How to choose a paint to paint a metal door?

How to choose a paint to paint a metal door? Paints

Paint for metal door

The entrance door is the calling card of a residential or office building. Due to active use, this object quickly loses its presentable appearance, but you can always update it with paint and a brush.

This solution is especially relevant for products made of metal, which also need protection against corrosion. The question is, what kind of paint for metal doors is the best?

Also read: What paint to choose for a metal fence?

Why can’t you choose regular paint?

Metal doors are usually placed at the entrance to an apartment, office, or entranceway. In the latter case, the coating must be aesthetic, and resistant to dirt, moisture, and temperature fluctuations.

If the door does not look directly at the street, requirements for the durability of coverage can be slightly reduced, but still better to choose with the expectation of long service life.

What does the market offer?

Metal dyeing materials can be divided into groups on various grounds. For example:

  • water-based, nitro-based, or oil-based;
  • liquid or powder;
  • affordable or high-priced, and so on.

Let’s compare a few of the most popular types.

When should you choose oil paint?

A few decades ago, no repair job could do without oil paint, because there was practically nothing to replace it!

And to this day this olive-based material is popular, and for painting metal products it is used especially often.


  • very low price;
  • easy application;
  • the high degree of adhesion to the surface;
  • coating strength, resistance to abrasion;
  • water resistance, and anti-corrosive properties.

An oil-painted metal entrance door will shine like new. The coating will serve for 3-5 years if it is not exposed to weather phenomena in the form of frosts and summer heat.

Lacking elasticity, the cured layer will quickly begin to crack due to temperature changes, flake and leave the surface. Repainting will require the previous removal of the old layer of material, and removing oil paint from iron is not an easy task.

Conclusion: if the repair runs in economy mode, and the stairwell entrance door requires painting, then the oil-based means will serve a good service.

There are also disadvantages:

  • the coating takes a long time to dry (two days);
  • composition is very sharp and has unpleasant smells;
  • emitted into the air are toxic, so the room must be carefully ventilated, and work in a protective mask;
  • over time, the coating becomes dull and yellow.

The range of colors of oil paints is not very diverse, but if there is no need to implement a complex design solution, the shade can pick up.

Is alkyd so bad?

The possibilities of this material are wider than described above. Alkyd paints are suitable for finishing interior and exterior doors. Working with this material on metal is a very practical solution because it perfectly protects the surface from rust.

Other advantages:

  • brightness and richness of shades;
  • choice of matte or gloss;
  • high resistance to mechanical damage, temperature fluctuations, and humidity;
  • fast drying.

Alkyd paints do not shrink, do not crack, and the coating does not lose its fresh shine and brightness for several years even outdoors. Of the disadvantages – fire hazard. The material is classified as flammable.

Will all acrylic paint do?

It is in the medium price segment and is considered one of the most environmentally friendly materials. Acrylic paints are usually in the form of aqueous dispersions with various additives that give the coating specific properties.

It is possible to paint an iron door with an acrylic composition, and it can be the entrance from the street or from the stairwell. On the packaging with the material manufacturers put the label “for exterior work” or “for interior”. Water-dispersion acrylic paint, drying, forms a solid film on the metal surface, resistant to external influences. Today on the shelves you can find even anti-vandal coating based on acrylic. It is often used in outdoor work.


  • the material is practically odorless;
  • the coating dries quickly;
  • the product is easy to apply;
  • the painted surface becomes resistant to moisture, and temperature fluctuations;
  • the color remains even under the influence of ultraviolet light;
  • the coating does not crack.

Due to the water base acrylic paint belongs to the category of fire-safe materials, so it is widely used for painting doors indoors.

Why are most doors painted with hammer paint?

The material is of excellent quality and allows you to get a coating of increased durability. Painting metal doors with hammer paint is a long-lasting finishing option, and the product will look very decorative and elegant. The peculiarity of this material is that after it dries, the surface forms a pattern that imitates the blows of a blacksmith’s hammer.

It is possible to choose a shade of gold, silver, or other metal. Hammer paints with a shagreen effect are also produced, which is very convenient if there are small defects on the surface of the iron door (scratches, dents); these defects can be easily disguised.

The undeniable advantage is a powerful anti-corrosive effect. Hammer paint can be applied directly to the rust, without cleaning and priming the door. It is only enough to remove accumulated dirt and degrease the surface.


  • the coating will even withstand hammering;
  • it does not fear moisture, cold, and heat;
  • service life is more than 10 years.

The only disadvantage of the material can be considered a fairly high cost, but if finances allow, the costs will be justified by the excellent quality.

