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How to Paint Glass French Doors

Painting French doors can be a hassle. Typically the doors have anywhere between nine and twelve panes of glass, which means a lot of opportunities exist to drip paint all over and make a mess. With the right technique and some preparation, however, painting glass French doors can be a snap.

Things You'll Need

  • Removable shelf liner or book covering
  • Exacto knife
  • Plastic scraper
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint and brush
  • Masking tape
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  1. Preparation

    • 1

      Choose the proper paint for the job. Exterior paint for exterior doors, a primer coat for unfinished bare wood doors and speciality paint for metal or fiberglass doors are all examples of what to look for.

    • 2

      Remove the hinge pins from the door. Remove the door from the frame. Lay the door down flat on some sawhorses.

    • 3

      Prepare your door for painting. Remove all the dirt, oil and peeling paint by scraping, sanding or using a solvent. Repair any dents or holes with putty, making sure to sand and smooth any repaired spots.

    • 4

      Remove or tape all the door hardware like hinges, door handles, knobs or locks.

    • 5

      Take removable contact shelf liner or book covering, and place it inside each pane of glass. Score along the window pane edges with an exacto knife to remove the excess. Leave this on as long as needed; it won't damage the glass or permit bleeding from oil-based paint.


    • 6

      Paint the door on one side. Start with the door itself, and trim around the glass. Let the paint thoroughly dry before flipping it over to paint the other side. This can take some time with heavy primers or oil-based paint.

    • 7

      Turn the door over and paint the other side, followed by the tops and sides of the door. To prevent drips, do not overload the brush with paint. Sand lightly between each coat of paint with a fine-grit sandpaper.

    • 8

      Score where the trim and the glass panes meet again when you have finished painting the door with as many coats required for proper coverage and the paint has dried. Slowly and carefully peel the contact paper out from the corner. If any continues to stick, pry it loose with a plastic (not metal) scraper.

    • 9

      Remove the tape from the hardware or reinstall it. Rehang your door, and replace the hinge pins.