Painting A Raised Panel Door


Editorial, Graphics & Photography By: Dr. Christopher Cooper


Recently we restored an early six-panel wooden door. When it came to painting it, we found the task not as easy as one may think. If you paint across the grain, the finished product looks terrible. The raised panel door is made of many pieces of wood with grain running in different horizontal and vertical directions. By studying the door before you paint, you can see how to follow the grain to provide a beautiful finished coat.

The graphic of the door to the upper left indicates the order of the sections in which to paint. The trim (at #1) around the panels should be the first to be painted following the grain both vertically and horizontally (see direction of arrows). The centre raised (or flat) panel (at #2) is painted next – again painting in the direction of the grain. The vertical centre stile(s) (at #3) broken by the horizontal rails is next, followed by the horizontal rails (at #4). Finish off with the vertical hanging and locking stiles (at #5).

The idea is to allow the grain to be accentuated in the wooden door not masked; this allows texture and interest and keeps the door historically correct. If you have a straight flat-ledged style door, you will simply follow the grain of the wood. Study the door and it will tell you how it should be painted.

Happy Painting….. Cooper


Side bar: Cooper Says


Never paint an exterior door in-situ, always remove the door from its hinges. Painting a door in direct sunlight will blister the paint because it dries too fast.

On an exterior door you should always use an oil based primer first, and then provide several coats of very high quality acrylic latex as a finish coat.

Remember good preparation makes for a great paint job, providing long-lasting results!


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