Painting a composite door – A hotly debated topic
Painting a composite door has been a much-debated question across DIY forums in recent years.
Thankfully, for the many composite door owners around the world, the answer is yes.
With some fairly simple steps, you can have a newly painted door in no time at all.
What is a composite door?
A composite door is an incredibly popular type of door that is known for its durability, security, and low maintenance requirements.
Composite doors are typically made of a solid wood core surrounded by different materials uPVC and metal.
Like anything in our home, a composite door can fade and deteriorate over time. Luckily with some easily sourced tools and materials, you can breathe a new lease of life into your door in no time at all.
Painting a composite door – what materials will I need?
Luckily all of the required tools and materials for painting a composite door are widely available and you may even have a lot of them already in your home.
Here are the materials and tools you will need:
- Soap and water: To clean the door thoroughly before painting. We always recommend using sugar soap as it’s great at removing stubborn stains.
- Sandpaper: Use for sanding down any rough or glossy areas on the surface.
- Masking tape: important for giving tight edges and protecting any areas you do not want to be painted, such as glass panels, handles, and hinges.
- Drop cloth: To cover the floor and protect it from any paint spills.
- Paintbrushes: To apply the primer and paint. We’d also recommend a roller for a better finish.
- Primer: To help the paint adhere better to the door’s surface and ensure an even finish.
- Paint: It is important to select the right type of paint for the door’s material and location, as well as the desired finish. There are a huge amount of different paints available nowadays. Some great brands include Frenchie Paint and Farrow & Ball.
- Topcoat: To provide additional protection and durability to the door.
We’d highly recommend spending as much as your budget allows on paint as typically you get what you spend with items like paint
Painting A Composite Door – The key is in the preparation
As with any painting, preparation is always key and will help you obtain the best possible finish.
Although the preparation can often feel slow and arduous it really will help you get the smoothest and most even finish.
Here are the steps involved in preparing to paint a composite door.
- Clean the surface: Use soap and water to clean the door’s surface, removing any dirt, dust, or grime that may have accumulated over time. Once complete make sure to dry the surface thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.
- Sand the surface: Use sandpaper to sand down any rough or glossy areas on the door’s surface. The objective, although counterintuitive is to create a rougher texture, which will help the primer and paint adhere better.
- Mask-off areas: Use masking tape to cover any areas you do not want to be painted, such as handles, hinges, and glass panels. Make sure the tape is securely in place and covers the entire area you want to protect.
- Cover the floor: Place a drop cloth on the floor to protect it from any paint spills or drips. This will also make cleaning up easier after you have finished painting.
The above steps will ensure you have a clean and even surface ready for priming and painting.
Often the hardest step is sanding as it can require some real effort to get a smooth surface. You will be rewarded though for your hard work as proper preparation ensures a high-quality finish that will last.
Painting a composite door – The primer
Composite doors are made of multiple materials, including wood, uPVC, and metal.
That means you can’t use the regular paint you would usually use when painting wooden doors. If you ask us, we would recommend avoiding latex paints and choosing oil-based enamels. This type of paint provides better coverage and finish.
Priming the door is an important step in the painting process. Applying a primer helps the paint adhere better to the surface, which will create an even finish.
Here are the steps for applying a primer:
- Choose the right primer: Select a high-quality primer that is designed for use on composite doors and compatible with the type of paint you plan to use. If you are unsure ask your local paint supplier for recommendations.
- Apply the primer: Using a paintbrush or roller, apply a thin, even coat of primer to the entire surface of the door. Make sure to work quickly and cover the surface evenly, without leaving any drips or runs.
- Let the primer dry: Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the next coat of primer or paint. This can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on the temperature and humidity levels.
- Sand the surface: Once the primer is dry, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or imperfections. This will help the paint adhere better and create a smoother finish.
- Apply a second coat: Apply a second coat of primer, making sure to cover any areas you may have missed the first time. Again allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
Priming is another step in the process of creating a high-quality finish. Like sanding it’s important and you will be rewarded for your patience in the long run.
If you are looking for other projects to improve the feel and value of your home, checkout of range of guides on renovating your old house.
Final Steps – Painting the door
Now that you have prepared the door and applied the primer, it’s finally time to paint!
Here are the steps required for finishing your composite door. In no time at all, you will have a high-quality finish to be proud of.
- Choose the right paint: Make sure to select the best paint possible to give yourself the best finish. Remember we normally recommend an oil-based emulsion for painting a composite door but you should check with your local store and composite doors come in a range of materials.
- Apply the paint: Get painting! Typically a small roller or even a paint sprayer will be easier than using a paintbrush and give a more consistent finish.
- Let the paint dry: again you will have to be patient until the first coat is completely dry.
- Sand the surface: Once again go over the surface to remove any drips or bubbles in the paint.
- Apply a second coat: Applying a second coat will help ensure you get a real depth of colour and will give you the best possible finish.
- Finish the door: Once the second coat of paint is dry, apply a topcoat to the surface of the door. This will provide additional protection and durability to the finish. Once the topcoat is fully dry you remove the masking tape and enjoy the shiny new door in all its glory.
By following these steps, you will achieve a professional-looking finish that will improve the appearance and curb appeal of your composite door. For a natural finish beeswax will give your door a great sheen.
Painting a composite door – Pro Tips
While painting a composite door can be a straightforward process, there are a few tips and precautions you should keep in mind to ensure a successful project.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
- Work in a well-ventilated area: When painting, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to avoid inhaling fumes from the paint and primer.
- Wear protective gear: Wear gloves, eye protection, and a mask to protect yourself from the paint and fumes.
- Don’t rush the process: Take your time when painting your composite door. The endless sanding and waiting for coats to dry can be frustrating but you will be thankful in the end.
- Use high-quality materials: Use the highest quality paints and primer that you can afford. You will really see the difference with a professional-looking finish.
- Keep the door dry: Make sure the door stays dry during the painting process, as moisture can affect the end result.
Patience and preparation are the two key factors when painting but it will result in a wonderful-looking door for years to come.
Giving your composite door a new lick of paint is a great way of improving the appearance and increasing the curb appeal of your property.
By painting a composite door yourself, it will help minimise the cost of the project and it doesn’t require any specialist equipment. So do give it a go!
Decorating your house can be very rewarding but daunting if you’ve not done it before. Check our full range of decorating guides for more helpful tips.