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Painting Doors and Windows
Project Checklist
  • Drop cloth
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic bags
  • Paint brushes
  • Rollers and roller covers
  • Paint tray or liners
  • Stir sticks

 
Like framed pictures, doors and windows can have a major impact on the style and feel of a room. The right color, painted carefully, will be the perfect finishing touch to your room's transformation.
 
 
Calculate how much paint you'll need

Step 1 —Calculate how much paint you'll need

Avoid the temptation to under-budget on smaller surfaces like windows and doors. Remember, it's always best to purchase enough paint for at least two coats. Get the right amount with our Paint Calculator.
 
 

Step 2 —Masking

This is a key step. Make sure your masking job is straight and even though windows and doors frequently have natural borders, such as windowsills and door frames, sloppy lines can still be noticeable.

Use plastic bags to cover doorknobs, window hardware, etc., and tape them evenly. Double-check your masking job before you proceed, and redo it if you're not satisfied.

Get step-by-step details at our Masking page.

 
 

Step 3 —Painting Windows

Always plan to paint the windows early in the day so they have enough time to dry before you close them in the evening. First thing to do is to remove any locks, curtain hooks and other hardware from the windows. This will speed up your work and produce a better looking paint job.

Try not to apply too much paint to the window frame. Also, another handy tip is to open and close the window a number of times while the paint is drying so that it doesn't dry shut.


 
 

Step 4 —Painting Doors

When painting any type of door, always start with the edges.

Remove the door handle and any locks.

Start by rolling the paint on the top half of the door. Dip the roller in the tray for more paint and continue to roll the bottom half of the door.

To smooth the paint out, finish by rolling the full length of the door with light pressure strokes. Apply a second coat following the same process once the first coat is dry.

For paneled doors use a paint brush. Begin by painting at the top of the door, panels first, then rails (horizontals), and then stiles (verticals).

To prevent drips, less paint is best. It is better to apply two light coats of paint than one heavy coat.


 

Step 5 —Clean and Be Green

More painting to do tomorrow with the same color? You have to clean brushes and rollers when you take a break. Wrap them in sealed plastic to stay moist until you are ready to paint again.

Tip: If paint has hardened on the handle or along the edge of the bristles, soften it with warm water so you can remove it before you begin to paint. Make sure you dry the brush before you dip it.

Project Finished? Don't throw away the rollers and brushes. With proper cleaning and storage, good painting tools can be reused many times. Reusing them saves you time and money, and also helps the environment, because you're generating less waste.


 
 
 
 
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