|Written by Beth Weston|
Intro: Sometimes making a minor alteration to something in your home can really change the look and ambiance in a room. One easy way to change the look of your bathroom is to paint the shower doors. Not only will the new color brighten up the room, but you will then have the fun experience of purchasing new decorations to complement the new color of the doors.
Step 1: Prior to beginning work of removing old paint and then applying new paint to a shower door, you should ensure that the bathroom is ventilated properly. The exhaust fan should be on during the entire process and any windows should be open at all times. If the fumes are still strong, bring in a household fan and leave it on during the process.
Step 2: Prepare your shower doors by removing any old paint. Begin by using a wire brush to remove rust, then apply a paint stripper to the metal. After the recommended waiting period, rinse off the stripper and paint. Follow up preparation with sanding any residual paint off the metal.
Step 3: Before painting, apply masking tape around the edge of the metal areas you expect to paint. Also, lay a tarp on the floor. The tarp will catch any falling paint drops and the masking tape will allow you to maintain a crisp line without painting over into areas that you would not want painted.
Step 4: When choosing primer for your metal areas of your shower door, it is important to choose one that will work in wet areas. You should look for primers that are water based and can be applied directly to metal. Further, they should work well with a latex paint covering it. Apply the primer to the metal door frame of the shower using a paint brush. If needed apply two coats. Let the paint dry completely before applying latex paint over it.
Step 5: Once the primer has dried completely, you can apply a latex paint in a color of your choice. Latex paint is recommended over oil paints because although water will bead on oil, oil has a tendency to lift over time. Apply two to three coats of the latex paint to the metal until it is covered uniformly. Let dry completely.
Step 6: Once the latex paint has dried thoroughly, finish the project by applying a spray polyurethane for a glossy look and protection of the latex paint. Be aware that polyurethane has a strong odor. You may want to wear a mask in addition to the ventilation precautions you have already put in place for your project. Apply two to three coats of the spray polyurethane allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next coat.
Step 7: Once you have finished painting your shower doors, clean your brushes with soap and water. Throw away the masking tape. Store the tarp for later use. Put the lids back on the paint and store the paint in a cool area such as the garage.
Tips: If you start to feel dizzy or light-headed when applying the primer, paint or polyurethane to your shower doors, step out of the room and get some fresh air. When you head clears, return to your bathroom and re-evaluate if you have enough proper ventilation. If not, increase the ventilation in the room to avoid any dizziness, light-headedness or blacking out.
Warnings: Do not apply a coat of primer, paint or polyurethane to a coat that has not completely dried. Doing so will put bubbles into the paint and ruin the paint job. Taking the extra time to allow complete drying will allow you to ensure your next coat will be smooth and beautiful.