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Refinishing a metal exterior front door help, please...

Refinishing a metal exterior front door help, please...


  #1  
Old 05-23-09, 11:11 AM
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Refinishing a metal exterior front door help, please...

Hi all,

I moved into a pre-rental home. The landlord did a crappy job of everything in this place so I have to redo everything in a big way. The front door is a metal 4-panel with a half-moon paned glass insert at the top. The door itself is in great shape but needs a start-over: really bad last paint job, paint all over the hardware, drips, slop, etc. [I will be replacing all the hardware with new]

I read with interest IanRichards' post about his door sticking and learned about not using Big Box exterior paint [I've had great results thus far with Valspar on interior work]. Is that correct? I have a Sherwin Williams close by, will that do?

I realize that I will need to sand and prime, and I'm up for that. I'd like to finish it with a bright white gloss [not semi-gloss] finish. I live in Central Fl, lots of heat & humidity. Here are my questions, please:

1. I am familiar with removing interior doors to refinish as - for me - that provides the best job on both the door and the frame and I think it's easier. How does this apply to an exterior door? I know I can hang a tarp to keep the bugs out and most of the AC in during the day, but what about at night? Gotta sleep sometime? I should add here that I do paint well but my trade-off is that I'm not really fast - more turtle-like.

2. Is an oil-based latex the best finish choice? I also want to finish the inside of the door in gloss bright white so is it acceptable to do both sides the same way? I do have children with lots of friends so durability on the inside [too] is great by me.

3. I will probably paint with a brush. Personally I do better on panel doors with a brush rather than rolling. Any suggestions for a good brush that can deal with an oil-based paint, if needed? In addition, when working with oil-based, what's good for cleanup, please? Haven't used anything oil-based in a LONG time, am sure things have changed.

3. With a quality paint as suggested, in hot weather with high humidity, does anybody have an idea of how much time I should add to the instructions' drying time to assure I don't have sticking/pull-away issues?

Am I missing anything here? I've successfully refinished plenty of interior doors but this would be my first exterior or metal door. My current door is just a generic builders' model so I could even replace it, if necessary. However, even if I did that, I'd still want to apply a gloss bright white finish so I'm going to be doing something regardless.

Thanks, everyone, for your input & help!
 
  #2  
Old 05-23-09, 11:25 AM
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The biggest thing you are missing is this is a "rental" (not sure what a pre-rental is), and you don't hold title to it. You can't do any remodeling to it without express written consent from the landlord. He is responsible for all repairs and remodeling, as he will be responsible for the unrepaired items, and will generate possible income from the remodeling efforts.
Metal doors would do best with spray paints, automotive would be better. You wouldn't paint your metal car with a brush, so I would consider at least Krylon or some other multiple coat finish. It would leave a good smooth finish that a brush may or may not.
 
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Old 05-23-09, 12:31 PM
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I'm assuming this house is a rent to own situation so it isn't yours yet but you're working on it becoming yours?

First there is no such thing as "oil based latex".Latex refers to a water based paint product.

Oil based enamel is a strong durable finish but white will yellow in time.It is also more involved to work with and clean up after and costs more.

With an upper quality primer,and you can use either oil or latex, you should be able to top coat with high quality gloss latex or waterbourne enamel and be fine.I suggest you do go to the SW retailer mainly because you will get good help from a knowledgeable source.As for big box quality,those paints regardless of brand are formulated to meet price points first and quality levels second.

Drying times vary from product to product but I believe if you get a good early start you can rehang the door by nightfall even with humidity.If not you'll have to rig something up and take your chances on security,not a good idea.

If you are going to brush use the best brush you can get.The better brushes will have expanded tipped bristles for a better job.With latex you must use synthetic.Talk to the saleshelp for recommendations.
 
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Old 05-23-09, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for the input thus far - it's a big help. I should have explained better. This house used to be a rental. Now it's mine and I'm trying to undo the damage from a previous owner who was more concerned with just slapping some repair on to get it done rather than the quality of the work.

As for white yellowing in time, I wasn't aware of that. How do houses with white exterior paint and/or trim stay that way? Will it help my particular situation that the front door never gets hit by direct sun? Is there any exterior clear protective top coat type of thing that can be applied over the final paint job to further protect the finish from wear and/or yellowing?

Yes, oil-based paint does sound like a hassle and a mess but I would be willing to go there if I have a better return in the long run though my preference, of course, would run toward latex.

Sorry about the oil/latex confusion, that was a mis-speak/type on my part.
 
