Like it or not, the condition of your exterior door says more about you and your home than you’d think. It’s usually among the first things guests and potential homebuyers see when they’re visiting and so forms their perspective of the entire home.

This is why you have to maintain it through painting regularly. Fortunately, unlike other remodeling projects, painting your exterior isn’t very costly.

In fact, homeowners with some painting experience complete the painting as a DIY. But even if you choose to hire a professional, the costs are still low.

The national average cost of painting an exterior door ranges between $95 – $300 when done by a professional. As a DIY, the exterior door painting cost will range from $50 – $180.

Average cost to paint exterior door
Cost to paint exterior door1$175$300
Door and trim painting cost1$257$502
Cost to paint exterior door3 (doors)$425$1,305
Door and trim painting cost3 (doors)$772.50$2,407.50
Supplies CostPer door$49$93

Average Door Painting Estimate: $257

The exact cost for your door project will depend on several factors, including; The size and type of door, choice of finish, number of coats/primers needed, and the condition of the door.

Most professionals will charge anywhere from $25 – $75 per hour for the painting job. Some contractors may also charge you $5 – $11 per linear foot.

For a DIY project, the costs will be high if you have to hire or purchase all the painting equipment.

Cost considerations for door painting

Painting exterior doors isn’t expensive but there are things that can drive up the final bill. The other factors that will affect the overall costs for painting your exterior door may include:

Type of paint you choose – High-quality paints can double the overall expense on paints. However, these paints are proven to last longer due to the weather-resistance features and offer better appeal due to the high-gloss finishes. How many coats you need will also be factored in as this also determines paint job size.  You can never go wrong when you choose high quality paint for your paint job.

Door design – Typically, painters will spend more hours on doors, either front door or exterior doors, with more windows. This increases the labor costs, especially if you’re paying by the hour.

Your location – Your location in the country determines the climate and the cost of paints and other materials in your area. If you’re in a very humid area, you’ll have to purchase high-quality, moisture-resistant paints, which are more expensive.

Number of doors- The number of doors you want painted matters. Whether its the front doors, back doors or even an interior door will affect the overall cost. If you have a one door, one coat, same color, of cause the cost will be minimal. But if you are doing French doors, the costs may go up. 

Prep work required – Your painter will charge more if your door needs prep work or surface repair like scraping or sanding before painting. A new is relatively cheaper to paint as there is little prep work. Make sure they’ve included these costs in their estimate before starting the project

cost to paint a front door

Door and trim painting cost

If you also need to paint your trim together with the door, expect to pay much higher for the entire project. The national average cost of painting your trims range between $500 – $1,000.

However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $7 – $11 per linear foot for door trims and there are some painting companies that charge per square foot. Most homeowners spend around $75 on the lower end and about $152 on the high end for the exterior trims.

The total cost to paint exterior doors and trims will range between $257 – $502.


Keep in mind; These prices will differ depending on your contractor and will be higher if the trims need to be washed first.

Door and trim painting cost red door

Prep work cost

For most exterior paint jobs , the painter can’t start painting right away. They’ll first have to detach the door, and remove parts like the doorknobs, handles or even the door frame.

Next, depending on the condition of the front door, the painter may have to scrape and sand the door surface to ensure it’s smooth for painting.

For these services, a painting contractor may charge you around $30 – $40 per door.

Priming before painting

Generally, you don’t have to prime the exterior door before painting if it was initially painted and the paint is in good condition.

Priming is only necessary on surfaces that have never been painted on before. It’s also required on exterior doors that have been heavily scraped or sanded.

You can also consider using a primer before painting if:

  • You’re changing the colors of the door
  • You want to paint over a stain or bare wood
  • You’re painting over a high-gloss finish surface

As a rule, ensure that the primer you use is compatible with the paint and surface you want to use it on. i.e., know when to use enamel-based, latex-based, and shellac primers. Use a foam roller to prim or paint your exterior doors. 

Oil-based primers – Work perfectly on many materials and are suitable for stain removal on freshly coated surfaces. They’re particularly effective in stopping tannins bleeding on wood, and also prevent paint cracking and peeling. This primer goes for around $17 – $35 per gallon.

Latex-based primers – Dry the fastest and are very flexible when preventing paint peeling and cracking. They’re, however, not effective for covering stains. This is the cheapest primer going for $10 – $32 per gallon.

Shellac-based primers – Are the best primer for stain protection on wood and other surfaces like metal, plastic, and both latex and enamel-based paints. Shellac primers are also excellent at protecting water damage, preventing mold growth, and sealing smells from smoke damage. Its only drawback is that it gives off a lot of fumes. A gallon of the primer costs between $36 – $50.

door painted green

DIY vs. Pro services

 Exterior door painting is generally an easy job. With the right tools and knowledge, anyone can do it – even though not with a pro’s quality.

