If you've ever wondered "Can I paint a storm door?" the answer is yes! Metal and even wooden storm doors are easily painted, allowing you to give a new look to your door without spending a fortune.
Prepping Your Door for Painting
The first step in painting the door is removing it from its hinges if possible. While a door on its hinges can be painted, the job is much easier and usually turns out better if the door can be positioned horizontally for painting.
If the screens or glass in the storm door can be easily removed and replaced, remove them as well. Not only will this save you the time and trouble of taping them off, it will also make prepping the door easier.
If the door has flaking paint or rust, the next step in painting it will be to sand it or, in the case of a wooden door with many layers of paint, stripping it either manually or chemically. If you can't remove the screens or glass from your door, protect them by covering them with layers of plastic, as sanding or stripping can etch glass or destroy screens.
After all the rust or flaking paint is removed, clean the door's surface to remove any dust or particles that will mar the paint's surface. Use tack cloth or a damp rag to clean a door that has been sanded; for a door that did not need sanding, clean the door with an all-purpose cleaner that does not leave residue behind.
Choosing Your Paint
Storm doors are exposed to the elements and therefore need a paint that can withstand the effects of heat, cold, wind and rain. Make sure you buy a paint that is intended for exterior use.
Using a primer is also a good idea. Primer will ensure better paint adhesion to the door while also resulting in a color that is truer to the shade you picked out.
The three paint options for the door are spray paint, latex or enamel. Spray paints work best on metal doors. For best results, sand and primer your metal door before using spray paint.
Latex or enamel paints will give better coverage on wood storm doors, although there are varieties of spray paint that will work well. Again, consider priming the surface before painting it.
Follow these tips for a painless storm-door-painting project:
---If you were unable to remove screens or glass from your door, use easy-release painter's tape to tape plastic or paper to the surfaces before painting. Painter's tape leaves little or no residue behind.
---If possible, paint your door in a protected but well-ventilated area such as an open garage or shed. A protected area keeps debris from landing in your paint, but ventilation is a must.
---Painting is often a slow job. Give yourself plenty of time to do the job right. Allow time for the both the primer and the paint to dry between coats.
---When using a latex or enamel paint on a wooden storm door, using a brush or foam paint applicator will ensure the best coverage.
---When spray-painting a metal door, protect the surrounding area from overspray.
---The key to spray-painting is to apply thin, even coats. Keep the bottle moving to avoid concentrating paint in any one spot.
---Give your door ample time to dry before attempting to re-hang or use it. Follow the drying times listed on the paint you use.
A writer and information professional, J.E. Cornett has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lincoln Memorial University and a Master of Science in library and information science from the University of Kentucky. A former newspaper reporter with two Kentucky Press Association awards to her credit, she has over 10 years experience writing professionally.