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Painting door frames: the best tips
Painting door frames: the best tips

Video: Painting door frames: the best tips

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Video: How to paint a door frame or door jamb - (correct technique) 2023, February

Faded or peeled paint, unsightly notches or worn corners - it's high time to have your door frame painted. With the right preparation and the most important tips, you can effectively remove these blemishes yourself with a new coat of paint. If you take a few points into account, you can paint your door frame without hiring a professional painter.

Table of contents Table of contents Paint the door frame - with these tips you can do it

  • You need that
  • Painting the door frame: the step-by-step instructions
  • Tips for buying the colors:

Table of contents Table of contents Paint the door frame - with these tips you can do it

  • You need that
  • Painting the door frame: the step-by-step instructions
  • Tips for buying the colors:

Good to know: If it is not a new building that only requires moving damage to be repaired, there are often several old coats. Therefore, before renovating, you should check which types of paint are involved and whether the necessary gap between the frame and door may be filled with the next layer of paint.

If you want to avoid having to prime the door as preparation, you can use a base and top coat and do both steps in one go.

A good time to paint the door frame is if you are renovating or repainting the walls anyway. With a little patience and our instructions, that's not a problem.

You need that

The good news first: if you paint the door frame, you need less material than if you want to paint the entire door, so there are no great costs. You can get everything you need in any hardware store.

  • Masking film or painting fleece
  • Masking tape
  • Coarse and finer sandpaper
  • Degreaser
  • Color varnish
  • a lacquer tub with drainer
  • a screwdriver to open the paint
  • a stir bar
  • a small ink roller
  • various smaller brushes

Painting the door frame: the step-by-step instructions

Step 1: remove the door leaf

Before you start preparing, expose the door frame and make it fully accessible. To do this, remove the door leaf. Get help from a friend or neighbor, because the weight of the door can make it difficult to lift the door off its hinges alone.

After that is done, remove the door seal as well. Pull the rubber seals strand by strand out of the door rebates and keep them. You can reinsert the seals later. Practical: Check whether the door rubbers are possibly worn and need to be replaced. It is best to take the old door rubbers as a sample to the specialty shop.

Our tip: think about whether you would like to paint the door. If you ever remove the door leaf, you can do it in one go.

Tür streichen
Tür streichen

If the door is unhooked, you can also paint it right away.

Photo: iStock / Lady-Photo

Step 2: painter's crepe and painter's fleece - this is how you tape off properly

Now you can start covering the free areas. The masking work is very important so that you don't have to remove unwanted color stains afterwards with a lot of effort. Parquet, laminate, carpet and Co. protect you effectively with a non-woven fleece spread out on the floor. Cut the fleece on the sides twice in the width of the door frame so that the entire floor area in the door frame is also covered. You can fold the cut-out part down. Fix the painter's fleece using masking tape so that nothing can slip. You can also tape the adjacent wall directly with the masking tape so that you can easily paint the door frame.

Our tip: Before you fix the masking tape on the wall, carefully test whether the wall paint does not come off when you remove the masking tape. If the paint sticks to the masking tape, do not tape the wall. Then you have to be very careful when painting the door frame.

Abgedeckter Boden
Abgedeckter Boden

It is very important to cover it properly so that you do not have to remove any unwanted stains afterwards.

Photo: iStock / hanohiki

Step 3: prepare your door frame

Now the actual preparation begins. Regardless of whether your door frame is made of wood, wood veneer or metal, there are basically no differences when preparing for the new coat of paint.

Sand the old coat of paint so that the new coat of paint can really come into its own. Before doing so, you should check whether there are nails or other small parts in the door frame. First remove them carefully.

Most door frames have been painted several times and have not just one, but several paint coats. You don't have to remove the entire color. When painting the door frame, it is enough to roughen the old paint so that the new color lasts. The more thoroughly you work, the more beautiful the new coat of paint will be. As a rule of thumb, the more opaque the new color, the less sanding is required.

Use abrasive paper with a medium grain (180) to sand the door frame. The easiest way is to use a sanding block to better guide the sandpaper. This means that even large areas can be sanded down to save energy and the sanding paper feels better in the hand. Alternatively, you can also use a grinder.

If you want to compensate for small cracks in your door frame, you can use filler. There is a fast drying filler in the hardware store, where you can continue sanding after a drying time of only about six hours. The best time for filling is after the rough sanding.

As soon as you have roughened the old layers of paint, finally sand the door frame with sandpaper in a finer grit (200), so you get a smooth surface. When you have sanded the entire door frame, remove the fine dust from the door frame with a small broom or a damp cloth. This is important so that you get a nice result when painting later. The door frame must be dry, free of grease and dust for the new coat of paint so that the paint lasts. You can clean the surfaces with a rag and degreaser. The rag also picks up the last pieces of dirt, so that the frame is now well prepared.

Special case farmhouse: With particularly stubborn paint, as it was often used in old farmhouses, it may be that you cannot remove any paint with the sandpaper. With special hot air devices you can also remove decade-old paint. With this device you heat the paint selectively until bubbles form. You can use a spatula to loosen the paint. Then sand the door frame with fine sandpaper and remove the dust.


It is best to use sandpaper and sanding blocks or a smaller grinder to sand the door frame.

Photo: fotolia / industrieblick

Step 4: apply the primer

Depending on the paint you use for painting, you may need to apply a primer. Read the manufacturer's instructions for your chosen color carefully. There you will also find information on the drying time. Do not start painting until the primer has dried thoroughly.

Step 5: painting the door frame - how it works

Fill a little lacquer into the lacquer pan. Don't forget to stir it well beforehand. First, paint the corners with a brush. Good to know: If you only paint relatively small areas, such as the door frame, the brush and roller clearly have an advantage over spraying with a paint gun. The fine spray mists up in all angles. So the effort of masking would be many times higher.

Be sure to wipe off excess paint from the brush before you start painting. This way you can avoid unsightly nasal formation. After the outside corners, paint the area around the base, the inside corners and the door rebate with a brush. Because the paint cannot be applied to the floor and in the corners with the paint roller.

Then you can quickly and easily paint the remaining surfaces with the roller or paint roller. Paint the door frame in one pass, without long pauses, so that the paint is still moist and can connect without visible transitions.

After the first coat has dried (approx. Two to four hours), check whether the paint has covered all over or if there are paint noses. You can subsequently remove these paint noses with fine sandpaper (220).

Do the same for the second coat of paint as for the first. Make sure to dose the paint sparingly and adapt it to the existing paint layer. Paint the corner areas, fold and plinth again with the brush and only then the areas with the paint roller.

Remove the masking tape immediately after painting while the paint is still damp. Some of the dried paint could be torn off with the masking tape.

Finally, attach the door seals and hang the door leaf back on.

Tips for buying the colors:

Before you decide on a color, consider that solvent-based paints can still smell unpleasant for a long time after application. Water-based paints, varnishes or glazes are more environmentally friendly.

Carolin Haist

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