Need Advice on Painting Metal Front Door


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Old 12-05-06, 08:03 AM
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Need Advice on Painting Metal Front Door

I have a font door (exterior) that has a storm door in front of it.

It is one of the inexpensive (about $100) metal ones. Not sure if it is Stanley or another brand, but its pretty commmon type sold at HD and Lowes.

I know they come primed ready to paint but we never did. Its been up about 4 or 5 years now. Looks good still but now we want to paint it.

Can someone tell me what the best way to paint this is...
paint type, roller/spray/or brush,and any tips.

Im sure I take the door off and paint in my basement (not garage since temps are low now in NY)

Will a brush leave marks? Will a roller leave bumps? Oil or latex? Spray paint?
 
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Old 12-05-06, 08:57 AM
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Some of the thinner metal doors recomend use of latex paint only. Spraying will always give the finest finish but a nice looking job can be had with either a brush or roller.

First you want to make sure the door is clean. A light sanding with 220 grit is also a good idea. Adding a product like floetrol to latex paint will help it flow better - less brush/roller marks.

As long as the factory primer is intact and no rust, further priming isn't needed. Use a good grade of exterior trim enamel. Depending on color it may take 2 coats to cover [unless spraying] Removing the hardware both makes the door easier to paint and a better looking job. If you chose to not remove the hardware, tape it off.

For brushing I recomend using purdy brushes, rolling use a pin/cigar roller - use a quality cover to avoid fuzz.
 
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Old 12-05-06, 09:05 AM
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I dont know if latex is recommended... so is it safe to just go with it anyway? Quality and durability-wise, is there really a difference?

Ihave aPurdy brush (about $12 brush) but its not big... maybe 3 inches or so. Is this too small? And, you dont think Id see brush marks too bad if I brush? I can get the floetrol if that will help.

Also, I didnt mention it has a panel look (I think. Im not home now and Ive only walked through it a million times in my life) If it does have panel look, I guess a roller would be tough to use - right?

Also, how longshoudl I expect it to take to dry before I can re-hang it.

And last, there is a small dent - but no rust. I guess I just paint right over that, right?

You also said "Use a good grade of exterior trim enamel" isnt enamal oil based?
 
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Old 12-05-06, 09:52 AM
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There are 3 types of enamel for house painting, latex, oil base and waterborne.

I prefer to use oil base enamel on metal doors because it dries harder and with a good natural bristle brush, it flows together well. It also sprays great.

The problem with oil enamel on some metal doors is the metal is so thin that it expands and contracts with temp changes. Oil base dries hard wher latex is a little bit flexable. I found this out the hard way 20 yrs ago, the paint popped on over 100 doors across town. Fortunetly [due to a lawsuit] the door manufacture paid the bill.

It is ok to paint over the dent, but it will still be there If you wish to repair it, use the same methods for auto body work - strip that area to bare metal, bondo, sand and prime. Small dents can be filled with spackling but they won't be able to withstand much abuse. IMO a dent looks better than a poorly repaired dent.

I typically use a 3" brush when brushing a metal panel door. Using a small 6" roller also works well. Usually you will slop the paint on a section at a time with the roller and then 'tip' it out with a brush. A good brush, quality paint and good technique = minor brush marks. For some with poor brushing skills the stipple a roller leaves is preferable to bad brush marks.

The label on the paint can should tell what the normal drying time is. Add time for cool or damp conditions. Usually a door painted in the morning is ready to be rehung by evening.
 
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Old 12-05-06, 10:11 AM
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Ok, since it is a fairly thin door I think (filled with foam for insulation) Ill go with latex. Latex enamel I guess?

If I use floetrol and my 3" purdy I guess Ill be ok. Im not a painter but a DYIer so Im not sure if I have good technique or not - but I guess Ill find out.

Im assuming its acceptable to paint just one side.. correct? The color will be a type of red on the outside, but inside we'll probably want to keep white. Is that normal, or are doors normally painted on both sides.

