Method for Painting Doors With a Roller

Written by ryan lawrence
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Method for Painting Doors With a Roller
Do not use a roller alone, or you will end up with flaws in the finish. (paint roller image by Wayne Abraham from

Many amateur do-it-yourselfers have difficulty painting doors without leaving unattractive brush strokes in the final finish coat. Combat this by applying the paint with a roller. Unfortunately, you cannot use a roller alone, or you will end up with bubbles and roller nap marks. Fortunately, there is a way to create a professional-looking finish with a roller. However, you must use the roller in conjunction with a brush. In addition, you may need to dilute the paint before application, depending on the environment you are working in.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Masking paper
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • Roller frame
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • 2 nap roller covers
  • 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Galvanised metal etching primer
  • Acrylic latex paint

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  1. 1

    Open the door. Remove the hardware with a screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Abrade fibreglass and previously painted doors to promote adhesion by sanding them with 220-grit sandpaper. Skip this step if the door is bare wood or metal.

  3. 3

    Slide masking paper beneath the door. Tape the edges down with a low-tack blue painter's tape.

  4. 4

    Pour one gallon of primer into the five-gallon bucket. Apply a coat of acrylic latex primer to the door, using the roller. Smooth the primer before it begins to dry, using a four-inch paintbrush, manufactured for use with latex paints. Use a galvanised metal etching primer if the door is made of metal. Wait two hours for the primed door to dry.

  5. 5

    Clean your painting tools with water.

  6. 6

    Coat the door with acrylic latex paint. Apply the paint just as you did the primer. Use a clean, new nap roller cover.

Tips and warnings

  • Because doors are relatively spacious surfaces, the first several brushstrokes tend to dry at different rates than the latter ones. This creates an uneven-looking finish. By using a roller, you are able to coat the door with paint quickly, allowing you to smooth the finish with a paintbrush before it begins to dry.
  • You do not need to prime previously painted doors.
  • If you are working in high temperatures, dilute the paint to promote a smoother finish by adding one gallon of water to each gallon of paint.
  • Do not paint over an unprimed bare metal or wood door, or the finish will fail.
  • Do not use a dropcloth instead of masking paper, as dust sheets tend to bunch up and stick to wet door paint.

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