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Person painting door sat on workhorses with paint roller.


Over time doors, can become weathered and a coat of paint is a great way to freshen them up. We show you how to prepare the doors for painting and make sure you get a great finish. Learn how to apply undercoat and topcoat, using the 'W' technique.


1Remove the door and prepare the surface

The easiest way to paint a door is to remove it from the door frame. Using a screwdriver, take off all of the hardware on the door including hinges, door locks and handles. Place the door on sawhorses and then you're ready to paint. If it's an old door, you may want to give it a light sanding before you start.

Freshly painted door sitting against the wall so it can dry.

2Give the door an undercoat

Make sure you stir the paint tin well before use. Start by giving the edges of the door an undercoat with a brush. Then fill up a tray with the undercoat and draw a roller along the tray's grate two or three times to apply the paint evenly to the roller. Apply the paint to the door in a ‘W' formation. This will make sure that you'll have an even covering of paint. 

Person painting door sat on workhorses with paint roller.

3Lay off your undercoat

For a great finish, you'll want to 'lay off' what you've painted. You can do this by running your roller across the door from top to bottom with even pressure. Then you'll need to wait for it to dry. 
Person painting door sat on workhorses with paint roller.

4Give it a light sand

Once the door's dry, give it a light sand with a fine-grade sandpaper, then wipe it down to get rid of any dust. 
Person wearing a mask sanding a door that is lying horizontal on supports

5Apply the topcoat

Apply the topcoat using the same process as the undercoat. Use a brush around the edges of the door and roll the main surface of the door with the roller using the ‘W' technique. Don't forget to ‘lay off' the topcoat for a great finish. 

Person painting door with paint roller.

6Paint the other side and reattach the door

When that side is dry, flip the door over and repeat steps 15 on the other side. Once it's dry, reattach the door fittings and hang the door back on the door frame and you're done.

Person painting door with paint roller.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.