How to Paint Louvered Doors?

We will teach you how to cope with the tricky louvers like a pro!

Any home painting project requires patience and certain skills if you want the work to be done properly (that’s, of course, if you are doing all the paintwork yourself). Even if you need to simply paint the wall, you have to follow certain recommendations and rules.

Louvered doors are not an exception.

In fact, these doors often become the trickiest object in our homes to paint! Because of the open louvers, many homeowners think that they need some special appliances or painting methods to apply paint onto these doors.

However, you can paint your louvered doors yourself and this will not be much difficult! In this article, we will explain how to do that.

You will learn how to paint wooden louver doors in two different ways, and also, we will share a few handy tips with you that might help you to undergo the painting procedure more easily and successfully.

After you read this article, you will be able to paint louvered doors both when they are hung and when they are taken off.

How to Paint Louvered Closet Doors?

If you need to paint your interior doors with vents, you may face certain complications. These doors are typically used as closet doors, but also, they can be used as the vent cover shield.

No matter how louvered doors are used in your house or apartment, applying paint onto them is quite a tricky task. The surface of these doors is not even since it has open louvers.

That means that you can’t just grab a paintbrush, dab it into the can of paint, and finish those doors with a couple of swift brush strokes!

However, when it comes to painting louvered doors, most of us are lost since we have no proper ideas for painting louvered doors.

How to Paint Louvered Closet Doors
bohemama-min via VistaCreate

No worries, folks, we are here to help you out a bit!  See, due to the specifics of the surface of these doors, the best ways to paint louvered doors are the following:

  • use a paintbrush
  • opt for a paint sprayer

Both are worth trying, but of course, using a paint sprayer allows you to finish the doors faster.

On the other hand, if you decide to opt for a paint sprayer, you will most likely have to take the doors off to place them horizontally.

To most of us, this is not always the most convenient solution. So in this case, using a regular paintbrush may become pretty helpful. With a brush, you can apply paint onto the louver doors even if they are placed vertically in your home.

To help you better understand how each type of paint application will go, below we prepared detailed step-by-step instructions for each method. Read carefully to be able to compare and figure out which of the approaches might fit you better.

How to Paint Louvered Doors With a Brush?

If you choose to make use of a regular brush, you need to be sure that you have all the tools and painting supplies ready in advance.

How to Paint Louvered Doors With a Brush
VadimVesenin via VistaCreate

For that, during the painting process, you will not have to interrupt yourself in case you need to take a paper towel to wipe paint splatters, or if you need another respirator for yourself, for example.

So what exactly will you need?

  • 1x paintbrush (we recommend no bigger than 1 inch)
  • Apron
  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Paint (Primer-if required and Top Coat)
  • Your louver door/s
  • Sheets/ newspapers
  • 2x trestle tables
  • Hand block
  • White Spirit
  • Clean cloth
  • Clean, dry brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver (if you need to remove knobs or hinges)
How To Paint Louvre DoorsHow To Paint Louvre Doors

You need to be ready at once that painting louver doors with a paintbrush is not a quick process! So get all the patience you have (since you will need that) and let’s start working!

  • Clean all the dust and dirt off your louver doors with a clean brush and wipe down with a cloth and white spirit to remove any greasy residue. If there is any grease or dust on the surface of the door, it can prevent proper paint adhesion. As a result, it will be causing the paint to flake off later on.
  • Prime your doors. This step is only needed for the doors that are not factory white primed! With the primer, your doors will be ready for the coats of paint better.
  • After the layer of primer dries, it needs to be flatted off or rubbed down to remove irregularities and hairy wood fibers.
  • Paint the backside of the louver door first. This will help you to sand off any drips that have fallen onto the front of the door that you may have missed. Only when you are done with the backside, proceed to the front.
  • Once finished, leave it to dry according to the instructions on the paint tin. This could be 2-4 hours or longer so always read the manufacturer’s instructions first!
  • Once the backside of your louver door is dry, repeat all the process from the beginning with the front part.
  • After you are done priming the door, it should be lightly sanded. Like this, you will remove any wood fibers that the primer will have raised from the wood.
    Using a clean, dry brush, brush off the dust left from sanding down the primer.
  • Apply the undercoat now to mask the visible wood grain and create a smoother finish. As the primer is so thin that you can still see the wood grain, a thicker undercoat should be used in order to mask this. We recommend a gray undercoat for darker topcoats and a white undercoat for lighter colors.
  • Once this step is done, leave the door to dry.
  • After the undercoat is dry, treat it with a hand block. Just scratch the surface lightly. Afterward, brush off the dust.
  • Now you need to moisten a cloth with white spirit and wipe the door to remove any small particles. White spirit is used instead of water as this gets rid of any grease on the door that may have been transferred from your hands and it evaporates quickly.
  • Apply the topcoat but don’t apply too much.
  • Let the door dry completely.

