DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Painting Forum (
-   -   Painting Pre-Hung Relia-Bilt Doors (

jef1 11-30-2009 03:39 PM

Painting Pre-Hung Relia-Bilt Doors
Getting several new Relia-Bilt pre-hung doors textured from Lowes. :o I know, I know, "You pays yer money and you takes yer chances w/Big Box stores. I'll be painting them white. The painting directions' sheet says not to prime beforehand and just apply one or two coats of top.

I usually don't paint almost anything w/o a primer. We're not talking bare wood here or light color over dark. But this is a different animal. Any opinions? Can I get away w/o a primer and still get a good painted finish? The jambs, by the way, aren't that smooth finished stuff. I specifically ordered wood. Even though they'll come primed, should I prime the jambs again before painting?

Oh, and any advice on rollers, brushes, etc.? Thanks.

Nestor_Kelebay 11-30-2009 08:39 PM

I wouldn't prime them if the factory says not to. The wood is undoubtedly pre-primed.

If it wuz me, I would paint them with an OIL BASED paint. Use an interior paint if they're interior doors for higher hardness and durability. Use an exterior paint if they're exterior doors. I would use a product called Penetrol (made by the Flood Company) to thin the oil based paint to give it more time to self level. And I'd set the doors up on supports (like saw horses or even plastic 5 gallon pails and paint the top sides of the doors only when they're in the horizontal position. (allow time to dry, turn door over and paint other side) I would use a 3 inch roller to do most of the painting.

Penetrol is basically a thinner for oil based paints. By thinning the paint, not only do you allow it to self level more quickly, but you also extend the drying time. Those two factors both help to eliminate brush strokes from those areas where you have to use a brush.

jef1 11-30-2009 09:23 PM

Thanks, once again, Nestor for the advice and tips on how to approach painting the door. However, it's not wood. It's a composite "textured woodgrain imprint". The instruction sheet said it could be painted or stained to look like real wood. (I guess until you touched it that is.) :) I know the pros would prefer using oil paint, but I'm a latex person myself. Do you think using a latex satin or semi would be okay or work as well? Thanks again. jef

Nestor_Kelebay 11-30-2009 11:24 PM


You'd be better off with oil based paint.

Everyone knows the difference between wet latex paint and wet oil based paint. (Or, at least they think they do.) They think the difference is that you clean one up with water and the other one with mineral spirits.

But, what's the difference between DRY oil based paint and dry latex paint?

One of the most important differences is that the dry oil based paint will have formed a much harder and durable film than the latex paint, and you need a hard durable protective coating on a door. Doors take a lot of abuse, with people trying to get bicycles through them, with people's keys scratching up the paint around the lock, with dogs scratching on them to get in/out of the house, with cats clawing on them (cuz cats will claw on anything they can dig their claws into), with 99% of people opening and closing doors with an open palm rather than the civilized way (by using the door knob), with people hanging stuff on them using metal door hangers and I haven't even talked about what happens when moving day comes.

A door needs a strong durable coating to protect it and keep it looking good as long as possible, and an oil based paint will do that much better than a latex paint because latex paints form much softer films that are more easily scratched and damaged. Latex paints are great on ceilings where it's rare to even see so much as a finger print, and you don't need much protection. Doors lead a different life.

But, it's your house, it's your door and it's your money. You can paint it with latex paint if you want. But, I am giving you my best advice. If you DO opt to use a latex paint, spend more to get any company's TOP of the Line latex paint to ensure you're getting a paint that uses a Plexiglas binder. If you skimp on the latex paint, you're likely to get one that uses a polyvinyl acetate binder, and those have a tendancy to remain slightly sticky even when fully dry. The result is that you have doors that "stick" to the frames or windows that stick to their frames.

jef1 12-01-2009 02:49 PM


Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay (Post 37278)
If you DO opt to use a latex paint, spend more to get any company's TOP of the Line latex paint to ensure you're getting a paint that uses a Plexiglas binder. If you skimp on the latex paint, you're likely to get one that uses a polyvinyl acetate binder, and those have a tendancy to remain slightly sticky even when fully dry. The result is that you have doors that "stick" to the frames or windows that stick to their frames.

I Googled Plexiglas binder paints and lo and behold came across several other posts on this and other forums from your very self :clap: mentioning plexiglass of PMMA paints like this one here:
Paint will not stick in Bathroom! - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum
Followed some of the links you listed there and got even more info (thanks to you). :)

Would you then say that I'd be safe using a Zinsser's Perma White or Sherwin Williams SuperPaint on the doors? (You recommended the Zinsser's in a thread elsewhere for walls, and I searched the SW site and found most of their top-line paints like Duration, Super, Cashmere & Harmony, are all acrylic latex). jef

Nestor_Kelebay 12-01-2009 06:42 PM


I've posted on quite a few DIY sites over the past decade or more. DIY Chatroom was just the most recent one I posted on before coming here. But, what happens is that the moderators of those sites do their spring cleaning every so often and delete lots of old posts. If it wasn't for that, you woulda found more posts by me.

Zinsser's PermaWhite Bathroom Paint is an excellent paint for bathrooms because it uses a PMMA resin that's highly resistant to moisture, and the paint contains mildewcides that kill mildew spores that land on the paint. You need these characteristics in a bathroom, but they won't help in protecting a door from wear and tear.

If you're dead set on using a latex paint on your doors, then go with Sherwin Williams Superpaint. That product uses Rohm & Haas resin # HG95P, which is a cross linking acrylic resin which will provide you with a harder film than regular acrylic latex paints do. But, because it's a latex paint, it's still not going to form as hard and durable a film as an oil based paint would.

The reason why so many top-of-the-line paints are latex paints is only because no paint company is going to be putting any investment in oil based paints anymore. Oil based paints are inherently more polluting because the thinner they use (and which evaporates from the paint) is mineral spirits, which evaporates and causes ground level ozone and smog. With stricter and stricter controls on VOC's of all types, most paint companies see oil based paints as going the way of the dinosaur within the next decade or two. So, they want to get people buying latex paints instead.

With all due respect for those paint companies, oil based paints are inherantly superior to latex paints in most respects. They pollute more and they're messier to clean up, but they stick better and form a stronger more protective film than latex paints.

Albert_23 10-25-2010 11:52 PM

The wood is probably pre-primed, which is why the instructions tell you not to prime it anymore. When in doubt, you should always follow the painting directions.

allanstools 06-22-2013 04:49 PM

Yes I have suggestions for you.
In regard to the priming, if it's wood you should be good to go. If it's steel or fiberglass I'd be temped to sand the gloss off the primer to improve the adhesion. Also if there is any plastic trim I'd get with the paint department in the store where you bought the door, typically the plastic is not primed and requires a special primer for the paint to adhere. I would also recommend that you remove the window assembly to paint the slab so the paint will be under the trim to improve corrosion resistance. If you remove the trim you also have the option of not painting it which in the log term will have dividends in terms of not trying to keep the paint on the plastic. I would take the door off the hinges and paint it flat for best results. There are products that you can buy to extend the flow time of the paint to insure a smoother finish. I have used and recommned them. I also give two thumbs up to Purdy brand paint brushes. The copper ferrels (sp?) are great because they don't rust. They also put down paint better than any other product I've ever used. Even though you pay more for them up front they've really saved me money in the longer term as I've used them time after time as opposed to being a toss away product. Clean them as directed and hang them vertically so the pain doesn't wick up into the ferrel (which makes them stiff).

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:16 AM.