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How to Paint Louvered Doors

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I have painted a lot of STUFF in my life, literally hundreds of items!  As a child I loved to paint and then after I graduated from college and worked in retail display, I painted all kinds of things on a daily basis from mannequins to display props, faux Christmas trees and more. Paint is the fastest and most affordable way to transform just about anything. I even have a page here on the blog that explains how to do just that…how to paint anything.

When Ed and I bought our first home is when I started my life-long love of painting furniture. I have used many different painting techniques and over the years have my favorite methods…like always using DIY chalk paint now when I paint furniture both with modern and aged finishes.

Through all my years and painting experience though, I have never used a paint sprayer.  Shocking, I know!  :-)

Call me old school, but the real reason has more to do with the fact that I like to paint items inside my house, right where they will be used. For me it makes the painting process so much easier since I don’t have to move anything or wait for the weather to be “just right” to spray paint. I have a brush and roller method that works and I have stuck with it…until it came time to paint these….

how to paint over stained louvered doors

….brown stained bi-fold louvered doors. Two cover the laundry area in the hallway of darkness, a narrower one closes off a small pantry.

I thought about buying new doors, but when I went to the home improvement store I found that louvered doors are only primed, not painted glossy white, so I would still need to paint them.

You may be asking yourself, why not just buy solid bifold doors and not have to deal with painting the louvers?  The reason, louvered doors provide airflow into the space they close off. Living along the water, the moisture in the air can make closed-off areas a magnet for mold. I don’t want to deal with that so I embrace the function of the louvered doors over the look of the door style itself.

HomeRight Finish Max Pro

So when it came time to paint the doors, I knew the only way to do it right was to spray them.  I could have used a case or two of spray paint in cans, but opted instead to use HomeRight paint sprayer that would only require one gallon of paint. HomeRight makes many different types of sprayers. I decided after looking at all of them to use the Finish Max Pro.
It comes with two containers for the paint and a lightweight spray gun that connects to the turbine with a 15-foot locking hose allowing the user to move around their project easily. What I like best about it though is that it sprays with little overspray and is ideal for larger projects like doors and cabinets.

To help me quickly learn how to use the sprayer, I headed over to who I think is the queen of the HomeRight paint sprayer… Gail of My Repurposed Life. She has the best tutorials on how to not only use the sprayers, but also how to set up a tent-like Spray Shelter that HomeRight sells.

How to Paint Louvered Doors with a Paint Sprayer

What I used:

  • HomeRight Finish Max Pro HVLP
  • Spray Shelter
  • Glidden Complete Stain Blocking Paint + Primer
  • 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block
  • Drop cloths
  • Water
  • Bucket filled with soapy water
How to use a paint sprayer
  1. Having a spray shelter is the best way to keep a breeze from blowing dirt, leaves, etc onto your just painted finish. It also helps keep the overspray contained.
Tips for using a paint sprayer

2. The directions attached right on the bag were good, but since it was my first time assembling it, I needed more guidance and headed over to My Repurposed Life’s post on How to Assemble a HomeRight Spray Shelter to see how to do it. Once I watched the video, I had it up in about 10 minutes.

For smaller projects when I am using spray paint in a can, I make a spray paint booth out of a cardboard box.

Paint prep needed when spray painting

Before I set up the spray shelter, I went over the surface of the doors with a sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper on it. You don’t need to sand to the bare wood, but just enough to rough up the surface. It took me 10 minutes to sand all the doors.  I washed and hosed down the doors to remove all the sanding grit, dirt and dust on them. Once they were clean I let them dry in the sun.

How to use a Home Right paint sprayer

I laid a drop cloth in the spray shelter and used blocks of foam to raise the doors off the drop cloths so as the doors dried the cloth would not stick to the doors.

I don’t have photos, but using the sprayer was super easy. The part that took the most time was learning how to thin the paint. You must thin the paint with water before using it in the sprayer. If you don’t thin it, the sprayer may not spray correctly. The sprayer comes with a thinning cup that you fill and then need to time how long it takes to empty. There is chart to see how much water you need to add after you know the time it took for the cup to empty.

