Exterior Panel Door Coating

Craftsman Operating Procedures (COPs), developed by the PDCA Craftsmanship Forum, establish a benchmark for how painting is done at a craftsman level so that individual painting companies can customize them for their own brand of craftsmanship. From jobsite setup to painting trim, cleanup and closeout, COPs constitute a ready-made tool to help you standardize craftsmanship practices within your painting company. The COPs also help train employees in consistently delivering the quality that you promise your clients. Each month APC highlights a new COP.


  • A mini-roller may speed up the application of the material, but use a brush to lay off the finish.
  • There are tack cloths specifically designed to use with water-borne enamel coatings to avoid surface contamination.
  • Removing detachable weather stripping may allow you to close the door when drying without damaging the wet coating.
  • If weather stripping is not detachable, painter’s tape may be applied to the weather stripping to prevent paint from sticking. The tape may need to be left on for up to four days.
  • Coatings should be done early in the day to allow for proper drying before closing the door.
  • If the coating is not adequately dried when the door must be closed, either tape or insert a piece of wax paper between the door and jamb to keep it from sticking.
  • Each section should be laid off once. If a section needs to be laid off again, the application sequence or brushing technique needs to be refined. Additional layoff steps will create excessive brush strokes and will reduce production.
  • Use a mirror to check if the bottoms and tops have been coated.
  • Tops and bottoms of doors should be painted to slow down expansion and contraction and to meet door manufacturer’s warranty requirements.
  • A wedge door stop may be used to secure the door while you are painting.
  • When brushing the panel corners, brush away from the corners rather than into the corners, to minimize paint pooling. APC

A series of 20 Residential Interior COPs and a series of 25 Residential Exterior COPs can be purchased from PDCA’s online store. Visit pdca.org for more information.


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