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Old 07-23-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


I have just had a new, unprimed 15-light exterior wood door installed in my kitchen. According to my condo association, the outside must be painted semi-gloss black, with oil paint. To match the kitchen, the inside must be painted with pure white latex.

What is the right way to paint this door? Because of the 15 glass panels, there is a lot of edge work to be done. I have been told that a pro would paint the wooden edges by hand with a 1" brush, allowing some paint to get on the glass, and then scrape off the excess paint with a razor blade after it has dried, rather than trying to use masking tape along all these edges.

Also, what kind of primer should I use on the black side of the door? I have a quart of white Bulls Eye 123 primer, which I assume is good enough for the white inside surface.

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Old 07-23-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


I'm don't know who told you a pro would use a 1" brush but they are lost.Personally I would use a 2.5 inch or 3 inch brush and paint the entire door with it.Keep it off the glass it's not that hard for a pro but you will probably have to do some scraping.The last few doors I did had plastic over the glass if yours does that would be a big help just cut the plastic out with a razor knife after you're done.As for priming, the 1-2-3 will be fine for both sides.

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:19 AM   #3
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


what cd said^
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


I'd bet if you went on the company's web site or you read the label on the door itself it would have a warning not to paint the door a dark color if it's in direct sunlight.
Yes I know that's what the condo rules are but I've seen many a door have the seals in the glass melt and the paint alligator because of the heat.
I like to paint the doors laying flat on a saw horse. It allows you to get paint on all the sides to seal it and you'll get less runs in the corners of the panes.
If it's not sealed on all side especially the bottom it will expand and contract more causing it to stick and will fail at the bottom of the door from water wicking up.
To speed things up and get a perfectly flat finish I use a 4" foam roller to paint the sides, rails and stiles and use the 2-1/2" sash brush for the touch ups and the mullein strips.
You do not want to scrape off all the paint around the panes. there needs to be a small amount left on to act as a seal between the glass and what holds the glass in place.
I'm sure the painters will jump all over this, but I could careless. I'm the one that gets called in to fix all the stuff that fails from jobs done in the past and just sharing what I've seen and what has work for me to fix it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


Joe, when have the painters jumped you, lol? Your method is fine, Joe. I agree, it's much easier to get all the sides, top and bottom by taking the door off. Since it is only one door that's a great option. I'm surprised the HO Assoc. is requiring oil based paint for the door. Most door companies these days apply an acrylic latex primer (gray) on the doors that requires a top coat of latex.

Sounds like one of those doors with a SINGLE pane of glass that's divided up by a plastic or fiberglass divided light assembly. What a pain to paint. One thing that may help if you don't want to mask each pane off separately is to disassemble the window unit & pull off the plastic piece and paint it. It can be tough to take apart as those grills are caulked/puttied to the window. IF that's not an option you can take sheets of paper and slide under the grill giving you something other than glass for the excess paint to attach to. Don't get too messy doing this because when you slide the paper out, any excess paint may get pulled onto the glass.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:42 PM   #6
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


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Joe, when have the painters jumped you, lol? Your method is fine, Joe. I agree, it's much easier to get all the sides, top and bottom by taking the door off. Since it is only one door that's a great option. I'm surprised the HO Assoc. is requiring oil based paint for the door. Most door companies these days apply an acrylic latex primer (gray) on the doors that requires a top coat of latex.

Sounds like one of those doors with a SINGLE pane of glass that's divided up by a plastic or fiberglass divided light assembly. What a pain to paint. One thing that may help if you don't want to mask each pane off separately is to disassemble the window unit & pull off the plastic piece and paint it. It can be tough to take apart as those grills are caulked/puttied to the window. IF that's not an option you can take sheets of paper and slide under the grill giving you something other than glass for the excess paint to attach to. Don't get too messy doing this because when you slide the paper out, any excess paint may get pulled onto the glass.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:00 AM   #7
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


No painter finds much use for a 1" brush because it cannot hold much paint. My brush of choice was a 2.5" angled sash. With some practice it will hold a nice edge. I own nice 1" brushes and some much larger than 2.5 inch but I used them only for special situations.

