How To Paint Metal Doors To Look Like Wood

23 May 2018
 Categories: , Blog


If you want to update metal door, but you don't want a replacement, consider faux wood painting. Faux wood painting produces the look of real wood without the cost and hassle of replacement. Faux wood grain painting may look complicated, but you don't need to be an expert painter as long as you apply the right techniques. Follow these steps to faux wood paint a metal door.

Prepare to Faux Wood Paint the Door

To paint a faux wood metal door, gather:

  • work gloves
  • safety goggles
  • dust mask
  • screwdriver
  • lint-free cloths
  • painter's tape
  • plastic or drop cloths 
  • 120-grit sandpaper 
  • foam brush
  • paint brushes 
  • wood grain tool  (optional)
  • latex paint
  • gel wood stain
  • polyurethane finish  

Study wood samples at home improvement center to get ideas for wood colors. Purchase a gel stain to match the darkest color in the sample and paint color to match the lightest shade for the base coat. Base colors for wood grain finishes are commonly light yellow, soft beige or white, and light orange.

Sand and Clean

Remove the door hinges or screws with the screwdriver, but do not remove the screws from the frame. Set the door on a flat surface or between two saw horses, and try to work under a covered space, like a patio. If you work in a garage or a closed shed, open the window or door to ventilate.

If the door is very greasy or stained, wipe it with a mild household degreaser, then rinse. A new door may not need sanding or priming since it likely has been pre-primed. If it has been painted before or an older door, lightly sand the surface, and clean dust.

Prime and Add the Wood Grain

Cover parts you don't want to be painted with painter's tape. Brush a thin layer of base coat on the door and let it dry. You may prefer to practice the wood grain technique on scrap metal, and it allows you to check the color. 

Mix the next darkest wood color and gel according to directions in a bucket or paint tray until you get the desired shade. Use the foam brush to apply glaze beginning at an inside panel and side working in vertical strokes. Apply the stain in horizontal strokes on the top, middle, and bottom. 

Let the stain dry for twenty-minutes then create the wood grain by dragging a wood grain tool through the stain. Move the tool back and forth to create the grain and knotholes, cleaning the tool after each stroke, and using a dry brush to smooth puddles. Let the door dry and brush a coat of polyurethane on the surface to protect the finish.

For more information, contact a company like Klenosky Paint.