Your front door is important – it is the place where you greet family and friends, and it should reflect your personal taste and style. As trends change, you might feel like the color that worked when you moved in doesn’t really cut it anymore, and the good news is that you can brighten up your home and enhance your curb appeal without a costly door replacement.

Painting Your Wood or Fiberglass Door

Painting your front door is a great option for most doors, as you can easily change colors as often as you like. If you are painting a wood door that is new, you will need to apply a protective finish first. If painting a fiberglass door, you don’t require this, but wood needs to be protected in order to stand up against the elements. If you are repainting your door, be sure to use a primer first so that the new color adheres well to the surface.

Here is what you’ll need to paint your wood or fiberglass door:

  • Tarp or drop sheet
  • Bonding primer (if necessary)
  • Painter’s tape
  • A 2-inch brush for any decorative grooves, and a 4-inch for larger spans.
  • Sandpaper
  • Exterior-grade paint
  • Paint stir stick

Position your tarp or drop sheet so that any falling drops of paint don’t ruin the surface below. Gently wash the door with soapy water (dish soap is fine) to achieve a clean surface, then use painter’s tape to block off areas you don’t want to be painted, such as hinges or doorknobs. Sand any rough wood areas and apply the bonding primer to all areas that will be painted, making sure to leave ample drying time before applying paint.

Painting Stage:

Stir your paint thoroughly with a stir stick to make sure any clumps are well blended. Take your small paintbrush and dip it into the paint enough to coat the tip. Paint any recessed or decorative grooves first, making sure to paint with the grain, and then use the wider brush to paint larger areas of the door in the same fashion. Once the door is fully painted, leave the painter’s tape on until drying has completed. This can take several hours, but removing the tape early can smear the paint.

Staining Your Wood or Fiberglass Door

Staining your front door can add a beautiful earth tone to the front of your home. There are some differences between staining a wood door and staining a fiberglass door, so you’ll want to make sure that you are using the right stain product for your application. Oil-based stains are best for fiberglass doors, while gel stains work better on wood.

Here is what you’ll need to stain your wood or fiberglass door:

  • Tarp or drop sheet
  • Acetone
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lint-free rags or soft cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • High-quality oil-based stain
  • Polyurethane sealant

Wipe the door clean of any dust or debris and begin taping off areas that you don’t want to be stained such as door hardware or glass – acetone works great for this. Stir the stain thoroughly before applying to the door and make sure that your drop sheet is in place to catch any drips.

Staining Stage

Staining Your Door
Put your rubber gloves on so that the stain doesn’t come into contact with your skin. Dip a portion of your rag into the stain and wipe off any drips on the inside of the can. Spread the stain evenly to all parts of the door, working in the direction of the grain. Wipe any drips before they dry. Once the stain is dry, you can apply the sealant using a paintbrush.


Please refer to our Care & Maintenance page for additional information on how to paint and stain your Trimlite door.

Why Trimlite?

Our team has been providing high-quality doors since 1992 and we’ve been able to serve customers in four different countries. Our goal is to give you an unmatched selection of interior and exterior doors that support your style and budget. Shop with us today to get ideas for your next door project!