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Old 07-07-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


We have never painted before...proceeding cautiously. We started prepping and priming our house on one side and back, the least seen areas from the road....it's going very slowly so far.....

I know the doors can wait till last to be painted, but I'm already stressing over them.

What do I need to know for best results? Should I use a brush or roller?

I think the doors are metal with a wood core.

Also, is it classier to paint the back basement door white, or to match the front trim?

I could start on the basement door first, then the kitchen side door, and save the entryway door and front shutters for last.

Also stressing a little about the shutters...they are vinyl. Will my latex primer and paint work nicely for them? Will I have any trouble getting the paint to stick to them?

Any advice will be much appreciated!

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Old 07-07-2008, 08:52 PM   #2
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Beth:

If you can, take your door off it's hinges and set it down on two sawhorses (or something) so that you're painting the door in a horizontal positon. Use an exterior alkyd paint and thin it a bit (10 percent, say) with paint thinner. That will both slow down the drying time of the paint and make it less viscous so that it both self levels faster and has more time to self level, thereby giving you a nice smooth paint job. I would use a small 3 inch roller to paint each side of the door, wrap the roller in a plastic bag so it doesn't dry out, give each side a couple of hours to dry and then apply a second coat with the same roller. The following day, take the door off it's hinges again, and paint the bare areas where the sawhorses (or whatever) were.

To take a door off stubborn hinges, grab onto the heads of the hinge pins with ViceGrip pliers and twist the pins back and forth while you pull up on the pin with the pliers. That back and forth rotating motion will result in the pins working their way out of the hinge knuckle. Always oil the hinge knuckle and pin before puting the pins back in.

Both oil based and latex paints will stick well to vinyl window frames or your shutters. The only reason window companies don't recommend painting PVC windows is that if you paint the PVC a dark colour, then it can become so soft on a really hot day that the screw holes in it can stretch and the sides of the window can become distorted under the weight of the window. Ditto for vinyl siding. Painting it a darker colour can result in it permanently deforming if it sags under it's own weight on a really hot sunny day.

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Old 07-07-2008, 10:41 PM   #3
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


I'm so glad to have heard from someone who has speaks from experience! My questions probably seem very fundamental, but to me it's all brand new.

We already bought exterior latex for shutter and door accent color, but I will get some exterior alkyd instead for the door and thin it as described!

How would you normally prep a door for painting?

Will I want to remove the locks and doorknobs, or paint around those?

My kitchen side door has a window in it, with possibly vinyl or a type of plastic around and across the glass. From your post, I think I should paint just the door but leave the vinyl or plastic window setting in the door unpainted. That door has been newly installed, and is still in it's original state of being primed white. So I will need to paint both sides of that door, and it's pre-hung door frame.

The front door will likely have only the outside painted this time around.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Use an exterior alkyd paint and thin

Might I ask why?
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:22 AM   #5
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth777 View Post
We already bought exterior latex for shutter and door accent color, but I will get some exterior alkyd instead for the door and thin it as described!
I wouldn't
If your metal door is primed, the latex ext. will go right over it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth777 View Post
How would you normally prep a door for painting?
Light sand and wipe dust off
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth777 View Post
Will I want to remove the locks and doorknobs, or paint around those?
Remove them, but leave the door on the hinges
Use a brush for the whole thing
Rollers leave "stipple", which IMO looks tacky on doors and trim

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Originally Posted by Beth777 View Post
My kitchen side door has a window in it, with possibly vinyl or a type of plastic around and across the glass. From your post, I think I should paint just the door but leave the vinyl or plastic window setting in the door unpainted.
Do not use oil on your vinyl window
You can use the latex
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Since I have 3 different doors to paint, (4 if you count the shed) and all have different "needs", I appreciate lots of information! (even if not everyone sees the alkyd/latex question from the same perspective!)

The brand new kitchen side door with the window insert came pre-primed but has no additional paint on it yet.

The front door has been painted previously, before we lived here, but it does have an excessive amount of brush strokes showing on it.
I'm kinda hoping it will look a lot prettier after it's been repainted! I'm going to sand down the more obvious previous brush strokes, and will proceed from there.

The back basement door could really stand to be replaced. For now I'll just get it as nice as I can. It's dented, and is showing a little rust. The wood frame around it has some damage as well. (I think the little kid who used to live here may have spent a little too much time in the backyard!)

I may try some wood putty work on the door frame before painting it.

It probably isn't really possible to do anything about small dents in a metal door, is there? It's a metal door with wood core.

