Last updated 9th April, 2020
All you need to know about having your front or back door painted including costs of materials, costs of labour and time frames.
Painting an exterior door is a simple job although your decorator will have to allow for drying times if several coats are required. If the door is brand new and unpainted, then several coats will definitely be required, so even though it may only be a days work in total, this work may be spread out over a week to account for drying times (especially in the winter or in damp weather). This spreading out of the work will of course be reflected in the cost quoted of painting your door.
The full job will entail the removal of the letterbox, door knocker and other door fittings; cleaning the door and then filling any gaps with quick drying wood filler. The timber will then be sanded down and knot treatment applied. Now that the door surface has been prepared, a coat of primer followed by 1-2 undercoats can be applied, followed by a top coat top coat of gloss. Finally all fittings are fitted back on the door to finish the job. The door itself may be painted in situ or some painters prefer to remove it and paint on sawhorses.
A front or back door is a petty small job for a painter, so it may be worth getting any other painting jobs required done at the same time. While the painter is waiting for a coat of primer to dry on the front door, he could be painting skirting boards, interior doors, ceilings or staircases. It makes sense if possible to wait until you have other painting & decorating work done and have it all seen to at the same time. This will reduce travel costs with less driving back and forth thus saving you money.
Try if possible to choose a good day for painting. You'll need to keep your door open for a few hours so it's best if it's not too cold. On the other hand you should not paint on a really hot day either as your paint will dry too fast, which makes it difficult to get good results. Avoid windy days too to prevent dust and debris sticking to the newly painted surface! You need a day when it's okay to leave the door ajar for a few hours and a 48 hour window of decent weather.
Exposure of gloss paint to damp conditions when drying can lead to "blooming" - where gloss paint ends up with a matt appearance and does not fully dry, staying tacky for some time. If the thought of painting your doors sends you into a panic, then help is at hand, there are plenty of painter & decorators available that will be happy to paint font or back doors on your behalf. Although hiring a professional painter and decorator may cost more than DIY, it can offer a worthwhile saving in terms of efficiency and peace of mind.
Even though painting a door is a relatively simple job, there are a few things which can go wrong, which in the long run will increase the cost. For example, if the door has been painted before, you need to know if your door was painted with oil paint or latex paint the last time. Latex paint will not adhere on top of glossy oil paint, it will look good initially but will soon begin soon to flake off. If you have a door painted with oil paint, you will have to apply a bonding primer before using latex paint, or else use an oil based paint again. Of course for best results, always remove old paint by sanding door down to the wood before painting!
The average cost of hiring a painter & decorator to paint an external door will usually be in the range of £150-£300 depending upon whether the door is new, whether it needs sanding or knotting, whether it has glass panels, and how many coats/primers are required.
Most decorators charge around £150 a day and tend to work by themselves but can sometimes work in pairs if the job is large enough to warrant it. To paint a front or back door it will take around 2-6 hours of work depending upon how many coats are needed. In most cases oil paint will be used so the overall job could take a few days as the tradesman will add a primer/undercoat the first morning, then come back the next day once it's dry to add another coat, and so on until the job is complete.
Here are a few average costs for hiring someone to paint a front or back door:
|Door Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Plain Door - No Sanding or Knotting Required||£150||2-3 hours|
|Plain Door - Sanding and Knotting Required||£200||3-4 hours|
|Door with Glass Panels - No Sanding or Knotting Required||£200||3-4 hours|
|Door with Glass Panels - Sanding and Knotting Required||£250||4-5 hours|
Individual costs for hiring a painter and decorator to paint a plain front or back door where no sanding or knotting is required - Total Cost: £150