Doors are an overlooked accent, whether it’s a closet door or the front door.

Project before & after picture


  • KILZ 3® Premium Primer
  • Paint
  • Drop Cloth
  • 4 Bricks
  • 1/4" Nap Paint Roller
  • Screwdriver
  • 100-150 Grit Sandpaper
  • 180-220 Grit Sandpaper
  • Paint Brush
  • Can Key
  • Stir Stick
  • Damp Cloth
  • Tape
  • Paint Tray


Step 1:

Remove hinge pin then remove door from frame.

It’s okay to leave the hinges secured to the doorframe. This makes the door easier for one person to rehang.

Step 2:

Sand the door. Sanding your door well, before priming and painting, is the right way to do it. Sanding will create a smooth surface that will help your paint to look great. When sanding, do a first pass with 100-150 grit sandpaper then finish with a second pass of 180-220 grit sandpaper. Remember, the higher the “grit" number, the smoother the finish.

When sanding, move the sandpaper in the same direction of the wood grain. If you go against the grain you will end up with a lot of nasty scratches that will show through your topcoat.

Step 3:

After sanding, wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue. Primer and paint won’t stick to dust. After wiping, allow the surface to dry before moving on to primer.

Step 4:

Tape around any hardware on the door that you don’t want to get paint on, like the doorknob for example. Real pros would remove the doorknob before painting, but let’s be honest, that’s not what’s happening here is it?

Step 5:

Apply a primer. When painting wood doors you should always use a primer first. Primer will help protect your door, and it will also create a smooth base to help you get better adhesion and truer color from your paint. When applying primer, just as you did with the sandpaper, move in the same direction as the wood grain for best results.

To get better coverage along the sides of your door, raise it up off your work surface with bricks.

Step 6:

Allow the primer to dry before flipping the door over and doing the other side. 2 hours should be plenty.

Step 7:

Apply paint in exactly the same manner as you did primer.

Prime and paint using a brush for edges and grooves, then fill in larger areas with a small roller.

Step 8:

Allow 2 hours dry time*, then apply second coat.

Step 9:

Remove tape prior to the paint drying completely. It’s way easier to get off. After that, rehang door, then hope nobody walks through it for a while because now is a great time to take a nap.

*Dark colors and high humidity areas may have extended dry times.

Project result picture

Start fast and finish beautifully.

For additional KILZ® Project Inspiration visit The Perfect Finish Blog.