Making Steel Doors Look Like Wood Doors

  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Yellow paint (satin latex or semi-gloss)
Burnt sienna paint
Faux glaze
Painter's tape
Drop cloth or plastic
Chip brush
Screwdriver (optional)
Mild soap
Mixing container
Measuring cups

Metal doors add protection to your home because they are stronger than wood doors. Unfortunately, metal doors are often unappealing. They look very bare and antiseptic and not all that popular. Wood doors, on the other hand, are more inviting and warm. Upgrading your doors to metal doors should not have to limit your design aesthetic as you add to your safety. You can get the best of both worlds by painting metal doors so that they look like wooden doors. The following article will walk you through the process in order to easily do this transformation project.

Step 1 - Preparation

In order to get the best possible outcome from this project, you need to prepare both the door, and the working area. First, lay down a drop cloth or plastic sheeting on the floor of the area where you will be working. Then, you can place the sawhorses on top of the drop cloth or plastic. Remove the metal door from the hinges and carefully move it to the sawhorses. Add a little mild soap to water and clean the door with the rags. Dry off the door and then remove the door's hardware including the doorknob and hinges. You can also use the painter's tape instead of removing the hardware.

Step 2 - Base Paint

Steel is a difficult metal to paint because of its smooth surface texture and natural oil that is present in the metal. A good cleaning of the steel, as well as a paint that is latex-based, is both needed in order to paint. Use your brush to paint the steel door with a base of yellow paint. It is important to make sure that the paint is even and that there are not many streaks, pooling or drops of paint.

Step 3 - Adding Wood Grain

Wait for the base paint to dry before continuing. Measure out 1/2 cup of the faux glaze and 1/8 cup of water and mix them together until they are combined well. Add one tablespoon of burnt sienna to this mixture and stir until the color is solid. Try out a test patch on the door and wait for it to dry. If the color is not dark enough for you then you can add more to the mixture. Burnt sienna will make the wood grain on the door appear to be mahogany. When you are satisfied with your paint color you can begin to paint. Dip the brush in the paint and move it across the door in a dragging motion. Begin painting from the inserts and across the panels. Do your best to catch any drips. Wait for the paint to dry then turn the door open and do the other side.

Step 4 - Finishing

When the door is completely dry you can then replace all of the door's hardware or remove the painter's tape. Hang the door back on the frame.