Painting Fire Doors

Black Fire Doors

At Vivid Doors, we believe that fire safety shouldn’t come at the expense of style. This is why we stock an outstanding range of FD30-rated fire doors in all kinds of styles, finishes and colours. In fact, you’ll find that many of the internal door styles that we offer are also available as fire doors. Fire doors are also highly customisable. We offer all kinds of door hardware, especially handles and hinges that are designed specifically for use with fire doors. These are able to withstand the heat of a fire without warping and buckling.

But the personalisation of your internal fire doors doesn’t stop there. You may wish to paint your internal fire doors to ensure a better fit with your interior design concept. Here, we’ll look at everything you need to know about painting your internal fire doors.

Can you paint fire doors?

Yes, internal fire doors can be painted. We are proud to stock a wide range of FD30-rated fire doors in a range of styles and sizes, both primed and unfinished. We offer white primed doors for those who wish to paint their internal doors in a pale or bright colour. We also have grey and black primed doors which are ideal for painting in darker colours. Unfinished doors can also be painted. However, it’s a good idea to apply a coat of primer to ensure a satisfyingly consistent finish. 

Varnished or stained fire doors can also be painted. However, they should first be sanded down to create a smooth surface to which the paint can adhere. Internal doors have a solid wood veneer surrounding the core. This is more than thick enough to withstand the degree of sanding that’s necessary to remove the finish.

One caveat of painting internal fire doors is that painters must be wary of applying too many coats. A fire door needs to seal in heat and smoke, and as such needs to open and close without impediment, and fit flush with the surrounding frame. Too many coats can make the door unnecessarily thick, potentially causing issues when opening and closing it. After each coat of paint has dried, make sure that the door can be opened and fully closed smoothly.

Can you paint intumescent strips?

Intumescent strips are rubbery strips that run along the circumference of a fire door leaf. They can also often be found within the fire door’s frame. In the event of a fire, intumescent strips are designed to expand when the temperature reaches around 200 degrees celsius. This seals small gaps between the door leaf and frame, containing the heat and flames and preventing the fire from spreading. Given that intumescent strips are very important, some may be wary of painting over them.

However, evidence suggests that a coat of paint has no adverse effects on the function of an intumescent strip. Again, however, it is advisable not to use too many coats. When painting over intumescent strips, try to use no more than 3 or 4 coats to ensure that the fire door is able to close fully.

Can you paint smoke seals?

Smoke seals are often used alongside intumescent strips. They also run along the edges of a fire door and create a seal between the leaf and the frame. While intumescent strips are rubbery in texture, smoke seals are fuzzy and brush-like. They are designed to trap smoke, containing it in the event of a fire.

Unlike intumescent strips, smoke seals must not be painted over. Their texture is essential in containing smoke particulates. If smoke seals are painted over, it can render them far less effective if a fire breaks out. Painting over smoke seals may also be an impediment to the door’s opening and closing.

Can you paint fire door hinges?

Fire door hinges are specially designed to withstand excessive heat without warping, so that the door remains snug in its frame after a fire breaks out. However, while these hinges are very robust in their composition, they must not be painted over. When the paint dries, it can restrict the motion of the door, preventing it from opening and closing smoothly.

As such, when painting your fire door, always place masking tape over the hinges to ensure that their mechanism is not obstructed by paint.

What paint can be used for fire doors?

Fire doors can be painted with the same paints you use for your other internal doors. While they are thicker with a more robust core, fire doors have the same wooden veneer as any other internal doors around the home. As such, they do not require special paint.

That said, there are also fire-rated paints available in a wide range of colours. These have a fireproof formulation that creates an intumescent barrier between the fire and the timber. This can supplement the existing fireproofing capabilities of your internal fire doors.

If you can find a fire-rated paint in your chosen colour, it may be worth painting your fire doors with these paints for added peace of mind. However, if you can only find conventional paint in the colour you desire, you may apply this without worrying about how it affects the door’s fireproofing.

How to paint a fire door

Painting a fire-rated internal door is much the same as painting any other door. On the outside, your fire doors are just the same as your other internal doors. Nonetheless, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure that you get the perfect finish.

  • Wipe down the door to remove stains, dust and dirt
  • Ensure that all hardware is covered with masking tape
  • Lightly sand the door to create a smooth surface for the primer
  • Dampening the door’s surface with a damp cloth is a good way to reduce drying time
  • If the door is unfinished, apply a layer of primer using a hand roller to save time. Use a small brush for nooks, crannies and more intricate areas
  • You are now ready to apply the paint. Use broad and even strokes going in the same direction to achieve a smooth and uniform finish

Take a look at our internal fire door range

Repainting your fire doors can lend them a new lease of life. However, if the time has come to replace them, you’ll find a fantastic fit for your home in our fire door range. From traditional classic to contemporary masterpieces, our internal fire door range contains finished, primed, unfinished and even glazed fire doors that combine fire safety with style!