Painting exterior steel doors

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  #1  
Old 09-07-14, 09:42 AM
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Painting exterior steel doors

Okay next project - I have steel panel (smooth - no "grain") exterior doors,

Can I roll or brush them? or do i need to spray them?

Do they need to be primed?

What is best exterior paint? I was thinking rustoleum?
 
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Old 09-07-14, 11:36 AM
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Are they new? or previously painted?

Generally no primer is needed unless the factory primer is missing. Most steel doors require latex paint because the metal is thin and will expand/contract with temp changes. Latex paints will give a little but oil base coatings will not. I've seen quite a few steel doors peel down to the galvanized because they were painted with oil base enamel.

While spraying gives the finest finish a nice job can be done with a brush/roller.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 11:45 AM
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Thanks, I think I'll brush/roll cellar door and make a decision as to whether to spray others....
 
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Old 09-07-14, 11:53 AM
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It's usually a good idea to wipe a door down first before painting it. Use a rag with denatured alcohol to remove any contaminates. For the roller, I'd recommend you use a 1/4 nap roller or look for one that is mohair or mohair blend. You'll need to cut in edges but then roll all the flat areas. Back roll lightly to eliminate any lap marks along the roller edges. For raised panel doors, a 4" hot dog roller works well. But if it's a flat panel, use a larger 9" roller. Also I prefer high gloss trim paints for doors, such as waterborne acrylic enamels.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 12:02 PM
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If you 'tip off' the rolled paint, it doesn't matter a whole lot what size roller cover you use but if you just roll the paint - you need to use a 1/4" nap! Mohair covers do a great job with oil base enamels and I assume they would on latex enamels although I don't recall ever using one with latex.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 12:07 PM
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It's common to use a sponge / foam roller to paint automobiles for a smooth finish when spray booths aren't available. It's recommended to thin the paint to nearly the viscosity of milk and apply several coats.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 12:11 PM
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Thanks! I appreciate your responses! I'm ready to get started! (and for me getting started means I'm half finished)
 
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Old 09-07-14, 02:10 PM
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It's common to use a sponge / foam roller to paint automobiles for a smooth finish when spray booths aren't available. It's recommended to thin the paint to nearly the viscosity of milk and apply several coats.
I'm not so sure about that! While I occasionally run across a vehicle that was brushed or rolled - it's not commonplace. Most manufactures of residential coatings say not to thin their coatings more than 10% Automotive coatings are often thinned as much as 50% but multiple coats are sprayed on wet and some of the solvent will evaporate to get the mil thickness required for the paint to beneficial. You can spray over wet paint but rolling or brushing over wet/tacky paint will make a mess While not ideal, I've sprayed several vehicles outside with decent results. Wind and bugs are the biggest drawback.

Personally I'm not fond of foam roller covers but there are those that like them. The main thing when using a roller only is to apply and lay off the paint evenly. The biggest mistake a lot of diyers make is trying to squeeze all the paint out of the roller, it's better to keep the roller loaded and use a light touch.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 03:12 PM
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A foam roller in my experience almost always give a stippled finish. I used one to semi-replicate the factory finish of the cabinets in my laundry room, when I built an enclosure for the WH. Looks great, but not smooth by any account.

I can't imagine thinning any paint to a "milk" consistency, unless you were looking for a milk paint finish.

Foam roller would probably work ok for a steel door as long as you don't over work it. Won't be the smoothest finish you could get though.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 03:33 PM
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Adding water to latex paint in combination with a foam roller would also tend to create lots of air bubbles in the finish.
 
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