Saturday, September 3, 2011

Front Door Paint Job

I got the biggest item already checked off my list for this weekend. On Friday, I painted our front door to match our new shutters. As you may remember from that post, the door was really ugly:

Here it is now with the new paint job:

It's not amazing (it's still a plain, six-panel door), but it does make a big difference on our little house. If you too need to paint a door (or anything else...) here are my tips from this project: 

1. For six-panel doors, it's always good to follow the directions (like Pretty Handy Girl's, here) instead of just painting the whole thing in a random order like I tried to do on the first coat. Things start to dry out of order and you risk pulling up partially dried paint otherwise (super hot weather made this even worse!).

2. Always read the product's instructions before you use it. I was using a Pittsburg Paint exterior product that was supposed to have "paint and primer in one." I read it in the store; it said it was OK for metal. No problem! Then, when I re-read it immediately before using it, it said to "prime metal surfaces with the appropriate primer before using." Oh. That brings us to tip #3...

3. Have lots and lots of tools/paint/brushes/stuff in your house. Seriously, deciding to prime the door at the last minute was no big deal, because I own at least four different types of primer. Yeah, I might have a problem. I ended up using a spray-on oil-based primer, which was awesome — it was easy and I didn't have to clean any brushes!

Probably the most hilarious part of this project was deciding how to take the door off to paint it, since I wanted to lay it flat across sawhorses in the garage while I worked. Leaving a gaping hole in the front of our house for 8 hours was a problem due to bugs, weather, cats, etc., and we currently have no storm door. We ended up taking the door off the back of the garage to put in its place, since it was 100+ degrees yesterday and I needed to keep the AC going. It was exactly the same size and color, so I'm not sure our neighbors even noticed. The hinges were on the wrong side, though, so we just pushed a recliner up against it (from the inside of the house) to hold it up. Somehow, it worked wonderfully!

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