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Do I Need To Sand Interior Door Before Painting? Why Does It Matter?

 Do I need to sand interior door before painting? Why? How does sanding affect the final result? Don’t sweat it! We’re always ready to give you useful answers.

Even though it’s a minor change, an evenly painted interior door would make a big difference to your house. Hence, it’s extremely necessary to give your door a fresh coat of paint.

When it comes to door painting, you may ask, ‘Do I need to sand interior door before painting?’. Such a common question! Let us lend you a helping hand to find out the right answer.

Do I Need To Sand Interior Door Before Painting?

We can say that sanding is an important phase when it comes to painting interior doors and any wooden surface as well. The fact is the more precisely you sand the door, the smoother it is after painting.

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Can I skip the sanding phase?

Staring around your house, you could notice the surface of your interior door is not uniform. Some areas are totally flat, others are slightly paneled, while some possess intricate molding. The potential reason is you might not treat it properly before applying paint.


Do I need to sand interior door before painting? It is absolutely a ‘yes’. If you desire to gain a smooth finish, don’t forget to sand the door to prepare the base for painting application.

When sanding, you’re removing imperfections, pimples, damaged paints and creating a flawless bare surface. Therefore, there won’t be any drips appearing under the paint coat.

An even surface is a key if you wish to paint over the most satisfying result. In particular, sanding will add adhesion to the paint layer, providing the paint with rough ridges so that it can stick hard to the surface. Similarly, the surface can also hold the paint for longer.

One thing to keep in mind is that taking advantage of the right sandpaper plays a vital role in any woodworking and painting projects. By starting with the most suitable sandpaper, you can tackle the task much more easily and work the way up to better grits.

What Happens If I Don’t Sand Before Painting?

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Please don’t expect the paint to last long without a smooth base.

DIY interior painters usually can’t stand the temptation to just open a can of paint and roll away. So do we. We all want to complete it before our enthusiasm for the job fades! That’s why people tend to skip the sanding step and dive right into the painting process.

Although the result looks fresh and basically clean, a lot might go wrong under the surface. It makes sense when professional crews spend hours cleaning, smoothening, repairing, or generally preparing the surfaces before eventually painting.

In fact, paints do need something to stick to. You can pass the brush over a dirty, chipping, or flaking surface, but your handiwork won’t last over the long term.

To make a new paint stick, the interior finish should be clean and dust-free so that it can spark paint’s ability to adhere to doors. By taking the standing step, you will wipe off any blemish, dirt, and damaged spot on the wood, ensuring a smoother surface under the coat. If you ignore the sanding step, your new paint can’t find a flat surface to hold up, soon getting just as rough.

How Do I Prepare For Painting?

Tools Preparation

The first act is to gather all necessary gadgets assisting you throughout the whole process. You don’t want to pause the work and waste some minutes looking for a missing tool, do you?

The must-have list includes sandpaper, a paintbrush/roller, cotton cloth, a mini roller tray, and a masking tape or canvas drop cloth to cover the floor and walls.

Power sanders often produce dust quickly and vastly. We advise you to wear a dust mask as sanding because tons of mini debris spraying around the air will harm your breath. If you have to do DIY painting tasks frequently, it’s better to invest in tools with dust extraction and collection capabilities.

The standard sandpaper for sanding wood is the 80-medium-grit one. This type’s grains should be small enough to remove any imperfections on an interior door surface.

Door Preparation

The foremost thing before you start is to make sure of a well-prepared area. Let’s begin by sanding the interior door using the suggested medium-grit sandpaper or sponge (of course, after getting rid of the door’s hardware).

Remember to always lightly sand the door in the direction of the grain. Or else, you may carelessly scratch the surface and leave some ugly streaks. Once you get a nice finish, use the cotton cloth to wipe away the dust before painting.

If you’re refinishing an old and staid interior door, you’d better fill gouges or any imperfection with wood filler. Then, sand those spots until smooth and flat with an extra-fine 150 grit. Next, use a super extra 220 grit to gently sand the entire door. Similarly, the final step is to scrub all the sanding dust off the surface thoroughly with a tack cloth.

Please note, if your door was painted a very long time ago, it might be lead paint. This is one of the main health and environmental hazards, posing considerable toxicity, particularly to children.

Therefore, you must test for lead paint before any direct contact. Without appropriate precautions, the safest way is to call a professional painter to help you do the job.

Bottom Line

It is obviously a thumbs-up for the question ‘Do I need to sand interior door before painting?’. Sanding the surface properly gives you a helping hand to achieve an amazing result. Therefore, being aware of the importance of sandpaper will contribute greatly to your beautiful handiwork.

Painting an interior door is a weary yet rewarding process. As long as you treat your home ‘entrance’ with care, it’ll add a vivid view to the place you’re living.

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