This is such a big job! My husband is doing the ladder work, the bigger part of the job, and he is giving me the detail work to do. No pressure, lol!
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
Use an exterior alkyd paint and thin

Might I ask why?
I recommended an exterior alkyd because they form a harder, stronger film than latex paints, and doors get smacked around a lot. People scratch the paint on doors with their keys when opening or locking them. People move furniture and stuff through doors. Often people don't use door knobs to open doors, but will just push the door open if it's not already latched. Dogs will scratch on the door when they want to go out or come in. So, doors have to stand up to more punishment than a wall, and have to be cleaned more often than a wall, too.

I recommended thinning the alkyd paint because that is the key to getting a smoother coat of paint on it. Thinning the paint does two things:

1. It makes the paint less viscous, so it self levels faster, and
2. It increases the drying time of the paint so that it has more time to self level.

Good self leveling will go much further to eliminating brush strokes than buying an expensive brush, which will do very little in that regard.

But, since thinning the paint TOO MUCH may cause it to sag on vertical surfaces as it's drying, I suggested taking the door off it's hinges so that she can paint only horizontal surfaces where the paint sagging wouldn't be a factor.

Next time you're painting with a brush, use water to thin a little bit of your latex paint in a dixie cup or paint thinner to thin your alkyd paint in a dixie cup, and you'll find that thinning your paint helps very much in allowing the paint to self level so as to eliminate brush strokes in the final paint job.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:29 PM   #8
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Unless Slick corrects me, the *last thing I'd do is thin any paint. The *third thing I'd do would be to use Floetrol/Penetrol products.

The *second thing is to use the very best products and tools. Since we are amateurs, the last thing is to handicap ourselves with garbage products.

The *first thing I'd do, is practice. Beginers tend to 'spank' the paint - brush, brush, brush - when in reality, it's pretty much a 1-2-3 effort. Laydown, backstroke, and final leveling stroke(s).

"Lay it down like it's free."
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:35 PM   #9
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


I did have to thin paint a little when we were working on applying primer. It was drying too quick in the paint pail. I could tell it was getting a little thicker on the brush, and not going on so smooth as it had been at first. I hope the primer work on the house will help with the practice that we need!

There's so much to be said about having skill and know-how! Thanks for all wisdom and advice shared here......

I think I will practice first on the shed door, progress next to the dented basement door, then the kitchen side, then the front door.....

I like the painting quotes......lay it down like its free! I'll remember, don't spank the brush! Is it perchance "all in the wrist"?

Starting to get a feel for how much paint to put on the brush before letting it touch the siding. Baby steps here! It would be fun to watch an expert at work!
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:38 PM   #10
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Quote:
Originally Posted by shasta37 View Post
Unless Slick corrects me, the *last thing I'd do is thin any paint. The *third thing I'd do would be to use Floetrol/Penetrol products.
I regularily thin my paint, especially when I need a smooth paint job relatively free of brush strokes.

As for not thinning oil based products, people should keep in mind that the manufacturers of oil based paints, stains and varnishes are under great pressure to reduce the amount of VOC's that evaporate from their products.

As long as you're only adding water to thin latex paints, or paint thinner (Also called: mineral spirits, solvent, or "Varsol"), all the thinner you add while thinning will evaporate from the paint film as it dries. The result will be that the resulting thinned paint or varnish will dry to a reduced film thickness, but that film will adhere just as well and dry to the same hardness as an unthinned coating. So, you compensate for the reduced dry film thickness by applying another coat or two.

I'm a great proponent of thinning both oil and latex paints to get better flow and self leveling when applying the paint with a brush.

The easiest way to reduce the amount of VOC's that evaporate is to simply put less solvent in the product to begin with, and put a sticker on the product saying "Do NOT Thin".

That way, if the customer follows the manufacturer's directions (as customers typically do because they presume the manufacturer has their own best interests in mind), then the product will release less VOC's into the atmosphere as it dries.

However, where I see the instructions "Do Not Thin" on an oil based product, I realize the manufacturer is only saying that so that he can sell his product, and I thin it anyway.

And, my advice to the people reading this is: If you see "Do Not Thin" on an oil based product, take a small sample of it and thin it to see if it flows out better and self levels better. If so, ignore the instruction not to thin the product, and thin it to get better results.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 07-08-2008 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:54 PM   #11
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Ms Beth: Primers are a dog; they are not fun and joyful to work with. But... they are really really mandatory on new, raw materials; especially wood. They are quite mandatory on many other app's, though in lieu of primering, a thorough prep cleaning of the existing surface is required. Key word: thorough

Another tip is not to expect to get 6 or 8 hours of painting time on a single brush. A couple is more like it, then change to a clean one.

