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Painting an Exterior Front Door

Painting your external front door isn’t uncommon. Many people paint their front door to change its appearance, decrease potential damage from the weather, or to give it a new lease of life. Not only does painting give you these benefits, but it’s also incredibly therapeutic.

If you’re planning on giving your front door a lick of paint, follow our guide below to ensure it’s done correctly.


What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Front Door?

As with any external door or window, it’s best to use a semi-gloss finish or an exterior satin. These types of paint are perfect for giving you the desired “professionally-done” end result, as well as allowing rain to glide off the door’s surface.

Obviously, this depends on the material of your door. You can get paints that are specific to wooden doors, uPVC doors, and aluminium doors. We’d suggest that you do a bit of research on the best type of paint for the material of your door before making any purchases.


Do I Need to Prime My Front Door Before Painting?

If your door is made from timber then it’s a good idea to prime the wood first. This prevents the door from becoming damaged by the paint seeping into the wood. It also protects the wood from harsh weather conditions, as paint alone wouldn’t do this.

The only time you don’t need to prime an external wooden door is if the paint that you’re using is a weatherproof wood paint. This type of paint includes the primer in the coloured paint.


How Do You Paint an External Front Door?

Before we jump into painting the external door, we need to prep it. To prepare your exterior door, use the following steps:

  • Scrape off any old flaking paint
  • Clean the door to remove any dirt and debris from its surface
  • Use a sander or sandpaper to prep the surface
  • Use a slightly damp cloth to remove any dust or leftover debris from the door’s surface
  • If your front door is wooden, prime the door using a wood primer


Ensure that the door is dry before you begin to paint it. Once dry, follow the instructions below for painting your exterior door:

  • To reach a smooth surface, we’d recommend using a paintbrush and a roller for painting your door. Using one or the other is fine also.
  • Before you begin painting, make sure not to pick up too much paint. This can cause the paint to drip and create marks on your door as it dries.
  • Starting with a paintbrush, paint all areas of the door that aren’t a smooth surface, i.e. inset panels, corners around glass, and around the door’s hardware.
  • Proceed to paint the rest of the door with a roller.
  • If one coat isn’t enough, wait for the paint to dry and apply a second coat.


B&Q have a convenient video on painting your external front door.


As you can see, the process for painting your front door is really simple. The length of this process is down to the purchase of correct paint, and the prep of the door.

This process is the same for painting external back doors and windows, too. In fact, if you’re painting your external back door, see our guide: How to Paint External Back Doors If you’d like to learn more about door renovations, then check out our Front Door Lock Replacement guide. But first, find out How to Choose the Best Front Door Lock.


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