How to Paint Steel & Fiberglass Entry Systems
1) How to Start
Doors can be stained either hanging in the opening or removed from the frame (recommended). Should you remove the door, take care to protect it from damage. Sidelites will need to be finished vertically. To remove the door from the frame, use a center punch and hammer. Strike the hinge pin from the bottom until it pops up (for outswing & self closing units - hinge leaf must be removed from the door). Drive the hinge pin as far as possible with the punch. Using a pair of pliers, grasp the hinge pin and, while twisting, pull the pin out. Remove all door hardware.
2) Material Required
Find a well-lit staining location that is dust-free, well ventilated and within the climate conditions recommended by the coating manufacturer. Recommended temperature should be between 50 Degrees F - 90 Degrees F (10 C-32 C) degrees fahrenheit.
Coatings and accessories:
- Mineral spirits or acetone
- One pair of rubber gloves
- Soapy water (mild detergent in warm water)
- Stir sticks
- Masking tape
- Safety razor blades
- High-quality, oil-base or 100% acrylic water-based latex paint of desired color
- Lacquer paints are not recommended
- 2-1/2" wide brush appropriate for type of paint (A natural bristle brush should be used with oil-based paint and a synthetic bristle brush should be used with latex paint.)
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Center punch
- Phillips screwdriver
- Safety glasses
- Air-less sprayer (optional)
These painting instructions apply to the following Masonite products: Masonite Steel, ArTek, Oakcraft, Belleville and Barrington.
Note: Painting instructions specifically refer to the door and sidelite panels. Oil-based paint should not be used on wood frame components (frames & brickmould).
2) Preparing the Door Surface
IMPORTANT: Dust, debris and other surface contaminants can accumulate on the surface of the door. Therefore, to achieve best results and maximum coating adhesion, wipe/clean all surfaces of the door panel(s) and sidelite(s) thoroughly with acetone or mineral spirits. Mask (tape) off all surfaces that will not be stained.
3) Preparing the Door Surface
IMPORTANT: For adequate paint adhesion the door surface must be free of dust, debris and other surface contaminants.
Steel doors should be wiped clean with a solvent such as acetone or mineral spirits. Allow the cleaning solvent to dry completely - until there is no residual odor. Once wiped clean, the door must be lightly sanded with a 220-grit sandpaper. After sanding, the door must be washed with a mild detergent in warm soapy water, rinsed and then dried.
Fiberglass doors should be wiped clean with a solvent such as acetone or mineral spirits. Allow the cleaning solvent to dry completely - until there is no residual odor. Next, the door must be washed with a mild detergent in warm soapy water, rinsed and then dried. Mask (tape) off all surfaces that will not be painted including all glass.
4) Painting the Door
Use exterior, high quality, oil-based or 100% acrylic water-based latex paint of desired color. High quality interior paint can be used on the interior surface of the door only. Lacquer paints are not recommended. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for paint application by using either a brush or a handheld sprayer.
Put on gloves, safety glasses, and prepare your materials. Before starting, and occasionally throughout the project, stir the paint using smooth strokes until the texture is creamy - avoid creating bubbles.
Finishing with Brush Application:
Dip the brush into the paint, then use the rim of the container to release any excess paint. Apply paint as evenly as possible while still wet. Brush strokes should follow the grain direction of the selected area. Start working on the panels and sticking (moulding profiles), then the vertical center mullion, next the horizontal rails, then the vertical stiles, and finally, the outside edges (stiles and top rail, see figure 1 for details). Doors that are outswing or have adjustable surface mounted sweeps will need to have the sweep removed and the bottom rail painted.
Finishing with Spray Applicator:
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for thinning the paint; (i.e. thin latex paint with water or oil-based with solvent for better atomization and spraying results). Strain paint before filling the spray pot.
The door can be painted in horizontal (recommended) or vertical position; however, the paint should be applied in continuous strokes extending six inches past the edges of the door. This will ensure uniformity across the entire surface of the door. Multiple light coats are better than one heavy coat. Avoid runs as a result of overspraying.
IMPORTANT: Let the paint dry completely, following the manufacturer's recommended drying time before handling the painted surface or applying a second coat. If possible, allow the door to dry in a horizontal position to minimize paint runs. High humidity and/or low temperatures may extend your drying time.
WARNING: Doors painted with dark colors or doors with attached storm doors, may become very hot to the touch in direct sunlight.
Do not paint the weather strip and do not close door until paint is dry (see paint manufacturer's specifications on minimum drying time).
To maintain product warranty: Paint the door, frame, header and brickmould within 45 days of installation. Repainting every 1 to 7 years will be required, depending upon weather exposure.
- Figure 1: For textured door finishing with brush
- #1 Panels and sticking (moulding profiles)
- #2 Vertical center areas (mullions)
- #3 Horizontal areas (rails)
- #4 Outside vertical areas (stiles)
- #5 Edges of door (includes both sides and top of door)
- Note: To maintain the product warranty, paint all exposed surfaces.