Raised panel doors can be some of the most difficult doors on your home to paint. The raised panels present a challenge in getting an even coat of paint to stay. If properly painted, raised panel doors can enhance the look of any room and add a personal touch to any exterior doors. One slight mistake in painting them, however, can create runs in the paint and make a bad situation even worse. It may not be a project for the novice home improvement worker. With some patience, however, you can create a great look for your home.
Step 1: Prep Work
Remove the door and place it horizontally across a pair of sawhorses to ease in painting. This will prevent runs from ruining the paint job and it will make painting easier by laying it flat. It will also prevent you from blocking the entryway from anyone else who wants to come in. If the door was previously painted, remove the paint with sandpaper until it is gone. New doors need to be sanded as well, but not as much since they do not have another layer of paint in the way. You want to remove any imperfections so you have a smooth surface to paint.
Step 2: Apply Primer
Once you are done sanding, be sure to remove any residue from the door before beginning your painting. This will also allow you to have a smooth surface and will prevent any imperfections from coming out in the paint. It will also allow the paint to stick to the door easier. Next, install a coat of primer to prepare for the primary color you are going to paint. A good type of primer to use is an enamel underbody, which will allow for the color to shine even better when the final color is painted on. Use even strokes with the primer and make sure you cover every surface. Allow ample time to dry before beginning to paint.
Step 3: Paint With The Primary Color
Once the primer is completely dry, use nice, even brush strokes to apply the primary color. You should use two coats of enamel in order to establish a nice base coat first. The enamel should be thinned with the appropriate thinning mixture according to the type of enamel you are using. Oil based needs paint thinner. Latex paint needs an extender. Allow ample time to completely dry the first coat before applying the second coat. The second coat should be thinned less than the first, as it is the coat that will have to hold up the most against the elements.
Now that your raised panel doors are finished you can re-install them. Be sure to allow plenty of time to dry, especially on exterior doors, as dust and debris can ruin all of your hard work.