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Paint exterior bare metal door

I stripped my exterior metal door down to bare metal and need to know how to finish the door (what type of paint, primer?) I applied a rust inhibitor already. I tried rust oleum paint:confused: for exterior doors with no primer and it was the most difficult job I ever tried to do. The paint was like rubber, tried too fast and left streaks and grey spots all over. Please help my door looks like a prison cell door. Thanks, Pat

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door


Did you strip the door because of heavy paint build-up,or because it had peeled to bare metal. If it peeled to bare metal, you should "pickle" the metal with acid so that the paint can grab the surface better.

I am not sure that you should have used used the RustOleum Rust Inhibitor. This is a coating that is intended for exposed metal such as shovel blades. I am not sure how it will affect the adhesion of your finish coat.

If I were finishing the bare door, I would simply use a spray can of automotive primer. It will give good adhesion to metal with minimal build-up of paint. If you can find the proper color, spray cans will give a nice brush free finish. Being an oil finish, they also avoid the stickiness which latex paints often exhibit, especially a nuisance where the weatherstripping contacts the painted surface.

If brushing, you can use either latex or oil over the primer. The biggest advantage to the latex is that it is much more fade resistant than oil.

The ultimate finish would be a sprayed on automotive fihish. Of course, this requires decent spray equipment.

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

I had a similar problem recently. My local hardware store had paint specifically for metal surfaces - it was latex. They told me that latex expands and contracts better than oil and so would last longer.

I'd suggest you have a conversation with your local paint spe******t and get a paint specifically formulated for external metal. In my case, it was Dulux paint and the finish looks good.

Good luck

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

Treat that metal door as though it were a car and you'll get excellent results. But that may be a bit extreme for some.

Painting a door is best laid flat, out of the sun.

When the color is OK, we prefer to use the appliance paint in spray cans. It takes about 4 hours to dry but gives a very durable surface. Commonly sold at home burrito in white and beige.

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

i would have never used rust-o-lem i tried there direct to metal in a bar that i maintain peeled of in weeks they wouldn't back there product i'll try anything once (this was there new productthat they gave contractor disc) i use b/moore direct to metal waterborne dries under 45 min & use a candle on the edges to keep door from sticking until it is fully cured about 30 days

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

If you use a rust-inhibitive primer you should be able to use an ordinary exterior paint. I think you probably had problems because of your lack of primer. Primer will help the paint go on smoother and prevent rust.

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

I would use anyone's exterior alkyd primer and then top coat with anyone's exterior alkyd paint.

I would use Penetrol to thin both the primer and top coat to help reduce brush marks.

And, I would paint with a FLAT top coat so that the door is already rough and ready for another coat of paint in the future when it comes time to paint again. Painting with a flat alkyd paint now will avoid having to scuff sand a glossier paint down in the future when the door needs to be repainted.

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

To each his own, but I would never use a flat paint on an entrance door. It will show every little scuff mark and will be more difficult to wash than a higher sheen.

Regular alkyd paints will oxidize severely. I would opt for automative paints for the optimum, long lasting finish with minimal oxidation and maintenance. Properly applied, it will last for years, short of outright damage. I

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door


I'm a little shocked to hear ya advocate a FLAT on an exterior door!
You couldn't PAY me enough to use it!!

I'm not even a fan of Flats INDOORS!


Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

I agree that flat paints don't clean up as easily as glossier paints. Smooth surfaces are always easier to clean than rough ones. However, when's the last time you cleaned your front door?

I don't agree that a flat alkyd will show every little mark. I think whomever posted that was thinking of flat latex paints. Latex paints dry to much softer films than alkyd paints, and a soft film marks up much more easily than a harder film.

If it were my door, I'd paint with a flat alkyd so as to ensure I get good paint adhesion the next time I repaint that door. If I used a high gloss paint, then I'd have to scuff sand that door before repainting, and that's more work than painting it.

Ordjen: You said: "Regular alkyd paints will oxidize severely."
What do you mean by "oxidize" in that sentance?

I agree that an automotive paint is a much better and more protective coating for a metal door than a house paint. But, you're comparing a house paint costing $50 per gallon to an automotive paint costing $150 per quart. There's bound to be a difference in durability.

Re: Paint exterior bare metal door

The average exterior oil paint will get a dusty haze (oxidation) on the surface, making it look unsightly. Flats paints also "burnish",i.e. get shiny marks where something has rubbed against it. Flat paints look flat precisely because the surface is rougher than gloss paints and disperse the light rays, rather than reflect them directly to your eyes. Any rubbing of the surface polishes it. This is why it in inferior for doors and hallways walls and kids bedroom walls.

I would grant that good oil paints of years past are superior in many ways. They are all I used on fine woodwork. I hate acrylic paints on doors and fine woodwork! Unless sprayed, they don't flow out as well and they retain that gummy feeling which makes them want to stick where surfaces meet.

By the way, Frau Ordjen makes me wash the front door all the time! :) That is what I get for having married an old world German!


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