BTW, for the additives I mentioned, Floetrol/Penetrol, I don't add anywhere near the label reccomendations. Like cooking, I eyeball a splash or three...

As for thinning, again a personal preference. As an example, a 100% exterior acrylic (say, Kelly Moore 1240) has a DFT (dried film thickness) of 1.5-2 mils. (.0015-.002 inches). "Film" indeed. It's also 40% water (plus additives) which evaps during the drying time.

IMO, it's a personal ethics choice if one wishes to offset lo-VOC products by thinng w/ petro additives. Personally, I'll take a few perceived brush marks aganst poor air quality any day. I'll also mention that in the industrial arena, in CA, it's 100% roller work for industrial coatings. Spray jobs are apt's and condo buildings with acylic latex...
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:16 PM   #12
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


The "family crew" is receiving the great information that you all provide here.......thanks so much! We are paying attention!

Job is slooooooooooow going for amateur/perfectionist Saturday painters with a few evening hours during the week. It would go faster if we didn't have to do repair work. The important thing is that it's looking good and probably being done right! No disasters. Learning patience along with Painting 101 for Beginners...

Final project will certainly not be perfect, but I guarantee you it will be better because of appying good information from you guys here!

Still a ton of prep & repair & prime to do. Laying down the primer like it's free...learning how to handle the brush. Planning to buy a couple more good brushes to make it go smoother next Saturday!

My guys are practicing better ladder safety and becoming more skilled in what they're doing, so my stress level has gone down! I'll attempt the first door job on Saturday while my guys are up on the ladders. 5 days to get it all together...materials & plans! Will hope for great paint leveling and great results!

BTW, why is primer so expensive? We're using a lot of primer!
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:52 PM   #13
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


My compliments on paying attention to ladder safety. Not just painting, but any DIY home project, safety is of *the highest* priority. Before starting the most simple task to the most complex; stop, think, analyze...what could wrong with this task?

I have no idea why primer costs are what they are. Compared to quality paint and tools, fuel prices are a bargain!

Hi sun exposure areas. If you are doing your project with 3 coats - prime, mid- and top coat, you should be OK. One key is to allow proper dry/cure time between coats. Consider Mfgr. cure times as a minimum.

If you have the energy left and spare material, go for a third coat on those tuff areas. The good news is that once past the prime and first coat, additional coats lay down very smooth, fast and easy.
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:26 AM   #14
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


Good advice above!

Although...the newer Latex/Alkyd "Hybrid" paints are catching on...
Such as Cabinet-Coat by Insl-X; and ACE's newer Cabinet, Door & Trim paint.
* These level very nicely...2 coats applied a day apart.
* Polyurethane resins surrounded by a Latex binder system.
* The ACE version is Low-VOC. Legal in all 50 states.

Primer prices...
* C2 has a SAP primer...Sandable Acrylic Primer. Retails for $29.99/gal.
* Also an Exterior deep-tint Latex ACS primer. TOP-notch exterior primer here...for handling larger colorant loads. Also $30/gal.
* The prices...tough, quality resin chemistry ain't cheap!!
* There's different/newer TI02 blends/quality levels too.
* The best grades aren't getting any cheaper!!

Faron
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:41 AM   #15
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I'm scared to paint our front door! Advice for good results???


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Originally Posted by shasta37 View Post
My compliments on paying attention to ladder safety. Not just painting, but any DIY home project, safety is of *the highest* priority. Before starting the most simple task to the most complex; stop, think, analyze...what could wrong with this task?

I have no idea why primer costs are what they are. Compared to quality paint and tools, fuel prices are a bargain!

Hi sun exposure areas. If you are doing your project with 3 coats - prime, mid- and top coat, you should be OK. One key is to allow proper dry/cure time between coats. Consider Mfgr. cure times as a minimum.

If you have the energy left and spare material, go for a third coat on those tuff areas. The good news is that once past the prime and first coat, additional coats lay down very smooth, fast and easy.
Thanks again for good advice.
I figure we're saving so much gas $ by staying at home every weekend working on the house it should be no problem affording all the supplies...right?

An extra coat on the "sunny side" is a good idea. Especially since anything after the 1st coat is so much fun to apply...that's a very happy thought!We have gotten to the point here where we fight over who gets to paint the next section that's ready...'cause the actual painting is the FUN part! Will pay attention to dry/cure time.

My dad was an ER visitor after his ladder slipped on a hill once...and my father-in-law seriously injured his back from a ladder fall. Hoping to break that cycle of family history! It seems to take a scare before danger seems real. I'm all about prevention.

LOL at "once past the prime"...doing home repairs we sometimes feel powerful, other times feel past the prime ourselves!

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