Painted Side Door—- with some Painting Tips

Happy Monday!!! I figured I would start the week off with a painting project. We recently gave our side door a cosmetic upgrade with a little bit of paint. I wanted to give everyone a few tips for when you tackle your next painting project.

How do you prep before a painting project?

  • know the material your working with
  • make a list of supplies needed to complete your project

Whenever your tackling a painting project, its essential that you know what type of material you will be painting. I know that sounds a little silly——isn’t a door simply just a door??? There are different types of materials when it comes to an exterior door—– wood versus metal. Depending on the material that your working with will typically depend on how you prep everything and the type of paint that your want to use as well.

Our side door is a metal door.  The inside portion has always been this dingy color that I could never seem to get clean. It certainly doesn’t match the bright white walls or trim surrounding the door. The main reason for why this door has always been a little dingy looking is because the inside portion of this door has never been painted before.


The Exterior Portion was previously painted white.


Do you see our storm door?? That was probably one of the first projects that we tackled around our house——-  was replacing the storm door. If you look closely, there are few spots from previous hardware, from the previous storm door that did a little damage to or trim.


Prep Work

Before you tackle a painting project, you want to make sure everything is properly prepped. The prep work, is probably the most important. Here is what your list of prep work might look like (but not limited too)

  • fix anything that’s been damaged
  • remove hardware
  • add wood filler/putty to patch holes
  • sand the entire surface
  • use painter’s tape around trim and/or door handles
  • lay down drop clothes and/or plastic painter’s bags to protect surrounding surfaces
  • paint with primer—— this is a must-have step, especially if your working with something that has never been previously painted. (the inside portion of our door had never been painted)

The first thing I wanted to tackle was to repair the wholes in our trim. I grabbed my wood filler and spatula. Technically this trim piece is on the outside portion of our side door, but on the inside portion of the storm door. I would recommend an Exterior wood-filler to make sure you get the job done right. The one I am using works well for both Interior and Exterior—– that is stainable and paintable.


I did make sure to follow the instructions. After you apply the wood filler, it will look a little something like this.


I allowed this to cure for the proper amount of time before I sanded it down. After it cured, I sanded it with a medium grit —- followed by a fine grit sand paper. Sanding everything in a 2 step process will really do the trick for making sure everything is smooth. Nobody will ever notice that there were any previous holes.


My supervisor—— She made sure that I had all the right supplies before we started our task. Well technically I did—- but she is cute, right??


The next thing I did was tape everything off I could have taken the door completely off—- but I choose to tackle this project with it still hung and just taped everything off.


(Since the inside of the door had never been previously painted) I did apply 1 coat of paint primer. Paint Primer that was meant for all types of materials (metal, wood, drywall, etc.) If you’re trying to simply repaint your door, paint primer will come in handy with trying to cover up, whatever color that was previously there.


I used Valspar—- Door and Trim in color= Lake Country 5003-5C…. This is actually the same paint/color I used to paint our front door. I have been in love with this color so I knew it would be a good fit for this project. If you’re not sure what color to use, make sure to get paint samples. When I originally picked this color, I did get about 4 different colors and painted all of them on the door to choose which color I wanted. Sometimes paint colors can be a little deceiving when you’re looking at them on a card at the store. Lighting is the key ingredient for how your paint color will appear.


Painting Tip—— Re-use your painting tray over and over

I probably haven’t bought a new painting tray in a really long time. People have asked me, how I keep my painting tray clean?? Well I wrap the inside with tin-foil. It might seem a silly, but you will be thanking me when you really don’t have to clean it. When your done with a painting project, you simply peel the tin-foil back to a fully clean paint tray.



Painting Tip—— How to keep your paint bush from drying out

I talked a little bit about this painting tip when I did a dresser make-over ,a little while ago. Are you in between painting coats?? Need to take a break?? You can certainly take a break during your painting project, all while preventing everything from drying out. I simply wrap my paint brush and the whole tray of paint, with cling wrap. Say what———-?!?!?! Yes—- grab some cling wrap from your pantry and wrap those babies. Nobody wants to return to a painting project with a dry paint brush. I have made that rookie mistake before, letting my paint brush dry when I wanted to take a 30 minute break. If your wrap your paint brush in cling wrap—- your paint brush will stay fresh for several hours while you wait in-between coats of paint.


Design Decision Making

When I painted my front door, I did paint both the inside and outside the same color. So there was no decision-making that needed to be made. When I painted my side door, I did have to decide which portions I was painting blue and which I was painting white. Here are the decisions you will be faced with= Which color should go on what part?

  • the face of exterior portion
  • the face of the interior portion
  • the seam of the door that faces the interior portion
  • the seam of the door that faces the exterior

The decision I went with, was to paint 3 sides blue and leaving the face of the interior portion white. I recently read another blog post on this same topic just the other day. That blog post was created by the ladies on the DIY Playbook. If you would like to refer to their post, it is linked —- here.



Remember those holes I patched?? Wait—- what holes?


Add style to your door

whether it’s a sign, letter, fancy door knocker or wreath. Add something to your door for a little flair. Something that will make your smile when your get home. Your neighbors will appreciate the curb appeal. Well—- at least I do!!  I added one of my DIY wreaths. I hung it using a command strip/hook.




Thank you for stopping by!! I really hope I gave everyone a few painting tips. Do any of you have any upcoming painting projects? I would love to hear about them!!




Disclaimer: Create at your own risk. See the full version of my Disclaimer Policy, here.

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