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Old 08-13-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


I have two new pre-hung exterior doors, one fiberglass and one steel. Is it OK to paint them before they are installed?

Is it OK to remove the plastic straps that are around the doors now? There's cardboard along the two sides. Can I just open the door and paint it, or will openning it somehow screw up the frame? What's the best way to do this? Frame on the ground, and door opened 180 degrees?

What about painting the perimeter of the frame that is hidden when the door is installed (the area where the door gets shimmed and you stuff insulation)? Is that a good idea, in case water ever gets near the frame, or should that be left natural?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 08-13-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


Hey MrBud, welcome to the forum. I would wait for the doors to be hung, I think doors are easier to paint hanging personally. They could be especially unweildly when attached to a loose frame, and with a steel door you could end up damaging the frame. Who is hanging the doors? I would imagine that since you asked if it's okay to remove the straps--it's not you. Some carpenters I know don't like working with freshly painted things, and aside from what they like, they may damage the paint beyond a simple touch-up. As to removing the straps, I don't know. I got yelled at years ago for doing it, so I wouldn't do it personally. (I think it was more that I was inserting myself into another guy's trade than damaging the doors, who knows) As far as painting the innards of the door, I don't think you have to worry about that stuff. Those areas are well sealed. All that said, why don't you just ask the carpenter. Or, is that who I'm speaking to.

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Old 08-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


We have a contractor coming in a couple of weeks to put up new vinyl siding and install a new fiberglass front door and a steel door from the garage to the outside.

Since the doors are already here, I thought I might paint them ahead of time. My recollection of the last time an outside door was painted (20+ years ago) was that it took 20 hours to dry and we had to leave the door open most of the night so that the paint would not stick to the rubber gasket.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


As a carpenter I would rather the door get painted after installing----It's just to easy to scratch the paint doing the install.

However---If the paint has time to cure for a week or so---and you are willing to repaint if the paint is damaged---I don't see that prepainting is out of the question---

Check with the carpenter----in any case the trims and possibly the jambs will need a second coat to hide the nail holes.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:22 AM   #5
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


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Originally Posted by MrBud View Post
Since the doors are already here, I thought I might paint them ahead of time. My recollection of the last time an outside door was painted (20+ years ago) was that it took 20 hours to dry and we had to leave the door open most of the night so that the paint would not stick to the rubber gasket.
If painting the exterior doors is part of my contract I always paint before the installation just for the reason you mentioned.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:34 AM   #6
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


You could put one coat on before installation and the 2nd coat on after installation. The carpenter is gonna ding, dirty up, etc. the door anyway, so one coat now and 2nd coat later is a good option. If you're worried about the gasket sticking to the door, just wet a rag with WD-40 and wipe it on the gasket. The light oil barrier keeps the door from sticking. Just make sure the door is dry before closing it onto the oil soaked gasket.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:50 AM   #7
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


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You could put one coat on before installation and the 2nd coat on after installation. The carpenter is gonna ding, dirty up, etc. the door anyway, so one coat now and 2nd coat later is a good option. If you're worried about the gasket sticking to the door, just wet a rag with WD-40 and wipe it on the gasket. The light oil barrier keeps the door from sticking. Just make sure the door is dry before closing it onto the oil soaked gasket.
You stole my thunder. However, I use vaseline on the rag. Don't know the difference but. Just don't use it between coats.
I generally don't like to do that type of finish work ahead of a carpenter. It's one thing to paint trim on the ground, if the carpenter doesn't mind, because that's a major time saver. Getting one coat on a door doesn't fit that bill. It may even create more work, as the first coat will need to be sanded, at least. Plus, you're setting your paint kit up twice instead of once. Personally, I'd wait, but that's me.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:21 PM   #8
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OK to paint pre-hung doors before installation?


It would be a lot quicker to use a spray gun. I had 4 doors to paint. Pulled the doors of the frames - put them on saw horses in the garden, sprayed them all in a day - fitted the next day - real quick

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