How to Paint a Front Door

Your front door can make a big first impression on your home and completely transform your front garden or entryway.

Whether you go bold, go traditional, or need a refresh, there's no need to buy a completely new door if you fancy a change.

The below guide works for both wood and UPVC doors. If you have the former, you will want to check for any weathering, such as small cracks which may need filling.


What you need:

  • Masking tape
  • Household cleaner
  • Palm sander
  • Sanding block
  • Primer
  • Screwdriver
  • Suitable paint (external or PVC paint)
  • Paintbrush or paint sprayer


Remember your PPE. When working with sanders, cleaners, and paint, you must wear a dust mask and eye protection. Cover your skin and clothing, too.

You can use a paintbrush or a paint sprayer to paint a front door. The latter will be much quicker and give more even results, but you should also cover nearby areas such as brickwork and paths. A paintbrush may take longer, but it is more targeted. Choose the option which best suits your plan.




How to paint your front door

Good news: you don't have to remove your front door to paint it. But you do need to ensure you do the correct, thorough prep work so your door looks its best and lasts as long as possible.


  1. Remove the hardware

Remove any possible hardware on your door, including your letterbox, numbers, or knockers. Whatever can't be removed, such as the handle, should be covered with masking tape.

Don't forget to cover any glass, too. Use decorator's tape to fix newspaper onto the glass so no splashes end up on the glass either.

Use a drop cloth or additional sheeting to cover flooring or any brickwork that you don't want to get painted on either.


  1. Clean the door

Whether dust, dirt, or general grease, your door must be completely clean for the paint to adhere. Use a household cleaner and a damp cloth, then rinse with water.


  1. Sand

Sanding achieves two results. Firstly, the surface will be slightly rougher to ensure the paint adheres properly, especially if your door is smooth PVC-like.

Secondly, it will remove any old paint on the door, which is important if you have previously painted it. As much old paint as possible needs to be removed. Use a palm sander to sand large surfaces and a sanding block to get into more challenging sections.

When done, rinse down with plain water again to remove any leftover dust, and then leave to dry thoroughly before moving on.


  1. Prime

Prime your door to ensure the paint sticks. Primers are available for wood or PVC front doors, so buy the correct one. Apply the primer using a small roller and paintbrush, and leave it to dry.


  1. Paint

Start on any large panels, using either a roller or a paintbrush. Then, use a brush to get into any tighter areas and joins. Try to get the brush into every little corner.

Leave the door to dry. Keep it open to allow good airflow. When it is almost dry, decide whether to give the door another coat. When finished, remove any tape before the paint dries completely.

If using a paint sprayer, ensure any glass or masonry is covered before following the instructions with your airless paint sprayer hire.




  1. Reattach fixtures

When completely dried, reattach your hardware. Be gentle so you don't scratch any of the paint. You may wish to clean and polish the hardware before putting it back, and you can also use new screws if the old ones have started to rust.



Which paint do I need for the front door?

You can purchase dedicated exterior door paint from various paint and hardware stores. This paint is designed for outdoor use and is durable and weatherproof.

You must also consider the material of your front door. It will likely be wood or PVC, so purchase the relevant paint type. Also, think about the finish you're after; paint can have a glossy finish or a more matte look.

Most brands and paint types will have several paint colours available for you to choose from, whether you want white/black or a more vivid green or red. Most hardware stores can mix paint to your desired colour if you want something different.

Brands such as Frenchic, Dulux Weathershield, Sandtex, and Valspar are popular.


What colour should I paint my front door?

As long as your home is not a listed property, you're not on designated land, and you own the house (or have permission to make alterations), you're usually free to paint your front door any colour you want.

If you live in a flat or building, a council house, a protected area (such as an AONB or conservation area), or in a leasehold property, you may want to check your lease before making any alterations to the exterior of your property. Some clauses may say front doors must be a particular colour or not too bold.

This is usually just so it fits in with any external hallways, communal areas, or other properties on the street, the village, or the estate. A solicitor will be able to check any clauses in leases. It may just be a case of applying for planning permission.

Otherwise, you're good to go. If you have free choice, you may want to opt for something which fits in with your house style, considering whether you have red bricks, stone, or painted masonry or if your house is new or old.

If you live on a busy main road with pollution, black or a similar dark colour could hide dirt and dust.


Can I paint my front door hardware?

Painting things like door knockers or spy hole surrounds can be an excellent way to make a difference to your front door. Usually, a primer and then a good spray paint for outdoor use are required.

However, we would recommend replacing items such as letterboxes or door handles. These are regularly used, at least daily, so paint could wear quite soon after painting.

To change the front door hardware, fill in any holes you don't need before sanding and painting, then drill the new holes once the paint is thoroughly dried.




You'll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need on the Speedy website. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account online or on the app for all your tool hire needs?

Speedy has more than 200 local service centres nationwide, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need.


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