Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Wood Doors?

Can you use acrylic paint on wood doors

With the diverse colors options that you get with acrylics, it’s only natural to wonder. Can you use acrylic paint on wood doors? The answer is that ‘yes, you can’, with exterior doors allowing for priming and painting with standard acrylics, while exterior doors will require outdoor acrylics to provided added protection against mildew and the elements. Basically it’s the same as regular door-painting, only the paints involved are specialized acrylics because standard acrylics will be unsuitable.


The end result certainly is worth it, especially if you want to go a little wild (Check out ‘what colors make purple’ if you’re feeling bold!)

Today I’ll tell you what you need to know to use your acrylics on a wooden door, both exterior and interior, and even include a step-by-step to make sure that you have everything that you need to get the job done. Please note, if you want to paint a fiberglass door, then you’ll need the steps from our ‘How to paint a fiberglass door’, as the wood steps will not be sufficient.

That said, let’s take a look at how you can use acrylic paint on wooden doors!

Using acrylic paint on interior doorsusing acrylic paint on interior doors

Interior doors are the easiest for using acrylic paint and you can really have a lot of fun with these. Painting optical illusions, for instance, to make the door look askew or simply further away than it is when viewed from a distance is a great trick that is sure to get you lots of notice.

The main difference is that you won’t have to use specialized acrylics which are designed for painting exterior doors. These paints tend to dry more quickly and are better suited to stand the elements that an outdoor door is going to suffer.

So, if you’ve got an interior door that you’d like to do some painting on, then your best bet is to check out an article that I’ve already provided on the subject entitled ‘Can you use acrylic paint on wood” where we discuss the subject in detail so that you’ll have everything that you are going to need from start to finish.

With interior doors, you’re looking at a basic process of ‘rime, paint, and seal’, so let’s talk a little about what you will need to do with your exterior doors.

What about on exterior doors?

what about on exterior doorsPainting an exterior door is definitely going to be more involved than one of your interior doors. First off, you’re going to need to choose your exterior paint and this needs to be something with mildewcides present so that the outside isn’t going to penetrate and ruin your nice paint job.

Secondly, you’re going to have to consider the weather and the humidity. You want to pick a time when the weatherman is promising that you won’t have any rain to ruin your party and ideally you want a temperature between 50 and 90 degrees outside so that your paint will dry properly.

If the humidity is high, this definitely needs to be considered as this will affect the drying time as well and can even get problematical if you are looking to do something a little more elaborate than one might find on a standard painted entry or exit door.

Finally, you’ll need to prepare the door and the area before we get started. This means laying out a drop cloth, removing the lock plate and the door knob, and you’ll want to cover the things that you can’t easily remove or don’t need to remove, such as the peephole and the door hinges.

Painter’s tape is your friend and you should be ready for the next steps in a jiffy.

Oh, before I forget, if you’d like to use acrylic on a stained wood door, you can find a lovely third-party tutorial here.

Step-by-step – Painting your exterior door with acrylic paintStep-by-step – Painting your exterior door with acrylic paint

Remove any peeling paint and sand the door as-needed before we get started. If you notice any dents or holes, then you can fill these in with wood putty. Wipe down the door with a soft cloth to get those sanded shavings and then caulk around your windows with a small amount of painter’s caulk. We are now ready to go.

Here are the steps for painting your exterior door with acrylic paint:

  • Prime the door with at least 2 coats of primer applied with a brush or roller. Be sure to use a stain-blocking primer and apply a thin coat, letting itdry as recommended on your labelling before applying the second coat.
  • Clean out your paint pan with soap and water, dry it, and add your acrylic paint. Be sure to stir it up so the pigments are well distributed for the best color.
  • Paint any recessed panels first, using smooth and sure strokes to apply it evenly, before moving on to the larger areas of your door. Make sure to leave your door ajar to avoid any surprise ‘sticking’ and let it dry for the recommended time on your paint label .
  • Once it dries, apply a second coat in the same way and let it dry for a period of 24 hours before you put your hardware back.

Congratulations, your door is painted and done! If you are doing something special, say different colors on the recessed sections, then be sure to let those sections dry and to then use painters’ tape to avoid contaminating those areas but the instructions are basically the same. With acrylic door paint you shouldn’t need any additional protection as it’s already part of the paint.

In closing

So, there you have it! You CAN use acrylic paint on wood doors. Paint interior doors the same way you would with regular wood painting. Sand it, prime it, paint it, and seal it. Exterior doors, by contrast, will require specialized outdoor acrylics in order to have the necessary resistance to the elements that a front door requires.

With a little patience and weather permitting, you’ll be enjoying your front or back door’s new looks in no time flat!



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