How to Repaint a Prefinished Door

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Dropcloth

  • Sandpaper

  • Dishwashing soap

  • Bucket of water

  • Sponge

  • Old towel

  • Tack cloth

  • Primer

  • Paint

  • Paintbrushes

Painting doors in your home can accent a room that needs a little updating. When painting any surface that is prefinished, the job becomes a little more challenging. This is because you must deal with the existing finish before applying paint. Even with the prefinish issue, a door painting project takes only a few hours.


Step 1

Remove the doorknob screws with your screwdriver and remove the doorknob from the door. Don't remove the door from the hinges because a hanging door is in a perfect position to be painted.

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Step 2

Place a dropcloth under the door. Sand the door's surface with 120-grit sandpaper, moving in the direction of the wood to take off the door's prefinish. Rub hard enough to get down to the wood surface. Replace the sandpaper as needed.


Step 3

Add a couple of drops of dishwashing soap to a bucket of clean water. With your sponge, wipe down the door with the soapy water to remove the finish left behind. Rinse and dry thoroughly with your old towel. Follow by running a tack cloth along sanded surfaces and in nooks and crannies.

Step 4

Prime the door with a simple white primer, painting from top to bottom in one-third sections. Let the primer dry according to instructions on the container.


Step 5

Paint the door with your choice of paint. Start from the top and work your way down. If your door is separated by panels, paint the inside of the panel first, then move outward. Don't forget to paint the edges. It's better to apply two thin coats rather than one thick coat of paint.

Step 6

Let the door dry for a least a day. Replace the doorknob.



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