How to Paint a Front Door without Brush Marks & Roller Grain

| Last Updated: April 12, 2021

How to Paint a Front Door without Brush MarksThere are multiple reasons for discovering brush marks. It could come with both oil and water-based paints or varnish.

The major reason for such marks is paint not flowing out properly while application. This can literally ruin the overall paint finish on door. So, knowing beforehand about cool tricks that can avoid such silly mistakes will pay you better.

Some common reasons also involve paint being too thick. Also, sometimes the conditions turn out to be extra warm. This might lead the paint to dry sooner than required. Let’s talk about a safe method on how to paint a front doors without brush marks.

 Also Read: 8 Best Front Door Locks Reviews | Top Picks Of 2020

How to Paint a Flat Door: Tricks to Avoid Stroke Marks!

Here’s a quick fun analysis. I want you to imagine a boat gliding on the water surface. While it glides there is a groove left behind, right? Once the water settles down on its place, this groove tends to disappear.

When you paint on a surface, the same thing happens. The brush leaves a similar kind of groove on that surface. This might quickly dry before getting a chance to settle down. Especially with faster drying formulation paints.

You’ll witness a similar event while staining the deck. The deck stain might end up creating ugly marks because of fast drying time.

However, if you follow some really effective hacks while painting or staining, these stroke marks never happen in the first place.

Gathering Necessary Tools.

For the lovely procedure of repairing these marks, you’ll need an electric sander. The random orbital type will be just one perfect pick for this task

Also, you’ll have to collect a few different types of grit sanding discs. You’ll want to have one 150 or 180 grit for finish job. The 120 or 140 grit will help in smoothing it down. Finally, the 100-grit type for initial sanding.

Make sure you are well prepared with some safety gear. A good pair of safety goggles is a must-have item for this list. Also, be sure to wear a proper dust mask.

The final tool you’ll need is a 2- or 3-inches brush. If you have a good idea about how to paint a door with a roller, then include mini 4 inches one instead of a brush. Mini rollers are great at getting big areas fast.

Getting Rid of Previous Marks.

I’m considering this step for those who are already cursed with such brush stroke marks on their door. Let’s start by eliminating those marks and then move towards repainting. And you’ll be using the electric sander for this purpose.

First of all, detach the door you’ll be sanding. On a steady surface make it lay flatly. That way it’ll be much easier to sand the door. However, if the door is tough to detach, continue in situ position.

Get the roughest sanding disc, 100 grit. Use it to gradually sand the flat door panels where those ugly strokes and old paint are sitting. You’ll notice the marks and strokes are starting to come off.

Now use the medium sanding disc. Sand out the door’s rough surface that is caused by first sanding. Finally using the 150-grit sanding disc (Or 180 grit) bring out a smooth final finish. It’s time for you to paint.

Mix Paint Conditioner (Not Thinner).

Some of you might have heard about paint thinner and conditioner. But most don’t really understand the difference. Many consider both of these paint mixing stuff the same thing.

You should always use a paint conditioner like Floetrol. Paint thinners are like water and they are not meant to help in such cases. Instead, this takes away the power of covering more. It degrades the qualities to many extend.

Use floetrol with your paint to get rid of brush and roller marks. It won’t ruin the coverage while thinning down paint. So that the layers appear smooth. It also helps to slow down the drying time. So, you get an extra period for leveling the paint.

Using paint that is mixed with floetrol will drastically eliminate 70-90% of brush marks. You can try using Penetrol instead of floetrol for oil bases products. It’s basically the same thing but works better with oil-based paints.

Door Laying Flat on an Even Surface.

Well, this one trick is always mentioned when there’s a discussion on how to paint exterior door. You see, laying the door flat opens every opportunity to make strokes be as smooth as possible. You can easily paint with thick coats. There’s won’t be any worrying about getting runs.

Also, it is noticeable that with the door laying flat, thick paint needs more time to dry up. So, you’ll have some extra moments to flatten the uneven paint before drying up. Laying down the door will also help paint to sink better.

In most cases where the door is unattached while painting, carpets and flooring become victims. Also, the chance of getting any paint on hinges are absolutely zero with this method. It’s one of the most painful side effects of doing DIY door painting.

Using Velour Roller Cover.

This is probably the best trick that reduces chance of marks completely. All you need to do is use some velour roller cover with a 4-inch-roller. Using a small brush will also help but I prefer the roller technique more.

Cover is practically the finest at diminishing any shed possible. Also, it is a super nap roller that leaves almost no texture on the surface.

Many DIYers who use this technique call it as effective as professional spraying method. You want to deal with grooved areas with a brush first.

These areas are not great to handle with a roller. Once you settle down those spots, use the velour roller. Thoroughly go over all flat areas with the velour roller and you’ll be astounded with finishing results.

Coat, Sand & Coat Again.

While painting the door, you’ll probably go for multiple coats to achieve an even result. No matter what coat you apply, make sure to sand in between. This is really important if you want to avoid brush marks in the end.

Use a sanding sponge and go over the surface once coating layer dries off. You should use a medium grit sponge before applying the primer.

Then before the first coat and after primer, use a fine sanding sponge. The extra-fine sanding sponges are great for intervals of first and later coatings.

Also Read: Best Door Handle sets Reviews [Stylish & Durable]


This trick is possibly the finest way to ensure not a single stroke mark shows in your door. I love the smooth results every time trying this one little hack. No brushstroke, roller mark or any grain at all will remain in the ending. This trick is a great way to hide grains from Oak as well. But you’ll have to invest some extra effort and time.

Start with the first coat of primer and sand lightly. Use a fine sanding sponge for this once primer dry.

Go for another coat of primer and sand following drying it again.

Repeat this for the third time in a row.

Make sure the primer coat is as even as possible without any marks left.

Once the third coat is dried completely, use a 150-grit sander to get a smooth and flawless finish. Use spinning motion instead of forcing the sander.

Don’t take off primer coat with sanding through the wood. This will invite re-priming.

The three-coat technique will make a perfect base for a thick sandable surface. So, you’ll end up having the flattest surface for painting. As a result, there will be no brush stroke marks absolutely.


It’s time for me to wrap up for today. Before that I want you to know that choosing good quality paint is also important along with these tricks to get a smoother finish.

Some poor-quality paints won’t let you have an even surface no matter what amount of effort and time invested. So, before you complain about anything at all, make sure the paint you’re using is of good quality.

Hopefully, you’ll have no more nightmares of brush marks and roller grain.

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