Once you’ve correctly prepared your door for painting, varnishing or staining, remove the handle and wedge the door open. Keep these items nearby in case the door is accidentally closed while being painted.

If you want to paint either side of the door different colours, paint the hinged edge of the door the same colour as the closing face. Choose a separate colour to paint the opening face and outer edge.

Before painting, varnishing or staining your door, make sure the room you’re working in is well ventilated. Paint, stains and varnishes all give off strong fumes which can have side effects if they are inhaled in large amounts.

How to Paint a Panelled Door

Start by painting the door panels and the mouldings surrounding them. Once you’ve done this, move onto the ‘centre vertical’. This is the main piece of wood that runs down the middle of your door from top to bottom. Next, paint the cross-rails which are the horizontal pieces of the door at the top, middle and bottom. Follow on from this by painting the two outer-verticals. These are the tall pieces of wood which cover the entire door at both sides. The final part of painting a panelled door is to paint the three edges around the sides.

How to Paint a Glass Door

The first step in painting a glass door is to cover the glass using either masking tape or a paint shield. After all, the last thing you want to do is to try and remove dried-on paint from these areas! Next, take your cutting-in brush and paint the mouldings surrounding the glass. Then paint the top-rail, gradually working your way down the door. Once these have been painted, move to the outer-verticals. Finish by painting the outside edges of the glass door.

How to Paint a Standard Door

The key to thoroughly painting a standard door is to separate the door into eight imaginary sections. Do not try to tackle the entire door at once. Begin at the top left of the door and work your way across. Once one row is complete, move to the second row and repeat the process until the entire door is painted. While moving in between sections, don’t forget to blend in the previous section. This will help maintain a uniform finish. Always maintain vertical brushstrokes that go along with the wood grain. The final step is to paint the three door edges, and then your project is complete!

How to Varnish or Stain a Door

Before buying your finish and starting your project, make sure that you’ve firstly chosen the correct coloured stain or varnish. It’s surprising just how different a stain or varnish can appear on a piece of wood to how it’s displayed on the tin. To confirm this, take a piece of wood similar to the one you’re going to varnish or stain and test the chosen colour. Once you feel confident, you can then embark on actually staining or varnishing your door.

Start by brushing down the door, and removing all traces of dust with a tack cloth. Using a good quality brush, stain the mouldings and panels, followed by the other parts of the door. Make sure to use brush strokes in the direction of the grain and try to level out uneven edges before they dry.

Work as quickly as possible, applying the stain or varnish evenly along the way. While the finish remains damp, rub the entire door down using a lint-free cloth to even out the finish and eliminate unwanted excess. Achieving a professional finish when varnishing or staining a door is very important, as this guide to painting and decorating by the professional tradespeople at explains.

If the door requires another coat of stain or varnish, lightly sand the entire door down with fine sandpaper. Then wipe down with a tack cloth and apply your second coat. A third coat can be applied if you need a particularly hard wearing finish. If you do decide to do this, you will need to sand the second coat down again.