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Old 08-04-2008, 12:31 PM   #1
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Painting Front Door: What paint to use?

We will be painting the front door of our house white (already white, just cracking and dirty). I've heard a few different things about what type of paint to use, latex or oil? Does it need to be a special type of paint? We have some Sherwin Williams Pro Classsic latex high gloss and semi gloss enamel left over from our trim and cabinet paint job. Will this work? Do people usually use high gloss for their front doors? I'm also assuming a good sand and primer coat will help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 08-04-2008, 09:03 PM   #2
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I'm presuming that this is a WOOD door. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

No, it doesn't have to be a special kind of paint, but if you have a wood door that's exposed to the outdoors, I think you'd want to stick with an exterior paint of some type. And, of course, the harder and more durable the coating on the door, the longer that paint will look good and the more slowly it will show signs of wear.

SW Pro Classic uses a styrenated acrylic resin. Styrene acrylic resins give very good gloss, but they yellow with age and deteriorate much more than other latex paints from exposure to UV light from the Sun. It is my understanding that this lack of UV resistance is why Pro Classic isn't available in an "exterior" version like SuperPaint is. (SlickShift would know better if an exterior Pro Classic is available, but styrenated acrylic resins and UV light go together like werewolves and silver bullets, so I doubt it.)

If you live in a northern climate where the air is dryer and the intensity of Sunlight isn't very high, I'd say there's a good chance you could get away with using the Pro Classic interior paint on your door, but that's just a SWAG on my part (Scientific Wild Assed Guess). However, if you live in a more southerly latitude, and chaulking of paints is a problem in your climate, or you live near the coast, and mildew growth on paints is a problem, then you need an exterior paint. If you have to buy new paint anyway, I'd suggest you use an exterior alkyd (oil based) paint on your front door.

Doors take a lot of abuse. People scratch up the paint around the lock with their keys, dogs wanting in or out will scratch on the door, cats have been known to claw on doors. Doors get pushed open and closed with the open hand as often as by using the knob, so doors need to be cleaned more often than walls or ceilings. Doors get knocked around when people move things through doorways and stuff. For all these reasons, I'd recommend the greater durability of an exterior alkyd paint rather than an exterior latex paint.

You said: "I'm also assuming a good sand and primer coat will help."
If you sand the old paint down, then there is little reason to prime over your sanded paint. The purpose in roughening the surface of your old paint is so the next coat of paint will stick better. Just paint over the sanded old paint.


Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-04-2008 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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I've seen a couple 'how-to- guides here:
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