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Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Doors? (How To)

Painting the steel door using paint brush

Just because you have a steel door on your home does not necessarily mean that you want your home to look like a prison. Adding some color has many benefits, but can you paint over steel doors, and what preparation is needed?

Painting over steel doors is possible if you prepare them properly and choose the proper paint. This may require some work on your part, such as sanding and painting the door in advance. Generally speaking, you can then cover the door with exterior grade latex paint.

Steel doors provide security, durability, and an easy-to-maintain aspect while protecting your home. They tend to be better than other types of doors when it comes to customization and noise filtering, along with being less expensive than many other door choices.

That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that we want to maintain the gray door that may have been installed or, perhaps the white door that was factory primed.

You will be happy to know that it is not only possible to paint over steel doors, it is preferable in many cases.

Can You Paint Over Steel Doors?

Painting the steel door using paint roll

If you have a steel door on your home, regardless of whether it is the front door, a garage door, or even a security door, can you add some color to it and brighten up the area?

If you choose exterior grade latex paint, you can cover the steel door in the color of your choice. Typically, this will require that you prepare everything in advance so the paint adheres to the door and use at least two coats so that it has a solid, beautiful finish.

Steel doors are a part of our homes, and we appreciate the security and durability they have to offer. The problem is that a steel door can also experience difficulties that can include rusting, denting, and many other factors.

You don’t have to put up with those issues if you are experiencing them. In fact, with a little bit of paint and some time, you can change the color as many times as you like.

Should You Paint Over Steel Doors?

confused man standing

We’ve already discussed the fact that it is possible to paint over a steel door. Another issue that needs to be addressed, however, is whether it should be done. This is usually a matter of personal preference.

Most people who paint over a steel door do so because they want to change the color and perhaps add a little curb appeal to the home. Steel doors are often exterior and they are the first thing that is seen when approaching the home. Having a beautiful door makes the home a more welcoming environment.

The following are some of the reasons why you may consider painting your front door. All of them are legitimate and you may even see some that you hadn’t considered before.

Curb Appeal – One of the most important reasons to paint a steel door is because it gives the home curb appeal. This is especially important if it is the front door or perhaps the garage door. These are items that are seen from the street and are a big part of the first impression people have of your home.

Rust – Although steel is an excellent, smooth surface that makes for a great door, it can also rust. This can happen on the edges if the paint and primer wear off or if the door has become scratched or damaged. Repainting the door is a great way to prevent rust from occurring or you can remove the rust and paint it to keep rust from happening again.

Personality – Each of us has our own, unique personality, and painting the steel door can add to it. It’s a great way to add your own, personal flair to your home.

Consistency – If you install a new steel door, it can be painted to match the rest of your home. You can even make the steel door pop by using contrasting colors, which is a popular choice for many homeowners.

These are just some of the many reasons why people paint steel doors. It is possible to do so and in many ways, it is preferable to do so.

What Tools And Preparation Do You Need To Paint Steel Doors

Man holding paint tools

If you want to paint your steel door, it is important to prepare it in advance. This will get the door ready so the paint adheres and lasts for a long time.

The first, and perhaps most important step in painting a steel door is to make sure it is clean. Even a new steel door should be cleaned and wiped down with a degreasing agent. Afterward, you can continue to prepare the door for the step of painting it.

Gather the following tools for the process:


5 Gallon Buckets

Denatured Alcohol



Wire Brush

Pressure Washer

150 Grit Sandpaper

Tack Cloth

Angular Sash Brush

Paint Roller


If you have a door that has been exposed to the sun for an extended amount of time, it may have a chalky feeling. Typically, you will wipe your hand across the door and the paint will be left on your hand. This can be fixed by using some denatured alcohol and wiping down the door to remove the chalk.

For steel doors that are particularly dirty and worn, you may need to spray them down with a pressure washer. Some high-pressure water will remove much of the dirt along with any loose paint.

The next step in the process is to scrape the door and remove any additional loose paint. This should be followed by sanding the door, paying particular attention to the edge of the paint and any exposed steel.

Finally, add a coat of primer that is specific to the type of paint you are using. You may even want to use a self-etching primer to ensure that the paint adheres properly.

What Paint Can You Use To Paint Steel Doors?

confused man standing

Paint choice is something that should not be underestimated, especially when you’re painting a steel door. You want the paint to adhere properly and last a long time.

Typically, you would use an exterior, water-based latex paint. Most people will use either a satin or semi-gloss finish. Oil-based paint will also work nicely for a steel door but there is additional cleanup necessary when using oil-based paint.

When painting a steel door, you absolutely want to cover it thoroughly. It can be tempting to only use a single coat, especially if you primed the door in advance and it looks relatively good after the single coat has been applied.

You will find, however, that adding a second coat adds some consistency to the door. It will make it look beautiful and you will be surprised with how much additional coverage you will get out of a second coat.

How To Paint Stainless Steel Doors Properly

Man holding paint tools

Painting a steel door does not need to be difficult. It does, however, require that you take the following steps for the successful completion of the project.

Step 1:

The first step in painting the metal door is to remove the door from the frame and cover the hardware with tape. Some of the hardware, such as the doorknob can be removed in advance.

Step 2:

The entire door should be cleaned down with denatured alcohol to remove chalking. You can then use a soapy water mixture along with a degreaser to thoroughly clean the door and remove any oil/grease that exists.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on August 13, 2022.

Step 3:

If the paint has peeled or is otherwise damaged, you should remove it. Scrape the paint until it will not come off the door and then use a wire brush to ensure that you have removed as much as possible.

Step 4:

Sanding the door down will further ensure that the loose paint has been removed. It will also offer a surface that can easily be adhered to by the primer.

Step 5:

Prime the surface with a high-quality primer that is suitable for the type of paint you have selected.

Step 6:

Apply the paint of your choice. Typical paint choices include exterior latex or oil paint. Add a second coat for consistency.

Step 7:

After the paint has dried thoroughly, you can remove the tape and rehang the door carefully.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 13, 2022.

Can You Paint Over Steel Door Frames?

confused man standing

You can paint over steel door frames after you properly prepare them. This would include taping over any hardware, repairing damage with Bondo, sanding the door with 150 grit sandpaper, and priming. Painting steel door frames give consistency to the look of the home.

Can You Paint Over Steel Door Interior?

Painting the steel door using paint brush

As long as you prepare a steel interior door properly, it can be painted over. You may find it beneficial to remove the door from the frame and put tape over any hardware before sanding and priming the door. Any damage to the door should be repaired with Bondo and if there is rust, it should be removed by sanding and using a wire brush.

Can You Paint Over Steel Garage Door?

confused man standing

Steel garage doors look fantastic when they are painted. Preparing the garage door is important, and may include using denatured alcohol to remove the chalking if the door is exposed to the sun often. You can then sand the door, wipe it down, and prime it before painting.

Can You Paint Over Steel Front/Exterior Door?

Painting the steel door using paint roll

An exterior steel door, including the front door, can be painted to add some color to the home. Prepare the door by repairing any damage with Bondo, sanding, and priming. You can then paint with exterior latex paint in the color of your choice.

Can You Paint Over Steel Security Door?

confused man standing

You can beautify a steel security door by adding some paint. Prepare the door in advance by repairing any damage, sanding, and priming. If chalking is a problem, you should wipe it down with denatured alcohol before painting it.

Painting over an exterior door is an excellent choice for adding beauty to the home. It also protects the door from rust and some damage. Prepare the door in advance by sanding and priming and if there are any dents or damage, they can be repaired with Bondo.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 13, 2022.

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