Blacksmithing – it costs a lot and looks expensive

If the problem is how to paint a metal door to make it a source of pride to the homeowner and the decoration of the entrance to his fortress, you will have to spend money on forge paint. It surpasses even hammer paint in its protective properties. In addition, it is easy to apply and dries within an hour.

An iron door painted with blacksmith’s paint can be transformed into an “antique” piece of noble metal. The material can simulate antique silver or time-damaged gold. If you approach the task with an artistic scope, the surface of the door will appear characteristic of the old metal darkening, greenery, as well as light accents.

Important: a convincing “expensive” gloss and high durability of the coating is possible only when the forge paint is used with a primer and solvent of a similar brand.

Is it worth ordering powder coating?

Painting the door with powder paint at home will not work. It is all about the complexity of the process. The dry dye needs to be sprayed on the product, which should then be placed in a special oven, where the powder is melted and baked. The result is the strongest coating.

Thus performed chrome, paint “gold” or other metals, it is possible to obtain effects shagreen (orange peel), more (grain), or antique. The range of colors is very diverse. The coating will be super durable and can last for decades.

To paint an iron door in this way, you will have to contact an organization that provides such services.

How to paint a metal door yourself?

Working with liquid paints will not cause difficulties. You only need to properly prepare the door for renovation. To do this, it is recommended to remove it from its hinges. Especially important is the horizontal position of the product when finishing with hammer paint, which tends to spread over the surface, due to which the unique effect of artistic forging will not appear if you paint the door, standing vertically.


  • From the product removed hinges handles (if it is not planned to paint them the same color);
  • The lock is sealed with masking tape;
  • The door is cleaned of dirt (soapy water will do) and dried;
  • If the painting is not done with hammer paint, it is necessary to remove the rust with a metal brush or a special cleaner (for
  • Example, auto wiper);
  • A clean canvas is degreased and treated with putty on metal, if the surface has deep scratches, potholes or dents;
  • Coat the surface with rust-preventive primer, dry it;
  • Apply paint.

Of the tools are suitable for and flat brush, paint roller and spray gun. Usually, the material is applied in two layers. After complete drying, the door can be covered with a transparent varnish, but this is not necessary.

More options

So, we have seen the options, what paint and how to paint the entrance door made of metal – a lot! And we have listed not all of them. For example, you should not forget about dyes in spray cans. With their help, you can turn a faceless old door into a bright art object.

It’s worth remembering about fireproofing materials, which are widely used in the finishing of residential areas. And why not use fluorescent paint to design the door? It will be unusual and original: a magical glowing door in the darkness of the entrance or street twilight.

No less useful would be to consider such an option as anti-vandal paint on metal, especially for private residences, garages, and entrances.

Additional Questions

What is the best paint to use on metal doors?

When it comes to painting metal doors, **water-based acrylic paints (often referred to as latex paints) and oil-based paints (also known as solvent-based paints)** are typically the most reliable options. High-quality paints usually provide excellent results on metal surfaces if applied correctly. Having painted numerous metal doors myself, I’d argue that your choice between these two options should be based largely on your personal preference and the specific requirements of your project.

How do you paint a metal door without brush marks?

Achieving a smooth, brush-mark-free finish when painting a metal door requires a bit of technique. The trick is in the paint application—a combination of small-sized rollers and a paintbrush can produce an amazingly flawless finish. **Begin with a brush to paint the door’s edges first, then switch to a roller for the rest of the surface**, especially if it’s flat and panel-free. I advise using a good quality brush that doesn’t shed bristles and a microfiber roller for best results.

Is it better to spray paint or brush paint a metal door?

It mainly depends on your preferences and the complexities of your metal door. If your door is quite featureless, small-sized rollers can create a beautiful finish. However, you should **first use a brush to paint the edges of the door before switching to the roller**. For larger projects or to speed up the process, a sprayer is undoubtedly an excellent choice. I have tried both methods on different projects and I would say that while the spray method is quicker, the brush and roller technique gives you greater control over the finish.

How do you get paint to stick to a metal door?

The key to getting paint to adhere well to a metal door is all in the preparation. Start by **cleaning the door thoroughly to remove any dust, rust, or chipped paint**. Then, use a primer – it’s a product designed to help the paint bind better to the metal surface. Once the primer is dry, you can apply your chosen paint. Depending on the type and color of the paint, you might need two or three coats to achieve the desired effect. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that, and I can assure you that good preparation will make your painting task much easier and the result more durable and pleasing.

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