How to paint a door frame

How to paint a door frame

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Door frames can experience a lot of wear and tear as doors are slammed shut, opened and accumulate dirt and grease in the nooks and crannies.

Plus if you’ve painted your interior door, your door frames will probably now be standing out like a sore thumb. Follow these easy steps and you can quickly have your door frames painted and finished.


What you'll need

  • Masking tape or decorator’s tape
  • Dust sheet
  • Screwdriver
  • Sugar soap and sponge
  • Flat scraper
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush (you may need two, one for the wider areas and another round one to get into the fiddly sections and corner)
  • Paint
  • Step ladder


How to prepare a door frame for painting

Before we start, if you’re painting the door too you should do the frame first. This will ensure you don’t get any paint on your freshly painted door.

You can also choose to paint the frame any colour you want – it doesn’t have to be the same colour as the door. Painting the frame a contrasting colour from the wall will help it stand out. But you can paint it the same colour as the wall and door to help it blend in. If you have a narrow room with lots of doors, low ceilings, or a small room, painting the frame to blend it in will help the room appear larger.

  1. You first need to protect the area around the door frame. Use masking tape or decorator’s tape to surround the door frame and protect your wall from paint. Place a dust sheet on the floor and wedge the door open so you can access the entire frame.
  2. Dust the door frame ensuring you get into every crevice including the latch space. You don’t want dust ruining your finish so keep the door in the doorframe in a vertical position.
  3. Use sugar soap to wash the frame and remove the build-up of dirt and grease. A clean door frame means the paint will stick better for an even finish.
  4. If there’s old flaking paint on the door frame, use a flat scraper to remove it. If the paint isn’t flaking, lightly sand the whole door frame to give the paint a smooth surface to adhere to.
  5. Give the door frame one last wipe down to remove the excess dust and let it dry.
  6. Finally, cover the door hinges with masking tape and unscrew the metal latch in the door frame. 


How to paint a door frame

  1. Grab your paintbrush (use one that’s no wider than the surface you’re painting) and dip it in the paint. Cover roughly half the bristles and wipe away any excess on the rim of the tub.
  2. Hold the brush closer to the bristles for greater control. Start on the inside of the door frame and apply the paint in the middle of the frame. Work in up-and-down motions to spread the paint. This will give you an even finish, helps prevent drips and streaks and means you need to use less paint.
  3. When you come to the inside corner, switch to a rounded brush and gently push the paint into the corner before feathering it back out again. This will help prevent a build-up of paint and will give you an even finish.
  4. Once you’ve painted the inside of the door frame, move to the outside faces of the frame. Use the same technique and apply the paint to the centre of the frame, using up-and-down motions to spread it over the entire frame.
  5. Finally, paint on top of the door frame . You might need a step ladder for this part!
  6. Let the paint dry and inspect it for patches.
  7. Apply a second coat for thorough coverage. Follow the same steps as the first coat.
  8. Remove the decorator’s or masking tape while the paint is still wet.
  9. Wait 24 hours for it to completely dry before screwing back in the fittings you removed.