How to Paint Indoor Wood Doors Using a Roller

Exterior wood doors often feature raised and recessed panels for ornate curb appeal. These doors require complex painting practices and brushwork, but a flat indoor wood door can be painted entirely with a roller. Roller painting saves time and provides even coverage with less chance of unsightly paint lines. You'll still need some special primer to ensure long-lasting colour, but the entire prep and paint process takes less than a day.

Lay a protective canvas dust sheet on your workspace.

Place two sawhorses on the dust sheet.

Sand the door with 150-grit sandpaper. This helps prep the surface for better paint adhesion.

Wipe off the sandpaper residue with a damp paper towel.

Remove the door handle. You can often remove the handle with a simple Philips screwdriver. If you are unable to remove the handle, cover it with painter's tape.

Unscrew the door hinges. If the hinges are embedded into the wood door, apply upward pressure to the hinge pins using a flathead screwdriver. Remove the hinge pins and cover the embedded hinges with painter's tape. A detached door takes a little longer to paint, because you'll need to wait for each side to dry. Detaching the door, however, lets you paint the surface laying flat, eliminating the risk of gravity-related drips down the front of the door.

Lay the wood door on your sawhorses.

Prime the wood door using stain-blocking primer and a medium-nap roller. Wooden surfaces naturally release oils as the surface ages. Even treated wood will release oil over time. These oils can discolour paint, but a stain-blocking primer protects against this problem. Stain-blocking primers are available at most hardware stores. Wait for the primer to dry.

Paint the primed wood door with oil-base interior paint and a medium-nap roller. Roll the paint on in parallel strokes, allowing 50 per cent overlap between each line to reduce roller marks.

Flip the door over after the first side is fully dry.

Repeat Steps 8 and 9 on the other side of the door.

Reattach the wood door and peel off any painter's tape after both sides are dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Canvas dust sheet
  • 2 sawhorses
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Paper towel
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Painter's tape
  • Stain-blocking primer
  • Medium-nap roller
  • Oil-base interior paint
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About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.