If only one side, what would you do with the actuall side (1.5 inch side with the lock - not the front or back) paint it or leave it?
 
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Old 12-05-06, 02:53 PM
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Ext drs are often painted different colors on opposing sides. The edge with the hinges is the 'heal edge' and the lockset side the 'toe edge' If your door swings in, the outside color [red] will go on the heal edge. The toe edge gets painted the interior color [white?]

Depending on the color and brand the red will probably require 2-3 coats of paint. Sanding between coats will help to minimize the brush marks.
 
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Old 12-05-06, 06:15 PM
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ahhh. That makes perfect sense (about the heal and toe colors)

what kind of sanding between coats? 220 grit, wet paper? Im assuming its just a light sanding to remove any bumps, right?
 
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Old 12-06-06, 07:00 AM
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Both 180 and 220 grit are good choices for sanding between coats. No need to wet sand.
 
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Old 12-14-06, 10:36 AM
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what about using cans of spray paint? is that an option?
 
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Old 12-14-06, 01:18 PM
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I suppose it might be ok. Spray cans typically don't have much paint in the can and what they do have is thin. It would probably take several coats to get coverage and the protective film of paint would be thinner that what you would get from a brush or roller. It would likely be thinner than
paint applied with a spray gun too.
 
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Old 12-16-06, 07:33 AM
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We chose a dark magenta color and I got paint at Lowes - exterior satin latex.

I just finished my FOURTH coat and its still not fully covered. Im guessing Ill need 3 more coats based on what I see.

The first two coats I cut in the panels with a brush near the panles and then used a 4 inch foam roller. Then I did a coat in all brush, then back to the roller for the fourth coat.

The door is steel and was primed white. I cleaned it good before starting but coverage is just bad.

Am I doing something wrong?

Also, I wanted to avoid brush/stipple as much as possible but I didnt sand bewteen coats. DOesnt look too bad but Im afraid to sand prior to my last coat - whenever that may be - because Im afraid that will just cause me to need MORE coats.
 
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Old 12-16-06, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rkoudelka View Post
Am I doing something wrong?
Unfortunatetly you bought your paint at the wrong place. Nothing against Lowes but the best paint is always found at a paint store. Stores with paint depts care more about low pricing than quality paint.

You really should sand between coats. A light sanding [be carefull around edges/changes in the surface] should be ok.
 
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Old 12-16-06, 09:25 PM
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well, I just finished my 5th coat. I think one more will do it.

I have not sanded between any of them.

Do you think I should sand before the last one? Will there be any value at thi point?

Also, even after 6 or 7 hours the paint is still slighty tacky so Im not sure if i CAN sand. Its not wet, but if I wanted to put a finger print into it - I could.

Im painting in my basement - the room where the boiler is so its not cold or damp.

I guess I should have gone for better paint.
 
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Old 12-17-06, 05:06 AM
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You don't want to sand if the paint isn't completely dry! Sometimes you can run into trouble recoating too soon but since you haven't had any problems so far, you should be ok. The main reason for sanding is to knock down any brush marks - makes them less noticable.

If possible don't hang the door until completely dry, especially if you have a tight fitting seal. Latex enamels can take awhile to cure and if the door is tightly closed there is a possiblity that it can stick when closed. Sometimes this is no big problem but occasionally it will pull the paint off of the door where the tight contact is made.

I've hung doors while still slightly wet, the main thing is for them to be throughly dry before closing completely.
 
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Old 12-17-06, 05:53 PM
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My two cents

any chance to sand will help the overall look. The paint is still tacky because reds and other dark colors have a lot of tint in them which takes longer to dry. Also you now have 6 fresh coats of paint which have not cured, so each coat will take longer to dry than the last.

It might be worth your effort to abandon the paint from lowe's and go buy some more from benjamin moore, pittsburg or sherwin williams which ever you have in your area.

good luck
Daren
 
 

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