Tips for Painting Fiberglass Surfaces

A fiberglass front door is a smart alternative to a wooden door. Fiberglass is made from very fine glass fibers. Advanced technology is used to combine the glass fiber with special resins and other materials. This yields a composite, durable material. This has several uses in construction, household fixtures, insulation and the automotive industry. Fiberglass doors are extremely durable. They can withstand cold, heat, corrosion and rust. These doors do not split, crack or rot. The doors can also be painted as need arises. When properly painted, the door transforms the appearance of your home. Below are some tips for you when you need to paint a fiberglass door.

Unhinge the Door

Although you can paint the door on its hinges, it is a lot easier when you remove it. Place on two sawhorses. The paint will smooth out better when you lay the door flat. It is best to remove any hardware on the door as well as weather stripping. You’ll be able to work much faster without these elements. However, you may prefer to use painter’s tape over these elements so that they don’t get any paint.

Clean the Surface

A successful paint job has a lot to do with a clean surface. If you paint over dirt and grime, the paint will not attach well. It is likely to peel off fairly soon. A liquid dishwashing detergent and water will do. Use a soft sponge to clean the door surface thoroughly. Rinse with water and then dry with an old towel. For stubborn dirt, use mineral spirits to clear dirt. Apply the spirit to the door and scrub with a synthetic scratch pad. Wipe with a dry cloth and allow to dry well. Avoid turpentine as it can easily damage your door.

Latex Primer

This provides an excellent base for the paint and gives a smart finish. It is best to use a 100 percent acrylic water-based latex primer. Use a primer that is lighter than the top coat, especially if your top coat is to be a dark color. Apply the primer evenly in the direction of the grain of the door. Allow the primer to dry completely before you apply a top coat.

Paint Coats

Do not apply thick coats of paint to a fiberglass surface. These do not dry properly and you’ll end up with unsatisfactory results. It is best to apply 3 to 5 thin coats for fullness of color.

Application of Paint

Slightly dip only the tip of the brush into the paint. This enables you to apply the paint sparingly and yields better results. If you dip the brush too deep into the paint, you’ll end up with too much paint on the work surface. Paint in the direction of the grain. Apply the paint swiftly but do not over brush. Allow the door to dry as per the time stipulated on the instructions. Once the first coat has dried completely, you can apply a second coat. Work in the same manner as during first coat application. Allow at least 24 hours for the paint to dry completely. If possible, wait a week for the door to cure completely before you return the weather stripping.