How to Paint a Sliding Patio Door

How to Paint a Sliding Patio Door featured image

The style of patio door you have can make or break the look of your house. That said, did you know the colour you use for your doors can also completely transform the inside and outside of your home? Similar to how you would paint a wall or change up your floors, painting a patio door can give your house an affordable but complete makeover.

Adding fresh paint to patio doors can add a fun pop of colour to the home. This is becoming more popular in modern homes. 

But does this mean you need someone to come in and paint for you? No! You can paint your aluminium doors in the comfort of your own home. All you need are a few basic tools and DIY know-how.

We’re taking you through everything you need to know before starting your paint project.

Get your brushes ready, and let’s look into painting your sliding patio door. 

Types of Sliding Patio Doors

Before we get our paintbrushes wet, let’s first look at the different types of sliding doors for your patio.

Bi-Fold Door: Doors that open from the centre with panels that fold onto each other. 

Patio Sliding Doors: The traditional patio door with two panels with the front sliding over the back. 

French Doors: Strong door frames with enough spacing for large panes of glass, with French doors being popular replacements for sliding patio doors

Aluminium Doors

Regardless of your choice, you want to know that if you don’t enjoy the design, you can make a change. Today we’re focusing on how to paint sliding glass doors. 

All our external aluminium doors are made with your design needs in mind. This includes the above doors and our aluminium windows and roof lanterns. 

Aluminium is incredibly sturdy and allows you to use double or triple-glazed glass. This type of glazed glass keeps your house well-insulated and safe.

Our patio doors come in various colours, with black, white, and grey being the most popular. But we understand that some prefer their doors to make a statement. 

We can help you select the right paint colours for your external aluminium doors. This will keep your products within the ten-year warranty. Check out our blog for more advice. 

Unfortunately, any repair or design work can affect the door’s integrity and void the warranty. 

But repainting doors can make your job easier if you want to spruce up an old door before replacing it. 

Let’s get into painting your aluminium exterior door frame. 

The Painting Process

What you’ll need

Here’s what you’ll need to paint your sliding glass doors:

  • Average-sized roller.
  • Rags or old (but clean) cloths.
  • Newspapers (to protect glass).
  • Bucket of soapy water.
  • Protective eyewear. 
  • Latex Paintbrush.
  • Masking tape or painter’s tape.
  • Paint cleaner.
  • Door paint.
  • Paint primer.
  • Sandpaper.
  • Brush or broom. 

Prep, prep, and more prep

It’s vital to clean sliding patio doors before you start painting. You can’t simply paint a door frame as is. It will come out lumpy and look unfinished.

That’s where prepping before repainting sliding glass doors comes in. Start with your clean brush or broom, and brush along the door frame to sweep away any dust. 

Now, grab your cleaning cloths and bucket with sudsy water and get to work. You must scrub your aluminium door to eliminate any dirt or dust. 

We know it’s exciting, and you want to get to the painting bit, but we can’t emphasize enough how vital cleaning the aluminium door frame is. 

You can scratch off any residue using some sandpaper but do this in very gentle motions to not damage to aluminium further. 

Remove the hardware

If your old door has any hardware like a handle, you need to take them off at this stage. It might be a bit more work, but you won’t regret it. 

Trying to paint around hardware is time-consuming and can make your paint job look messy and unfinished. 

Have a look at what is holding the hardware onto the door. If it’s screwed on, then getting them off with a screwdriver is quick and easy. 

If it is too difficult to remove the hardware, make sure to cover it with painter’s tape.

Prep your workspace and door

Before you start painting, it’s important to protect your home from the splatters that come with any paint job. 

The best thing is to remove the door to get it to a work area, but we know this isn’t usually possible. Here’s some help on how to adjust sliding patio door rollers that might come in handy. 

So, you’ll need to cover the surrounding area with newspaper or drop cloth. Place these on the floor and over anything in the near vicinity that you can’t pick up and move. 

At this point, you should also place newspaper on the two panes of glass in the door. Cut out the correct size and stick it down with some masking tape (avoiding the door frame). 

To get an even border, you should also use masking tape around the outside door frame.  Make sure to do this on both sides of the door, as you want the two surfaces to look equally amazing.

Now that that’s done, you can start priming.

Get your prime on

Paint primer comes in different forms. You can spray it on or paint it on. It’s all based on your preference, but painting it on will give you a smoother application. 

Primer is necessary even if the aluminium door is already painted. It holds the paint in place and makes it last a lot longer. Primer makes a big difference.

It would be best if you left the primer to completely dry for at least six hours. Painting over wet primer is a big no-no. You’ll be left with a total mess. 

Once dried, if you notice any bumpy areas, you can sand it lightly to make it smooth. 


You should only use paint specifically created for an aluminium door. This means finding paint that is suitable for metal surfaces. Acrylic paint is a good option; it adheres to the metal very well. 

Paints come in different forms, with most choosing the spray paint option. If this is your choice, you’ll need to wear a mask and protective eyewear while working indoors. Spray paint has harmful gas. Always paint in a well-ventilated space.

Spray paint the aluminium door paint in the same direction along the entire frame. It’s best to get the first coat down in one sitting. 

If you’re using brushable aluminium door paint, you should paint steadily up and down, making your way around the door. 

Keep an eye out for any drips; picking these up while the paint is still wet can save a lot of hassle later. 

It’s best to let each layer of paint dry completely before moving on to the next. Some aluminium sliding doors might require many coats to get the desired colour and density you’re looking for. 


Your job isn’t done just yet. You need to reapply the hardware you’ve removed. Remember to get off all the masking tape from the windows too. 

If you have any splatters on the glass, don’t panic! You can remove them with paint cleaner, but be sure not to get any on the door. 

Most will leave the door at this point, which is perfectly fine. However, patio sliding doors face outside. Meaning they face the elements which can cause a lot of damage to the paint. 

To prevent this as much as possible, apply a sealant so that all your hard work remains in place. It’s best to use a sealant that works with the type of paint you’ve used. 

For example, an acrylic sealant for acrylic or a polyurethane sealer for oil and water-based paint. 


What type of paint should I use on my aluminium patio door? 

The best paint to use on any patio door is one that works on the material the door frame is made from. Aluminium doors need paints suitable for metal. Acrylic-based paints work very well on aluminium. You’ll still need to prime and seal your patio door to maintain the colour and consistency across the frame. 

Is painting an aluminium door necessary? 

Look, anything can fade over time. It’s a given. However, if your aluminium door is made using durable and weather-resistant materials, you shouldn’t need to paint your aluminium doors for many years. All our products come with a ten-year warranty. So, we’ve got you covered.

Is it hard to paint an aluminium door? 

This depends on where your door is located. If it’s a standard patio door, then no, it shouldn’t be challenging to paint. You will have to prep the door with newspaper and masking tape, which can be time-consuming but not difficult. 

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