How to Paint Car Door Panels

Written by melanie fleury
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How to Paint Car Door Panels
Painting your car door panel can give new life to your car. (silver car door and intake image by Christopher Dodge from

If your car has scratches or the paint just needs a facelift on the door panel, it can be repaired as a do it yourself project with just a few materials. Painting your car door panels takes a few hours as you will need to allow for drying time in between coats, but the finished product will make your door panel on your car look brand new.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soap and water
  • Lint free rags
  • Painters tape
  • Sand paper
  • Newspaper or painters tarp
  • Spray paint gun
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Clear coat

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  1. 1

    Wash your car thoroughly with soap and water. Washing it removes debris, dirt and grime so that it does not affect the paint as it goes on. Dry with a lint free towel so that lint does not stay on the car and cause bumps or imperfections in the paint. If you do not have a lint free towel, allow time to air dry.

  2. 2

    Tape off the areas of the car that you are not going to paint. Use newspaper to cover areas that you do not want to paint and secure the newspaper with painters tape. You can also use a plastic painters tarp. If painting the parts of the door that are not visible when the door is closed, open the door and tape off the interior to protect it from paint.

  3. 3

    Sand down the door panel with sandpaper, 220 grit or higher works the best. Sanding the door helps the paint to adhere to the car door panel and also removes any paint chips or loose paint. Use a cloth to wipe the sandpaper dust off of the door.

  4. 4

    Spray on a coat of primer to the door panel. Spray horizontally with each stroke overlapping the previous to avoid the appearance of lines. Spray in long, quick strokes to avoid paint drips. Allow time to dry in between coats. Two to three coats is sufficient.

  5. 5

    Spray on the paint you have chosen for your car door panel. Use long , quick strokes and paint horizontally starting at the top and moving to the bottom in overlapping strokes. Allow time to dry in between coats. Apply two to three coats for adequate coverage. You can add a clear coat on top if you prefer, using the same painting technique.

  6. 6

    Remove all tape and paper or tarp from the car. Allow up to 24 hours to cure away from the elements such as wind, rain, and extreme heat or cold.

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