There are a lot of components to our house that my husband and I have worked on during its renovation, where we’ve had to learn skills we didn’t already know. What we always tell our family and friends, is that our house is truly homemade. A humble space full of hiccups and patch-ups, and made for learning and constant improvement.
Although it would have been clever to have honed in on these skills before applying them to our house, we are both still so grateful for the results we have achieved. Through this learning, we have gained the confidence to take on new, and otherwise daunting, projects. The painting of our internal French doors was just one of these much-needed updates.
Step 1: Sand, Smooth and Prep
Getting your space protected from paint is a huge priority. We have had to learn the hard way that any splatters are a hassle to remove. So make sure your floors and any nearby trim or walls, are covered. We often used cardboard from leftover boxes, and flat plastic sheets to protect our surroundings. When it comes to timber, and in our case timber joinery on the french doors, we had to patch any gaps or holes first before sanding. Patience and a good podcast are all you need to get through the sanding. Once your surface is smooth and particle-free, it’s time to cover the glass panels within. I wasn’t confident enough to just paint on the glass, so we taped up the outer edges of each panel to be safe.
Tip 2: Paint in Sequence
After priming the timber (you can skip this step if you are painting over an existing layer of paint), we found it more efficient to paint each door in sequence. That is, we would paint- from top to bottom- each inner panel first, before neatly going over the outer facing framework. The door sides would come next, followed by the same pattern on the other side of the door. This method ensured that we caught any drips along the way, and allowed the brush strokes to be even and smooth across each section.
Tip 3: Give it time
We painted a coat at a time, and after the second coat, we left the doors to dry for another day, before attaching the hardware. The paint we used was oil-based and takes a good 24 hours to set properly. If you do happen to get any drips or overlapping of paint on your glass panes, just run a small shaving blade under them, making sure that the blade is always angled flat towards the surface and never cutting the glass.
Why should you take on painting projects in your house?
Although I can’t admit to it being a time-saver, it is a big money saver. If you have the patience to give it a try, then go for it! Start small, with a feature wall, or closet, and very quickly you will find that it’s not as hard as it looks. Plus, painting is one of those tedious jobs that gives you almost immediate satisfaction. After all, a lick of paint can do so much to an otherwise tired space.