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How To Paint A Door With A Roller

Using a roller is a great way to achieve a high-quality, quick and easy paint finish, but can you use a roller on a door? Even one with panels?

Well, I know one way to find out for sure, and that is to paint a door.


All great paint jobs start with good prep work. Doors are no different, if you put in the effort here ut will really show in the final result.

Remove the door handle

I like to remove the full door handle before painting. I feel you just get a perfect finish this way. I know a lot of people will just mask up the handle, and that’s fine, but for me, you always seem to end up with a bit of paint on the handle somewhere.

If you are going to remove it then just remove all the screws on both sides and then the handle should come apart.

Remove The Handle
Remove The Handle

Removing the handle only add 10/15 minutes to the job and means you get perfectly clean lines around it, guaranteed!


After removing the door handle we want to sand the door. Use a really high grit paper for this, I used 240 grit, as we are just scuffing the door up and removing any existing run in the paint.

If you used too rough of a paper here then you could leave gouges in the door which will not be covered by the paint. We don’t need to remove the existing paint but just make it a better surface for the fresh paint to adhere to.

Sand With High Grit Paper
Sand With High Grit Paper

If the door has already been painted before then hunt for existing runs while you are sanding. If you don’t sand them flat now then you will see them through your new paint coat.

Also keep an eye out for scuffed areas, particularly near the handle where the door gets a lot of contact.


Now we have sanded the door we need to clean it. This is to remove all of the dust we just made by sanding it but also any grease and grime.

I like to use sugar soap for this as it is really good at removing grease. Just give it a few sprays of sugar soap and then wipe down.

Like we did when we were sanding we want to pay close attention to the area around the handle. This is where peoples hands will have been touching the door so is very likely to be greasy.

Even if it looks clean there may be hidden grease which could ruin your paint finish.

Clean With Sugar Soap
Clean With Sugar Soap

Dust Sheet

I like to have a dust sheet under the door. This is just to catch any drips or drop spots you might have.

Lay A Dust Sheet Under The Door
Lay A Dust Sheet Under The Door

Painting The Door

Now we have done with all that prep it is finally time to talk paint. For this job, I will be using Dulux satinwood as it is just the paint all of my interior doors are painted with.

For the roller I am using a 4″ mini roller with a mohair sleeve. The gloss sleeve is from pro dec and actually worked really well for me leaving a super smooth surface.

Left A Really Smooth Finish
ProDec 4" Gloss Pile Mohair Mini Paint Rollers and Frame
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08/11/2022 02:48 pm GMT

Painting the flat surfaces with the roller is incredibly easy and fast, it really makes short work of the job.

Satinwood Paint
Satinwood Paint

Have A Brush On Hand

Even though we are painting this door with a roller it is a good idea to keep a brush nearby.

You never know where you might need the brush, either to catch a paint run or get into some awkward corner that the roller just won’t reach.

I never used it but I had this brush out and ready just in case.

Keep a brush on standby too
Keep a brush on standby

Start On The Flat

I like to start painting the door by painting the large flat areas. These are really easy to paint and help you to get the roller fully loaded up with paint before you tackle the tougher areas.

The tougher areas on this door will obviously be the panels, but to be perfectly honest, they weren’t hard to paint at all. In fact, I thought they would be much more of a pain than they proved to be.

Painting The Panelling
Painting The Panelling

To get into the corners of the panelling just use the edge of the roller. It works really well and doesn’t take too much effort.

When it comes to doing the other side of the panel just reverse the roller and away you go again.

Flip The Roller To Paint The Other Side
Flip The Roller To Paint The Other Side

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