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6 Easy Steps To Paint A Door Frame In Your Home

Are you looking to give your home a fresh new look? Painting the door frames is a great way to do this. It’s a relatively easy project that can be completed in just a few hours.

Whether you are painting the interior or exterior of your home, painting the door frames in your home is one of the fastest and easiest ways to brighten up your room and trick the eye into thinking your room is larger than it actually is. This is because the interior door and exterior door frames tend to grab the eye, and using a semi-gloss or high sheen paint can make your door frames look taller.

In this blog post, we will show you some painting tips and tricks to help you when painting trim so you will be able to paint door frames like a professional painter!

The Painting Supplies Needed To Paint A Door Frame

  • Match the paint to your trim work: High gloss or semi-gloss latex paint is typically the best choice for door frames and door jambs. This is because high gloss paint has a higher sheen which protects the door trim and door jamb from scratches, and you can easily clean off the surface area. This is important since your family will bump and scratch up the door frames as they walk between rooms throughout the day, so you want a paint that is easy to clean and can withstand the normal daily wear-and-tear.
  • Paintbrushes: Always use a high-quality paintbrush when painting your door frames and door jambs. Since your door frames are one of the first things people notice in a room, you need to make sure that your brush doesn’t leave brush marks behind after you finish the painting project. A high-quality brush with an angled tip will also help you paint in tight areas, and you can cut edges much easier with an angled brush compared to a flat brush.
  • Painter’s tape: You should always use painter’s tape to protect the wall and floor around your door frame and door jamb. Painter’s tape will help you create a clean line on the outer corner of the door casing where the door frame and wall meet. You should also place painter’s tape on the floor where the floor and door jamb meet so you can cut the bottom edge of the door frame without getting paint on the floor.
  • A step stool or ladder: Depending on how tall you are and the height of your door frame, you may need a step stool or ladder to paint the header and top section of the door jamb.

Now that you have gathered all of the necessary painting supplies, it’s time to start painting your door frames! Follow the steps below, and you’ll have newly painted door frames in no time.

5 Steps To Paint A Door Frame Like A Pro

Painting a door frame and door jamb might seem like a straightforward task, but this project can take longer than expected if you don’t clear and prepare the area properly. While the door frame might seem like a small area of the room, there is actually a lot of surface area that you have to cover.

In addition, there are many corners and tight areas that you need to apply a smooth coat of paint to make your painting project look as professional as possible.

Let’s look at the 5 steps that you need to take to paint your door frame and door jamb like a pro.

1. Remove All Hardware From The Door Frame

The first step to painting your door frame is to remove as much hardware as possible from the area that you want to paint. Every screw and hinge on the door frame is an area where you can make a mistake, and getting paint on these items can reduce the overall look of the project once complete.

This is why I always like to remove the door and take off all door hinges, plates, and screws before painting the door frame and door jamb. Make sure you save the screws and hinges in a plastic bag so you can easily find the hardware and reinstall it when needed.

2. Clean & Prepare The Door Frame Surface

The second step is to clean and prepare the door frame surface. You want to make sure you remove any dirt, grease, or grime that might be on the door frame before painting.

I like to use a simple mixture of warm water and dish soap to wash down the door frame. Once the area has been cleaned, I always wipe it down with a dry rag and let the area dry for 10-15 minutes before moving forward. This ensures the door frame and door jamb are clean and dry, so the paint will adhere to the surface area.

You also want to use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove any loose paint from the door frame. This will give your new coat of paint a smooth surface that will look great once painted.

3. Apply Painter’s Tape Around The Door Frame & Door Jamb

After you have cleaned and prepared, it’s time to apply painter’s tape around the area that you want to paint. I like to apply painter’s tape on the wall surface where the outer edge of the door frame and wall meet so I can cut into the wall to ensure the entire wall frame looks great from all angles.

In addition to placing painter’s tape on the wall, I also like to add a layer of tape on the floor where the door frame and floor meet. This lets me cut right down to the bottom of the door frame without having to about getting paint on the floor or carpet. This can save a lot of time since I don’t have to do touch-ups, and it prevents the floor or carpet from getting paint on it when the project is finished.

Once you have the painter’s tape down, it’s a good idea to also lay a drop cloth on the floor around the work area to prevent drips from getting on your floors.

Be sure to cover all hinges and latches on the door frame that you did not remove in the previous step. These areas can get paint on them if not covered, and this will make the entire project look less professional; plus, not taping these areas can require you to slow down, and this can cost you a lot of time in the long run.

4. Paint The Door Jamb

The next step is to start painting the door jamb since this part of the door is the most difficult part to paint. Plus, when you start with the door jamb, you are able to feather out any paint that seeps onto the faces of the door trim so you can have a nice smooth finish once you complete the project.

I like to fill the tip of an angled paintbrush up to about 1/3 of the bristle length and begin by cutting it around the top edges of the door frame first. As I go down the door jamb, I always use long sweeping strokes to reduce brush marks in the paint.

The key to painting a door jamb and door frame is that you have to move fast since dry paint will show overlaps in the final product. This means you will need to keep your speed up throughout the entire process to ensure you achieve a smooth and even look on the door frame and door jamb.

Once you have the door jamb completely covered in the first coat of paint, go back and check to see if you need to fix any areas. Let the paint dry, and then you can add a second coat of paint to ensure the entire surface has a smooth finish. I always like to add a light topcoat once all the other coats have dried to smooth out any brush strokes and help the painting project look as even as possible.

5. Paint The Door Frame

The last step is to paint the door frame itself. Just like you did with the door jamb, start by painting the top part of the door frame and then work your way down. I find it helpful to use a 2 1/2″ angled brush when painting the door frame since there are so many small areas and corners that you need to get into.

Use long sweeping strokes, and be sure to keep your speed up as you move down the door frame. You want to avoid any paint drips or runs, so make sure you check your work often as you go.

While you move down the door frame, make sure you apply a light coat of new paint to the outer edge of the door frame where the frame and wall meet. This will ensure your door frame looks great from any angle in your home, and this step helps to feather out any paint that might have spilled over the frame onto the painter’s tape that we applied in the previous step.

6. Reinstall Hardware & Clean Up

Now that you have successfully painted your door frame, it’s time to put all of the hardware back on and clean up your work area.

Put all of the screws, plates, and hinges back into place on the door frame, being careful not to over-tighten any of the screws. Once everything is back in place, remove the painter’s tape from around the door frame and dispose of it properly.

Finally, take a clean rag and wipe down the entire area to remove any paint drips or runs that might have occurred during the painting process.

Paint Your Door Frames Like A Pro Today!

Painting a door frame may seem like a daunting task, but if you break it down into smaller steps, it becomes much easier. By following the tips we’ve outlined in this post, you can have your door frame painted and looking great in no time!


Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a professional painter with over 10 years of experience. I want to show homeowners tips, guides, and advice to save them time and money when painting their own home. I know it can be daunting to take on a painting project yourself, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and some guidance, you can easily paint your home and save money in the process.


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