How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks? (5-Step Guide)

Last Updated On February 24, 2023

Repainting your front door? 

Want to know how to paint a door without brush marks? 

We have pro painting tips for all your DIY projects! 

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • What you need to know about painting a door with no brush marks
  • Supplies you'll need to do the job right
  • The steps you'll need to take to paint without brush marks

And much more!

How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks? (5-Step Guide)

It's time to give your doors a fresh coat of paint!

So, before you do paint your door, I recommend you read our guide on how to do it without leaving brush marks.

What You Need To Know About Paint A Door Without Brush Marks

You'll need some basic painting skills when painting a door. Although seemingly easy, if you have never painted before, it's really easy to botch a paint job like a door.

One of the most important parts if you are going to use a brush is loading the paint up on the brush properly. You don't want too little or too much paint. 

Dip the tip of the brush into the paint, then tap it on the edges of the paint can on both sides. The idea is that you have the most paint possible loaded onto the tip of the brush without it dripping onto the ground.

Avoid another beginner mistake by not completely submersing the bristles into the paint

Did you know: The first known origin of paintbrushes was in 300 B.C. in the Qin dynasty of China. However, the first mention of a paintbrush in history didn't happen until Tuscan painter Cennino Cennini documented it.

Supplies You’ll Need For Painting Your Door Without Brush Marks

There are a few essentials fr painting a door. Here are a few:

Sanding sponge

A sanding sponge does a better job at evenly sanding flat areas on the door. Remember, you don't want to apply too much pressure when sanding as that will leave uneven areas. 

Quality paintbrush

The paintbrush you use will make a huge difference in how your door turns out. There are plenty of quality brushes sold on Amazon; we recommend the Wooster Brush and Purdy as a good pro-grade brush that will make your door painting easier.

And don't rule out a paint roller. You could use the brush to cut in the edges first, and then use the roller to paint the flat areas fast. 

Door paint of your choice

Interior doors are typically painting with the same type of paint that is used on the walls, which is water-based latex paint.

New paint will go on smoother, but if you decide to use old paint that's okay too; in both cases, use a stir stick to mix the paint up thoroughly shortly before application.

Drop Cloth

You are going to want a drop cloth to keep the paint off of undesired surfaces. 

Youtube is a great helper when doing projects like this. Check out this video and other videos like it for some great ideas. 

Read More >> How Do You Paint Baseboards With Carpet?

How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks (5-Step Guide)

  1. Evaluate necessary prep work
  2. Remove door, door handles, and door hardware
  3. Apply primer (if necessary) and sand
  4. Apply the first coat of paint (semi-gloss paint or the paint of your choice)
  5. Lightly sand between coats
  6. Apply the second coat/topcoat and let dry

Step 1: Evaluate the necessary prep work

Before you paint, you must make sure the surface is smooth and clean so that the paint will adhere.

This includes:

Use a sanding sponge to rough the door up with sandpaper. There are angled sanding sponges sold on Amazon that allow you to get inside all the nooks and crannies of the door for a higher quality paint finish. 

  • Cleaning the surface 

Some exterior doors require that you use a power washer to spray off all the loose dirt and debris. 

We're going for maximum paint adhesion here!

And before you go to apply paint, you may want to use a damp microfiber towel to wipe down the whole surface of the door to remove all spackles of dust that will get into your make job. 

Note: If you are using spray paint, you will want to vacuum the floor around the door you are painting. Dust will blow up from the floor when you are spraying and land in the paint. We don't want that!

Natural doors especially need to be caulked and sanded before you paint them for the best results. Otherwise, the small holes and corner parts won't cover with paint. 

Spackle the small holes, and after the spackle has dried, lightly sand them with a sanding sponge. 

Caulk the insides of the panels (especially on wood doors) and any intersecting wood parts where there is a gap. This will make your door look like a professional has painted it!

Step 2: Remove door, door handles, and door hardware

  • Removing the door is optional

We'll leave it up to you whether or not you decide to remove the entire door from its hinges. 

Professional painters will typically remove the door and stand it up in an open area by nailing two pieces of thin lumber or shim sticks on the bottom so it stands up on its own, but that's because they pass by with a paint sprayer and paint it fast.

You could even use saw horses to lay the door flat and paint each side separately. 

You make the call. Sometimes it's easier to just keep the door on the frame, especially when painting with a brush.

  • Tape or remove the door hardware

It isn't completely necessary to remove the doorknobs and locking mechanisms. You could just tape them over with painter's tape, but remember to do it before you sand because you could scuff up metal parts with sandpaper and cause cosmetic damage.

Whatever you decide to do, it's always smart to throw a drop cloth down below the door to ensure you don't get paint anywhere!

Step 3: Apply the primer

Painting doors that have never been painted require a coat of primer. 

The best way to paint panel doors(the most common door) is by first cutting in the hard to reach inside parts with a thin layer of paint, and then painting the outer flat parts with either your brush or a small paint roller.

Read More >> How Do You Properly Clean A Paint Brush?

Step 4: Apply the first coat of paint (semi-gloss paint or the paint of your choice)

If it's a brand new door, you'll have to apply the first coat of primer, and sand the primer after it has completely dried. Remember, sanding in between coats will always get you the smoothest paint job. 

  • Choosing the right paint

Semi-gloss latex paints are a great option for avoiding brush marks in your paint job because they leave a smooth finish.

When painting exterior doors, be sure to purchase a paint that is designed for exterior use when selecting the right paint for the job.

It's good to take into consideration what your door is made of. Metal specific paints will work better for a metal door, for example, or if you have a paneled door design on your interior, simple latex paint will work just fine.

If you are having trouble deciding which paint to use for your specific project, don't hesitate to drop us a question on our Pro Paint Corner page!

Step 5: Lightly sand between coats

Read the paint manufacturer's recommendations for drying time before you start sanding. 

Lightly sanding your first coat of paint will smooth out the brush strokes from the first coat and make the second coat look even smoother.

Remember, you are just roughing up the surface for the next coat; there's no reason to rub too hard. Just scuff up the paint a bit until it feels smoother than it did before. 

Step 6: Apply the second coat/topcoat and let dry

When painting a door, two coats of paint will do the job. 

Don't forget that you can always go back and touch up little spots that you aren't satisfied with. To touch up spots, load up a small amount of paint on the brush, and dab the paint lightly on the area.

Read More >> How Do You Paint A Wall Like A Pro?

Other Valuable Resources on How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks 

What's the best way to paint a door without brush marks? Spray paint it! Or you could even try using a mini roller or foam rollers and just cut in the cracks and small areas with a brush. 

Handheld HVLP Sprayers Are Clutch For Painting Doors

HVLP sprayers come in handy when painting exterior projects, they are ridiculously easy to use and clean, and you can buy them for a price that won't set you back on sites like Amazon. 

Because the cost of an HVLP sprayer is so low in the modern-day, it's almost cheaper to just buy a sprayer than all the paint rollers, roller handles, and paintbrushes that are required. 

Plus, you won't have to worry about brush marks when using a paint sprayer! But you will have to worry more about overspray and masking the job correctly. 

Note: Paint conditioners like floetrol mixed in with your paint makes the paint go on smoother. We don't think it's completely necessary to use floetrol but give it a try if your paint is too thick.

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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