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Always working with the grain, first paint the mouldings around each panel, then the panels themselves. Next paint the centre stiles, the cross-rails including those above and below the panels. Now paint the stiles down each side of the door, then the edges, and finally the door casing (jamb and door stop, and architrave) if these were not painted at the same time as the skirting board. When you paint the outside edges of the architrave use a paint shield ( 212 213) to prevent paint getting on the wall.
An old-fashioned technique for painting panelled doors is to use slightly different tones of the same colour on different parts of the door. By painting the panels the darkest shade, the frame the lightest and the mouldings a shade in between, the architectural features of the door are made more noticeable. The door looks like a three-dimensional object rather than a two-dimensional one.
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The best way to paint the large flat expanse of a flush door is to mentally divide it into six or eight equal parts, two across and three or four down, rather like the sections in a bar of chocolate. Start by painting the top left section, then the top right, then the next left, then next right, and so on down to the bottom of the door. Paint each in turn, blending the wet edges together as you work down the door. Paint the edges* jamb and architrave as for panelled doors.
Flush doors can offer greater and more varied opportunities than panelled doors for extravagant painting styles. Their flat sides
Panelled doors provide the opportunity for having fun with colour. Here light and dark blue paints have been used to make a striking entrance to the room. In times past, the panels were painted in slightly different tones of the same colour to provide a subtle sense of depth.
The painting sequences for panel and flush doors
1 For a panelled door, start with the mouldings around the panels, and then follow the sequence of numbers.
1 Work down a flush door from the top in imaginary sections, blending wet edges together before they dry.
The frame of a metal glass-panelled door is painted black, drawing attention to the geometry of the glass. The squareness of the panels contrasts pleasingly with the generous curve of the red-painted wall in front of it. Glass blocks above this wall serve to create an internal window as well as echoing the panels of the door lend themselves to all-over designs such as the eye-bending geometric patterns found in the work of pop artist Bridget Riley or the blown-up cartoons of Roy Lichtenstein. Some of the most famous examples of door painting can be seen at Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, where the artists Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister) and Duncan Grant used every surface, including the doors, as a canvas. You can find inspiration for making up your own designs or pictures almost anywhere.