What is the recommended (assuming there is one) way to paint a new unfinished solid wood front door and jamb - What type of paint should I use, what type of brush, how should I prep, and how many coats should I do. There are some holes in the jamb so I assume I should use a wood filler and sand prior to painting. Any advice is recommended.

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    That is a good looking door nice that it is under cover too. – Kris Aug 10 '18 at 2:45
  • @Kris It looks like the trim is already primed, right? – Jim Stewart Aug 11 '18 at 12:27
  • Matt, did you hire someone to redo trim on the siding and have a new door installed? Was the original door in bad shape or did you simply want a different style? What kind of lock is that? – Jim Stewart Aug 11 '18 at 12:32
  • @JimStewart yes I think the jamb is primed and there is a lot of writing on the casing boards maybe Miratek. Seems to be screwed on. – Kris Aug 11 '18 at 15:39
  • So it's ready for paint, right? – Jim Stewart Aug 11 '18 at 15:45

To do this right take the door down.remove hardware, remove gaskets. lay door flat on saw horses, apply a exterior oil based primer to all raw wood with a natural bristle brush 2.5-3”.Allow to dry Rehang door and wait 24 hours.

Remove door again lay flat on saw horses. Sand the primed wood carefully smoothing the raised grain.

Dust off or blow off all surfaces. Paint with high quality exterior 100% acrylic paint of the desired color and sheen. Use a real nice nylon brush like a Purdy 3” $20.00-$25.00

Let dry. Rehang door. Wait 24-48 hours. Remove door. Repeat the sanding and blowing off dust. Apply second coat. Let dry. Rehang door reattach all hardware after 24-48 hours.

During each painting step be sure to coat the top and bottom of door.

After priming frame and jambs apply wood putty to any holes allow it to dry then sand. Apply caulk to any gaps after primer has dried. Allow caulk to dry before painting.

After final coat has dried for 72 hours reinstall gaskets.

  • Thanks for all the steps - Two minor follow ups -What grit sand paper would you use and is it safe to remove the hinges from the door to paint or will it be a pain to re-hang? Thanks again. – Matt Aug 10 '18 at 19:16
  • Personally, I would be reluctant to remove the hinges. Professional painters do not do mechanic or carpentry work. The most I can imagine them doing is removing the hinge pins to take the door off. This program of repeatedly removing the door strikes me as perfectionist. I think you need additional opinions on how a DIYer should paint a door which is installed and not yet primed. Have one or two artist paint brushes to get close to the hinges and to the locks. Will this door be struck by wind driven rain? Does direct sun ever fall on it? Do you anticipate ever adding a glass storm door? – Jim Stewart Aug 10 '18 at 19:53
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    @Matt I use a good quality medium grit sanding sponge after primer and a fine grit sponge between finish costs – Kris Aug 11 '18 at 0:04
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    Cost/coats 🙄 sags and runs are almost never a problem if the door is laying flat while drying. Also keep the door out of direct sun while painting and drying. – Kris Aug 11 '18 at 0:14
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    @Matt I would only separate the hinges to remove door don’t want to wear out the screws or holes by repeatedly torquing them. And no a professional painter would not take all these steps. But diy painters generally have trouble painting a door like this in upright position. – Kris Aug 11 '18 at 1:14

This is a stain quality door so consider staining it; this would be a lot easier than painting. You could stain it with oil based stain and then use a wipe-on tung oil treatment over the stain. Every few years refresh the tung oil with the door in place.

The jamb and trim would be primed and painted.

If you later decided you needed a more protective finish, you could use the right polyurethane varnish over the tung oil.

  • I wish I could, HOA won’t let me stain it, I asked... 😕 – Matt Aug 10 '18 at 5:24
  • Is there a color palette from which you must choose? Where is this? – Jim Stewart Aug 10 '18 at 19:37
  • CA- they have a specific color from sherwin Williams I have to use. – Matt Aug 10 '18 at 19:46
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    These sorts of restrictions would dampen my enthusiasm for the job. I would do it the easiest way that would do an acceptable job--acceptable to me and to the HOA. Some primer dries pretty fast and is paintable within an hour. So you could take off the door (by pulling the hinge pins), remove the locks, with door horizontal prime, sand, and apply first coat of paint. Let dry, then remount the door and reinstall locks. Later add additional coats with door in place. Use special additive which makes paint flow. I have never painted a front door-- ours is stained and tung oil treated. – Jim Stewart Aug 11 '18 at 11:55

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