How To Paint Doors With Roller

Rollers are arguably the most efficient tools for painting in the market. Many pro painters go with this option compared to hand-held sprayers or brushes. That’s because of the ease and speed rollers provide.

You can skip the tediousness of using a brush by opting for rollers instead. For doors with flat surfaces, they need to be perfect that’s why you must know how to paint doors with rollers

As basic as they are, doors can add aestheticism to a house. That’s why you must look after them and keep their shine always. If they start to show age, it’s time to add some new paints to them.

Rejuvenating aging doors is not so simple. You’ll have to choose the ideal paint and follow the right procedures. Above all, you have to select the best roller for the job.

If you want to know how to paint using rollers, you have come to the right place. We will break down the steps and provide tips on how to paint doors with rollers like a professional.

How to Paint Doors with a Roller

Painting requires making adequate preparations and using the correct tools. The following items are a necessity to give your door a professional look.

  • 180-grit sander
  • Masking tape
  • Paint
  • Tray
  • Stirrer
  • Brush
  • 4” roller
  • Primer
  • Degreaser
  • Damp cloth


  1. Set the Door

First, wedge the door to prevent it from moving during painting. You can also remove it from its hinges if you want. In most cases, it’s recommended to do the latter to enable you to paint the door conveniently.

Simply shift the pin from the hinge with a claw hammer and lay the door on a flat surface like a table. However, if you can’t remove the door from the hinges, wedging is fine. Also, clean the door thoroughly to avoid contaminants getting in the way of the paint.

  • Sand the Door

Use a 120-grit or 180-grit sander to sand the entire surface, including both sides of the door and the corners. Sand lightly and evenly to allow the paint to adhere smoothly. Then wipe the residue with a damp cloth.

For metal doors, apply a degreaser after sanding to smooth the surface and wipe out any residue. Use masking tapes on the handles and areas where you don’t want to paint.

How To Paint Doors With Roller
  • Thin the Paint if Necessary

To use latex on your door, you must thin it with water. Latex is thick and would create a messy surface when applied. Thinning it will result in a smooth application. Even at that, not all latex paint requires thinning as some are less thick than others.

One way to find out is to dip a stick inside the paint and watch the dripping speed. If it drips off too fast or flows freely, it needs no thinning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to thin for best results. After thinning, stir the mixture thoroughly

Oil-based paints may require you to thin them too. If too thick, thin them with an oil-based thinner.

  • Prepare the Primer

Purchase a water-based primer if you are using water-based paint and an oil-based primer for oil-based paint. Priming the door prevents roller marks, seal openings, and cracks, and guarantees the smoothest finishes.

  • Start Priming

Pour the primer into a tray. Dip a paintbrush into it and paint around the door edges. Put the roller inside the primer and roll it up and down the door in even strokes. Allow the primer to dry for at least two hours.

  • Pour the Paint Into a Tray

Pour the paint into a clean tray. Dip the roller inside and start painting from the edges, rolling down midway before going up and down again. Use a brush for the hinges and the cutouts (areas inaccessible to rollers).

How To Paint Doors With Roller
  • Allow to Dry

Once you’ve finished painting, allow the coat to dry before applying the second coat. It’s important you employ this technique to avoid roller marks. Once it’s overly dry, apply the second coat using the above method.   

Rehang the door if removed. Ensure you request some help doing this, as it is more difficult replacing than removing it from the hinges.

Also Reads: 7 Best HVLP spray gun for cabinets

How To Paint Doors With Roller

How to Fix Paint Roller Marks

Sometimes, roller marks or holidays, according to painters, are inevitable. Whether a pro or beginner, a mistake can happen, especially when applying a coat of paint. However, you can avoid them in many ways.

When you notice roller marks on your paint, sanding lightly and applying a second coat usually erases the error. But, what happens if the second coat is also full of holidays?

Below are tips on how to fix the issue.

  • Use ½” roller cover instead of ¼”. The latter is intended for use on ultra-smooth surfaces.
  • Always load more paint to avoid squeezing it out from the roller under pressure.
  • Prime the surface to prevent soaking in.

But, you can avoid roller marks entirely when painting. The best way to do it is to use the right roller. There’s a roller for every job. So, don’t use a roller meant for another job for painting doors. In addition, stay clear of cheap rollers.

Mix your paint thoroughly for an even finish and apply evenly. Don’t allow one area to have a higher concentration than others.  

Best Paint Rollers for Doors

You need to choose the best paint roller for your painting task to be a success. So, what’s the best for doors? It depends on how flat or curvature the door is. For doors with details, mini-foam rollers are perfect options. They are high-density foams for cutouts and panels.

Opt for a 4″ full-sized roller with a ¼” nap roller cover if you have a flat door. It produces smoother and more even finishes.    

Other Ways to Paint Doors

Aside from rollers, you can paint doors using items like brushes. The steps are the same as painting with rollers.

Like rollers, choosing the best brush is complicated due to the several options in the market. The best brush material for doors is microfiber, polyester, foam, or nylon-polyester. These types are durable, ultra-absorbent, and great options for smooth surfaces.

Brushes are not one-size-fits-all. So, you may likely have more than one brush when painting doors. Paintbrushes that measure 2″ – 2.5″ with slanted bristles offer the best maneuverability when painting the panels and edges. 4″ brushes with a flat sash or trim are ideal for applying paint to the entire surface. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Painting with Rollers

  • Don’t apply excessive pressure when painting. Light pressure is all you need.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean the roller after painting, especially after using latex. Rinse the roller under running water until the paint is washed off.
  • Remove the roller cover after you are done painting.

Frequency Ask Question on How To Paint Doors With Roller

  • Is it better to paint a door with a roller or a brush?

Rollers are great for painting doors. However, they don’t offer the same full coverage as the brush.

  • How do you prevent roller marks when painting doors?

Roller marks happen because of various reasons. First, the pattern of painting can cause it. Secondly, applying a coat of paint to a paint that isn’t fully dried can also cause it. Other reasons could be using the wrong type of paint or improper priming.

When you notice roller marks on your paint, wait for the paint to completely dry. Then sand lightly and apply another coat.

  • What type of roller should I use for a door?

For doors, a 4” roller would suffice.

  • Should I thin paint before rolling?

It depends on the paint. Latex paints are typically thicker than oil-based paints. Therefore, it would require you to thin the paint before application.

  • Are cheap paint rollers any good?

Buying a cheap paint roller will only cost you more in the long run. You will spend more time painting due to its low quality. On top of that, it will consume more paint because it has poor holding culture.

  • How often should you change paint rollers?

A high-quality roller should last 4 – 5 cycles before it starts to shed. You can use it repeatedly without jeopardizing the paint application.

  • How do you clean rollers after painting?

Fill the bucket with warm soapy water. Wash the paint roller inside and run it under clean running water to rinse it.

Conclusion on How To Paint Doors With Roller

Painting old doors breathe a new life into them. But, when one isn’t conversant with the procedures, mistakes and regrets are bound to happen. Thankfully, that will no longer be the case.

With each painting step clearly defined, you’ll develop no problems in your subsequent painting tasks. You neither have to worry about how to paint doors with rollers nor identify the best painting tool for the job.  

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