Paint supplies for a refinishing project

Painting and Repair Instructions for Fiberglass Doors and Frames: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to enhancing the durability and appearance of your Special-Lite® Fiberglass Doors and Frames, painting can be a game-changer. This guide will walk you through the required steps for painting and repairing your fiberglass door and frame. Whether dealing with a new primed door, refreshing an existing entrance, or addressing simple repairs, this guide has you covered.

Understanding the Importance

Special-Lite® Fiberglass Doors and Frames offer a corrosion-free solution with remarkable longevity, thanks to their high-quality industrial finishes and material. However, whether it’s a new project or a small repair, painting your entry door can provide extra protection and a fresh aesthetic. These instructions serve as a valuable guide, offering information on achieving a smooth painted or primed finish for your exterior fiberglass door.

A Note of Caution

Before we delve into the specifics, remember that these instructions are guidelines to prevent common errors. They are not universal step-by-step instructions for every case. Expert installers and maintenance professionals may know about options not covered here. Always consult a professional experienced with fiberglass for best results.

We also caution you that due to the variability of supplies, application conditions, and techniques, all of which are beyond our control, Special-Lite is not responsible for the performance of field-applied paint or individual application techniques. Sanding, painting, or otherwise changing the original finish of the product will void any finish warranties that may apply.

Safety First

Prioritize safety throughout the painting process. Use appropriate personal protective equipment, ensure proper ventilation, and keep all chemical products from heat and open flames. Dispose of materials responsibly.

Essential Supplies for Success

  • Before you start your project, gather the following supplies to ensure a smooth process:
  • Mild detergent, isopropyl alcohol, or MEK solvent
  • Clean water
  • Clean cloths or rags
  • Scotch-Brite™ 7447 General Purpose Hand Pads
  • Fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit & 400-grit)
  • Polyester/plastic body filler such as Bondo and hardener (for any repairs)
  • Primer (recommended)
  • Paint (high-quality acrylic urethane paint, not latex paint)
  • High-quality fine natural bristle paint brushes
  • Paint rollers and covers
  • Paint tray or bucket
  • Stir sticks
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheets
  • Painters tape (if needed)
  • Screwdrivers or appropriate tools
  • Utility knife
  • Sawhorses with padding

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Confirm the Existing Finish and Prepare the Door Surface: Determine the existing finish on your door and frame. This guide covers factory-painted finishes and prime-only finishes. Consider laying your doors horizontally on sawhorses for best results.

2. Remove Hardware & Clean: Remove as much hardware as possible and clean your door and frame using a mild detergent to remove dirt and grime.

3. Lightly Sand the Surface: Use Scotch-BriteTM 7447 General Purpose Hand Pads or 400-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface for better paint adhesion.

4. Repair Surface Damage (If Necessary): If repairs are needed, follow manufacturer instructions to apply automotive body filler, sanding the repaired area smoothly.

5. Clean and Rinse: Clean the surface with a cloth or rag and mild detergent, rinsing well with water and air drying.

6. Apply Primer: Priming is crucial for the best surface finish and adhesion. Apply the recommended primer with a wide, natural bristle brush. Priming is required when completing repairs with body filler. Be sure to consult with your local paint store for their recommendation.

7. Paint the Surface: Ensure the primer is dry before applying paint. For repairs, coat the entire door surface for consistency. Use a high-quality brush for details and rollers for smooth areas.

Bringing It All Together

Remember that temperature conditions and paint compatibility matter. Consult paint manufacturers and local experts as needed.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re ready to transform the appearance and durability of your Special-Lite® Fiberglass Doors and Frames through painting and repairs. 

Prioritize safety, gather the right supplies, and follow each step carefully for a successful outcome. We highly recommend downloading the complete instructions from our Resource Center. It includes QR codes for easy access to other resources.

For specific concerns or further assistance, call a Special-Lite Customer Service Representative at 1-800-821-6531 or contact your Local Rep

Touch Up Kits

Special-Lite provides a Touch-Up Kit with every painted door order for minor damage or scratches. 

Additional touch-up kits and 2-part acrylic urethane paint are available from Rollie Williams Paint Spot. Shipping is limited to 1-gallon units or smaller and no more than four gallons at a time. Give them a call at 616-791-6100.

Additional Resources

  • Did you know that Special-Lite offers coordinating Paint Color Codes for our standard colors to match up with popular manufacturer brands? You can compare with Sherwin Williams, PPG, and RAL. Check out this resource for easy comparisons
  • If you are looking for info on painting a metal door or Hollow Metal Doors, wouldn’t it be easier if you didn’t have to? Our HMR-FRP Door can save you time and money, with no painting required (though you can if desired). Use this comparison to learn more.
  • Do you need to refinish a Wood Grain Fiberglass Door? With an exterior grade stain, basic supplies, and these instructions, you’ll be a refinishing pro in no time. 
  • You can also view all of our installation instructions and other resources.