DIY spray painting

Once I thinned the paint and poured it into the paint sprayer container, the actual spray painting went super quick.

I had the first coat on all the doors in 10 minutes and let it dry. I needed 2 coats for full coverage.

Is a paint sprayer easy to use?

Clean up was much easier than I thought.  As Gail suggested in her posts, I used a bucket full of soapy water to place all the parts in as soon as I was finished painting.  I then used a hose to clean all the parts…

Home Right Finish Max Pro

…and placed them in a bucket. It is now stored in my garage at the ready for another painting project.

How to paint louvered doors

Once the doors were dry, I put them back in place.

affordable glass door knobs

I replaced the wood knobs with new faceted glass knobs.

How to paint with a HomeRight paint sprayer Finish Max Pro

Now the area looks much brighter and lighter even though the light gets blocked by a section of kitchen cabinets that are right in front of the small pantry closet.

The Go Jump In the Lake sign was a housewarming gift from friends. :-)

Painted louvered doors with a Home Right paint sprayer

I started to paint the section of cabinets…

How to paint stained wood

… and back of it to help make this area brighter.

How to paint louvered doors

I still have 3 more doors to paint in the hallway. They are wood paneled doors, not louvered doors. I plan to paint them right in place since it is way too hot now to paint them outside. I will share how I paint them with you soon.

Have you ever used a paint sprayer or have any tips to share?

DIY furniture painting tips for using a paint sprayer and paint shelter to help protect what you are painting. and the surrounding area from overspray. This inexpensive tent is easy to set up and affordable. Read more about it...

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  1. I really like the bight white on your doors,
    and I still love that “wow” door at the end.
    You’re so clever.

  2. P.S. :-)
    Diane I LOVE the doors painted white! We had looked at home with several louvered door that were dark stained and we took had decided to paint them, had we purchased the house. What a beautiful look and it’s so fitting for your beach home.

  3. Yes! We are “new” to paint spraying too and are converts….probably for a lot of projects in the future. :-) We just purchased the Wagner Home Decor Sprayer. It works with ALL paints (oil, latex and chalk) and stains and varnishes too, though all we’ve used so far is latex primer and paint. It uses very little paint because one needs to thin the paint for use, making pretty much any project more cost effective.

    Actually when I say “we” I mean my husband ;-) He’s gotten so good at using the sprayer he barely lets me use it. LOL!

    It’s definitely one of the ones on the market that are worth checking out. (And nope,I wasn’t reimbursed by Wagner to use their sprayer. We just love it!)

  4. Such a beautiful finished project. It makes your hallway brighter. The doors & walls look new. I noticed that your air flow filter grate looks new & clean too. Any tips on how to keep one looking that way. Our’s opens down for filter changing but it can’t be removed. I would love to take it outside & scrub it down. I have been following your blog for some time now.

    1. Hi Linda – The air flow grate is hinged on the bottom so I can’t remove it completely either. I use my vacuum tool hose and brush to clean the grate of dust. Then run a Swiffer duster over it which picks up everything the vacuum didn’t get. If you need to scrub it down to really clean it. I would open it, place a towel on the floor and use blocks of wood scraps or Styrofoam to support the grate. While it is in the 9- degree position, spray it with Fantastic or a cleaner and scrub it down. I think this will work as long as you have some blocks of wood or foam to support it at a 90 degree angle while you scrub. Thanks for being a long time reader. XO

      1. Ok, thank you. I keep it clean looking on the front side but when I open it, dust that clings to the inside of the grate bothers me. I will scrub it using your suggestion & perhaps put a plastic trash bag under the towel. I am going to look for knobs like you put on your louvered doors. I would really like those for our closets.

  5. Gorgeous! I like the look of louvered doors – I have always associated them with a beach house look. You are so very clever. Why replace perfectly good doors when you can make them over! Other than cleaning them was there any other prep like sanding?

    1. Hi Elaine – I like the way you think…a beach house look. Yes they do fit that style :-) I wrote the post late last night and forgot to mention that before I hosed the doors down, I did go over the surface with a sanding block with 100 grit sandpaper on it. Just to rough up the wood a bit. 10 mins was all I put into it for all the doors.