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Old 04-05-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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Painting louvered doors


In a retail setting, I have a BUNCH of louvered fitting room doors to paint. Currently white, I need to sand, or otherwise degloss these doors, and paint a darker color. They are currently painted with a satin finish, and are in good shape. Any ideas how to prep these things? I really DON'T want to scuff sand them. Also, space to spray paint them would be debatable.

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Old 04-05-2013, 07:19 AM   #2
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Painting louvered doors


Wing, what is your position here? Are you being paid to paint these or are you a store owner/manager? Louvered doors are tedious and difficult. IMO, a retail space is not exactly the place to learn how to paint them. Done right they look great, done badly, not so much. I would seriously consider hiring this job out to either a painting contractor or a spray shop that can apply a coat of bonding primer and two coats of finish in less time than it would take you to think about it. It's going to cost, but when you calculate in your time to do it, the aggravation, and the suffering of a bad finish, does it compare? Just the humble opinion of one who has prepped/painted many a louvered door in my day. If the painting of them is no problem for you, you already know how, then sand them.

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Old 04-05-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
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Painting louvered doors


Joe has your best answer. They are a hassle, get someone to do them right.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Painting louvered doors


You risk adhesion problems if you do not scruff the surface with fine grit paper. It will take you awhile but if the doors are in good shape this may not take you so long as you think.

You do need to prep them if you are going to paint them. There are vacuum cleaner attachments and handheld feather dusters to get at them. You will need to wash them down with something like TSP and it just takes time. As does any paint prep.

If you are doing them in place, and in the environment you describe I would use a nice angled sash brush and just take your time applying a bonding primer tinted 40-50 percent of your new darker color. Then two finish coats. You just have to work both sides of the louvers at the same time to chase any paint you cannot see from one side from dripping.

Of course remove door handles and you might want to mask hinges so you do not bind them up with paint.

Louver doors are one instance where I found a paint treatment product for leveling and increasing work time came in handy with waterbased paints. An oil-based alkyd product was prefered for this reason often too but I realize you cannot buy or use them in many place much. Lots of people do not like working with solvent based products either and these are for changing rooms.

If you could take them off and have someone spray them just mark each one to match the hinges or you could be driven a little crazy refitting them.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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Painting louvered doors


Louver doors are a royal PIA to try and brush and not get runs along the louvers, doable but PIA. To spray on site when your not sure about the room doesn't seem like a good idea. And as far as numbering the doors, one time we had a new guy come in to spray paint the doors in a high end house. There were like 40 some doors, he didn't number any. Last I heard they had been there 3 days and were still trying to fit doors.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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Painting louvered doors


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Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
And as far as numbering the doors, one time we had a new guy come in to spray paint the doors in a high end house. There were like 40 some doors, he didn't number any. Last I heard they had been there 3 days and were still trying to fit doors.
I should not laugh but . I had good mentors and when I argued about such things they just shouted I must be compliant or else. They did not teach me with an unmarked set of 40 louver doors job though. They taught me too well with a handful of bi-fold and louvered doors so I had to match up hinges in a couple/few places.

How hard can it be? Tiny hinges. Each door the same size.

The doors in a high end home were probably custom cabinetry or at least trimmed a 32second of an inch here and there "buy a finish" carpenter cleaning up after his second cousin Gus, the guy with the impressive 16p nail gun but no square or level in his truck.

In this case the doors are just for a fitting room setting. Chicks don't care if the doors fly open why they try on stuff.

Last edited by user1007; 04-05-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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Painting louvered doors


Spray paint the doors if at all possible.

If that's not an option---> Have fun!
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:37 AM   #8
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Painting louvered doors


Wing, they can be painted by hand, but they're time consuming and can you afford to have a dressing room area tied up for the time it takes to do them?
If it's a busy area, you can send half out to be done, then send the other half out when the first are done and reinstalled. This way you're only half inconvenienced at any one time and only for a fraction of the time. Plus you could always fashion a short term curtain system. I know you'd like to hang around the ladies dressing room area, , I would, but does the store owner or customers want that?
I actually enjoy brushing louvered doors. I've done a lot in my day and I have the prep and finishing down to a science.

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