Deciding to paint one storm door quickly escalated to repainting 2 storm doors, 4 metal interior doors, 2 garage doors, 2 exterior light fixtures, an outdoor table and 2 chairs. I found an unopened gallon of exterior brown paint in our garage supply cabinet (guess I bought it for a project that never happened), along with steel wool, brushes and a small can of primer to cover the rust areas after sanding and before finish painting. My final cost was $11 for two cans of exterior spray enamel. Having to purchase the gallon of paint and other supplies, though, would keep a project of this size well under $50 for anyone willing to invest the time and energy.
Step 1: Time for a Change
Here's how it all started. The storm door that we most often use and that is highly visible to everyone visiting us was in desperate need of an upgrade. It's a solid, well-built door that functions perfectly, but the exterior paint had faded and part of the door had rusted from exposure to more than 30 years of weather. Not wanting to replace it, I chose to take care of the rust and give it a fresh coat of paint since I had nothing to lose.
Step 2: Prepping the Door for Painting
After we removed the door from the hinges, we set up a saw horse outside, removed the door handle and windows, used steel wool to remove as much rust as possible, and washed it, making sure it was completely dry before painting. Doing the work outdoors had the advantage of keeping the paint fumes and overspray of the paint out of the house.
Step 3: Painting Outdoors
We immediately knew we were onto a good thing. I applied the spray paint ~10-12 inches above the door and used a small paint brush to touch up only a few paint runs or drips. After the door dried completely, I turned it over and repainted the inside of the door, too, mostly just a few touch-ups from years of use.
Step 4: When Washing the Doors Just Isn't Enough...
Here's where the 'repainting one door project' took off in a completely new direction. After we reinstalled the freshly painted storm door, the garage doors and interior metal door looked more weathered than they had before. I tried washing the doors, but that only made the problem worse.
Step 5: Of Course, the Light Fixture, Too
All 4 doors were repainted and drying when it became obvious that the light fixture needed attention, too.
Step 6: Will This Project Ever End?!?
As you walk around to the back of the house from the driveway, 3 more doors are visible. The doors on the driveway-side of the house looked beautiful. Since I had all of the painting supplies out anyway, I kept painting - 3 interior doors, 1 storm door using the same process described earlier, the light fixture and a fresh coat of paint on the metal furniture to upgrade it's appearance a bit, too.
I expected the original project to paint one storm door would take a couple hours. Instead, I finished the project in 2 days for a total of 12 hours. For me, it was worth the extra time and effort. We spend a good deal of time in this part of the yard and love the new clean look.