How to Paint Glass Panel Doors (like a pro)

If you’re looking to paint your glass panel doors – this tutorial will talk you through how to do that, including the types of paint to use and popular tips on how to paint around the glass for a professional looking finish.

How to paint glass panel doors like a pro



About painting glass panel doors ….

What I really want to say; ‘hey guys – check out this really quick and easy way (with quick being the key word here) to paint glass panel doors!

What google thinks I should say: Check out this DIY tutorial for The BEST way to paint glass panel door in your home!

What I have to say (i.e reality): ”hey guys – check out this super long but very effective step by step guide on how to paint interior glass panel doors’

……

paint glass panel doors in the living room

Alright I’ll admit, whilst that last version doesn’t sound as engaging as the first two, it really is an honest account of what to expect (which in other words means, you won’t find yourself reaching the end of this post feeling slightly cheated).

Painting a glass panel door from white to black (or any colour for that matter) will take a lot more time than painting a standard wooden interior door.

And I know that makes no sense – as technically you have less surface area to paint than your average door, but it’s the glass! Trying NOT to get paint on the glass through out the whole process is what will make you feel like pulling your hair out… fact.

Ok, do you still wanna keep reading?

Yes?

You brave thing.

Awesome!

paint glass panel doors tutorial - a before look at the glass panel doors which were previously white
 

 

PAINTING GLASS PANEL DOORS : ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, HOW RENTER FRIENDLY IS THIS?

In all honesty, probably zero – but only if you’re choosing to paint your door(s) a colour other than their original colour.

Why do it then? I’m sure you’re wondering..

When we moved into our current property, the glass panel doors in the entrance and the two sets (picture above) connecting the dining room to the living room, had been filthy!

At some point they might have looked white, but years of wear and tear had turned them a dirty greyish colour (when you rent, you really don’t have much say about the more permanent fixture and fittings – remember my ugly built in wardrobes?)
 
Paint glass panel doors DIY - photo of the glass panel door when it was white
 
In an attempt to make the doors slightly more pleasing to the eye, I initially gave them a quick freshen up with white paint . However once I started working on my entrance makeover, I realised a black door would contrast much better against a white wall.

And look amazing!

And it did!

Look amazing that is..

PAINT GLASS PANEL DOORS DIY - PAINTED GLASS DOORS IN MY ENTRANCE

So I decided to paint the rest of the glass panel doors in my house black too!

Disclosure: Permission had to be sought from the Landlord beforehand because I couldn’t bare the thought of having to paint them back to their original colour should we ever leave.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PAINTING GLASS PANEL DOORS

What is the best paint to use for painting interior doors?

I would always recommended using paint that is specific to wood when painting interior doors. There are three types that are often sold. Hi-gloss, satinwood (semi-gloss) or eggshell paint. Your choice all really depends on the look you are trying to achieve!

In a nutshell:

Hi-gloss : A high sheen paint that is very hard wearing, but gives a very shiny and reflective finish .

Eggshell: A paint that has no reflective or sheen properties. Its not as hard wearing or forgiving as gloss paint, but gives a matte modern look.

Satin (semi-gloss): A mid sheen/semi gloss satin finish which is not as reflective as gloss but not as flat as eggshell. It is also easy to maintain and clean!

Do I need to sand before painting an already painted door?

Yup… and I know you probably didn’t want to hear that (who wants to hear that really?) However, sanding is really important. It helps to remove any existing paint and/or varnish from the surface. It also helps to smooth out chipped paint and imperfections from previous paint jobs. You can of course, use a de-glossing solution if you’re still feeling reluctant about sanding!

How do I paint around glass panels in the door?

I’ll get to that soon!

Do I need to prime an already painted door?

Same as with sanding, yes! Adding primer helps to blocks stains and allows new paint to stick better (oh and if your’e painting your door from a dark to a lighter colour, it also helps to mute the tones which makes the process ten times easier )

I’m starting to feel like I’m babbling a little now so I’m gonna skip a few other things I meant to say, and just head to the tutorial.

Sound good?
 

 

THE TUTORIAL…

MATERIALS NEEDED :

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, see full disclosure here


HOW TO PAINT GLASS DOORS:

1.REMOVE THE DOORS FROM THE FRAME

Start by removing the doors from the actual frame. You can do this with an electric drill or screwdriver (if you don’t have one of these already – get one! Total game changer). I chose to remove the doors because;

a. I didn’t want to ruin my freshly laid laminate flooring (it had cost me an arm and a leg to buy!) and

b. I also didn’t want to get any of the paint on the door frames (something I’ve done before which just looked really sloppy).

paint glass panel doors tutorial - use drill to remove the door from the hinge

Once removed, place the doors in your garden or garage, either leaned against a wall or flat down on a straight surface (even better if you don’t want drip marks) . I find its always better to paint outside or at the very least in a well ventilated area

2. TAPE OR REMOVE THE DOOR HARDWARE

Use painters tape to cover up all of the door hardware. You can also remove the hardware completely if you were feeling extra vigilant !.

