels.

Once you’ve applied both coats of your chosen primer most manufacturers recommend that you allow up to 2 – 3 hours drying time before starting your paint work.

Start painting metal door

Using your paintbrush, roller or sprayer paint up the flat areas of the door with one coat of exterior paint, and then use your angled sash brush on any paneled areas or corners. To make sure you have a consistent finish, it’s best to apply a minimum of two coats. The manufacture suggests you wait for each coat to dry completely before adding another.

If you are painting both sides of your door, make sure to only paint one side at a time, because it will be damaged if it comes into contact with another surface too quickly. The first thing to know about choosing the right paints for your door is that you’re going to need at least two different colors. The first coat you paint should cover all areas of the door.

After letting this coat dry for at least 12 hours, you can then apply at least two more coats for a consistent finish and better protection against water damage. Every time before applying another coat, make sure that the previous one is completely dry; check the instructions from the manufacturer on how many coats and how long one has to wait between each one so as not to cause any issues down the road.

Attach the door

When the paint has dried completely, remove any tape and reattach hardware to your door. If you removed the door before painting then rehand the door back carefully.


It is true that type of paint on metal door plays an important role in the life of the paint. If you want your door paint to last longer, then you should use a good quality paint. It is said that good paint is worth more than money. So, the best paint for metal door is the door paints with a good quality. If you have metal door, then only good quality door paint will be ideal for you. If you use a poor quality paint, then you have to face the problems of peeling and cracking on metal door. There are many brands of door paints available in the market, so it can be a little bit confusing to choose the best one. If you want to get the best paint for metal door, then you need to keep some things in mind. You should choose a door paint considering its durability, coverage, water resistance and the cost of the paint.

It is not necessary to sand the steel door before painting if you are painting the door with an oil-based paint. Sanding the door will only make the work harder. Instead, use a steel brush to clean the surface of the door.

This can be problematic, if not done correctly.  The first step is to clean the peeling paint off the door. You can use a wire brush, or sandpaper, or steel wool to do this.  Once you’ve gotten the peeling paint off, you then want to use a bonding primer, like Rustoleum’s Metal Primer, to adhere the remaining paint to the door.  Ideally, you want to let this primer dry for a few days before applying a top coat.  If you don’t have time for that, you can go over the primer with a quality paint in the color of your choice.  This alone should do the trick.  If not, you may need to sand and repaint the door in a couple of months.

Paint the door by spraying the primer on it, after few minutes sand it. Then paint the door with the desired color. By this method, it is possible to paint the door without removing it. But the door should be opened at regular intervals while painting or else it will get stuck.

After doing some research I found that semi gloss paint is the most popular choice for modern homes. But I also found that some painting pros are not really happy with it, and prefer using satin paint instead. Satin paint offers a more modern finish that helps to conceal imperfections. Satin paint also repels dirt and moisture, keeping your door looking new for a lot longer. It’s more of a personal choice but I would go with satin paint.

Final thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our article on how to paint a door. With this knowledge, we know that you can make the most of your home and make it look great with a fresh coat of paint on your front door. So, what are you waiting for? Start painting your door today with the help of this guide and achieve the desired results out of your work.

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