Should I DIY my two new fiberglass doors?

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Old 10-16-09, 09:44 AM
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Should I paint my exterior fiberglass door myself?

Hi!

I'm new to the world of home improvements. I just completed my first painting project. I've hired someone to replace my exterior front and back doors. He quoted me $600 to paint the doors - including materials. That seemed like a lot, so I decided to paint them myself. Now that they're here, they look very complicated to a beginner like me - they're pre-hung, and I don't even know where to start to remove the door and the weather stripping, etc. I mean, I have two screwdrivers and a hammer. That's the extent of my home improvement-ness. I also want the doors to look really nice, and because I'm such a novice painter, I'm worried about not doing a good job. Now $600 doesn't seem like that much, considering all of the steps. Am I just being lame, or is this not a good beginner project? I tried searching online for a beginning-to-end guide as to how to remove and paint pre-hung fiberglass doors, but couldn't find anything. Lots of guides on how to paint them once they're removed, but not a guide as to what to do before that.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
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Old 10-16-09, 12:52 PM
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That seems like a lot of money. If you don't have the experience to paint them, I'm sure you can get a better price.
 
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Old 10-16-09, 01:18 PM
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marksr (expert painter) will probably be around in a while.

In the meantime....you'll at least need to buy a couple of inexpensive tools. A painters tool or wide putty knife, some quality brushes, maybe a punch. Quality paint is a must..a good hardware store or paint store is a better choice..esp for the relatively small amount of paint a door requires.

Oh..one note..if these are better quality doors and have ball bearing hinges...DO NOT drive the pins out..just unscrew the hinges from the door or the jamb. Will you have anyone to help you?
 
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Old 10-16-09, 03:10 PM
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Wow, at $600 per set of doors - I think I'd unretire

Your new doors should have come with painting instructions [including prep] so read them.

More than likely a primer isn't needed but it will take a couple of coats of paint. You'll want a good brush and if you have poor brushing skills, a small roller can help. The painting instructions will specify what types of paint can be used, I'm asuming latex is preferred. The door needs to be clean and then you can apply the paint, let it dry good, sand lightly, remove dust and recoat. Generally it's best not to paint a door in the sun as it will make the paint dry to fast = harder to get a nice job. I don't know how your weather temps are but the door itself should be atleast 50 degrees before you apply any paint.

Most weatherstripping is removable. Some just pulls out, others can be slipped out utilizing the wide spots in the groove that holds it [it will be wider at the ends and where the hardware is]

Oil base enamels can take 12 hrs or longer to dry so removing the weatherstripping allows you to lock the door and not have the paint stick. While latex enamels dry quicker, they take longer to cure and it can be days before the latex paint is dry enough where it won't stick to the weatherstripping. Latex curing and drying hardness can vary between brands. Usually there are more problems with the cheaper brands than the better coatings. It is almost always better to go to your local paint store for the paint, tools and even advice. Big box paint depts often have poorly trained help and usually stock paint based on price rather than quality.

btw - welcome to the forums!
if you run into problems, just give us a shout, I'm sure we can figure out away to get you back on track
 
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