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Open door to kerb appeal; HomeImprovements Is your home's front entrance looking a bit shabby? Now's the perfect time to give it an overhaul before the dark and wet nights set in. Here are our five tips on how to revamp an old door.

1TIMING IS EVERYTHING Make enough time to get your door all prepared and painted. Get it done before the real winter weather arrives. Not only will wet weather prevent you painting it, but you need to leave your front door open while the paint dries, so try to do this before it gets too cold.

2STOCK UP ON ALL THE KIT YOU NEED Get all your gear ready before you start: l80-120 grit sandpaper.

lRags - you'll need to rub off dust while you work. Have a vacuum cleaner handy too.

lPlastic dust sheet for porch or hall. If someone opens your back door while the front door is open, you'll pull a dust cloud through the house.

lIf your door's in really bad condition, use a two-part wood filler before undercoating. Do not use decorators' caulk, it's not appropriate for front doors. lPrimer and undercoat. Or get a primer undercoat. lPaint and brush. Get a paint brush set - they don't cost much and you'll need the one-inch brush for cutting-in windows if you have them.

lWhite spirit or brush cleaner. lStanley knife blade - very useful for cleaning spots of paint off glass - just don't cut your fingers.

3PICK THE BEST PAINT To paint your front door, you need exterior gloss. This is far harder-wearing than interior gloss and well worth it. If you're going to all this trouble, why not be bold with colour? Whatever you choose, make sure you get the same brand of primer undercoat. Paints are designed to work together for best results and different brands can be completely incompatible. Try Sikkens Paint. Apparently, this is used on 10 Downing 4PAINT IN RIGHT ORDER This guide is only for painting the front of your door. Save the inside for another time: lRemoving all door furniture, sand all over, wood-fill if required and dust down. Start painting early in day for max drying time. lDon't overload brush with paint - you'll get drips and it'll run.

First, paint all mouldings and cut into the windows with one-inch brush. As you look at the door, you'll see horizontal lengths of wood - 'rails' - that fit into vertical lengths called 'stiles'. Down the middle, you may have a length of wood called a 'muntin'. Paint the muntins first, using long, sweeping motions, then start 'laying off' the paint using one long, continuous stroke back into the paint you've put on the door. lNext, paint the rails. Then paint the stiles, so that the edge where each rail finishes is painted over on the stile - this will give a good finish. While painting the stiles, paint the hinge edge of the door.

5LEAVE DOOR TO DRY PROPERLY For a front door, use two layers of primer undercoat and one coat of gloss. The undercoat is touch-dry after two hours, but leave the door open for as long as possible, before closing it to go to bed. You can let it dry properly for 18 hours, then give the door a fine-sand, rub-off with a rag, and repeat the process. Use a wedge to prop the door open while it dries and, if you need to be elsewhere in the house, put on the internal security chain. For the gloss layer, it takes 24 hours to dry properly. You can sleep with the door very slightly wedged open and the internal chain on but, if you don't want to risk that, leave it for as long as possible then do some touching-up next day if required. Once everything is dried and set, re-fix your door furniture. Incidentally, while painting your front door, you tend to meet just about every neighbour in your road - just don't get roped into painting their doors too.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 21, 2017
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