Use masking tape to protect the handles when painting glass panel doors

3. GLASS PANEL PREPARATION – CHOICES CHOICES?

Ok, this is the time consuming part I was talking about earlier. There are options, but none of them (well except option 3) are necessarily more quicker or better than the other.

Option 1: The tape method

Tape the edges of each glass panel with painters (masking) tape. Not so bad if you have one or two glass panels, but when you have about six to do…you might want to hit your head against something hard and hope for dear blissfulness…

In other words.. actual torture.

Also, tape can be hard to position properly and remove so you might not always get the best of finishes .

Option 2: The scratch Method

No initial prep , just paint the doors and worry about removing the paint on the glass after. Basically, you’ll have to scratch /or wet and wipe off the paint from the glass once the doors are painted and sealed.

Again, this is a long process if your door has lots of glass panels!

Option 3 : The Masking Liquid Method

This is a new product – that I hadn’t known about until after painting my own doors (go figures ey?). From what I’ve read on this blog, its pretty awesome. You apply it to the glass and it dries clear – then you paint over it and then peel it off!

Option 4: The Vaseline Method

Hadn’t known about this one either. It works the same way as masking liquid. You apply the vaseline generously around the edges of the glass with your fingers or a cotton swab. After the paint dries, you then remove with dry cloth.

Like I said, I had no idea about option 3 and 4 when I started painting my own doors, so can you guess which option I went for?

Option 2…. that’s right

Gosh, you guys know me so well. I’m a do now, think about the consequences later kind of girl.

 

 

4 SAND (AND REPAIR IF NEEDED)

You can either use a sanding block, or an electric sander for this step. Naturally , I chose to whip out my sander because it does a great job – and sanding by hand isn’t something I necessarily enjoy.

(God, is there anything you DO enjoy doing Medina?

Yes. Eating my weight in food.).

Paint glass panel doors tutorial - use sander to sand the doors

Start off with a medium grit sandpaper (120 grit and work your way up to 220 grit if needed) until you get a smooth even surface. If your door has any cracks or holes, repair them by dabbing small amounts of wood filler onto the cracks and working it in with a putty knife.

[RELATED POST: HOW TO REPAIR VENEER BEFORE PAINTING]

Make sure to sand both sides of the doors as well as the sides, and if your door has grooves or molding (like mine did), you’ll have to use sandpaper on its own to get into those nooks and crannies

Once completely sanded, wipe away all the residue with a cloth .
 
5 PRIME THE DOOR

Don’t laugh, but I used the tiniest paint brush for this step. It was purely down to laziness convenience. I like to use what I have on hand and in this case, this was the only size I had in my garage at the time. I’d advise you to use a wider brush though – it will save you lots of time.

Paint glass panel doors tutorial - apply primer with a paint brush to the doors

I personally love this primer! It’s really great at creating that rough binding surface that helps to keep the top coat of paint on longer.

Paint glass panel doors tutorial - primer used is zinsser bulls eye 123

Once the primer has dried on the front of the door (refer to the primer tin instructions for drying recommendations ), flip the door over to prime the back. If the primer drips or goes on chunky, you can always lightly sand the surface to smooth it out.

 

 

6. START PAINTING YOUR DOOR!

As mentioned in step 2: because I chose option 2, I skipped the glass prep and just started painting with the foam roller and a paint brush for the smaller areas.

paint glass panel doors tutorial = use a foam roller to paint the top coat of paint

I did try my very best not to get paint on the glass for the first coat, but towards the second coat, that idea went out of the window.

I got sloppy.

How to Paint glass panel doors - painted doors with paint on the glass panels

The paint I used was Valspar Eggshell Paint specific for wood. I love this paint because it’s really tough wearing and because Valspar has built in primers – you dont have to do as many coats to get an even finish.

Once everything is dry, do a few final touch ups here and there with your paint brush before heading to the next step.

How to paint glass panel doors / Photo showing paint on the glass panels

6. VARNISH – SEAL

To protect the paint on the door, coat eat side with a layer of varnish – gloss or matt depending on your preference (using a paint brush or cloth)

How to paint glass panel doors / Seal the door with ronseal vanrish

7 TIDY IT ALL UP:

One thing that I found that made the whole scratching paint off the glass step a little bearable was actually spraying water on to the paint – leaving for a minute and wiping off with a tissue.

How to paint glass panel doors / Use a sponge to remove the pant from the glass panels

It worked a treat!

Now screw your glass panel doors back in place…

And you are done?

Yes DONE!

I bet you never thought you’d hear those words ey?


I when you share my projects on Pinterest! Save this TUTORIAL ON HOW TO PAINT GLASS PANEL DOORS for later by pinning the below photos to your boards!

Easy way to paint glass panel doors!
 
Easy way to paint glass panel doors in your home
 

 

HOW TO PAINT IKEA FURNITURE

Easy way to paint glass doors in your home

 

TIPS FOR PAINTING A RENTAL

Easy way to paint glass doors!

 

HOW TO PAINT A PICTURE FRAME

Easy way to paint glass panel doors

 

Filed under Home Improvement

Your email address will not be published.