How to Paint Metal Doors With Oil Base Paints


In maintaining metal doors, one thing you always have to consider is how to keep the rust off. If metal isn't sealed or protected in some way, water and humidity will damage its surface. One of the best ways to protect your metal door is to apply oil-based paint to its surface. The metal door will be protected from accumulating rust, and it will look much better.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush
  • Cloth
  • Sponge
  • Liquid dishwasher soap
  • Oil-based anti-corrosive primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Mineral spirits
  • Wooden stick
  • Remove the hardware, such as door knobs and strike plates, from your metal door. You can even remove the hinges from the door if you decide to take it out of the frame when you paint it.

  • Scrub any rust and dirt on the surface of your metal door with a wire brush. Be thorough and make sure to remove all of the dirt and rust.

  • Clean the metal door. Dip a cloth or sponge in warm water and wipe the door thoroughly. You can also add a few drops of mild liquid dishwasher soap to the water. Let the metal air dry or use a dry cloth to wipe the excess water off.

  • Apply oil-based anti-corrosive primer using a paintbrush. This layer doesn't need to have a fine, smooth finish. Just make sure that the whole surface of the door is covered with a thin layer of primer. Allow the anti-corrosive layer to dry for at least 24 hours. The layer of primer may seem to be already dry in a matter of hours. However, you need to give the primer time not only to dry but to harden. If your door already has a factory coating or is already pre-primed, you don't need to apply the primer.

  • Prepare the oil-based paint. Pour the paint into a bucket until the bucket is half full. Then add an ounce of mineral spirits and stir the mixture with a wooden stick. If the mixture seems too thick, add another ounce of mineral spirits.

  • Dip only the tip of the paintbrush in the oil-based paint and start painting the door. Do not make the layer thick, but rather light and thin. If you are right-handed, make left-to-right strokes when painting. When you're done applying the first coat of paint, allow the door to dry for at least an hour.

  • Apply a second light coat of paint using the same paintbrush and the same left-to-right movements. Again, leave the paint coat to dry completely for at least an hour. Then repeat the process until the door is completely covered. It usually takes 3 to 5 coats of oil-based paint to finish a metal door.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are many different oil-based paint finishes that you can use, such as satin, semi-gloss, eggshell gloss and full gloss.
  • Wear rubber gloves when working with oil-based paint.
  • If you are using an oil-based paint remover, make sure you are either outside or in a ventilated room.

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