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How to Paint Internal French Doors

How to Paint Internal French Doors

Internal French Doors are a popular choice for homeowners. Their dynamic symmetry brings balance, light and style into your home. Choosing doors for your home is an important, considered purchase and you aren’t bound to the colour they come in either. In fact, French doors often come unpainted, ready for you to pick a colour that suits you.

This is something you can change again and again so your internal French doors stay up to date with your house design. Painting your French doors can be a laborious task, but with our tips you can get it right every time, and chop and change your French door colours as you please.  We’ll go over how to paint French doors without taping them too, as well as how to paint them.

Tools Needed

You will need the following before you start painting your French doors:

  • Paint

  • Brushes (at least one big and one small)

  • Masking Tape

  • Craft Knife

  • Sandpaper

  • Overalls

  • Newspaper/Dust Sheet

For your paint, we recommend latex paint as it is longer lasting and easier to paint over again. It will also expand and shrink with the wood as they settle too, eliminating the chance of cracks and peeling.

Consider if a foam roller would be better than brushes. Either way, you need something that’s going to cover the larger panels consistently. You’ll then need some smaller brushes to get into the more intricate parts of your door. 

The newspaper or dust sheet is to lay down on the floor if you’re painting installed doors. The craft knife is for cutting tape, though scissors or any other tool that will allow you to do that will suffice but could prove slightly more fiddly. If you have no overalls, then obviously some clothes you don’t mind getting paint on will do.

How to Paint French Doors: Step by Step

Before you start, you’ll need to sand the door gently with your sandpaper until its ready for its first coat of primer. Make sure you've laid down your dust sheet for this, or do it somewhere you’ll be able to vacuum thoroughly  afterwards. 

Even if you’re painting over an already painted door, sanding it first is good practice. It just makes applying the paint easier, it will remove debris and grime from the door. If you don’t fancy sanding, then apply a de-glossing solution first. When sanding, be sure to wear a dust mask to prevent breathing in the sawdust created.  

If you’re painting new doors, then it probably goes without saying that it’s recommended you paint them before hanging them.  If they aren’t new, it’s advisable to remove your doors from the hinges and lay it flat for this.

  1. Tape off any parts of the door that you don’t want to get paint on. The glass panels, door handle, hinges etc. Taping over glass can be quite tricky to remove, so one way around it is to apply the tape so it only just overlaps. You can then use your knife to cut it off when you’re finished.

  2. Get your large brush or foam roller and start applying your first coat of primer. Start with the bigger panels and make sure you follow the grain of the wood for a consistent finish. Don’t put too much paint on the door, as it this can result in unsightly bumps and potential drips.

  3. Start working your way into the more intricate areas with your smaller brushes. 

  4. If there are any mouldings, get those painted, but be sure to use light strokes as these are the most fiddly. 

  5. Leave your door to dry. 

  6. When dry, sand your door very, very lightly.

  7. Repeat the process two more times. 

You’ll need three coats of paint so this process needs to be repeated. After three coats have been applied, this should be all your door needs to look primed, painted and ready to hang. 

How to Paint French Doors Without Tape

We’re going to let you in on a not-so-secret secret. There is a way of painting your internal French doors without having to tape up all the glass. This is the fiddliest, most annoying part of the entire process, the applying and removing of the tape. There is another way!

You can buy something that’s called ‘masking liquid’, or is also sometimes referred to as ‘liquid tape’. It comes in a liquid form and when applied to a surface, it dries to leave a transparent film. 

So you can just apply this masking liquid to the glass panes and leave them to dry. Then , providing the handle and hinges are covered already, you can just go to town on the painting. Once everything has dried and you’re ready to put your doors back to normal. Take your craft knife and lightly score the edges of each pane. You’ll then be able to peel off the liquid tape and voila! 

Fantastic results, and much easier to do than taping. 

Tips & Hints for Painting Internal French Doors

Here are some quick tips that will help you out and provide better results.

  • You want to lay your door flat, if you don’t have the space for this, consider laying it across chairs or benches. Just make sure you’ve covered them up well.

  • Taking the door off the hinges and laying it flat will stop paint running and speed things up.

  • Dampen the surface of the door before painting. Don’t completely soak it, just mositen it up a bit to reduce brush marks. 

  • When sanding the door, make sure you’re paying special attention to any part of the door where paint and debris build up over time.

  • Use a medium or fine grade sandpaper.

  • If your sandpaper isn’t effective, a stainless steel scraper will do.

In Summary

Painting your internal French doors is only as hard as you make it! Follow our top tips and advice for a consistent, quality finish when painting your doors, and for some valuable hacks that will make painting them easier.

Browse our range of high-quality Internal French Doors for some classic style in your home. With premium materials used throughout our range, you can be sure you’re investing into top quality products for your home.

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