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How to Paint a Metal Door and Make a Statement

Painting a door a fresh color is a super easy way to refresh a space and I’m going to show how to paint a metal door!

Ever since I built our DIY outdoor chair a few weeks ago to finish our DIY furniture set, I’ve been wanting to refresh our sunroom for spring! I haven’t had much time to work on the space since our kitchen makeover has been taking up most of my time. So, yesterday I decided to do a quick, little patio door makeover using some paint I had on hand already.

Painted metal door with a fresh new paint color

And here is the BEFORE PHOTO:

patio door before painting and makeover


The fresh pop of color has instantly made the space cuter! I used Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams, which I had leftover from our DIY double barn doors.

If you need a quick and easy project that really makes a statement and makes you feel like you’ve accomplished a project, painting a door is the way to go! This mini makeover took less than a day to complete!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

I also added a new, matte black doorknob and a new outdoor doormat to complete the makeover! I didn’t know how much I could love a doorknob, but this new one is slick and smooth. The quality is amazing compared to our old door knob.

A quick note. Although my door is metal, the below steps for painting a door are the same really for any exterior door.

How to Paint a Metal Door

Materials Needed:

Check out the video tutorial here:

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1. Remove the doorknob

Use a screwdriver and remove the doorknob from the door.

remove doorknob before painting metal door

2. Hand sand the door lightly

Use a medium grit sandpaper and lightly hand sand the door just enough to scuff up the surface so the paint will adhere better. I used 150 grit but 120 works well too.

hand sand exterior metal door

3. Clean the door

Use a degreaser cleaner, water, and a sponge or scrub brush and clean the door to remove any dust or dirt.

4. Use painter’s tape around the edges

Apply painter’s tape along the inside and outside of the door edges and around the door hinges. Basically anywhere that the brush or roller might touch, use tape to protect that surface.

apply painter's tape around door edges for how to paint a metal door

5. Prime the door

Use a high quality primer. I used this primer which always works great for me.

First, use a paint brush and cut in the edges, corners and creases with the primer where a paint roller won’t reach easily.

Also, the white door trim on the inside of our door could have been left white and unpainted, but I wanted to paint it, so I primed that too. Either way is fine!

use paint brush and cut in edges and creases with primer on door

Then, use a small roller and roll the primer on to the door.

Let it dry.

roll on primer before painting for how to paint a steel door

6. Paint the metal door

For an exterior door, it’s best to use an exterior paint. Since I painted the inside of my door and I was just using paint I had on hand, I used interior paint which is fine since it won’t be getting wet or direct sunlight.

Again use a paint brush and cut in the edges, corners and creases with the paint brush where a paint roller won’t reach easily. Let the first cut coat dry. Then apply a second cut coat.

cut in edges of door with paintbrush and two coats of paint

Next, use a small paint roller and apply a first roll coat of paint. Let it dry. Then, finish off the door makeover with a second coat of paint.

For how to paint a metal door, roll 2 coats of paint with a paint roller

7. Remove tape and use a razor to remove any paint that leaked under tape

Once the paint has dried, remove the painter’s tape. If any paint leaked under the tape onto any glass, remove it with a razor blade.

use a razor blade to remove excess paint that leaked under tape onto glass door insert

And that’s it! Our pup loves the new door makeover too!

dog in front of patio door makeover

I hope this quick and easy tutorial on how to paint a metal door has been helpful! Have you ever painted your front or back door? It’s so satisfying to see the transformation for just a little project!

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