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How to Paint or Stain Your Doors

paint your door

Your home’s front door: it’s one of the first things visitors see. So it makes sense that it should be beautiful and welcoming. As such, many people choose to paint or stain the door to make it pop. While this is a great home improvement DIY, there are some things you’ll want to remember.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of painting or staining your door like a pro. Let’s dive in.

To Paint or Stain: That is the Question

If you’re considering giving your door a fresh pop of color for spring, you need to choose between paint and stain. Ultimately, the product you use depends on the door’s material.

Here at Lee’s Glass, for example, we install “smooth” fiberglass doors that you can paint, but not stain. We also install “rough” textured fiberglass doors (from brands like PlastPro & Masonite) that you can paint or stain.

If you want a vivid pop of color, consider installing a door that you can paint. While stains come in some vibrant hues, you won’t find a periwinkle or violet shade for your door. If you prefer a deep, natural-looking door, a stain may be the way to go. While both are long-lasting and easy to apply, the finished products look very different.

The Dos and Don’ts of Painting (or Staining) Your Door

Now that you’ve settled on a method, it’s time to get to work! Here are a few do’s and don’ts to guide you:


  • Consider a neutral shade if you plan to sell. While an indigo front door can be fun, neutral colors like gray, black, and brown are classic and universally appealing. Because of this, they’re the best choices if you plan to sell your home soon. If you want to stain your door, choose a finish that emphasizes the door’s natural grain or material pattern.

  • Choose the right solution. In Florida, the heat, humidity, and salt air are tough on front doors. With this in mind, pick a paint or stain that can withstand the elements. Latex exterior paints provide weather-resistant coverage, for example, while paints with built-in rust protection are ideal for metal doors. Stains, meanwhile, help seal your door and protect it from water and salt damage over time.

  • Consider the surroundings. If you’re not sure which paint or stain hue to choose, look to the door’s surroundings. Landscaping and exterior glass can become sources of inspiration. For a cohesive look, pick a shade that ties in well with both.


  • Use the same paint for your interior doors. If you’ve painted interior doors in the past, don’t think you can translate that color outside. The paint won’t hold up to the elements, and the color will look different in natural light.

  • Ignore the windows. If you have original or replacement windows near the door, make sure you’re not ignoring the trim there or around the front door. Keeping a consistent color scheme will help maintain the character of the home.

  • Forget to prepare. Good painting or staining requires some prep work. Don’t forget to prepare the door, tape the surrounding areas, and put down some drop cloths to prevent drips.

A More Beautiful Front Door Starts Here!

Painting or staining your front door doesn’t have to be complicated! With these simple tips, you can get a beautiful front entryway in no time at all. Still have questions about which materials to use, or which door option is right for you? Contact Lee’s Glass. We specialize in exterior door sales and installation, as well as replacement windows! We are a Veteran Owned company and here for all your window and door needs!

"The Lee's installation crew was very clean, polite and professional. We cannot believe the difference the new windows made to our house."
- Bobby