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You can paint some external doors, but the majority of newer installations shouldn’t be painted. This is because most modern external doors are made from uPVC or composite materials, which paint doesn’t stick to easily. If you’re not happy with the appearance of your external doors, we recommend replacing them or finding ways to make the rest of your property match them.

Difficulties with painting modern doors

External doors tend to be made from uPVC (a type of plastic) or composite materials. Some composite doors have a uPVC surface as well and even those that don’t – like KLG’s doors, which have a glass-reinforced polymer surface – are no better at holding paint.

It is possible to buy uPVC primers that claim to make it easier to paint these shiny surfaces, but you still won’t be able to get a good finish that lasts long term. At some point in the near future, the new coat of paint will start to peel and flake. When this happens, it will look worse than if you hadn’t painted it at all.

Painting wooden doors

The one common type of external door that can be painted is a wooden door. Wood has many disadvantages when compared to modern materials, but if you’re looking to repaint wooden doors then you’re in luck.

The first step is to remove the door from its hinges, if possible so that you can repaint it in a flat, dust-free area. Then peel off any flaking paint and sand down the surface of the door until it feels regular and even.

After sanding, the door is ready to be painted. Fill in any cracks with caulk, then apply a coat of wood primer. When the primer has dried, you can paint the door with a colour of your choice, using a roller for the panels and brush for smaller sections. Two to three coats should get you a good finish.

Choosing external doors that suit your home

Before you think that modern doors are inferior to wooden doors because they can’t be painted, consider the fact that modern installations are made from materials that are designed so that they don’t need maintenance or paint in the future. By buying doors from a good manufacturer, like KLG Rutland, you’ll get the choice of a number of different colours and finishes that will continue to look good for the duration of the door’s lifespan.



The colours and visual effects of uPVC and composite doors are an integral part of the material itself. For example, we stain the glass-reinforced polymer of our composite doors to get a richness of colour that paint simply can’t match over an extended period of time.

If the colour of your external doors really isn’t working for you, it might be time to consider getting something new. We appreciate that this is a bit more of an investment than buying a tub of paint, but the long term benefits far outweigh the costs. Why keep worrying about your doors’ appearance when you could choose the exact style that you want, adding in decorative glass and other custom features while you’re at it?

If buying new external doors really isn’t on the cards, then consider other changes you could make that won’t involve painting the ones you have. Altering your home’s decoration or your garden’s appearance might make your doors blend in better with the rest of your property.

If you’re interested in a new door, have a look at our door designer or speak to us to discuss your requirements.