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How to Paint French Doors and Patio Door Makeover

Learn how to paint french doors with a painting hack and see how we made over over our patio door on a budget!

Painting french doors or any door is an easy way to transform a door on a budget!

Our back patio door was in rough shape. After completing our DIY paver patio, I knew I wanted to give it a refresh. As much as I would love to replace it, a new door was not in the budget.

So, we decided to fix it up!


back patio door before painting
paint french doors black for exterior door makeover

Painting french doors

The main focal feature of this door makeover was painting the french door black! Painting french doors or any door grids can be time consuming and frustrating. But, I tried a new hack out to make the process easier which I am sharing below with my how to paint french doors tutorial!

This painting tutorial can be used on french doors or any glass with window grids!

Except for the special painting hack I will be sharing for painting around the door grids, this painting tutorial is very similar to how to paint a metal door or exterior door!

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Replacing the old light and door hardware

To complete our patio door makeover, we also installed a new outdoor wall lantern, and a new door knob and deadbolt lock!

My favorite Amazon concrete planter was the perfect finishing touch! You can see more of my favorite Amazon outdoor planters here!

woman DIYer opening french door painted black for patio door makeover

Also, here are all of the outdoor lantern light fixtures I considered:

exterior outdoor wall lantern options for makeover

How to paint french doors and patio door makeover video

See a video of this painting and patio door makeover in action on my Instagram stories and on YouTube!

How to paint french doors


1. Remove the door hardware

Use a screwdriver to remove the existing door hardware. This will make painting it much easier!

door hardware removed

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. You can use 120 or 150 grit sandpaper.

3. Clean the door with a degreaser

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

cleaning the french doors

Let it dry.

4. Prime the door

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

Now, this is where Brandon and I tested out a new painting hack to make painting around all of the french door grids easier, so that we didn’t have to use painters tape.

Painters tape would take a long time for all of these grids and it doesn’t always work great on glass. I also considered using painters mask, but I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews.

Painting french doors painting hack

We used a Drywall tool and a 4 inch putty knife scraper with the edge wrapped in painters tape (for easy clean up). We used these two tools to help hold between the glass and the french door grids while cutting the grids in with a paint brush and the primer.

how to paint french doors using a drywall tool

This painting hack worked really well! It wasn’t perfect, but if any paint seeps under the tool onto the glass it can be scraped off at the end.

Next, use a small roller to finish priming the door.

priming the door

Let it dry.

5. Paint the french door

I love a black door, especially for exterior doors! So, we used an exterior paint and Black Tricorn by Sherwin Williams. It’s the same color we used on our front porch door makeover. You can’t go wrong with french doors painted black!

Repeat the same process used for the primer but with the paint.

painting french doors with a putty knife tool and paint brush
how to paint an exterior door with glass

Use paintbrush and the painting french doors hack tools to cut in the door.

painting french doors using a drywall tool and paint brush to cut in

Then, finish painting the first coat on the door with a roller.

rolling door with black paint
paint french doors black with a roller

Let it dry and repeat again with a second coat of paint!

6. Scrape off any paint on the glass

If any paint leaked onto the glass, remove it with a razor blade scraper tool.

painting french doors for patio door makeover with french doors painted black

And that’s it! It took some patience painting all of the door grids, but it was well worth it! Also, we did paint the door trim too, with exterior paint in Alabaster by Sherwin Williams.

how to paint french doors for patio door makeover with french doors painted black
patio exterior door painted black with outdoor wall lantern and white concrete planter

I think our patio door makeover looks great! Such a transformation from before! What do you think? I hope this how to paint french doors tutorial and patio door makeover has been helpful!

Don’t forget to check out how to paint a metal door too!

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Saturday 15th of June 2024

I like it! You’re right, black paint makes a feature, like a door, to stand out and give a fresh contemporary look. Great job!

Angela Marie Made

Monday 17th of June 2024

Thank you!!