How to Paint Your Door

Therma-Tru Benchmark Smooth Surface fiberglass doors and sidelites are available in a variety of paint colors. But you can also paint them yourself, if you’re looking for a specific color match. So it’s easy to create a doorway with distinction — one that complements your home and expresses your personal style.

If you’re ready to paint, read through these instructions to make sure you have all the tools and materials you’ll need to paint your door. For full instructions, download our Fiberglass Finishing Guide.

Painting Your Benchmark Door


Storage and Handling

  • Until you’re ready to paint, store your door or sidelite flat, on a level surface, in a dry, well-ventilated area. Cover it loosely.

  • Be careful not to subject your door or sidelite to extreme conditions like heat, cold, moisture and humidity.


Gather Materials You’ll Need

  • A lint-free cloth

  • All purpose cleaner

  • Rubber gloves

  • Masking tape

  • 4” bristle brush or spray gun system

  • High-quality exterior grade alkyd- or acrylic-based primer

  • High-quality acrylic latex house paint


Prepare the Surface

  • Hang the door unit before finishing, then remove hinge pins and remove the door slab to finish properly. Lay the door horizontally on padded saw horses or a table.

  • Remove any excess glazing sealant by first spraying with a window cleaner or water. Then carefully use a single edge razor blade at a 45 ̊ angle to scrape glazing from glass along the edge of the frame. Do not sand fiberglass.

  • Remove all hardware and mask off anything you don’t want finished, such as the glass insert.

  • Wipe the door with mineral spirits or all-purpose cleaner to clean any dust or residue from surface. Allow it to dry before applying paint.


Apply Paint

  • Apply paint with a 4” brush in the direction of the grain. Paint all door panels, stiles and rails.

  • If applying a second coat, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying time between coats.

Important Tips

  • All it takes is one rainy day to ruin an unfinished door unit. All doors/sidelites/jamb materials must be properly finished in accordance with these instructions immediately after installation or before any exposure to the elements or your warranty will be void.

  • All exterior finishes must have ultraviolet (UV) inhibitors.

  • Choose compatible finishing products from the same manufacturer for best results.

  • Finishes should be applied in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

  • All 6 sides of door slab should be finished equally. NOTE: If you purchased a prehung door unit, the bottom edge of the door was pre-sealed at the factory.

Use Caution

  • When applying primer or paint, be sure the working area is well ventilated. Keep materials away from heat and flame.

  • Paint and primer may cause skin and eye irritation. Avoid contact with skin and eyes, and keep materials out of reach of children.

  • Remember to properly dispose of all waste and soiled rags according to your local, state and federal environmental laws.