This is why many homeowners are trying exterior door painting themselves. The prospect of saving a buck or two also makes the entire venture more appealing. Exterior door painting like a pro requires having the right knowledge. 

But should you DIY?

Given the simplicity of the task, DIY can save you some money and give you more control over the colors – but only if you do it right.

For homeowners with some painting background, this is a no brainer! But if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you may end up spending more on DIY than you would hiring a pro.

You will also waste a lot of time painting and may even hurt yourself since you don’t know the procedures to follow. The cost to paint your front door can end up being way higher than you planned. 

FAQ’s door paint

Why hire a professional?

When you want to paint exterior doors, you want the best possible outcome. An expert painter knows precisely how to handle the painting job right from the prep work to the finishing. They know which is the best paint and primer for the job and which paint color combinations won’t work.

Due to their experience, they’re also likely to complete the paint job faster and with much better quality than you could achieve.

Tip: When looking for a professional painter, always get at least three quotes before hiring.

If you don’t have the time to keep looking for painters near you, we created this FREE service just for you!

At we quickly match you with top-voted painting contractors in your area for free in just under two minutes!

By following these three easy steps, you’ll get three free estimates fast by real certified experts near you.

  1. Scroll to the top of the page and enter your Zip code.
  2. Answer questions about your painting job
  3. Your exterior door painting details are forwarded to three local experts, who then send you a price estimate for the job and offer some friendly advice.

IMPORTANT: There is no obligation to hire. This is a free tool and service to be used at your pleasure!

Who does dethatching


An acrylic resin or latex-based paint with a semi-gloss finish. Since your front door is exposed to all weather elements like the sun, rain, and snow, you can’t use just any paint for it.

Paints for your exterior door should possess some weather and temperature-resistance qualities, be durable, and come in a variety of colors.

Many painters recommend that you first look for paints with the ‘Exterior-paint’ label on them. These paints are much thicker than regular paints and have enough resin to counter any mold growth or varying weather conditions.

Both acrylic resin paints and latex-based paints can do the trick. Semi-gloss paints are popular because they’re easier to clean and contrast well with other paints.

No! interior paints are lightweight and are manufactured and tested for interior use only. Most of them are not resistant to weather elements and extreme temperature changes, which makes them too weak to last on your exterior door.

Interior paints are also not treated with mold and mildew resistant resins. If you use such a paint, your door is likely to fade, crack and start peeling quickly, especially at the end of summer or winter.

So, even if using interior paint seems cheap, it’s not worth it in the long-run.

It depends. Both acrylic paint and enamel-based paints can be used on exterior doors, but each of them is suitable for different doors.

Acrylic paint, for instance, is known for its ability to withstand temperature fluctuations and its quick drying time. It’s also budget-friendly and very easy to clean up.

Oil-based paints, on the other hand, take longer to dry (days or even weeks), lasts longer, and are more flexible when mixing colors. They’re, however, more expensive compared to acrylics.

So, depending on what you’re looking for, you can go with either paint. Acrylics, with or without a primer, are better for wooden doors, while oil-based paints, with a primer, work better on metal doors.

For DIYs, oil-based paints are generally recommended solely because they take more time to dry. But if the cost is a key factor for you, then Acrylics is the way to go.

Many professional painters take 1-3 hours to paint a single door, depending on its size and condition. For a DIY, you can take anywhere from 5 hours to a full day!

You also have to account for the drying time and other factors like weather conditions that may delay the painting project.

Moreover, if there’s more prep work and repairs to be done, the job may take up to three days!

It depends on the type of paint you’re using. Most Acrylic resin and other water-based paints like latex paints can dry within an hour and about 4 hours to be ready for another coating.

Oil-based paints take longer, between 6 – 8 hours and around 24 hours, to be ready for another coating.

Keep in mind; factors such as humidity and temperature affect the drying time of the paint. During very hot days, the paint may dry up considerably faster, and much slower on cooler days.

Not really, it all depends on the condition of your door and the type of paint you want to use. Generally, if only small spots of your old door paint have cracks or are peeling, you don’t need to strip. Just scrape off, then sand through the loose spots and apply some primer.

Stripping paint is only necessary if the old paint on the door has experienced complete fading, wear, and tear or was painted unevenly. You should also strip the old paint if it was lead-based.

Timothy Munene
Author: Timothy Munene - Timothy is a freelance writer and an online entrepreneur.