How To Paint A Panel Door Without Brush Marks

One of the most difficult aspects of painting a panel door is ensuring that there aren't visual brush marks afterward. These marks make the job look sloppy and are simply unsightly. So, how can you paint a panel door without leaving brush marks? We did the leg work to bring you the answer.

Painting a panel door requires the proper tools and steps to complete the project without leaving brush marks. Some of the things needed are a paint roller, a paintbrush, paint, and primer. After gathering the necessary materials, the steps to complete this job properly are as follows:

  1. Choose the correct paint.
  2. Prepare the workspace.
  3. Remove the panel door from its hinges.
  4. Sand the door to remove unevenness.
  5. Use the right tool and paint in one direction.
  6. Level the paint using conditioner.
  7. Let the paint dry before reinstalling the panel door.

The steps may look reasonably easy to accomplish. However, missing some vital details can reduce your chance of finishing the paint job without brush marks. So, keep reading to learn a surefire method of painting a panel door without leaving brush marks.

A brush in hand painting white wooden surface, How To Paint A Panel Door Without Brush Marks

Painting A Panel Door Without Brush Marks

A panel door is not comprised of a single piece of wood. Instead, these doors have multiple panels to create the finished decor.

Although the designs on these doors can make a home's interior look great, it can be tougher to paint them because of their raised edges. Finishing paint jobs on panel doors might even result in unsightly brush marks.

Classic wall of dark wood panels doors

Avoid brush marks on your finished product by following these steps:

1. Choose The Correct Paint

Like any DIY project, you won't get good results without proper preparation. Thus, the first step to a successful panel door painting project entails choosing the right paint.

You can consult your local hardware store about the correct paint to use on your specific door. Additionally, aim for gloss and semi-gloss finishes since these types of paint help protect doors against wear and tear.

Click here to see this white gloss enamel paint on Amazon.

2. Prepare The Workspace

Dust, excessive air, and poor lighting conditions are some of the concerns that you might encounter during the project.

These issues can lead to streaks and other unwanted results while painting your panel door. Thankfully, you can avoid these problems by preparing your workspace before starting the project.

Make sure that you thoroughly clean your workspace by sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming to remove as much dirt, dust, and debris as possible from the area, as these substances can interfere with the process.

Also, make sure that your work area has good ventilation. However, if you’re going to work outdoors, ensure that it’s not going to be a particularly windy day.

Also, don’t work near the rain, as the extra moisture might lead to undesirable results. For instance, if you’re working with matte acrylic paint, the additional moisture might make the color appear duller than usual.

3. Remove The Panel Door From Its Hinges

Generally, removing a panel door from its hinges is fairly simple. You only need to unscrew the hinges, then pull out the door from its frame. But it’s still best to consult with the door manufacturer's instructions to remove it properly.

4. Sand The Door To Remove Unevenness

In some cases, panel doors will have leftover brush marks from previous paint jobs. Your door might also have an uneven surface because of wear and tear. Sand your door before applying primer and paint so these substances can adhere well.

You can start with coarse sandpaper, such as 100 grit, to help remove old brush strokes. Then, switch to 120- to 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the door's surface. Make sure to clean the door after sanding it to remove small particulates that might create unevenness in the paint job.

Click here to see this TECCPO hand sander on Amazon.

5. Use The Right Tool And Paint In One Direction

Use a paint roller with a length that’s appropriate for the area on your panel door. You can use fairly short covers to paint small spaces. But take note that using a small roller means that painting can take longer than usual.

Still, it’s better to use a fairly small paint roller on panel doors. Take note that the roller needs to be flat to achieve a smooth and even coating. If the roller’s cover isn’t flat on the door because of the panels, it might result in bumps, bubbles, and other unwanted marks.

Furthermore, make sure to apply a light coat of primer for each coat. The primer can help make the paint adhere better and reduce the risks of brush marks.

Homeowner gives his front door a new bold lick of paint

If you’re going to use a brush, make sure to paint while following the direction of the door’s grain. Once you start painting in a particular direction, stick to that orientation for the rest of the project. Switching painting directions frequently increases the risks of brush marks appearing.

Don’t forget to paint the front and back sides of the panel door for an even finish. For more information about the topic, look into this other post: Should A Front Door Be Painted On Both Sides?

Click here to see this all surface primer on Amazon.

6. Level The Paint Using Conditioner

A fairly common cause of brush marks on doors is the paint failing to level properly. This issue happens when the paint doesn’t dry and cure well. Don’t dab water on the paint in an attempt to level it. Instead, use a paint conditioner that blends well with the paint to improve the level.

Click here to see this paint conditioner on Amazon.

7. Let the Paint Dry Before Reinstalling the Panel Door

If you used oil-based paint, you need to wait for 6 to 24 hours for the paint to dry. On the other hand, latex paint should be dry after only 1 hour.

The time it takes to try can vary depending on certain conditions such as the temperature in the area. Think about waiting longer than usual if you're unsure if the paint is dry before reinstalling the panel door.

Should I Use A Brush Or Roller To Paint A Door?

Your preferred tool to paint a door will boil down on your preference. Using a brush is a great way to target fine details on the door panel. Just keep in mind that the project might take longer with a brush.

On the other hand, using a paint roller can speed up the painting process, but it can be challenging to focus on small parts on the door.

What Type Of Roller Is Best For Painting Doors?

Mature adult painting door white with paint roller

Certain paint rollers tend to work better than others when painting different types of doors. Base your purchasing decision after thinking about some important factors. Some of these considerations include:

  • Roller design and grip
  • Roller length
  • Roller cover material
  • Roller nap (thickness)

Click here to see this paint roller kit on Amazon.

What Roller Gives The Smoothest Finish?

The different paint rollers on the market can offer different results. But rollers made with nylon or polyester, along with those made with Mohair quality, tend to excel over others in providing smooth finishes.

Click here to see this Mohair mini paint roller cover on Amazon.

Will Streaks Go Away When The Paint Dries?

Streaks won't go away when the paint dries. In some cases, the lines and other unattractive marks will become more visible when the paint dries. Sanding the troublesome area and adding another coat of paint may help solve the issue.

In Closing

The naturally uneven surface of a panel door might make it seem more challenging than usual to paint without leaving brush marks. Choosing the correct paint, preparing the workspace, diligently sanding, and using a consistent painting direction will help reduce the risks of brush marks.

Before you go, you might consider painting your door frames. If you want to learn more about that topic, read through this post: Do Oak Doors Go With White Frames?

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