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What Is the Best Paint for an Exterior Door?November 29th, 2022 by
Exterior doors take a lot of abuse from the weather. Over time, heat, cold, rain, and snow will cause the paint to peel, chip, and crack. While paint will peel faster on wooden doors, it will eventually wear off metal and fiberglass doors as well. How long it lasts usually depends on the door material, the paint type, the weather, and how often you use the door. A few fresh coats of paint can boost your curb appeal and protect your door for years to come. Here are the best recommendations for the best paint for an exterior door.
What Types of Paint Can You Use on Exterior Doors?
When it comes to painting a front door, choosing the right type of exterior paint is crucial to ensure that the paint lasts as long as possible and looks good for years to come. There are a few different paints that you could use, and the best choice for you will depend on the door material and your weather conditions.
1. Latex Paint
Latex paint is a popular choice for front doors because it is water-based and easy to clean up. It is also relatively inexpensive, making it a good choice for those on a budget. Latex paint dries quickly, so you won’t have to wait long before you can close or lock your door. However, it may not be as durable as some other types of paint, so it may need to be reapplied more frequently if your door is subjected to harsh weather conditions or heavy use.
2. Oil-Based Paint
Oil paints are more durable and resistant to fading than water-based paint, but it is also more difficult to work with and takes longer to dry. It is a good choice for a front door that will be subjected to harsh weather conditions or heavy use, as it is more resistant to damage and wear. However, it can be more expensive and more time-consuming to work with than water-based paint, and it may produce strong odors while it is drying.
3. Epoxy Paint
Epoxy paint is a two-part paint that is extremely durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and fading. It is a good choice for a front door that will be subjected to heavy use or harsh weather conditions, but it is more expensive and more difficult to work with than other types of paint. Epoxy paint is made up of a resin and a hardener that are mixed together to form a tough, durable finish. It takes longer to dry than other paints and requires special equipment and techniques to apply, so it may not be the best choice for everyone.
4. Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint is another water-based paint that is similar to latex paint in terms of ease of use and quick drying time. While it does resist fading, it is the least durable paint option for an exterior door. It can wear away quickly on some doors if you live in a climate with heavy rain or snow. Still, it is a relatively affordable option.
What Paint Is Best for an Exterior Door?
Overall, the best paint for a front door will depend on the specific needs and conditions of the door. Latex, acrylic, and oil-based paint are all good options, and epoxy paint is a more durable choice for doors that will be subjected to heavy use or harsh weather conditions.
While you can technically use any of the paint types listed above for a front door, here are the best options based on your door material:
- Wood Doors – Oil-based provides the best wear and protection for wooden doors. The paint adheres well to the wood surface and can last years without peeling or bubbling.
- Fiberglass Doors – For fiberglass exterior doors, latex paint tends to work best. They share a similar chemical structure that gives great hold and years of durability.
- Metal Doors – Latex or acrylic paints are the best option for metal exterior doors. They dry quickly and stand up to harsh weather.
You also have options when it comes to the finish. For years, only glossy or semi-gloss paint were recommended for outside doors. The wisdom was the gloss finish blocked out moisture, making both the paint and door last longer.
While there is a little bit of truth to that ideology, modern satin, eggshell, and flat finishes provide the same protection and last just as long.
Whatever paint you use, don’t forget to apply a coat of exterior primer first. It will help the paint adhere to the surface and provide a smooth finish.
As far as paint colors, the only limit is your imagination and style. White paint offers a classic look, while deeper reds, blues, and greens will accent almost any home.
With the right paint and proper application, you can enjoy a beautiful, long-lasting front door that adds curb appeal to your home.
Tips for Getting the Best Paint on an Exterior Door
Determine What Paint Is on Your Door
The secret to getting the best paint finish on an exterior door is knowing what paint is already on it. While any paint will adhere to any door, mixing different paint types is a recipe for disaster. Due to the chemical makeup of the different paints, they can start peeling even before the new coat dries. Even if it does dry, it’s likely it will chip or peel in weeks or even days.
Never Paint the Door Inside the Frame
While you might think you can paint the door without removing it from the frame, you are almost guaranteed to get drip marks. Always remove the door and lay it flat before painting. Also, leave it flat while drying.
Always Use Primer
Before painting your front door, it is a good idea to apply a coat of primer to help the paint adhere to the surface and provide a smooth finish. Primer is especially important if you are painting over an existing finish or if the surface of your door is uneven or porous. There are several types of primer available, and the best choice for you will depend on the specific needs of your door.
Only Use Exterior Paint
No matter what paint type you go with, you should only use exterior-grade paint on your door. This will help ensure that the paint lasts as long as possible and looks good for years to come. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the surface and applying the paint, and be sure to allow the paint to dry completely before closing or locking your door.
Apply Several Coats of Paint
Lastly, use at least two coats of paint. Not only with this ensure you cover the entire door, but it will keep the color full and uniform. If you use bold colors or satin or eggshell finishes, consider doing three or more coats for bright, long-lasting durability.
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