How to Paint Metal Door to Look Like Wood – Paint that Looks Like Wood Stain Finish

Last Updated on April 28, 2022 by Bright Calister

You can always give any metal door the look of wood by applying a few paint supplies. On how to paint metal door to look like wood, there are various reasons why I decided to change my wood front door to a metal door. However, the main reason I changed it is that I don’t know how it was so easy for my son to break into the house after he lost the key.

I thought within myself and if it were to be some other person who had some kind of bad intention, it would be so easy for them to get into the house.

Hence, I decided to change my wood door to a metal door and painted it to look like wood, so it could have a good fitting just like the one I changed. This article will give you the easiest steps to painting a metal door to look like wood.  

I must tell you, you need to pay attention to every detail in this article, so you won’t end up having a mess, but I assure you this is the easiest way to paint your metal door to look like wood without messing it up. I’m sharing how I did mine without having a mess.

Can I paint my metal door to look like wood?

For someone who has not been involved in a DIY painting project or for someone who loves to explore new things, it is most likely to have this question dangling in our mind is it possible to paint my metal door to look like wood.

The answer is YES. I made my metal door look like wood by painting it, and I’m going to share how I did it, which is the best and easiest way to achieve this. 

Materials Needed to Paint Door to look like wood

  • Wood Stain
  • Sandpaper
  • Drop Cloth
  • Tape
  • Paint Brush
  • Primer: if your door was never painted

How To Paint Metal Door to Look Like Wood


Before painting, you have to prepare your door for painting. The first step is to protect your door hardware with tape, or remove it, so you don’t get them covered with stain when painting.

Then you spread your drop cloth underneath your door to protect the floor beneath and surrounding surfaces. After this, the next thing is to lightly sand your door using sandpaper to wipe it clean and smooth any rough surface on your door.

Apply Primer

If your door was never painted, it is advisable to apply primer before painting. Primer helps the paint to stick to the surface without cracking or peeling.

However, if your door has been painted before and you’re trying to apply new paint to look like wood, you can also apply primer, although it is not as required if your door was never painted.

However, painting my door that was already painted, I applied primer on it before painting because I wanted to get the best result on my door, and I love to do everything required when carrying a task, so I won’t doubt things are not going well.

However, do not get me wrong. If your door is already painted and you didn’t apply primer before applying new paint, you’ll also get the best result you desire. 

If you apply primer, then the next thing to do is wait for the primer to dry. I always advise you not to dry your primer or paint with a fan. Allow it to get dry by itself. Then sand the primer when it is dry. After priming your door, re-sand the surfaces of your door again to have a smooth finish.

Paint – Choosing Paint Color

The next step is to paint your door; however, you need to choose a paint color; I used latex enamel wood color. So to paint your door to look like the wood, you have to apply a base coat and a second coat. However, you should use a light wood color for your base coat and a darker color for your second coat.

Painting – Apply Base Coat

Apply a base coat to your door; you can do this with either a roller or a brush, it all depends on the one you can handle and are most comfortable with, but in my case, I made use of a roller then used a brush to wipe the roller marks and ill advise you do the same because it gives a smooth and neat result to your door,

however, if you decide to make use of a brush, you’re still on the right path. Paint gently with a roller or brush as the case may be and allow it dry before taking the next step.


Glazing is where you finish your work. Simply combine clear glaze, water, and paint in a mixing bowl: mix the clear glaze, water, and paint. I’ll advise you to get cardboard, apply this mixture, and let it dry. If it looks good for you, then you apply; however, if it is otherwise, you might need to add more paint to the mixture of water as the case may be. 

The next thing to do is start applying the glaze to your surfaces. Ensure you apply grazing with a paintbrush. You stroke the brush on the surface in a rectangular direction.

However, you can also tape sections on your door and apply glaze on them, leaving out some sections in between just like I did mine when you are doing this, allow it to dry overnight, and you’ll get the perfect wood grain look on your door.

Seal the Door

After painting and glazing, the next thing is to apply a sealer to your door. Painting my door, I applied this sealer to protect the wood finish and let it dry, and I had the desired look of my door. 

How to Paint Wood Doors

For DIY painters, following the right step to carry out your task will produce the result a professional painter will produce, if not better. What makes a painter a professional is that he follows the right procedure and steps in carrying out his or her tasks.

I stopped way back from paying people to have my stuff painted after it dawned on me that the difference between me and whom I called professionals back then is that they follow the right steps and procedures. Since then, I’ve been doing thorough research, and now the so-called professional painters reach out to me for painting ideas, tips, and steps. 

Therefore, following the steps below on how to paint wood doors will guide you to achieve this with little or no painting experience. 

Step 1

The first step in painting wood doors is to prepare the work area. You don’t have to remove the doors from their hinge. All you need to do is tape the hardware on your door and place a plastic sheet or a drop cloth underneath your door. 

Step 2

The next thing to do is to smoothen the surface of the door. You do this with sandpaper. This process is called sanding, and you sand the surfaces of your door to smoothen any rough particles or surfaces on your door.

Step 3

After Sanding your door, you apply primer. Primer serves as the base of your paint, and always make sure you get a quality primer. Primer helps paint stick with the surface. I will say primer sticks with the surface, and paint sticks to the primer producing a pleasant and desired look on surfaces.

Step 4

After applying primer, the next thing to do is to paint the wood door. You can paint the door using a roller or brush. Begin by painting the door’s edges. That should be done with a brush or a roller, although I used a brush when painting door edges. I’ll advise you do the same since it is what has been working for me. Start by painting the edges, then paint all surfaces of your door.

Conclusion – How to Paint Metal Door to Look Like Wood

Painting a metal door to look like wood can be an overwhelming task, especially when you don’t have the right resources to guide you through it, but it is very easy and fun when you have resources to guide you and you’re following the right steps. The steps above are the best and easiest way to do this. 

Make sure you read and understand every step before you apply because I must tell you, it can be annoying when painting. In the end, we mess it all up, I do beat myself to it, but the good thing about messing things up is that it gives you experience.

You have a better knowledge of how to do it and how not to do it, what to follow and what not to follow, which exposes our eyes to better ways of doing things.

You know what? I painted my metal door to look like the wood; you can do the same without hiring painters or paying someone; just follow the steps above, and you will get it right. Goodluck.   

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