Handy Life Hacks to Keep In Mind When Painting Louver Doors With a Brush

To be sure that you succeed and paint your louver doors properly, we recommend you take a couple of handy tips into consideration before you begin.

First of all, always make sure that you have enough paint. It can be really irritating to start painting, get almost to the end, and suddenly realize that you have run out of paint!

Handy Life Hacks to Keep In Mind When Painting Louver
ToyaKids VistaCreate

In addition, by the time you have obtained more paint, the parts you have already painted will be dry. Like that, you then run the risk of the unpainted section of the door looking slightly different from the painted part after painting or getting what we call a ‘tide mark’ where the two painted sections meet.

The second tip we want to share with you is the following. It is best to paint your louver door when it is elevated from the floor. If you lean it up against a wall, for example, it could cause certain problems with drips as you are painting it.

The best way is to use two trestle tables and lay the louver door across them. This position will allow you to have a full view of the door from above and underneath. It means that you can catch any drips before they dry!

However, if you are limited in space and have to paint the door standing up, at least ensure that you paint from the top down.

Also, start with preparing the area first. Cover all the areas that you do not want to get affected by paint splatters and spills. For example, make use of an old sheet or newspaper on the floor. Get yourself ready, too.

Put on the apron and gloves you have prepared in advance. And remember to wear a mask and goggles to secure your eyes and nose from paint fumes that might be toxic sometimes!

If you are repainting an old louver door that has doorknobs or hinges fitted, take these off first. And in case you are repainting an old door, we would recommend you work on the existing painted surface with some sandpaper. It will help to create a rough surface for the new paint to bond to.

How to Paint Louvered Doors With Spray Paint?

A paintbrush is a trustworthy and proven way of painting louver doors. However, it is rather time and effort-consuming!

What if you simply don’t have that much spare time? In this case, your only option is to make use of a paint sprayer instead.

To do this, you will need some extra supplies, for example, a paint shelter in order to avoid spraying everything around you with paint. Also, you will need 100 grit sandpaper and a bucket of soapy water.

How to Paint Louvered Doors With Spray Paint
KostyaKlimenko VistaCreate

The process of spray painting your louver doors is pretty simple itself.

  • Start with making a paint shelter according to the instructions on the package.
  • Then, thin your paint with water before you pour it into the sprayer. The sprayer comes with a thinning cup that you fill. Then you need to calculate how long it takes to empty. There is a chart that allows you to see how much water you need to add after you know the time it took for the cup to empty.
  • After the paint is thinned, pour it into the container of the sprayer.
  • Spray paint your doors.

Using a paint sprayer is super easy and quick! In the majority of cases, you will need around ten minutes to apply the first coat of paint to all of your doors! Of course, the size of the doors also matters, but this is not a crucial factor.

How to spray paint louver doors with a WAGNER Paint SprayerHow to spray paint louver doors with a WAGNER Paint Sprayer

The full coverage typically requires two coats of paint, so even if you are working on the large closet doors, you should expect to spend about half an hour or up to forty minutes to finish the work.

As you can see, painting louver doors is somewhat more tricky than painting a flat wall, however, it does not mean that it is impossible.

You can use either a paintbrush or a paint sprayer for this purpose equally successfully.

Only note that, if you decide to apply paint with a brush, it will take you way more time, effort, and patience in comparison to using a sprayer!
In addition, this speedy painting appliance allows you to paint your louver door with an even coat of paint way faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can I paint louver doors with spray paint?

Yes, it is possible. Just make sure that you cover all hard-to-reach areas with paint thoroughly.

⭐How long does it take to paint louver doors with a paint sprayer?

In general, it takes around 30 minutes in total to spray paint. But you should consider the size of the door.

⭐Do louver doors need any protective finish after painting?

Normally they don’t. Just painting with one or maximum two layers of paint is enough.

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