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How to Paint Door Frames

Painting your door frames can give the whole room a fresh new look. Whether you’re blending in to your existing interior decor or using a contrasting colour to make your walls stand out more, freshening up your door frames with a lick of paint is always a good idea.

So how do you achieve the perfect finish?

We’ve put together a helpful step-by-step guide to get you on your way.

Step 1: Prepare the door frames

We’ve said it a million times on our blog but preparation is everything – regardless of what surface you’re painting. When it comes to your door frames, give them a light rub down with 240 grade sandpaper. This will give the paint a good key to adhere to. Once you’ve done this, make sure you use a dusting brush just to remove any bits of dust that may be left behind.

Tip: pay particular attention to the top of the door frame as you could quite easily miss this area and end up dragging dust along with the brush when painting.

Also make sure to remove the metal plate inside the door frame as these can be tricky to paint around.

Step 2: Protect the floor

To ensure you don’t get any paint on the floor, use some dust sheets to cover it. If you don’t have dust sheets, you can also use old thick curtains or even old wallpaper to protect the floor.

Stick the dust sheets down with masking tape to allow you to reach the very bottom of the door frames.

Step 3: Choose your paint brush wisely

It’s worth noting that you should use a brush that’s either an inch or an inch and a half to paint your door frames. Anything bigger will make your painting less precise. Bigger brushes also hold more paint which increases the likelihood of the paint running down the frame.

Step 4: Start painting the outside of the frame

The first part of the frame that you should paint is the outside edges. The reason for this is because if you painted them last, the brush would travel over the front of the door frame and leave a fat edge on the front of the architrave made up of excess paint. By painting the two outside edges you’ll avoid this problem.

Armed with that knowledge, pop around 5ml of paint onto your paint brush and use downward strokes (about 15cm for each stroke) from the top of the frame to the bottom. Only half of the actual paint bristles will be making contact with the outside of the architrave.

As mentioned above, you’ll probably have some paint that’s built up on the front of the door frame. Wipe any excess off with an old cloth.

Step 5: Paint the top of the frame

The next step is to paint the top of the door frame as shown below.

Working from the outside in, put about a centimetre of paint onto your brush and paint in horizontal strokes.

If your frames are rather decorative, make sure paint doesn’t build up. Having a centimetre of paint on your brush each time should help stop this from happening.

Step 6: Paint the sides of the door frame

Following the same techniques as step 5, now paint the sides of the door frame.

Step 7: Clean up

The best paint for door frames in our opinion is Johnstone’s water based satin so if you’ve gone for this, cleaning up should be a simple process. Simply run your brushes under some water and the paint will easily separate.

If you’ve used an oil based satin or gloss, you may need to thin the paint using white spirit before rinsing it off.