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How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks? (Step By Step Guide)

How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks? (Step By Step Guide)

The door is one of the first elements that people see in your house. A good door, with fine finishes and a good coat of paint, is like a good trailer when going to the cinema to see a movie, it anticipates how good the subsequent experience will be.

Painting doors can be a simple task, but painting it properly, without paintbrush marks that denote a professional paint job, may require a few tricks.

In this article, we are going to teach you everything you need to know when doing a project like this at home. We will give you step-by-step instructions on how to paint a door without brush marks as professional painters.

Tool You’ll Need

Having a list of all the materials you are going to or may need will make your job easier and save you time and money.

  • Paint rollers. We recommend foam rollers as they have rounded edges, do the job better when painting in tight corners, and help avoid brush marks in the process.
  • Brushes of different sizes for a more precise and delicate finish.
  • Paint sprayer. This tool is optional since most people do not venture to spray paint their doors. However, they are very easy-to-use tools with which you can easily avoid brush marks. Here the only thing that must be taken into account is how to apply the layers of paint and not overdo the application and that everything is even.
  • Sawhorses. This tool is indispensable if you decided to paint your doors with a paint sprayer. We do not recommend that you do it with the door installed, it will always be better to unscrew it and put it on the sawhorses, in a clean and dust-free space.
  • Orbital Sander
  • Vacuum Cleaner. It is important to clean our work area before starting otherwise, dust or dirt will adhere to the surface of the door and the paint will not have maximum adhesion.
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper. The sand grain varies by task, so get light, medium, and coarse-gritted sandpaper
  • Paint Conditioner
  • Primer
  • Painters tape
  • Putty knife
  • Putty and caulk

Note: Some Tools are optional and replaceable. You don’t have to collect all tools mentioned above.

How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks: Step-By-Step Guide

How To Paint A Door Without Brush Marks: Step-By-Step Guide

Step1: Choosing the ideal paint

Choosing the right paint for your project is the first thing to consider. You must evaluate the kind of door you want to paint and where that door will be located. It is not just about choosing your favorite paint.

  • The location of the door: It is not the same to paint an interior door of the house as painting the front door. In the case of exteriors or entrance doors, you must take into account that the paint you choose must be resistant to water and weather adversities so that it has a better duration and lifetime.
  • The color: You should also take into account the color and if that color is functional for your door. If, for example, what you are looking for is practicality, but you are considering painting your door white, that would not be the best decision, since white gets dirty easily and dents or any mark, no matter how small, is noticeable.
  • The painting instruments: You should also take into account the instruments with which you are going to paint. The type of paint varies if you are thinking of painting your doors with a paint sprayer or with traditional paint brushes and rollers.
  • The material of the door: Finally, take into account the material of your door, since painting a wooden door is not the same as painting a metal door. But most projects use water-based latex paint or “enamel” paint. Water-based paint is weather-resistant, adheres very well to surfaces, and dries evenly and evenly, helping you achieve a smooth finish without brush strokes. Semi-gloss latex paints are also a great option for avoiding marks.

Step2: Decide whether or not to take the door off its hinges

Most people do not bother to unscrew the door to paint it, but if you want a perfect finish it is recommended to do so. Not only will it be easier to paint and maneuver, but the drying process will also be better and the paint will have more time to level out and you will have a better finish.

If you are going to leave the door in one place it is fine. Just make sure you clean the place well before painting, use the vacuum to clean all the dust from the place, then mop the floor and wait until it’s dry.

You will also need to put painter’s tape on all the edges where you don’t want the paint to get. And we recommend that you place a large piece of plastic on the floor or that you paste newspaper on all the edges so that the paint drops do not stain other areas of the house.

Step3: Door sanding

If your door has previous paint jobs, it is essential that you sand it. In addition, sanding will help the paint adhere more easily.

Start with coarse sandpaper to quickly remove any blemishes, dents, or brush marks from previous jobs.

Take advantage of this process to caulk all the holes or dents that the passage of time has left on your door.

After sanding the door, wipe it with a damp microfiber towel to remove all sanding dust. If you are still not satisfied, you can sand a second time but with lighter-weight sandpaper.

If you have an orbital sander, we recommend that you use it as it will make the job easier and faster.

After you are done sanding, use the vacuum again to remove all the dust and prepare to apply the paint.

Step4: Apply primer

Apply primer

This step is only required if your door has never received a coat of paint. All doors that have not been painted before need coats of primer. If this is not the case, skip this step.

Step5: First coat of paint

Semi-gloss latex paints are a great option if you want to avoid brush marks on your doors. Remember that you have to evaluate which is the best paint for the type of work you want to do.

Another great tip when applying paint is to avoid brushes and use high-quality rollers. But if it is easier for you to paint with a brush, use it for the flat and large parts, avoiding its use for details or corners.

After brushing, you can go back to a light coat of paint with a foam roller, which features rounded, flexible edges, getting into tricky corners and grooves.

To use the brush, you must dip it slowly from the tip to the end of the strands. Then tap the ends of your brush into the paint bucket and wait for the excess paint to drip off.

Remember that we do not want to stain the floor or other areas of the house with paint. So if you are going to use paint, take enough time to always repeat this process and make it as neat as possible.

Step6: Sand after each coat of paint

After each layer of primer and paint, we recommend that you sand the door again so that the final result is of high quality and with a very smooth finish.

You should wait for the first coat of primer and paint to dry completely before you start sanding. Then wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth or towel and wait for the door to clear again before applying the second coat of paint.

For a great finish, you need at least two coats of paint and primer.

Tips for a professional painting

Tips for a professional painting

  • Always paint in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Not all parts of the door have the same grain direction, so pay close attention to those details. Painting perpendicular to the grain of the wood creates brush marks.
  • Apply light coats of primer and paint. It is preferable to apply several thin coats of paint to the door to ensure a good job, instead of applying a thick coat of paint that has greater coverage, but at the same time a greater risk of leaving marks.
  • Good leveling of the paint is essential to avoid leaving marks. Thin the paint with a conditioner instead of using water. This will allow the paint to dry slowly and give the paint coat time to even out.


As you can see, painting a door without leaving brush stains in the process is easy to do, but you must be careful with the painting process and not skip any of the steps that we have discussed in the article for an optimal result.

Remember to plan well how you want to paint your door, collect all the materials and proceed slowly. It is better to delay and carry out the processes with patience so that your door is perfectly painted and looks like the work of a professional.


Thursday 17th of March 2022

Hey, You explained so well. Now, painting a door is so easy for me to start working !

Karen miller

Thursday 10th of February 2022

I’m on my 5 or 6th coat of paint trying to paint my f exterior door fiberglass - so unhappy. Tried on my own - I painted several interior doors no problem- so discouraged- can I fix it?


Sunday 11th of September 2022

That is too many coats, it won’t be smooth. Two coats is ideal, maybe 3 but any more is going to just make it worse.


Saturday 28th of August 2021

What is the ideal nap size for painting a door in a level position with a mohair roller to get a smooth (no stipple) finish. Thanks


Friday 17th of September 2021

Thin roller thin paint fast thin coats. Sanding between coats

Pauline Kehoe

Friday 2nd of July 2021

I have found a treasure of information here. To follow the guidelines suggested would be fantastic if one had the means & room! A saw horse is not an option for me!

Susan Marshall

Thursday 28th of October 2021

Well you need is two chairs.