Pittsburgh Paints – Interior

How to Paint Exterior Doors

canary-yellowTO START

Remove hinges, knobs, and latches or cover them with masking tape.


Begin by painting the top panels, moulding, and edging first. Then paint the remaining panel area by brushing across the surface and then up and down. Finish by painting the remaining area and the door edges.


Paint the edges first and then fill in the large area. Complete your job by the painting the frame and jamb last.

How to Prepare for Painting

Preparation is key to a successful paint job. Before you begin, make sure your home’s exterior surface is properly prepared.

  1. Arrange drop cloths to shield plants and other landscaped areas or surfaces that won’t be painted.
  2. Scrape or sand chipped or peeling paint with a wire brush or scraper. Remove or replace loose or dry putty with a high quality paintable caulking compound.
  3. Use a mild detergent to clean the surfaces and to wipe down all metal and aluminum surfaces.
  4. Be sure to prime any new, or bare (exposed) surfaces.


The temperature should be between 50°F–90°F with low humidity and no rain expected for 24 hours. However, most exterior paints can be applied down to 35°F.

Start on the shaded side of the house. Direct sun causes the paint to dry too quickly and may create lap marks. If you’re using oil-based paints, be sure all dew has evaporated.


Primers provide a strong foundation for the topcoat and create a more uniform appearance overall.

Oil primers are excellent for both new and existing wood, as well as chalky and glossy surfaces. Acrylic latex primers are ideal for aluminum, brick, masonry, wood, and vinyl siding. Specialty primers are formulated to tackle problem areas such as wood stains and have excellent adhesion qualities.

Be careful to choose a primer that best fits your project needs.

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Choosing a Paint

Ask us! Our friendly paint-counter staff are happy to help you choose the right product for your location.

Cleaning Up

Latex & Water-based Paints

Wipe excess paint from brushes and rollers then rinse them thoroughly with soap and warm water. Allow them to air dry. Oil-based Paints Use a paint thinner to clean brushes and rollers. Be sure to dispose of all water properly. Rags, steel wool or waste soaked with these products may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after each use, place rags, steel wool or waste in a sealed, water-filled metal container. Dispose Contact your local environmental regulatory agency for guidance on disposal of unused product. Do not pour down a drain or storm sewer. Keep a Recor d Don’t forget to save excess paint for touch-ups later. Also be sure to record the color name, number and formula. Then, if more paint is needed at a later date, it will be easy to have the paint remixed to the exact color.