Paint or Clear Coat?

No matter which you choose, keep in mind that a factory-applied finish ensures that your door arrives ready to install and will hold up better than a DIY- or pro-applied finish. For an exact color match, or to save a few bucks, order a primed or unfinished door.

Paint. It's the most durable finish and the most colorful. Use it to visually tie the doors to the rest of the house. If you want a custom color or want to freshen a faded factory finish, you can apply two coats of acrylic latex over any door material, even fiberglass and vinyl. Sand and reapply the same type of paint every five to six years.

Clear coat. This is the way to celebrate the beauty of high-quality wood doors. It once took eight to 12 coats of spar varnish to get this look. These days, makers use high-build translucent alkyds, like Cetol Door & Window, which need only three coats. To maintain, apply a new top coat each year.
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