Sunday, March 3, 2013

Graphic Painted Interior Door: The How-To

On Friday, I shared our Pinboard to Home project for February:  a very bright, very cheerful painted interior door!  I was a little nervous about going with such a bold color, but every time I look at it, I love it even more.  It's in a far corner of our home just off the kitchen.  Having that happy door peaking out from the pass through just makes me smile!

Today we're getting into the nitty gritty of how we tackled the design and painting.   I knew I wanted something graphic, and a tape/paint combo seemed the easiest way to get a linear design with some contrast.

From all these samples, we finally settled on the red/coral color ("Berrylicious" by Valspar).
Once the color was decided, I taped off the door handle and gave the whole door a good coat of primer (I used Kilz...and the blue tape you see there was me playing around with a design).   The white primer would end up being my white stripes.

Now, I only did one coat of primer, which did not cover up the paint samples completely.  I could have done another coat, but the paint samples were a good indicator for when I had acheived full coverage on the paint.   Once I could no longer see them or their outline, I knew we were good.

As for the design, I really loved the graphic element of these trellis doors and wanted to go with something similar for ours.

I sketched out what I had in mind, and realized that if I used the four corners of the door as starting points, then the simple graphic only required two additional measurements.

So, I first measured and marked the halfway or center point on each side of the door.  I placed a small piece of tape centered over that mark and another small piece of tape near the corner.  I wanted the center of the red stripe to run from the corner tip of the door to my marked center.
Instead of using a sealing technique for painting stripes like we did for our ombre striped wall, we chose Frog Tape for this project because of the rave reviews on straight lines with no paint bleed-through.  I lined up one piece of tape on top of the spacers and another strip below them, so the center point was right in between the two taped strips.

I did the same thing with the bottom corner of the door to the same center point, and then removed the spacers.

I did the exact same thing on the other side and was left with this!
Once I was sure I liked the placement of the tape, I ran my finger around all the edges, pressing firmly to seal them all down.

It was finally time to paint!  I used a small brush to get in the narrow places around the door handle that the roller could not reach and to cut in along the bottom edge.  Then, I used a 4 inch foam roller designed for doors and cabinets to paint the rest of the door.

The first coat was up and I could tell we were in for a long night.  Since the door is flat, I used thin coats to avoid drip marks or streaks and for the best shot at even coverage.

I left the door propped open to dry (there's a hook on the back of the door that latches to the storage closet behind it), and waited about 1 hr in between coats.

Since I knew I would be coming back shortly to paint again, I just covered my tray, brush and roller tightly with Press N' Seal.  This kept the paint from drying up and saved me from having to clean and dry my supplies between each coat.

After the fifth coat of paint, those sample spots finally started to disappear.  So, I did one more coat for good measure and to address any uneven spots.

Then came the moment of truth.  Would the Frog Tape live up to the hype?  Oh, indeed it would!  I started peeling and saw only crisp white lines with no bleed through...

I was truly shocked at how precise the lines turned out.  The only touch up I had to do was to cover up the paint sample spots along the white lines with a bit of white primer.

I left the door open for the afternoon to let it cure and just keep standing in the doorway to ogle.

I'm so pleased with the results and with how easy this project was as a whole.  The hardest part was applying all those coats of paint - a darker primer would have saved me some work on that end.  But even so, the actual painting time was minimal.  I could knock out each coat in 5-10 minutes.  It was the wait in between that was so painful...but totally worth it in the end!

What about you? Anyone else make a quick easy project longer than it needed to be?  How do you bring pops of color into your home?

*The IHeart Organizing giveaway ends this afternoon at 1pm Pacific still have a few hours to enter!

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  1. Your door is STUNNING! I love the pattern, the color, EVERYTHING! Congrats, it totally looks like it was worth the effort!
    As far as "quick projects gone long" I am currently in the middle of a pantry redo that was supposed to be completed almost 2 weeks ago! Technically, it's still not finished yet since I have more shelving to put up. I did finally complete the painting however and I agree with you that Frog Tape is the absolute best. I did a herringbone pattern using frog tape and I don't think I could ever go back to painter's blue tape. This is just so much better!
    By the way, that herringbone pattern is in sunshine yellow and white. I also have a plum colored wall in the kitchen with lime accents, and a rainbow playroom! I think it's safe to say that I'm not afraid of a little color :)
    If you want to see the pantry thus far, I will be posting an update on my blog tomorrow (Tuesday). You can check it out at I would LOVE to hear your opinion!

    Andrea ~ Project Simple Home

    1. Sounds awesome! I'm exited to check it out! And love the idea of a yellow and white herringbone pattern :)

  2. I just have a quick question. If you had used gray primer for the door, how were you going to get white stripes? I just think this is a cool idea, and if I ever wanted to re-create this, I'd love to not have to do the extra work, but I have no clue how I'd do white stripes (if white stripes were going to be the thing).

    1. Yeah it's sort of a toss up - more coats over white primer or less coats with a dark primer and having to paint the stripes white. Multiple coats with the roller was pretty easy just long!


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