The Key to Repainting French Doors
With so much warm sunshine and natural beauty in our area, many Naples, Florida-area homes feature exterior and interior French doors to help capture and spread the sunlight through the home and provide better views of the surroundings. As with all components of our homes, time takes a toll, and at some point, you will probably need to think about repainting your French doors. And, with limited surface area that actually needs to be painted, you might be tempted to think that painting French doors is easy.
It’s not! Not only do you have to contend with numerous windowpanes that need to be protected from paint, but the varying angles of brush strokes needed for paint application make it difficult to produce a consistently smooth finish. Unlike walls, painting French doors require strict attention to detail and finesse, as even the smallest imperfections are readily noticed. That said, there are a few tricks to help make the job flow smoothly and produce a fantastic finish.
Perfection Flows from the Prep Work
With more than 25 years of professional interior and exterior painting experience in the Naples, Florida area, FCI painting can tell you that the key to successful repainting of your French doors lies primarily in the prep work. Read on to learn more about this prep work and how to give your French doors a professional looking paint job.
Determine your paint color and type. If the existing paint is oil-based and you’re planning to cover it with latex, you will need to sand and prime it before applying the new paint. If the underlying paint is already latex, you can use a deglosser to help the new paint’s adhesion.
Decide whether you want to remove the doors from their frames and paint them vertically on top of sawhorses or leave them in the frame and paint them horizontally. While inconvenient, the vertical method provides easier access and helps limit potential drips and streaks. Whichever you choose, remove all hardware and make sure you use a labeling system to help return the correct hardware to their original positions. Alternatively, you can cover hardware with painter’s tape, though sometimes paint can seep through.
Carefully cover the doors’ glass panes with painter’s tape or a masking liquid. While painter’s tape is less expensive, masking liquid is easier to apply, tends to provide better coverage, and easily peels off once you’ve finished painting. Make sure you also cover the underlying floor with a tarp or drop cloths to capture any accidental paint spills or drops.
If you sand the wood on your doors, make sure you vacuum and otherwise clean the dust off of them. If using a deglosser, make sure that you follow the directions, and, most importantly, let the deglossed surface completely dry before painting.
Once the prep work has been taken care of, you’re ready to paint. With both the primer—if using—and the paint, use long brush strokes that follow the direction of the wood. Among the most challenging tasks in painting French doors is creating smooth-looking brush strokes where the muntins (wood trim pieces separating the glass) intersect with each other. One trick to avoid messy looking strokes on the muntins is to paint using foam brushes, which do not leave prominent brush strokes. If you do end up with any messy looking brush strokes, they can be minimized after the paint dries by lightly sanding them with 400 grit sandpaper.
After you have applied the primer or first coat, let it completely dry before following up with the next coat. For exterior French doors, you might want to consider finishing the job with a coat of varnish or weatherproof sealant to the outside-facing side to add an extra layer of protection.
Once everything is dry, remove all painter’s tape and/or liquid masking, replace any removed hardware, and inspect your work to determine whether any area needs a bit of touch up paint or sanding. Rehang the doors in the frames, if necessary, and “Voila,” your French doors are painted.
Or Turn to Professionals for your French Door Painting
Alternatively, you can always contact FCI Painting for your French door painting job. In fact, if you have numerous French doors in your home, this option might prove easiest and quickest. With more than 25 years of experience helping southwest Florida homeowners and businesses with all of their painting needs, you can reach us by contacting FCI Painting online, or by giving us a call at (239) 435-1001.