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Old 05-23-09, 02:19 PM
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The trim etc on houses stays white because it's latex.Oil used on exterior trim has become rare and has been for some time.Oil is still used at times but for the very reason we've talked about plus the improvement in latex paint technology and the environmental aspects/growing lack of availability/regulation of and/or regulation prohibiting oil based paints..latex is the far more used product.Also latex flexes with expansion and contraction better.Sun exposure is not why it yellows at least not the only reason and there is no protective coating that would change it.

I'd stick with latex and go high end quality.Go talk to the SW folks.
 
  #6  
Old 05-23-09, 04:04 PM
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The sun also tends to bleach oil base exterior whites.... as they weather away

What type of weatherstrip does your door have? is it removable?

Tradinionally oil base coatings are better on metal but many metal doors are made with a thin metal that flexes with temp changes. On these doors, you must use latex paint, atleast on the exterior side, otherwise the oil base paint might crack and peel as the door expands and contracts

As Chandler said, spraying looks best on metal - but it will also show up any defects/dents. A decent job can be done using a brush.

I'd suggest removing the hardware and sanding the door to get a relatively smooth surface. If you expose any raw metal, use a spray can primer to coat those areas. Then apply 1-2 coats of a quality enamel.

Oil base enamel will dry the hardest and wear the best [except for yellowing] but as noted it shouldn't be used on some metal doors. At SWP, I'd like to suggest their 'metal latex' it has a good gloss and is durable but I think it only comes in gallons - no quarts..... but they have several other good coatings to choose from.

Don't skimp on the brush! I've always been partial to the Purdy brand but Corona's and a few others also have good brushes. The folks at the paint store can help you choose a good brush for what you need. There are also paint additives that slow the drying time a little to help the paint flow together - if you need it.

btw - I used to paint in the greater orlando area
 
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Old 05-23-09, 07:27 PM
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Thanks all for the help! It definitely looks like a good latex is the way to go - whew! I'm glad to hear that! If I do the work on consecutive days, I could get away with doing the prep/primer work one day and the actual painting the next, don't you think?

Now as I think of it, at my speed I'd probably have to do one complete side of the door/sides on one day and then the back side of the door the next to allow for proper enough drying time before I hung it up for the night. If I get up uber early, like pre-dawn, I should be able to reasonably get 2 coats on a side and allow for drying time before calling it a night and hanging it back up.

Currently there is padded vinyl weatherstripping around the inside fo the frame. It's old and needs to be replaced however so I had planned on installing new as part of the job. Any suggestions on good weatherstripping?

Thanks again for the help everyone, this is really making a difference! :-D
 
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Old 05-24-09, 04:18 AM
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You might get away with 2 coats in 1 day but you will either need to leave the door down or remove the weatherstripping. Latex paint should be dry to the touch within a few hours but it can take up to a week for it to cure. Until it cures, there is a possiblity of it sticking to the weatherstripping.

Sanding between coats will help to minimize brush marks - be sure to remove the sanding dust.
 
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Old 05-24-09, 09:29 AM
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I seem to remember there being a liquid that you put on metal doors to "prime" them to accept paint.... it acted as a sanding agent, roughing up the surface enough to accept paint - is that not now the way to go with metal doors?
 
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Old 05-24-09, 10:08 AM
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If your going to replace the weather stripping anyway, why not remove it and then paint the door. Hang the door after it's painted for security and after a few days, when the paint is cured, add new weather stripping. This will give you security you need and the fresh pain won't stick to your weather stripping while the paint cures. Good luck.
 
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Old 05-24-09, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Debbie Long
I seem to remember there being a liquid that you put on metal doors to "prime" them to accept paint.... it acted as a sanding agent, roughing up the surface enough to accept paint - is that not now the way to go with metal doors?
Sounds like maybe what is referred to as "liquid sandpaper".What this does is lightly soften an existing coat of paint etc to increase the bonding of a new coat and is especially used to bond latex to oil and to bond to very glossy surfaces.It's an alternative to sanding and isn't specifically for a metal door.It does not "rough up" a surface.

I'm not sure it would work that well on a door unless the door was taken down and was out of direct sunlight.It has to be coated before it dries and sun would greatly quicken that process.Plus a door isn't that difficult to prep in more conventional ways so no big advantage to using it.
 
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Old 05-24-09, 11:52 AM
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Debbie - I think you are thinking of liquid deglosser. Liquid Sandpaper is one well known name. What it does is soften up the existing paint so the new paint can get a good bond. It works fine for smooth surfaces but the OP's door probably needs sanding to get it smooth from jack leg paint jobs.

spdavid, you must type faster than me
actually the softening effect of the deglosser will last a little while after it evaporates but as the minutes go by, the original paint will start to harden back up.
 

Last edited by marksr; 05-24-09 at 11:59 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 05-25-09, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for the clarification - I remember using it on a storm door years ago - I was applying paint to the original door that the builder had installed -
 
 

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