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How to Paint a Fiberglass Door: Easy Steps To Follow

How to Paint a Fiberglass Door: Easy Steps To Follow

One of the most vital aspects of any house is the door; it can make or mar the house aesthetically and safety-wise. Fiberglass doors are becoming more popular, and while they are typically durable, painting them can protect them even further.

Protecting your door is not the only reason for painting a fiberglass door. A painted door can also provide a weather seal that nothing else can. Besides, you can select your preferred color and beautify your home’s exterior since fiberglass is usually used for front and back doors.

However, there are specific steps for painting the door, and this article discusses them to help you do a perfect DIY job. Read on to learn more about choosing the right paint and correctly applying it.

Painting a Fiberglass Door – Picking the Right Paint

Picking the Right Paint

The first thing to note is that fiberglass comes in five types: S-glass, AE-glass, E-glass, C-glass, and A-glass. Each type behaves in different ways and comes with different attributes. So, the paint type you use may differ from one to another.

In other words, you must select the paint for the door based on the fiberglass type. Three types of fiberglass paint finish are available: low gloss, regular gloss, and high gloss paint. Each paint type has pros and cons, and you must remember them while deciding on the paint to use.

Selecting the Best Gloss Finish

Low gloss paint works best if you want a conservative look. It does not make your door shine but protects it like other paint types. So, check the gloss on the paint if you want a fairly shiny look on your door.

Regular gloss provides a medium shiny look; the door will not be too shiny or dull. Like the low gloss paint, regular fiberglass paint does not draw attention to your fiberglass door but is not as flat as the former.

Your door will not be the primary attraction but will have the waterproof protection required to increase its durability. The high gloss fiberglass paint makes your door shine and ensures it stands out from the others in the area. If one of your aims is to draw attention and beautify the door, use high gloss fiberglass paint.

Requirements and Tools for Painting a Fiberglass Door

Requirements and Tools for Painting a Fiberglass Door

Before you begin painting, you must gather your tools and other requirements. Apart from the paint, which is the primary requirement, you must get a primer and the correct brush. The brush must have soft bristles to prevent ruining the door’s finish. Other requirements and tools are:

  • Painter’s tape
  • Synthetic paint brush
  • Paint tray
  • Newspaper
  • Sponge and a dry cloth

You can buy all these items except the newspaper; old newspapers will do the job. Alternatively, you can borrow the required tools if you will not need them after painting your door; it will save you some money.

A Quick Guide for Painting Your Fiberglass Door

A Quick Guide for Painting Your Fiberglass Door

The following is a step-by-step guide for painting your door if you are a DIYer:

Step One: Prepare Yourself

The first step is to prepare yourself and your environment before picking a primer or paintbrush. Ensure you have enough ventilation to prevent excessive inhalation of paint fumes. Consider using a small fan or wearing a mask if the fan is unavailable.

Also, check the temperature in the area to ensure it is right for painting. It must not be below fifty degrees or above ninety degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise, it becomes too harsh for the paint. In other words, the temperature must be between fifty and ninety degrees Fahrenheit for the best paint job.

Additionally, wear gloves and protective eyewear. The eyewear keeps paint from injuring your eyes, and the gloves prevent your skin’s natural oil from mixing with the paint and marring its finish or color when it dries.

Step Two: Clear the Door of Weatherstripping

Many doors have weatherstripping for proper protection. If that is the case, you must clear the door of weatherstripping before cleaning and preparing it for painting. There should be some manufacturer’s instructions for removing it, but you will need a soft-bristled brush.

Afterward, check for any leftover weatherstripping and ensure complete removal with the brush or a soft cloth. The cloth must be dry because wetness can make the job difficult. The bottom line is to ensure the door is clear before moving to the next step.

Step Three: Clean the Door

After removing the weatherstripping, the next step is to clean the door of dirt and other debris. Get a container of warm water and add some drops of dish soap. Use the sponge to clean the door by dipping it in the water and soap mixture and gently scrubbing it.

Ensure you reach every part of the entire door, removing every dirt from the top to bottom as you wipe it. Next, rinse the door of soap residue with a clean but damp sponge. This may take some time, especially if you earlier used excessive soap.

The point is to ensure there is no soap on the door after rinsing it. Then, give it some time to dry before sanding it, which may take a few hours, depending on the weather.

