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If you’ve ever had to paint an interior door (or wondered how), I’ve figured out a little way to paint a door without taking it off the hinges. This one little trick saves me SO much time and the hassle of trying to re-hang old, settled doors!
My doors are old, boring, flat hollow core doors. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been cleaning off the dirt, scuffing the surface with a sanding sponge, wiping the dust with a tack cloth, and painting them with a
How to to paint a door without taking it off of the hinges
Why Not Remove?
Before you suggest “why don’t you just take the door off the hinges?”, the answer is simple: it’s more time-consuming, and you can’t guarantee that the door will still hang the same when you try to put it back up again. This is an older house where projects never seem to go exactly how I expect, and as much as I like to learn about DIY, this is a headache I like to avoid if possible! :)
Time needed: 5 minutes
This is the simple trick to paint interior and exterior doors cleanly and without the hassle of removing them from their hinges.
- Cover hinges with painter’s tape
First, take a strip of painter’s tape and cover the hinge you are trying to protect.
- Find your line
Next, smooth your finger along the edge of the hinge. In most cases, the hinge will not be exactly flush with the door itself, so you will likely have a recessed edge. Use this as an outline for cutting.
- Cut around the edge
Take an exacto knife and run it along the edge you created in the tape. If you don’t have one handy, use the sharp point of a putty knife.
- Remove remaining tape
Remove the remaining outer portion of the tape that is now separated from the piece that is still covering the metal hinge. You can either cover the hinge pins, or not. Up to you.
Now, it’s much easier to paint over without needing extra cleanup! Paint over the area, and you won’t have to worry as much about getting paint on the hinges. Simply remove the taped part when you’re done (ideally when the paint is still wet so that the line comes off clean… if you wait until it’s dry, it might take off some paint from the door).
More interior door painting tips:
- You can do the same tape treatment with other door hardware, such as the inset for the door lock or door knobs.
- Don’t forget: sand down your doors with a high grit sandpaper where possible to help the paint adhere to the surface faster.
- Prep work makes a HUGE difference. That includes wiping down dust and grime, removing imperfections, setting down a drop cloth, filling holes with wood filler, etc.
- Right now, I’m using a base coat of BEHR Ultra Premium prime + paint (only on the first coat — the color tends to yellow so I like the non-primer type of paint for the top coat) to make the job go even faster, but the process is still several coats away from the finished product.
- Door panels should be painted in this order, and always in the direction of the wood grain to hide brush marks. Use satin sheen paint.
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