Refreshing your home decor every once in a while is a fun way to make your home livelier and cozier for the season. If you’ve been thinking about adding some personality to your front door with a new set of door hangers, you’re definitely not alone!
What do you need to paint door hangers? You will need acrylic paint or chalk paint, stencils, paint brushes, painter’s tape, a utility knife, and of course, your creativity!
In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know before painting your door hanger. We’ll cover the necessary supplies and provide tips for ensuring a flawless finish.
Type Of Wood For Door Hangers
There are a few factors to weigh when you are making a wooden door hanger. The first is the type of wood that you will use. Choosing the right wood is so important because it will determine the durability of your door hanger.
Wood with a tight grain will be more resistant to splintering, while wood with a loose grain will be easier to cut but more likely to crack. You’ll also want something lightweight so that it doesn’t weigh down your door.
Plywood is the most popular wood option for DIY door hangers. This is an engineered wood that is sturdy, easy to cut and shape and has minimal splinters after cutting.
In addition, you can also find pre-cut wood planks in most craft stores in every shape and size you can think of.
These wood planks are usually made from birchwood, which is smooth and easy to paint. The pre-cut blanks also save you the trouble of having to cut and sand down your wooden door hanger before painting it.
Type Of Paint To Use For Door Hangers
Since your wooden door hanger will be exposed to the outdoors, the type of paint that you use will decide how long the colors will last and how durable the wood will be.
The right type of paint will not only look great after painting, but it can also protect your wooden door hanger from damage caused by moisture, heat, and fungi.
Regardless of the type of paint that you use, we recommend using a clear sealant to protect your paint from the elements. Mod Podge and beeswax are both easy-to-use and accessible topcoats that can add a layer of protection to your paint.
Let’s first take a look at the best types of paint to use for door hangers.
If you’re an avid crafter, chances are you already have some acrylic paint in your storage. Acrylic paint is quite versatile because it can be used on almost any surface, including craft wood. The colors are super lightfast, and they won’t fade or yellow over time, even when left outdoors.
Since acrylic paint is a water-based paint, it’s non-toxic and is also super easy to use and even easier to clean up. It can be thinned using water, and you can also wash your brushes using water.
Acrylic paint also dries super quickly, so you can build up layers and layers of paint quite easily. Once dry, acrylic paint will harden and become water-resistant, which means it can also prevent the wood from absorbing moisture and protect it from cracking and warping.
Acrylic paint is already super durable as it is. However, since it is not completely waterproof, you can seal the paint with a waterproof sealant, such as epoxy or lacquer.
The sealant can protect the paint from UV rays, and it can also seal the wood completely to keep moisture and bacteria at bay.
Chalk paint is another type of paint that is super popular with wooden decor and furniture. Chalk paint gives the wood a matte, distressed finish, which is often seen in vintage furniture and decor. If you’re going for a vintage look, then chalk paint will be your best option.
The best thing about chalk paint is that it can be applied to almost any clean surface without any primer. It can also be painted over just as easily, so if you would like to repaint the wood blank to make a new door hanger, you can!
Chalk paint is also incredibly forgiving, so if you’re a beginner, you don’t really have to worry about making mistakes. Any brush marks and unevenness on the surface can even add to the vintage vibe!
Similar to acrylic paint, chalk paint is durable, but it’s not completely waterproof. Buffing a layer of beeswax over the chalk paint can protect it from moisture as well as scratches and dents.
However, you will need to remove the wax completely if you want to repaint the piece.
What You Need To Paint Door Hangers
Once you’ve decided on a design and theme for your door hanger, let’s gather the supplies that you will need to paint your door hanger.
Depending on your design, you will need a few different types of paintbrushes.
If you are painting smaller details on the wood blank, you will need to get a set of smaller brushes, which include a detail brush, a filbert brush, and a liner.
Stencils are great for creating sophisticated designs without breaking a sweat. These are especially useful if you’re not too confident with painting on wood since you can just use stencils to create your design.
Stencils are available in almost any shape, pattern, letter, and size. If you’re making a simple door hanger with basic lettering, you can surely find stencils available to make painting much easier.
Your paint colors may look great after painting, but if you want the colors and the wooden door hanger to last, make sure to use a sealant to protect them.
We recommend using a spray lacquer, which is super simple to apply. You can also use Mod Podge if you have it in your craft supplies. For chalk paint, we recommend using beeswax, which will complement this type of paint well.
If you’re cutting your own wooden board, make sure to prepare some medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper. You will need the wooden surface to be completely smooth before painting.
In addition to the above, you will also need some painter’s tape to protect areas that you don’t want to paint, and a utility knife to remove the stencils.
You’ll also need a clean rag and some water to easily clean your brushes and your working area.
How To Paint A Door Hanger
For this tutorial, we’ll show you how to paint a door hanger using stencils, which are super simple and stress-free.
1. Prepare the board.
To prepare the board for painting, we recommend lightly sanding the surface of the board to smooth out any bumps on the surface. Sanding the wood will also help the paint adhere better to your wooden surface.
After sanding, make sure to wipe down the board with a clean microfiber towel to remove any sanding dust and dirt from the surface.
2. Paint the background.
Before laying down your stencils, you will need to paint the background the color of your choice. Using a foam brush or a large flat brush, pick up your paint and lay down the first coat of paint to cover the board completely.
Depending on the color and the type of paint you’re using, you may need more than one coat to build up the opacity. If so, you will need to wait for the first layer of paint to dry before painting the next coat.
Once you finish painting the background, leave it to dry overnight before moving to the next step.
Since we will be applying stencils to the board, waiting for the paint to dry will ensure that the stencils won’t damage it – you don’t want the background paint to be ripped out when you remove your stencils!
3. Apply any stencils.
Measure your stencils against your board to ensure that they fit. You can also arrange the stencils around in this step to figure out a design and composition that will work well.
Then, carefully peel off the adhesive backing of the stencils and apply them to the board, making sure that the paper is completely smooth, and the edges meet the board. If the stencils are not applied correctly, the paint can seep underneath, making your edges blurry and messy.
In this step, you can also apply painter’s tape around the stencils and the edges of the board to seal off any edges that you don’t want to paint.
4. Paint over your stencils.
Using a contrasting color and a smaller brush, paint over the stencils in the blank areas. Similar to the above, you may need to build up the opacity using a few layers of paint.
5. Remove the stencils.
Wait for a few hours until the paint is completely dry, and then carefully remove your stencils. You may have to use a utility knife to pick up the sticky corners, but the stencils should be quite easy to remove.
You can use a small brush to clean up the edges and other areas if needed.
6. Seal the paint.
Once the paint layer is completely dry, apply your sealant of choice all over the wooden surface, even the back of the wooden board, to seal off the wood completely.
After the sealant is completely dry, you can hang your new door hanger to welcome a new season!