Answer for What is the very best way to paint a smooth-star fiberglass exterior door by Therma-Tru? Use alkyd or latex paint?

The Therma-Tru guy has it backwards. Oil can always go over latex, but latex cannot go over oil, because oil naturally repels water.

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Answer for What is the very best way to paint a smooth-star fiberglass exterior door by Therma-Tru? Use alkyd or latex paint?

How to Paint a Therma-Tru Smooth Star Door

I work at Therma-Tru, and we are happy you chose to place our Smooth-Star Entry door on your home. We have some recommendations for you from our Product Support Manager. The old rule of thumb is you can put latex over oil, but you cannot put oil over latex. This is the reason why the oil primer peeled off the latex painted sample areas. Smooth-Star doors do not require a primer before painting, but you can use one if preferred. We do recommend Alkyd base primers, or a primer that is suitable with the paint being used, however it should be applied first on the entire door and then painted with the latex. The "textured" primer you referred to sanding off of the door is not a primer but is actually the texture we put into the fiberglass skin (part of the mold that forms the skin) to help with paint adhesion. Now that it is sanded off and the skin is now smoother and shinier, I am afraid the paint may not adhere as well. We would have recommended to simply finish painting the door with the latex, covering the test spot areas with the finish coat and not to have sanded the skin.

Do not worry though! At this point, we recommend cleaning the door with a soap and water solution, priming it with an alkyd base primer and then painting it with the latex based paint. If you have other questions about Therma-Tru or our products, log on to thermatru.com.

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Answer for What is the very best way to paint a smooth-star fiberglass exterior door by Therma-Tru? Use alkyd or latex paint?

These are great doors, you will like it! You did nothing wrong. Well, maybe trying the color out on the door. For future reference, brush out a couple of coats on some poster board or stiff cardboard to check out the color.

OK, here we go. I always lightly sand my doors before priming. I want a really smooth surface to start. You did good by sanding and the TSP is a nice touch.

Now you need a good primer. The primer I use is XIM UMA brand? Tintable: Product Number 1106 Water Born, Bonding Primer Sealer. This is a little hard to find for most people. Sherwin Williams should have it, also try your local Benjamin Moore dealer. Another good primer is Zinsser 123. Have the primer tinted to 50-75% of the finish color. All you need is a quart.

I always spray a new door, but brushing and rolling is fine. For the finish you will need a quart of Flotrol (smallest container is a quart), a very good brush and a fine tight weave roller. I would use a mini hot dog roller for this job.

Flotrol is a paint conditioner that slows down the drying of the paint, just enough to lay down on the surface. This will be smoother than straight paint. It doesn't take a large amount to condition your paint, about 1/4-1/2 cup per quart.

Apply the primer and paint in the same manner. With one exception, don't add Flotrol to the primer. Use a little splash of water instead.

Brush the edge of the door first. For the exterior side this will include the hinge edge.

Now for the face. Brush the molding first. Be careful not to leave any heavy edges where the molding meets the door. Once this is done you will work in sections. Start at the top. Cut in next to the molding then roll out the section. Work one side at a time; across the top then down a side, now down the other side and ending with the bottom.

You don't want thick coats. It is better to apply 2-3 thin coats of paint than 1-2 thick ones. For the primer, one coat is enough. Allow the primer to dry overnight before painting.

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