Painting A New Front Entry Door To Look Like Wood

Painting Entry doors is a time consuming project and this one was no exception.  When the new door has no primer on it the first order of business is to prime the door and the surrounding trim work.  With this door it has a side light also so almost double the work.

One other aspect of most new doors and this one is no exception is that there are 4 types of material involved.  The door itself is made from one kind of wood, then there is the wood frame that was build to hold the door and then there is the additional wood trim around that.  So with this entry door the frame work was built with a composite material and then had real wood trim of two kinds added that.  Some of the trim was pre-primed and some was not.

So the reason I bring this up is you might think staining the door would be a good idea.  However, stain would look different on each material involved.  So you have the wood for the door, then the composite material for the frame and two different types of wood trim.  Four different materials would give you 4 different wood stain looks as the stain would absorb and look different on each part.

If you want all the parts to look the same you have to start from the same base.  So the answer is to paint instead of stain.  The first step is to prime with the same primer and then base coat and then create the wood grain effect.  The first photo is a before look.

 The added element here that took time is that each window has about a half inch reveal going back so I had to paint that also.  I always use a lot of tape in my wood grain projects.  This next photo shows the door primed and taped off to start the steps to create the wood grain.

The trick to getting a real good looking wood grain is to tape off each side and then start the paint stroke on the tape of one side, go across the length of piece you are painting and end the stroke on the tape of the other side.  In the next two photos you can see how the paint stroke ends on the tape and not the door itself.

The next three photos show areas that I have painted to look like wood after the tape has been removed. For this wood color I used a dark warm gray primer then for the first coat of wood grain color I used an off white, then a medium brown and then a charcoal color.

If you look at where the white arrow is pointing too you can see how using the tape makes it look like the wood was cut clean with a saw giving it a crisp edge.  This photo is actually the closest to being a real color match with how the door looks painted.

The next two photos are of the finished door.  The lighting was really hard to deal with and I did paint the exterior of the door also but did not get any better pictures of that.  After the door was painted I applied a good clear coat to both sides.

The plan was to paint the door to go along with the wood flooring but I painted it darker than the floor to give it some separation.


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