How To Paint A Six-Paneled Interior Door

by Darwin Hall

door on sawhorses

The fastest way to paint an interior door is to simply remove it from the jamb.

Removing the screws with a cordless drill speeds up the process.  The easiest way to remove the screws is to take out the bottom screws in each hinge, leaving the top screws intact.

You then remove the last remaining screws — starting from the bottom of the door, working your way up.  Note the orientation of the hinges.  Prepare the sawhorses to receive the door by unfolding them up in a room that you prepared.   Place the door flat on top of the horses.

Remove the rest of the hinges from the door.  Next, simply flip the door to access the door handle and remove it.  There are two screws holding the door knob in place — remove those first.  Be careful to not drop the door knob out of the hole.  Then remove the screws holding the latch to the door.

Since the door is already primed, the painting part is easy.  Start in the panel indentation and paint left to right, back and forth.  Dab the corners of the panels frequently to get full coverage in the nooks and crannies.

Finally, paint the raised part of the panels, following the simulated grain of the wood.

Continue to do all of the panels first, then move on to the rest of the door.  Using a brush, follow the grain of the wood along all vertical parts, then finish all the horizontal parts.

See also:  Upgrading A Door’s Hardware

Applying a thin coat is the key to this paint job.

Let the first coat dry for about an hour or so and apply a second coat of paint exactly as the first coat.  Let it dry completely.

Paint door panelsI like to wait til the next day before I tackle the other side of the door.

The next day,  I flip the door to get started on the other side.

Of course, you paint this side exactly as the first side, re-coating the door with paint once the first coat dries.

You then re-install the door knob and hinges, then lift and install the door to the jamb.


  1. Remove the screws holding the hinges to the jamb.
  2. Place door on the sawhorses.
  3. Remove the hinges completely.
  4. Remove the door latch and knob.
  5. Paint the panel indentations.
  6. Paint the raised panel insides.
  7. Paint the vertical parts of the door following the grain.
  8. Paint the horizontal parts of the door following the grain.
  9. Let dry and repeat the process of painting.
  10. Let dry then flip the door and paint the underside.
  11. Add one additional coat of paint to underside of the door.
  12. Re-install door hardware.
  13. Install the newly painted door to the door opening.

Tools and materials you’ll need:


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