DIY Guide To Painting Sliding Glass Doors

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Painting in the home is never as easy as it seems. However, in terms of house improvements, putting fresh paint on a sliding glass door frame is a much easier task than replacing the door entirely. Here’s a quick DIY guide to painting sliding glass doors.

Clean the sliding glass door thoroughly to remove any dirt and cover the glass portions and siding/trim with painters tape and plastic drop-cloth. Then you can apply a thin coat of spray primer followed by three light layers of paint to the doorframe’s metal components before letting everything dry. 

Painting a sliding glass door is relatively straightforward, whether it’s part of a more involved interior remodeling or you just want to modify the design of your door. Let’s go through the process in detail so that you fully understand how to properly paint your sliding glass doors.

Can You Paint Sliding Glass Doors? 

Back sliding glass door wall patched for painting repairs

You may be skeptical about painting your sliding glass doors because they sit on a track and move into position on rollers.

However, there’s no need to be worried — the doors don’t actually rub against the frame. Since the glass doors don’t rub against the frame, the paint won’t rub off when you operate your sliding doors.

How to Paint Sliding Glass Doors

Before you start painting the glass, it’s essential to follow these safety tips to ensure the project is smooth and safe: 

  • Ensure adequate ventilation
  • Purchase personal protective equipment
  • Clean up thoroughly
  • Allow time for doors to dry

What Materials Do You Need?

You’ll need a few things to paint your sliding glass door. You can find most of them around your house or at a nearby hardware store. They include:

The Process

Sliding glass doors and patio area in San Diego condo

Here’s how to paint your sliding glass doors:

  1. Clean the sliding doors and track thoroughly to eliminate dirt and other debris. You should use an excellent multi-purpose cleaner, paper towels, and Q-tips to get into the nooks and crannies to obtain a clean and complete cleaning. 
  2. Place a painter’s tarp beneath the entrance to keep errant paint drips from ruining the floor. Mask the door’s panels on both sides using blue painter’s tape and then cover the glass with old wrapping paper.
  3. Mask all door trim adjacent to the door if you’re painting it in the track, and seal the tape’s edges tightly to avoid paint bleeding. If you intend to paint the door without removing the panels from the track, move it to its exposed position.
  4. After double-checking that everything is well-protected, apply a thin coat of spray primer in an even layer over the doorframe’s metal components and let it dry.
  5. Spray the surface with three light layers of paint, allowing approximately 15 minutes between each application.
  6. Use a razor to scrape off any spots where paint has gotten through the tape and onto the glass.

If your old wood sliding glass door has chipped or faded paint, and you want to update it with a fresh coat of paint, spray paint might not do the trick.

To paint your wooden frames on the door:

  1. Slide the insect screen to the middle of the door frame and grab both sides. Lift and pull the bottom of the screen out.
  2. Remove the screws and slide the door to the middle of the frame. Lift the glass panel and pull it out from the bottom.
  3. Use 120-grit sandpaper (on Amazon) to smooth out the wood on the doors. Use a dry cloth to get rid of the sanding dust.
  4. Use a paintbrush to put a coat of primer on the wood, and let it dry overnight. Don’t paint the silicone or glass. Let all the paint dry, then use polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer to finish.
  5. Insert the top of the fixed door into the frame in the middle. Push the door bottom into the frame to slide it in, and replace all screws fixes the door.
  6. Put the top of the sliding door into the frame, and then push the bottom into place. Put the chisel’s edge under the door to stop the wheels from getting stuck. You can raise or lower the wheels by putting a screwdriver in the hole near the bottom and turning it clockwise or counterclockwise. Adjust as much as you need to. 
  7. Take out the chisel, and slide the door back and forth to see if it works.
  8. Place the screen in the middle of the frame. Put the top in the frame, and then push the bottom to put it on the track.

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