How to Paint a Metal Screen Door

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Things You'll Need

  • Gloves

  • White vinegar

  • Bucket

  • Sandpaper

  • Oil based primer for metal

  • Oil based paint for metal

  • Paint brush or foam brush

  • Painter's tape

The main problem with metal screen doors is that they can rust and show signs of wear over time. The good news is that painting the door is a fairly easy do-it-yourself job that can make your door look as good as new. When painting a metal screen door, it's important to purchase the right paint or you won't be happy with the results. You can choose to remove the door for easier access or paint the door while it's still attached. These simple steps will help bring your metal screen door back to life.


Prepare the Surface - Clean the Door

Step 1

Mix a small amount of white vinegar with a bucket of warm water and scrub the door. Try and remove all the dirt and grime you can. For heavier stains and mildew, spray white vinegar directly on the door, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then wipe it away with a wet sponge. There are also metal cleaners that you can use that will remove mildew without ruining the finish.

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Step 2

Remove any rust with a medium grit sandpaper by lightly sanding the rust. Make sure to remove any flaky paint around the rust.

Step 3

Remove the screen or tape off existing areas that you do not want to be painted with painter's tape. Removing the screen is optional and may make it a little easier to paint.


Prime and Paint the Door

Step 1

Use an oil-based primer that is specifically designed for application on metal and prime the door using a paint brush or foam brush. This step is crucial in providing a clean, smooth surface for painting.


Step 2

Allow the primer to dry. Read the label on your paint can for drying times and consider waiting at least 24 hours for optimal results.

Step 3

Check the surface and make sure there are no paint bubbles and that the primer has covered any existing rust and mildew. Apply a second coat of primer if needed.


Step 4

Use an oil-based paint designed for application on metal for the finishing coat on the door. Use long, even strokes and load the brush with paint when you bridge wet areas to prevent noticeable brush marks.

Step 5

Allow the first coat to dry and apply the second and final coat.


Be sure to allow adequate drying time between coats to achieve optimal results. Use long, even brush strokes and avoid short, scattered strokes.


Always paint in areas with adequate ventilation. Open windows and keep paint away from flammable materials.


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