How Much Does it Cost to Have All My Interior Doors Painted?
When you're looking to upgrade your home's interior without spending a lot of time and money, painting makes the biggest impact with the lowest cost in terms of both time and money. Of course, it may also simply be time to paint. After all, time leaves its mark on your doors in the form of chips, scratches, stains, and more. This is the kind of DIY project you can knock out over a couple of weekends. Or, you can enjoy all of the benefits of freshly painted interior doors with none of the headaches by hiring a painter to handle the job for you.
Interior Door Types
Before we look at painting costs, we need to look at the two main types of interior doors: flush and raised panel. Each has its own requirements to ensure an attractive finish.
Flush doors, also known as flat doors, have a smooth surface, so rollers work well to paint these. However, you will need a paint brush to smooth away paint blotches or drips, and to paint the more narrow edges. You want to sand the door before painting, to remove old paint, stain, or veneer, and give your fresh paint the best chance of sticking. You should also apply a coat of primer, letting it penetrate and dry fully before applying your new paint. Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat. Before reattaching hardware, make sure the door is completely dry. This takes around 24 hours.
Raised panel doors require a bit more planning. Most people start with the panels, but that often results in a sloppy paint job. Before we cover the steps, though, you need to understand the parts of a raised panel door.
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- The rails are the horizontal sections at the top and bottom of the door, and divide the panel sections.
- The stiles are the vertical outer edges of the door.
- The muntins are the vertical sections between the panels.
After prepping the door, start by painting the rails and stiles, using a brush so that you follow the grain of the wood. Next, paint each pair of panels, including the stiles and muntins, working from the top to the bottom. Working in this order ensures the best finish.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Painter to Paint My Doors?
Pricing varies depending on the size of the door, the number of doors to be painted, and the average labor rates in your area. Most interior doors cost between $50 and $200 to paint. However, doors opening to the outside may cost more, up to around $300.
Most contractors charge by the hour. Once you know their hourly rate, you can estimate the cost. The amount of labor typically required to paint an interior door includes an hour of prep time to remove the door's hardware, scrape and sand it, and apply primer. Applying the paint, replacing the hardware, and cleanup likely adds another hour. You're also looking at the cost of the materials (paint, masking tape, primer, and cleaning supplies) and preparing the paint area.
Additional Painting Considerations
Choose paint colors that match the door's frame and complement your overall décor. If your walls are brightly painted, you want doors that match. When you change the color of the door, don't forget to also paint the door frame; this helps blend the color with that of the surrounding walls.
If you opt for DIY, most experts suggest painting the door without removing it from its hinges (although you should remove the door knob and any other hardware). This is because it may not fit into the same space after being painted. It's also much easier to paint both sides while the door is still hanging. When cleaning the door, try using a sponge and rubbing alcohol. The alcohol works well to remove the kind of grime that seems to build up on doors over time. Sand the door as well, particularly if you're changing paint types. Sanding helps clear any remaining dirt from the door while also giving the new paint a better chance of adhering to the surface.
Finally, if you also plan to paint your exterior doors at the same time, don't try to use an interior paint. No matter how good your paint is, it was not designed for exterior use. Look for a 100 percent acrylic, latex paint for exterior doors, which handles harsh weather conditions well and is much easier to clean. As with your interior doors, thoroughly clean the door before painting.