Should You Paint Your Steel Doors And Windows?
Steel doors and windows are great choices for almost any home. They provide a variety of benefits over other types of doors and windows, including great durability, high energy efficiency, low maintenance, beautiful design, and more.
However, just like most elements of your home, prolonging the useful life of steel doors and windows requires regular maintenance to keep them rust-free and in good working order. Whether you want to protect them from the elements, or you just want to update the aesthetics of your home, you may be considering painting your home’s steel doors and windows. But should you?
Should you paint your steel doors?
Yes. You should paint your home’s steel doors. Painting steel doors with the right type of paint will help ensure its durability against the elements and prevent it from rusting, in addition to adding to the design aesthetic of your home.
If you’ve purchased an off-the-shelf steel door option, it will probably come with a coat of primer, but no paint. If you’ve purchased a custom steel door, it will likely come finished with the paint of your choice.
If you want to paint an existing steel door, you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty information, especially if you have a custom or specialty door. In some cases, making changes to the finish of your steel door can void the door’s warranty. If you just have a standard steel door, then painting it won’t be an issue.
Should you paint your steel windows?
For steel windows, just as with steel doors, you should check the recommendations and warranty information from the manufacturer. In some cases, painting steel window frames, especially older steel windows is no problem. For newer steel windows, altering the finish on the windows could void the warranty, so it’s important to do your research before starting a painting project on steel windows.
What kind of paint is best for steel doors and windows?
When painting steel doors and windows, the success of your finish is going to rely on two important factors: choosing the right type of paint and primer, and following the proper process for preparing and painting the surfaces.
So, what’s the right kind of paint for steel doors and windows? Assuming you’ve checked the manufacturer’s recommendations and you don’t have a specialized coating or other custom finish to consider, the best type of paint for a steel door is acrylic latex exterior paint.
This is the best option, because this type of paint will expand and contract as the door is faced with warm and cold temperatures changes throughout the year. When it comes to painting steel windows, experts recommend going with an acrylic enamel exterior paint, instead of latex to create a harder finish and better stand up to the elements.
What’s the process for painting steel doors?
The process for painting steel doors is pretty straightforward.
- Check your warranty to ensure painting your door is allowed under the terms of your door’s manufacturer’s warranty. In some cases, painting the door is required for the warranty to be valid. In other cases, painting the door could void the warranty.
- If possible, take the door off the hinges, so you can paint it laying down. This isn’t required, but it’s much easier to evenly paint a horizontal surface than a vertical one. Laying the door down will also eliminate drips in the paint.
- Remove any hardware like doorknobs, knockers, etc, when possible. If the hardware can’t be easily removed, then tape over and around it to avoid getting paint on it.
- The next step is to prepare the door for paint. The process for this step will depend on what your current door looks like. To start, you’ll want to clean and degrease the entire door. Then, if there’s any chipping or cracked paint, you’ll need to remove the old paint with a paint stripper or heat gun.
Don’t use an abrasive to remove paint, because you risk damaging the surface of the door. Once you’ve removed any old flaking paint, you should lightly sand the entire door to create a good surface for the paint to stick to. Be sure to use a light grit sandpaper and be careful not to damage the surface of the door.
If you’ve stripped the door down to the original surface, you’ll want to start with a primer before painting. Wipe the door down to ensure there’s no dust on the door before painting.
- Once the door is properly prepared, it’s time for paint. You should use a foam paint roller for the flat areas of the door and an angled sash brush for any grooves or panels. Each side should get a minimum of two coats of paint, and each coat should be allowed to dry completely before another coat is added. Allow the entire project to dry for at least 12 hours before reinstalling.
- Once the paint is set, you can remove the tape, replace any hardware and reinstall the door.