How to Paint a Door Without Brush Marks

How to Paint a Door Without Brush Marks


Unsightly brush marks on your door are perhaps the most disheartening thing you can encounter after dedicating a lot of time and resources to doing the job. However, it is still possible and relatively easy to paint a door without these marks.

If you want to give your door a fresh coat of paint, we explain the steps to follow to ensure you do not end up with brush marks.

Things You Will Need

  • Sandpaper (100 and 120/150-grit)
  • Good quality paintbrush and paint roller
  • Drop cloth
  • Door paint
  • Primer
  • Paint conditioner

Step-by-step Guide

1.  Remove the Door from Hinges

While it is still possible to paint the door when it is still on its hinges, if you want a finish that will not have any brush marks, removing it is a better idea.

Removing the door and placing it on a horizontal workbench when painting ensures your paint gets enough time to level off before drying, which minimizes the likelihood of getting brush marks. Additionally, this also prevents the typical mess that comes with running paint.

2. Sand Down the Door

Before you start painting the door, you have to sand it down first, regardless of whether it is a new or an old one with the existing paint. Sanding helps remove blemishes and old brush marks, if any.

When sanding, you should start with high grit sandpaper like 100-grit as it is more effective at removing brush strokes and other things like chipped paint. An orbital sander can help you finish the job sander.

After sanding with the 100-grit sandpaper, you should switch to something lighter such as the 120 or 150-grit sandpapers. The light grit sandpaper helps smoothen the door’s surface to get it ready for paint.

3. Apply Primer Correctly

In many instances, misapplying the primer is often the leading cause of brush marks. If the primer goes on too thick or is uneven in some areas, there is a higher likelihood of getting brush marks.

A simple way to apply primer correctly is sanding after every coat, and make sure you use at least 3 coats and sand all of them. A slow drying primer is always preferable, but you can also thin down whatever you have with Floetral to ensure it dries slowly.

Read More: How long does Primer take to Dry?

4. Apply the Paint

Once the primer is dry and sanded, you can now apply the first coat. Here you can choose to use a brush or roller, but you are more likely to get a smooth coat with the latter if you are not very experienced.

Using a roller instead of a brush is an easy way to avoid brush strokes, as the foam ones have round edges that make it possible to paint door panels without leaving overlapping paint marks. Additionally, a roller provides paint coats that are longer and thinner, which minimizes imperfections.

Also, make sure you follow the grain when painting, as each wood slap has a different grain direction. Change the roller or brush direction as the grain changes and ensure you never move perpendicular to the grain.

Another vital point to keep in mind is that you need to keep the paint coat as light as possible as it is less likely to run and cause marks. When you are done with the first coat, you should sand lightly and then apply the second or topcoat the same way as the first and allow it enough time to dry.

5. Condition the Paint

The last step should be to condition the paint to level it out. Adding a paint conditioner to thin out the paint is very useful here. Additionally, it is good to ensure you do not paint when there is little humidity or the temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


Bush marks can give your door an unsightly look, but if you do the job keenly and practice enough to master good painting techniques, they are easy to avoid.

That said, the most important things to do to ensure you do not end up with brush marks are always sanding the door before painting, applying the primer and all coats correctly, and conditioning the paint to level things out.