Step Four: Apply Protective Cover on the Hardware

Apply Protective Cover on the Hardware

Now, you must protect all the parts of the door that do not need painting from paint splashes or drops. Use painter’s tape on the doorknob, glass part, frame, door jamb, and other parts to protect them. You must be as thorough as possible and reach every part for effective coverage.

Some people may choose to remove the door from its frame before painting. This method makes the job easier and produces excellent results, although removing and installing the door is stressful.

However, if you paint the door while still attached to the frame, put pieces of old newspaper on the area and floor under it; dry rags also work if newspapers are unavailable. The point is to protect every area while painting, including the floor, especially if it is wood.

Step Five: Apply the Primer

Not every fiberglass door will need a primer. If the door is not old and weathered, you can begin painting without applying primer. Primer is usually necessary for old doors because it smoothens the surface and makes painting easy.

However, the choice of whether or not to use primer is yours; as mentioned, the paint goes on smoothly on the door when you use primer as a base. Stir or turn the primer for some minutes and pour some into the paint tray. Ensure you have adequate air circulation while doing this.

Use the painter’s synthetic brush to apply the primer to the edges of the door. Take it a little at a time to avoid applying excess primer to the areas that need painting. Avoid using a spray gun to apply it unless you have mastered the art of using it; otherwise, you waste the primer.

Move to the other parts of the door and apply primer to them. If these parts are wood, follow the grain pattern for a smooth application. Do not apply too much too fast to avoid muddling the parts you want to paint.

Step Six: Apply the Paint

You must give the primer time to dry completely before applying the paint. In most cases, the primer will need a few hours to dry, so you may want to do other things while waiting. Afterward, apply the paint one layer at a time.

The first coat should be light and smooth, and ensure it is as even as possible. Wait for this layer to dry before applying a second one; you risk damaging the paint job if you use too many coats too quickly. You do not need too many paint coats to achieve the finish or effect you want; one or two layers will do. Applying too much paint may ruin the results.

Note that you can repeat the steps above on the exterior side of the door or other fiberglass doors around your house. However, if the door is inside the house and does not face the outside, you must be mindful of the ambient temperature and ventilation.

Best Paint Types for a Fiberglass Door

There are three types of paint for use on a fiberglass door: acrylic paint, stain & varnish, and alkyd paint. Top-quality, one hundred percent acrylic fiberglass paints provide an excellent gloss finish. The finish is the same as regular gloss paint but more attractive and draws attention.

Stain & varnish paint works for exterior fiberglass doors and provides the best wood-grain finish. Apply the gel stain thinned with mineral spirits and the varnish afterward to protect the stain.

Alkyd paint also provides an excellent finish because it is oil-based. And although it takes a long time to dry, leaving the door open for a few hours solves the problem.


Knowing how to paint your fiberglass door saves time and money. Doing an excellent job improves its capacity to withstand the worst elements and its durability. Besides, you get better energy efficiency in your house with a fresh and well-painted door, reducing your electricity bills.

Follow this simple guide for the best DIY job on your door. However, you must select the right paint for your fiberglass door type; some paint types provide more gloss than others. Some paint types, such as alkyd, wear out too fast under UV rays.


Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Can you provide instructions on how to refinish a fiberglass door? I stained ours with a gel stain and put a poly on top for protection. I haven’t fell in love with it over the past two years so I want to try to redo it and paint it this time. Our door is a textured fiberglass door.


Noah Enholm

Thursday 21st of October 2021

what kind of paint do you use for Fiberglass? I usually use Rust-Oleum to paint Fiberglass.


Monday 28th of September 2020

I just finish painting my new fiberglass door with 100% acrylic paint I was just wondering do I need to put a coat or can I put a coat on it that would protect it from the sun didn't realize that a darker color can fade is there anything I can put on there so the color won't fade.

Baritt Neeman

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Hi guys, this is my experience with fiberglass painting and staining. I work for a fiberglass door manufacturer name Nova Doors and we use a water based product called TruCoat.Us for painting and staining our fiberglass doors. It is made specifically for fiberglass doors so it doesn’t require any special primers, is super durable and lays down really smoothly. Worth checking! We are super satisfied with it!


Wednesday 17th of March 2021

Where is this paint sold? TruCoat.Us???

Thomas pierce

Sunday 13th of September 2020

Where is it sold (Chicago) ?