Monday, October 28, 2013

How to Prep and Paint an Exterior Back Door for your Home

This project is brought to you by 3M DIY. Their great products helped this project possible.

A few weeks ago I showed you our “new” patio makeover.  Well the weekend after, I painted the back door black so after one week that project was already “outdated”.  I’ve been waiting to show you the final reveal of the door – but for a while there, we were 10 feet under water due to non-stop rain.  Thank you tropical storms.

I love the drama and class the black door brings to the space.  I was pretty nervous about doing it at first because I hadn’t painted a door yet and lines and textures can really effect the result.  But I am SO glad I took the plunge – especially with black.  It’s so classy and feels fresh and new.

Our door was originally white and over the three years the poor caulking job of the window insert had grown mold and was filthy.  So there was a lot of prep work before I jumped into the painting process.  Thanks to I had a lot of 3M™ Safety and prep products on hand to be sure it was an easier job. 

How to prepare your exterior door for painting:

3M DIY Safety and Preperation Products
I had two different drop cloths for the process, one during the prep, and one during the painting.  You’ll see why later.  Then the necessary goods were protective gloves because the primer and paint I was using was oil based ( = messy messy).  I also used a sanding block during the prep, and end up using an x-acto knife, and sharp edge object ( I used a flathead screwdriver). 

Okay so first, the only time I was able to do this project was at night… soo that’s my excuse for the “rough” pictures.  (that darn flash light).
The first thing I did was sand the door, just a quick even easy sand.  Just to “rough up the surface” (you know… make it feel like your man’s 5 o’clock shadow!)  Then I started on the biggest project of this project – fixing the mess that is below.  There was caulk outside the trim lines on both sides… it was dirty and messy on the outside of the frame and then all over the window edge too as you can see in that picture.
how to fix bad caulk lines
So I wasn’t able to get all the pictures of the in between steps… I mean I was doing this alone and just picture me trying to use an x-acto knife to cut the caulk but not deep so to cut the door… and then trying to take pictures with a camera during all that… while standing on a chair.  ANYWAYS, I missed a few steps… but it’s simple, just use your knife to cut a score line in the caulk.  It won’t just fall off because that stuff is STEEEEEEEKY! 

Once I scored the line I just used a flathead screwdriver and pressed flat against the door and used the  edge to pull the caulk down.  
Steps to fixing old messy caulk on doors
WAHOO CLEAN LINES!The importance of cleaning up caulk lines
So this is why I used two different drop cloths… This was just half the amount of caulk I pulled away… and I’m serious, this stuff is sticky… rather than just pick it up and have to make sure each piece is up… I just rolled up my drop cloth and laid a new one for the painting part of the project. How to properly prepare an exterior door for painting
NEXT! The painting begins!

Prep once again – because I needed the door open to paint I was scared of anything that would flock to the light when the door was open so I taped off the doorway.  ScotchBlue™™ Painter's Tape & garbage bag and we’re all sealed up.
How to properly prepare an exterior door for painting
Let the priming begin. I used a oil based primer and had Lowe’s tint it to a grey.  First I painted the trim edge, and then used a roller to paint the sides.  How to properly prepare an exterior door for painting with 3M Painters Tape
After the primer was dried, it was time to paint the gorgeous black! SWOOOOON!  After that was all done here’s a last tip -
Tip for removing oil/grease off glass
I had a lot of vegetable oil on the window from cleaning off the caulk residue/primer and paint and if you’ve ever tried cleaning oil off a window it’s darn near impossible.  Except for that great tip – 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water.  Cleans the window right up and no oil marks left.

I'll be showing off our door in a couple days so be sure to check it out!

I was compensated for this post and provided products, but as usual I will only share my favorite products and companies with you! To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit



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