How to Paint Kitchen Doors

Updated February 21, 2017

Kitchen doors can get extra wear and tear from the coming and going of family members or the byproducts of kitchen activities You might find yourself faced with the task of repainting the doors, while the rest of the house remains untouched. If your kitchen has a set of exterior doors, they may also need paint.

Set up a pair of sawhorses with a dust sheet underneath.

Remove the doorknob and other accessories from the door. Tap the hinge pins upwards with a screwdriver and hammer until they come free. Start at the bottom of the door and work towards the top. Have a helper assist with pulling the door free and setting it on the sawhorses.

Check the hinge plates to see if they are tightly attached to both the door and the doorjamb. There should be no play or movement in the hinge plate at all. If there is play or movement, remove the screw and install a longer screw.

Scrape any loose bits of paint on the doorjamb free with a paint scraper and then sand the area smooth. Wash the jamb area with soap and water and then rinse. After the doorjamb dries, spot prime the bare areas.

Remove any loose paint from the door with a paint scraper. Sand the bare spots with sandpaper.

Clean all surfaces of the door with a soapy detergent and a heavy-duty sponge or a scrub brush. After you finish washing the door, rinse all surface areas with cold water.

Let the door dry and then take a primer sealer and spot prime the door. Paint the top and bottom edges of the door with the primer.

Fill any cracks in the door with a white acrylic-latex caulk.

Rehang the door on the hinges. Since the door is only spot primed, you can do this while the primer is still wet. With the help of an assistant, slide the door back into place so that the weight is on the hinges and all hinge plates are aligned in place. Reset the top hinge pin first by tapping it into place with a hammer and then work your way down the door. Let the door hang overnight so the primer can dry.

Paint the door while it is still in place. Use matching exterior paint for the exterior side of an exterior door and semigloss or gloss acrylic latex for the inside. Paint the doorjamb and the sides of the door to match the inside trim colour. Use a 4-inch polyester brush to apply the paint. Apply the paint with long, even brush strokes. Be sure to thoroughly brush out recessed panels with the 2-inch angled trim brush to prevent drips.

Sand any areas of peeled or loose paint with a fine piece of emery cloth while the metal door is still hanging. Wash and clean the door with soap and water and then rinse.

Cover nearby furniture, fixtures, windows, floors and walls with dust sheets or tarps.

Wash and clean the door with soap and water and then rinse.

Cover the sanded area using a can of matching interior-exterior enamel spray paint.


Oil door hinges with 3-in-1 machine oil before rehanging the door. You can leave doors that do not need scraping or sanding hanging. You can take interior doors down and place them on sawhorses until the paint job is complete and dry. After the topcoat is finished check the surface at frequent intervals to make sure there are no drips or bare spots.

Things You'll Need

  • Pair of saw horses
  • Dust sheet
  • Flat-edged screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Extra-long wood screws (optional)
  • Paint scraper
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood block
  • Plastic pail
  • Detergent
  • Large sponge
  • Primer paint (interior or exterior as needed)
  • Caulk gun
  • White acrylic-latex caulk
  • Interior or exterior paint
  • 4-inch polyester paint brush
  • 2-inch polyester angled trim brush
  • Fine emery cloth
  • Can of interior-exterior enamel spray paint
  • 3-in-1 machine oil (optional)
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About the Author

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.