How to Milk Paint a Metal Door

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We bought this door on a whim. We were in the thick of remodeling and we needed something quick. I was at Home Depot and saw it in the clearance section of their parking lot sale.

It was dirt cheap and I called my husband with the measurements, he quickly Ok’ed the purchase and I brought it home. Something got lost in the communication that day and my husband didn’t realize just how narrow it was until after it was installed.

Christmas trees and couches have a pain ever since, like trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle. Ok, not that bad, but the day was have to replace our refrigerator is probably the same day we replace our front door.

In the mean time, I have tried to make do with what we have.  For years the door just had primer on it which is impossible to get clean finger prints off of.

Before- Painted Metal Door by

Then, I tried my hand at faux painting wood which was really interesting and went surprisingly well.  The problem was it didn’t photograph well, so in the end I opted for a navy blue milk paint.

Before- Painted Front Door by

Now, I LOVE milk paint, but this was the first time I have ever applied it to metal. I am happy to report that it behaved just like I hoped it would.

Here is a quick run down of what I did. . .

You can follow along on my YouTube channel here.

How to Milk Paint a Metal Door

Paint Metal Door by

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

  1. Following the directions on the bag of milk paint, mix your milk paint.  I used Artissimo by Miss Mustard Seed.  I also added in a Bonding Agent from Miss Mustard Seed to prevent uncontrolled chipping.
  2. Then, using 220 grit sand paper, I spent a few minutes scuffing up the surface of the door to give the paint something to stick to.
  3. After taping of the door knob and deadbolt, I brushed on the prepared milk paint. Be sure to protect the floor!
  4. Once the paint was dry, I did some light distressing with 220 grit sandpaper until some of the brown and even white was showing through.   Milk paint is almost irridescent because of the pigments in it and sanding lightly will bring out this feature.  This is my favorite thing about milk paint!
  5. Wipe off the dust with a soft rag.
  6. Finally, using Amy Howard’s Beeswax, I sealed the whole door by applying with a soft rag.

How to Paint a Door by


Milk Paint Door Tutorial by


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P.S. For those of you interested in the cow wall hanging, I show you how to make it the DIY Vintage Wall Hanging post.  Have fun- the possibilities are endless!


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  1. Kenetta Markelionis
    May 10, 2018 / 1:40 PM

    Where did you get your cow wall hanging? Thank you, km

  2. Tanya Hulbert
    June 6, 2018 / 7:28 PM

    It was neat to see all those pictures of your living room and how it has truly transformed in just a short amount of time. You have done so much!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      June 15, 2018 / 11:25 AM

      Thank you, Tanya, that door is one of my favorite parts! Even my husband approves!;)

  3. J. Savage
    May 7, 2019 / 9:42 AM

    How is the milk paint on your door holding up?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      May 7, 2019 / 9:54 PM

      Good! It has little wear right near the door knob, but it doesn’t look bad.

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