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Painting Doors: DIY-tutorial and Professional Tips

In Painting - How-To · 8 min reading time

You want to paint your doors and need help choosing the right product?

Do you perhaps have those unloved wooden doors in your home that destroy any colour concept in the room? Or do your painted interior doors show more traces of "lived life" after a long time than you can still find beautiful? Then there's only one thing to do: paint the doors with our water-based varnishes. It's amazingly easy to do, and most of the time you don't even have to sand them down at all.

Before/After sample photos for painting doors

Why should you paint your bedroom door? Every room starts with the door, so we should give it the attention it deserves. Old doors in particular benefit from painting, as they are often made of real wood and custom-made. See how easy it is to turn an old door into an eye-catcher with a little paint and get inspired!

Step-by-step guide to painting doors

Step 1: Choose a varnish

To Paint your doors, we particularly recommend our semi-gloss MissPompadour Eggshell Varnish. You can use it to paint real wood as well as veneered or laminated doors. It provides you with an easy-care surface that is particularly impact-resistant and hard-wearing. When choosing your colour, simply use our colour cards to view the colour shades in your lighting conditions in advance.

Step 2: Prepare the surface

Simply paint your door without sanding if the old varnish is still intact. However, if there are damaged areas and flaking, you should first sand them smooth or sand them down. Use very fine-grained sandpaper for this. You can easily conceal any imperfections or holes with To Fill - MissPompadour Filler. Remove any fittings and anything that can come loose.

Step 3: Clean the door and frame

Degrease the door and door frame with To Clean - MissPompadour Cleaner and lukewarm water and wipe well with clear water. It is important that the surface is free of dust and grease. However, leaching agents or other chemical agents are not necessary.

Step 4: Prime surfaces

For real wood, such as pine or spruce, as well as real wood veneer, use MissPompadour To Bond & Block to ensure that ingredients from the wood do not stain the new paint. This discolouration is called "bleeding". Wait 8 hours or overnight after applying the rich primer.
On laminated doors and plastic veneer, you can also use MissPompadour To Bond & Block to create a surface that is easy to paint. Apply the primer with good coverage and allow it to dry thoroughly.
When priming, make sure that your tools are really clean and use different brushes and rollers for the colour coat.

Step 5: Paint the door

Now apply the coats of paint. As many as you need until you are happy with the result. Often 2 coats are enough for a perfectly opaque result. Allow each coat to dry very well. Usually 4 - 5 hours is enough, but it can take longer depending on the ambient conditions. Ensure good air circulation and medium temperatures so that the paint can cure properly. The surfaces become more stable from day to day and have reached a very good stability after 10 - 14 days.

Step 6: Seal the coating

If you are expecting a heavy load, you are on the safe side with the To Seal - MissPompadour Topcoat.

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Painting doors: Colours and materials - what you need to consider


Which colours are suitable for painting doors?

The most suitable are our MissPompadour Eggshell Varnishes. They are very hard-wearing and therefore particularly recommended for painting doors.

Which colours are suitable for wooden doors - what else do I need?

  • MissPompadour Eggshell Varnish
  • MissPompadour To Bond & Block to prepare substrates for painting
  • To Seal - MissPompadour Topcoat

Which colours are suitable for PVC-U doors - what else do I need?

  • MissPompadour Eggshell Varnish
  • MissPompadour To Bond & Block to prepare substrates for painting
  • To Seal - MissPompadour Topcoat

We have described the application of the individual primers, colours and topcoats in detail for you in our step-by-step guide.


Pro tip: Easily change the style of your doors by applying decorative mouldings, e.g. made of wood. This is best done after sanding (if necessary). Then simply paint them in the colour of your choice!

Frequently asked questions about painting doors

1. Can you simply paint over doors?

Can all doors be painted?

Yes, you can paint real wood as well as plastic and metal doors, veneered or foiled doors and door frames.

Do I need a primer?

If you want to paint with light colours, it is worth priming real wood doors with MissPompadour To Bond & Block to prevent the wood from bleeding. Oak, tropical wood or even softwoods can otherwise release tannins and discolour the fresh varnish. Stains and glazes can also bleed through new paint.

Raw metal doors and frames should be given a corrosion protection with a stain block so that nothing rusts. If you want to paint plastic doors, you can use MissPompadour To Bond & Block to make the paint adhere better. This white undercoat also facilitates opaque painting of light white tones.

Can you paint doors without unhooking them?

If you have the space and the possibility, hang the doors out and store them on trestles for painting. If that's not possible, or the effort is too great, then just paint them hanging. It's a bit more work to paint the side at the hinges.

Can you paint doors without sanding them?

If the old varnish on your doors is not peeling off, you can simply apply a new coat of varnish. You should only remove layers of paint that are not durable. It is best to start with a slightly coarser sandpaper (grit <100) and then sand again with finer sandpaper (grit >200).

2. How do I deal with other materials in my door?

Can I also paint the glass inserts of my door?

Yes, if the glass is very smooth, it is worth priming it with MissPompadour To Bond & Block.

Can I also paint silicone joints on glass inserts?

If your door has silicone joints, for example in glass inserts, you can paint over these with MissPompadour To Seal Silicone and then simply paint with it.

Can I also paint the rubber seals?

Yes, you can simply paint over the seals. After the varnish has dried for 4 hours, you can rub them with baby powder to prevent them from sticking to the painted door. Or you can take the opportunity to replace your door rubbers with matching ones.

Can I also paint door handles?

Yes, you can also paint door handles. It is important what material they are made of. In our guide, we explain how you can paint metal or work on plastic surfaces, for example. Please note, however, that door handles are subject to a lot of wear and tear.

3. What else do I need to consider when painting doors?

Which coating tool do I need?

It is best to pour the varnish into a small paint tray and work with a varnish roller for water-based varnishes. Then brush or roll the paint thinly and evenly onto the door leaf. The easiest way to paint the edges is with our To Paint - Fine MissPompadour Brush. Our brushes are also perfect for the corners and shoulders of coffered doors.

How much varnish do I need for a door?

For a normal door, approx. 90 cm wide, approx. 2 m high, without glass insert and with frame, we reckon with an area of approx. 5 square metres. If the door is painted, you will need about 0.5 litres of MissPompadour Eggshell Varnish for two coats of paint.

For light shades of white or large colour differences, two coats may not be enough. In this case, it is better to order a little more.

How do I paint my front door?

Basically, the procedure for a front door is very similar to that for an interior door. There are just a few little things to bear in mind. Take a look at our article on painting the front door!

Video tutorial on painting doors & making doors disappear

Required accessories and recommended products for painting doors

  • Trestles for storing the unhinged door: Of course, you can also paint your door while it is hanging. Trestles make it a little easier for you to reach hard-to-reach places.
  • Screwdriver for removing fittings: This is the cleanest way to work and saves you a lot of tedious masking.
  • Sandpaper or sanding pad: For all places where old varnish has flaked off. These should be sanded smooth first.
  • Cleaning cloth and bucket to thoroughly clean the door first: The surface must be free of dust and grease for your paint to hold well.
  • Masking tape for masking the door frame: It is best to remove the masking tape when the paint is not yet dry so that you get a clean edge.
  • plastic drop cloth or newspaper: To protect your floor under the frame.
  • Brush, varnish roller and paint tray: It is best to pour the varnish into the paint tray. Use the brush to paint corners and edges, and the paint roller to paint the surfaces.
Professional tip: When you turn the door, it is best to put soft cloths over the frames so as not to damage the new paint.

The perfect colour for your doors

A selection of our most popular colour shades

How to make your project a success

Our perfect accessories for painting doors