Main House Extension
Exterior Transformation
Main entrance screen door colour change

The existing screen door is a relatively modern aluminium security screen door with black anodised aluminium screen. The frame and cast aluminium security mesh was factory powder coated in the popular Australian Federation Period colour Brunswick Green.

1. Before painting

The process in excruciating detail

I reviewed several YouTube videos on painting screen doors, none of which were completely successful in my opinion. Nevertheless, they were well worth watching with a critical eye.

The door was removed and the screening and, this is essential in my opinion, all door furniture (handles etc.) was removed. The frame was then washed with sugar soap and rinsed.

I set up an area in the workshop where the frame could be hung vertically rotated 90 degrees so that I would also be holding the paint can more or less vertically while spraying. The door was hung from a head-height shelf on two long steel pins spaced so that the frame sat directly on them without touching the security mesh. I also hung a door-sized sheet of cardboard on the same pins behind the door frame to catch the over-spray. Hinges and the bristle bottom gap seal were riveted and so not removed, but were masked with tape. The workshop was well ventilated and goggles and filtered breathing mask were worn.

Starting with the frame and outside edges, I applied thin coats to get an even coverage. Moving to the mesh, I worked systematically along each diagonal mesh line in turn, moving quickly with single strokes at 45 degrees to the plane of the door from 10 to 15 cm away, applying a thin coat primarily to the through-faces of the mesh. Imagine image 5 below as a "paint nozzle eye view" of the door while spraying the security mesh.

The aim here was to cover surfaces that would only get one coat, but it would be essential to keep moving and spray thinly. To cover all of the mesh on one side of the door would therefore require four passes: one pass for each side of each diagonal line of mesh (see images below). A thin fast coat was essential to avoid wasting paint, keeping in mind that most mesh surfaces around the primary focal surface would get up to four thin coats of enamel. One full can of Dulux Enamel Colourbond Ironstone was applied per side. There is unavoidably a lot of over-spray so I chose not to be distracted by it, but maintaining the 45 degree angle helps to minimise this. In contrast, attempting to spray perpendicular to the door would maximise wastage.

The first side was allowed to dry for several hours before turning the hung screen around to apply the same method to the reverse side.

Before re-assembling the door, a new "heritage" bronze screen mesh was attached. This not only looks great but is also stronger and more fire-resistant than synthetic or aluminium meshes. Aesthetically the bronze appears more transparent than the original black mesh, especially up against the timber door. It will develop a patina over time. It costs about four times as much but the low total cost of this DIY project made it worthwhile.

2. Finished screen door matched against bluestone

3. Finished screen door

4. Finished screen door close-up.

5. Finished screen door close-up of bronze mesh

Total cost: AU$115

  • two cans of enamel (AU$25)

  • new bronze mesh, piping and piping tool (AU$90).

An identical screen door on the kitchen entrance was done in the same way. Since I have small dogs I have added a 700mm high sheet of 3mm perspex to the lower inside section of this screen door to protect the bronze mesh from eager paws.