Builders are starting to install fiberglass doors in the new houses they construct.
These doors are most commonly used as the front doors and back doors of a home.
Since fiberglass does not deteriorate or form rust, they are the perfect addition to any new home.
When it’s about painting your fiberglass doors you should keep in mind that the initial builders should have already primed the fiberglass for a future paint job.
You just need to know what kind of paint to use on the fiberglass to get them finished.
The 3 Best Paint for Fiberglass Door
Compared to wood and metal doors, fiberglass doors are less expensive.
These doors are mostly preferred by homeowners due to their mold and rust resistance properties.
While most fiberglass doors can be painted, it’s essential to choose the right kind, to ensure the finishing lasts for longer.
Below are the top three paints to use on fiberglass doors. Based on the usage you can use the one that is most suitable for you.
1) Acrylic Paint
IMO, 100% acrylic paint is one of the best paints you can use for painting your fiberglass doors.
However, before picking, check with the manufacturer of the doors whether they recommend water-based paint on them or not.
The hinges might have a label that offers instructions on how to apply finishing to the door.
According to the experts, high-quality 100% acrylic paint is recommended for a semi-gloss or satin finish.
You shouldn’t need more than a quart of paint for one fiberglass entry door.
2) Alkyd Paint
Alkyd paint has an oil ingredient inside of it.
Even though the paint takes a long time to dry, it is a great paint to use on fiberglass house doors.
If you’re painting an exterior door, then you’ll need to leave the door open somewhat to dry out.
But you must be careful of the sunlight because the UV rays can fade the paint.
It is even worse if there is blue and red paint used.
When you go to the paint store, ask one of the employees to recommend a good paint that can last a long time.
Once you find this paint, your only responsibility is to clean the paint surface periodically and make sure it stays dry.
3) Stain & Varnish
Gel stain (like Minwax®) is good to use for certain fiberglass doors (like your exterior garage door).
A simple rag or brush can be used to apply the gel stain after thinning it in mineral spirits.
If you want an authentic appearance, then a wood-graining tool can be used.
Clear varnish must then be applied to protect the doors afterward.
Remember, if you complete the process correctly, you could transform the appearance of your fiberglass door into a natural wood appearance.
TIP: When picking the right fiberglass paint, keep in mind not to choose melamine paints and oil-based paints that can weaken the structural integrity of your fiberglass door.
What about the paint gloss?
In general, there are three types of fiberglass paints that can be used – high gloss, regular gloss, and low gloss.
All of them will have their respective pros and cons.
So, you should be deciding, based on various factors.
- Choose a high-gloss paint if you wish to attract attention
- Go for a regular gloss paint if you don’t want your front door to stand out
- Pick the low gloss paint if you need to get a more conservative-looking door
Regardless of the type of paint gloss you choose for the exterior fiberglass door, make sure it is rated as an “exterior paint” that can resist different weathering conditions.
Can You Use Epoxy Resin on Fiberglass Door?
Yes, you can use any resin-based paint on FRP.
But with epoxy resin paints, it’s recommended to use them only for epoxy resin fiberglass.
Since there are different types of fiberglass (epoxy resin and polyester-based resin), knowing what type of resin-based paint will bond properly with the specific type you have in your home is important.
- Use epoxy resin paint for an epoxy resin fiberglass
- Use polyester-based paint for the fiberglass that is polyester-resin
Epoxy resin fiberglass doors are more expensive, more waterproof, and stronger than polyester-based resin.
While epoxy comes with a slight amber hue and a bit of yellow tint, polyester resin is more brittle.
By knowing these features you can hopefully figure out which type of resin your FRP door has.
If you are not sure about the resin of your fiberglass door, get in touch with your fiberglass door’s manufacturer to get the proper instructions.
Do You Need to Primer Fiberglass Doors before Painting?
Do you have an old or worn-out fiberglass entry door?
If so, then you definitely need to add primer to the surface of it before painting.
- First, clean the door before you sand it
- Then try to remove all the loose particles of dirt and finish from the door
- When done, apply the primer evenly on the surface
When buying a primer for fiberglass doors, see if you can find a bonding primer that is made for exterior surfaces.
You can find all sorts of formulas used to make bonding primers. Their core ingredient could be water, oil, or shellac.
If you choose the oil-based bonding primer, then you’ll have to wait longer for it to dry.
The faster bonding primers are based on water or shellac.
So, if you have an interior fiberglass door, you don’t need an exterior primer.
You can also go with latex primers that can work with most types of fiberglass and fiberglass paints.
Make sure, you do not use etching primers as they are not compatible with textured fiberglass doors.
What is the Best Way to Paint a Fiberglass Door in Your House?
The best way to paint a fiberglass door is by using a painter’s synthetic brush.
I don’t recommend using a paint spray gun for FRP doors unless you are an expert in the field.
Also, before you start, it’s good to check with the manufacturer of the door to make sure if it’s paintable or not.
In case it’s previously coated and is paintable, you should start with weatherstripping and cleaning the door.
Here are the exact steps you should try to follow…
- Following the manufacturer’s instructions remove weatherstripping from the door using a soft-bristled brush
- Wash the door using dish soap and warm water solution. You can use a sponge or a clean cotton cloth to gently wipe clean the entire door
- After ensuring there isn’t any soap left, allow 2 to 5 hours to dry the door completely
- Now cover all the hardware (like door jamb, doorknob, handle, etc) with a painter’s tape
- If you want to paint the door without removing it from its frame also cover the area underneath your door with a newspaper or old dry rag
- Most FRP doors will be finished with only two coats, so resist the temptation of applying too many coats as it would not be necessary
The bottom line
As such there are several factors that you must consider before you choose the right type of paint for your fiberglass doors.
No matter you select acrylic (100%), polyester, polyurethane, or epoxy paints, make sure it has the same base as that of the fiberglass resin door in your home.
The three main factors include the door condition, the appearance that you want for the door, and the recommendation of the manufacturer.
If you want your fiberglass doors to resemble wood doors, you can stain and varnish them to achieve this effect.
And that would hopefully give them the best finish you desire to have.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.