How to paint your solid wood front door

Painted front door

If you want to change the aesthetic of your home, changing the colour of your front door is often one of the first things homeowners do. It’s also good to give your door a refresh if it’s a few years old as it will give it a new lease of life.

These simple steps will help you inject new life into your front door.


You need to make sure you have everything you need first. You don’t want to be making multiple trips to the shop, especially if you’re on a time limit. You’ll need to pick up paint stripper, paint brushes, rollers and trays, sandpaper, masking tape, flat scraper, wood filler, and a good external door paint in your colour of choice.

Safety gear should also be a priority, with gloves, mask, and goggles at the ready!


Remove your door from its hinges and lay it on a workbench. You will want to start early in the day to give yourself enough time to work through the steps and have the door back on before it’s too late. Remove all your door furniture!

While wearing gloves and goggles, apply your paint stripper (following the bottle instructions). Apply an even coat, being sure to get all corners and crevices. You’ll know when it’s doing its job because the pain will start to lift and bubble.


Once fully cooked – times vary depending on the stripper you use though around 30 minutes – take your flat scraper and scrape away the paint. You may want to do a small test patch first. Slowly remove all the old paint. Take your time, don’t rush. You want to ensure you have a smooth surface.

Once it’s all off, use water to rid the door of any excess stripper, as well as any dust or dirt. White spirit might also work.


If you do happen to have any cracks in your wood, use wood filler to hide them. If left unfilled, you may find they ruin the final look of your door. Filler will take around an hour to fully cure, so make sure you take that into consideration when planning your time.

Using sandpaper, sand down the wood. Make sure you’re wearing your mask! Try to keep to the shape of your door and don’t sand down any edges.

You may want to go over the door with a finer sandpaper afterwards to give the wood a nice finish.


Prime your door first using a primer of your choice. This will help protect your door and give it a much smoother base.

If you’re switching from a dark colour to a light colour, or a very bright colour to something more neutral, you may want to apply an undercoat first as this will mean fewer coats of your final colour.

Using a good external door paint, start by painting the panels and then work your way out. If you have glass panels, use masking tape to protect the glass and paint the middle sections first and again, paint your way towards the sides. Make sure you get into every crevice, especially if you have a traditional door with panelling. Use a brush for the detailed areas and a roller for larger panels.

If you’re painting the inside of your door too, you can either do this at the same time (time dependent) or on a separate day where you won’t need to remove the door again, providing you prep both sides of the door when painting the external facing side. Use an internal paint for the interior wood as it will be easier to clean and maintain.


Once your door is painted and dry, reattach the door furniture and rehang your door, and enjoy your refresh and revived painted front door!