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Painting A Metal Door With Rustoleum: 7 Easy Steps In This DIYer’s Guide

Metal doors hold great strength and weather resistance, which is why they are installed almost in every home. However, these doors are prone to rust, and hence, you need to paint them to keep it protected from external elements. Painting a metal door with Rustoleum protects them from scratches and give them a brightened appearance.

So, if your home has a metal door and it needs repainting, you surely have numerous paint options to consider. But how you can repaint the metal door?

The process is simple and requires only some preparation. Check out in this post!

What Paints Are Best For Metal Doors?

painting a metal door with rustoleum

Both oil-based and water-based paints are suitable for metal doors, though but have their benefits and limitations. Buy a paint that is mentioned to be rust-free and holds resistance to fade. It is because your door will be exposed to numerous external elements.

Whether you go for latex paints or acrylic paints, both are convenient to clean. These paints are easy to apply and dry fast. Oil-based paints, but, hold more resistance to rust. 

painting a metal door with rustoleum: How Is It Done?

1. Remove The Hardware And Door

Painting a door is a time-consuming task. To ensure it finishes fast, it is best to remove the door. Use the proper equipment for this like a screwdriver to pull out the hinges of the door. Remove the door carefully. 

2. Use A Degreaser For Cleaning

Wash the door deeply using a degreaser cleaner. Go through the manufacturer’s instructions before doing this. Dry the door using a towel.

3. Get Rid Of Old Paint

If the old paint on your door is flakey, strip it well using a heat gun or paint stripper. Avoid using an abrasive material to remove the existing paint as it can damage the surface. 

It is best if you remove the old paint in a properly ventilated area. It is because the paint stripper releases fumes. Additionally, wear eye and lung protection for safety.

4. Use Sand Paper On The Door

After removing the paint, you need to sand down the door. This is an important step that allows the primer and paints to bond well with the door. Sand the door gently and don’t put too much pressure on the sandpaper. 400-grit sandpaper is suitable. 

After sanding, wipe off the surface using a damp cloth. This will remove leftover dust easily. 

5. Apply Primer

Once a smooth surface is prepared, you may roll on the first layer of primer using a short-nap roller. Let the primer dry. For recessed panels, you may use a small brush to apply the primer inside the panels. 

Let the primer dry. Apply another coat of the primer, if required, just like the way you applied the first coat. 

6. Apply Paint

It is time to apply paint to the door. For this, use a paint roller. Apply the paint first on flat areas. Then use an angular brush to paint the corners or paneled areas. You may use semi-gloss paint or exterior sating paint.

You need to apply at least two coats of exterior paint to get a smooth finish. Before you apply another layer, allow the first layer of the paint to dry. You may check the manufacturer’s instructions to learn the number of paint coats to apply. 

Work on one side of the door at a time. The paint must dry before you touch it. After finishing the paint work, you must allow the door to dry entirely. This may take at least 12 hours. 

7. Refix Hardware And Door

When the painting process is completed, you may carefully refix the hardware to the door and rehang the door. 

When Should I Seek A Professional?

It is quite difficult to apply paint to your door. It is because the improper application can lead to imperfections. It, is, therefore, a wise idea to hire a professional to repair your door and paint it seamlessly. 

A professional can finish the job fast and offer a seamless finish. 

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Q1. How can I treat rust spots on my metal door?

A1. Sanding down your door and treating them using a rust inhibitor can help you treat the rust spots. After this continue the priming process and paint. If your door is damaged or has holes, you must replace it fully.

Q2. Why does the door paint flake after completion?

A2. If the door surface is poorly prepared, it will result in flakey paint. To make sure the paint sticks strongly to the door’s surface, you must prepare the surface well. For this, remove oil, dirt, grease, and other substances from the door by priming it correctly.

Q3. Is it necessary to sand the door before painting?

A3. If your paint is peeling or flakey, you don’t have to sand the door. Do priming before repainting it to ensure the new paint bonds well. 

Q4. How long should I wait between two coats of paint?

A4. The duration for which you need to wait between coats of paint depends on the kind of paint you choose. Read the instructions mentioned in the paint’s box. Check the paint by gently touching it to make sure it completely dries. Usually, paint takes 1-3 hours for drying.


Fresh paint can uplift the appearance and strength of your metal door. It can alter the look of the entire façade. However, proper painting of the door needs careful preparation and proper drying. So, follow all the steps of painting a metal door with Rustoleum to get better results and if needed hire a professional to finish the job quickly. 

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