A roofer friend of ours can paint anything with a foam roller and make it look smooth as a baby's behind but with so many panels to your door, I just do not see it working well.

Once, and only once, I found these 3m painters tape corners in a box for like $4 retail for 80,000. I hate using tape for the most part but these things were great. Stick them in the corners of windows, where your brush wants to leave extra paint and you can fly through painting a window or door.

I happen to love plastic razer blades too. Not saying I have ever goofed and left paint on a window surface, but carving mistakes may have been more fun with sharp plastic than rusty metal. They come in colors. They are cheap.

No painter I know paints a window he just re-glazed on purpose for the thrill of scraping paint off of it.

I do not know why your condo association would care if you painted semi-gloss oil or waterbased acrylic on the exterior but best not argue I suppose.

If it is a wood door, I might argue for using a primer and wood sealer and not a generic bonding acrylic or alkyd primer. I would pick Ben Moore's Fresh Start alkyd primer, and not Zinsser Cover Stain for this and on both sides. Then finish with whatever you want.

And of course use a factory, not a store mixed black for the outside of the door. And hope for the best.

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Old 07-25-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


I would sure consider a qt. of gray primer for the black side.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #9
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The condo association requires that the outside of the door be painted with Benjamin Moore Super Spec DTM Alkyd Semi-Gloss Black, and there is no arguing with my condo association. A painting contractor advised me to let the paint dry for eight hours before closing the door.

I have bought some ScotchBlue corner tape for the corners of the glass panels as suggested. There is no plastic sheeting to protect the glass. Unfortunately, the door came unprimed, so I have to prime it. I have taken the advice to use an angled sash brush.

I'd rather not remove the door from the hinges and lay it down flat on sawhorses to paint it, because it's a pretty heavy door and I have no help. But I may try anyway. In any case, I have to remove the locks that the door contractor just installed on it. I hope I can get it back together when I'm done!
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


Direct to metal paint on a wood door? Why?
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


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The condo association requires that the outside of the door be painted with [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][COLOR=black]Benjamin Moore Super Spec DTM Alkyd Semi-Gloss Black, and there is no arguing with my condo association.
Good lord. Do they also dictate what brand & ply of toilet paper you wipe with?
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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Direct to metal paint on a wood door? Why?

that's nuts
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


Does Ben Moore even sell SuperSpec anymore? I thought UltraSpec was the new contractor grade in that class? And does either come in a factory mix black? You do not want a store mix tinted black. And why demand the contractor grade paint if you can afford something like Ben Moore Impervo in black? And why does the condo association insist on an oil finish. Acrylics will have better fade resistance.

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Old 08-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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that's nuts
I agree. Absolutely absurd. The wood needs to be sealed, then primed then painted. Or you can get something like Ben Moore Fresh Start that is a fairly decent sealer/primer. Have it tinted gray for the black side.

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Old 08-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #15
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Painting a New 15-Light Exterior Door


It gets even better. In this region, which has smog problems, there are EPA rules against selling oil-based paint in gallon containers (only quarts are allowed). The condo association likes oil-based paint. For some reason that I don't understand, it is still possible to buy oil-based DTM paint in gallon containers from the local Ben Moore store, and since the contractor has to paint 300 outside doors just like mine, they use this stuff.

Every four years, the condo association hires a contractor to repaint all 300 of our exterior doors with this same paint. So, let's say I break the rules and paint the new door with something else, such as latex acrylic. Then I have to worry about the next coat, which will be DTM paint applied by the contractor, sticking to the latex paint that I apply this year.

So I am going to use the DTM paint, because I have to. I have used it before, and it seems to act just like any other oil-based paint.

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