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Hassle-free door painting

Painting doors -- especially louvered ones -- can be a tedious, messy project. To make the process go as smoothly as possible, you need comfortable access to both sides of the door, and you need to put the door in a place where the paint can dry without getting in the way of other work. The method I use solves both problems.

The key to this tip is a pair of axles upon which the door can rotate. The axles are made of a 2-1/2-in. deck screw, a washer, a short length of 3/8-in. tubing and a fender washer. As shown in the drawing, each axle is driven into the center of the door’s top and bottom rails. The tubing portion of the axle rides in slots cut into vertical uprights, which are affixed to a pair of sawhorses. Arranged horizontally, it’s easy to paint one side of the door, then rotate it to paint the other. I leave a couple of unpainted areas along the sides of the door for handholds so that I can lift it out of the cradle. Then I hang the door from one of its axles, which are tucked into a slot in a 1x nailed to the ceiling joists in the garage. Now I can touch up any areas that need attention and leave the door to dry out of the way.