Sliding Doors

A Comprehensive Guide to Painting Sliding Wardrobe Doors

If you have a wardrobe with sliding doors and you’re tired of the current color or finish, you may be wondering if it’s possible to paint them. The good news is that you can indeed paint wardrobe sliding doors, as long as you follow a few key steps and use the right materials. Here’s what you need to know.


Before you start painting, it’s important to properly prepare the surface of the sliding doors. This will ensure that the paint adheres well and looks smooth and even when it’s dry.

First, remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the doors using a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a dusting attachment. Next, sand the surface of the doors using fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to rough up the surface and create a better bonding surface for the paint.

Once you’ve sanded the doors, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. Then, let the doors dry completely before proceeding with the painting process.

1. Setting Up Your Workspace

Before diving into the painting process, it’s crucial to prepare your workspace adequately. This involves protecting surfaces from accidental paint splatters, gathering necessary materials, and choosing the right paint color that matches your room’s decor.

Prepare your workspace

1.1 Protecting Surfaces

Start by covering any surface in your workspace that you want to keep paint-free. This could be your floor, furniture, or any other nearby items. Using a drop cloth or old sheets is an effective way to protect these surfaces.

1.2 Gathering Essential Materials

Next up, gather all necessary materials. This would typically include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Damp cloth
  • Sugar soap
  • Primer
  • Paint brushes and roller
  • A clean, flat surface to lay the door on while painting

1.3 Choosing the Right Paint

Selecting the right paint color is crucial in determining the overall look of your room. Here are a few styles to consider:

  • Monochromatic schemes: Colors within the same palette naturally complement each other.
  • Cool Colour Tones: Colors with a blue base are considered “cool” and are ideal for a relaxing ambiance, perfect for bedrooms.
  • Muted Colours: Choosing subdued tones can promote a calming atmosphere.
  • Neutral Hues: Neutral colors blend well with any environment, creating a comforting space for guests.
  • Chalkboard Paint: A fun and practical option, chalkboard paint allows you to turn your wardrobe doors into a usable chalkboard.

Melamine paint is highly recommended for sliding doors due to its durability, variety of colors, uniform finish, and affordability.

2. Sliding Door Removal

The method of removing the sliding doors will vary based on their construction. However, the typical process involves the following steps:

  1. Move the sliding doors to one side of the wall. Have someone secure the side with the doors to prevent any accidental damage.
  2. Unscrew all the screws on the track (the bottom piece that guides the sliding door) except for the middle screw on the side without the sliding door.
  3. Remove the sliding door from that side. You may need to loosen the wheels for easier removal.
  4. Repeat the process for each piece of your sliding door.
  5. Finally, remove the middle screw and detach the track, if necessary.

Ensure the doors are placed on a smooth, even surface that won’t scratch them during the painting process.

3. Smoothing the Door’s Surface

Smoothing the door's surface

Smoothing the door’s surface is a crucial step in the preparation process. Use fine-grit sandpaper (120 to 220-grit) to scrape off any loose paint and create a smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to.

If your wardrobe doors have any cracks, make sure to fill those in before painting. Unattended cracks can impair the door’s functionality over time. You can use filler sticks, available at most home retail stores, to fill in these cracks.

Always remember to wear a dust mask and safety goggles during the sanding process to protect yourself from any harmful particles.

4. Cleaning the Door

After sanding, it’s essential to clean the door thoroughly. Vacuum over each surface of the door to remove any remaining sawdust. Follow this up with a gentle wipe down using sugar soap and a soft cloth to eliminate any grime.

5. Priming the Door

Priming is a crucial step in the painting process as it helps the paint adhere better to the door and increases its durability. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Begin by using a narrow brush to paint the door’s crevices and corners, ensuring a smooth, even coat.
  2. Use a wider brush to prime the flat areas of the door. Allow one side to dry before moving on to the next.
  3. Once the primer dries completely, lightly sand it with 120-grit sandpaper. This will smooth out any unevenness and roughen the surface slightly, promoting better adherence of the final paint coats.

6. Painting the Door

Once your door is primed, it’s time to paint! Here are some useful tips to consider during this process:

  • Lay the door flat to avoid any paint spillage.
  • Check for any subtle “paint buildup” around your door. Despite your best efforts at sanding, there may still be tiny bits of stuck paint. Ignoring them could lead to a discolored door.
  • Look out for any flaws in your priming. Make sure every crevice is evenly covered. If you spot a mistake, use a spackling compound to cover it up, then resand and re-prime the area.
  • For the best results, lightly sand between each coat of primer and paint.

7. Reattaching the Door

After the paint has completely dried, it’s time to reattach your wardrobe sliding doors. The process might differ based on the type of sliding doors you have, but here’s a general method:

  1. Start by putting all your screws back in place. Begin with the track (if you took it off entirely).
  2. Next, reattach each side of your sliding doors.
  3. As you attach each side, test the tracks to ensure they’re working correctly.
  4. Once the entire sliding wardrobe door is reattached and secure, your job is done!

By following this comprehensive guide, you can easily transform the look of your space by painting your sliding wardrobe doors. With the right preparation and a bit of patience, you’ll end up with beautifully painted doors that enhance your room’s aesthetic appeal. Happy painting!


Now that the doors are prepared, you can start painting. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the best results:

  • Use a high-quality paint. Cheap paint is more likely to chip, peel, or fade over time, so it’s worth investing in a good-quality paint that will hold up well.
  • Choose the right brush. For a smooth finish, it’s best to use a high-quality paintbrush with synthetic bristles. Avoid using a cheap or low-quality brush, as these can leave streaks or brush marks in the paint.
  • Use thin, even coats. It’s better to apply several thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat. This will help to ensure that the paint dries evenly and doesn’t drip or sag.
  • Let the paint dry completely between coats. Follow the recommended drying times on the paint can, and be sure to let each coat dry completely before applying the next one.
  • Protect the floor. To avoid getting paint on your floor, place a drop cloth or plastic sheeting under the doors as you paint.


Once you’ve finished painting the doors, you may want to add a topcoat to protect the paint and give it a glossy finish. Use a clear polyurethane or varnish, and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


As you can see, it is possible to paint wardrobe sliding doors. By following the steps outlined above and using the right materials, you can give your wardrobe a fresh, new look without having to replace the doors. Just be sure to take your time and be patient, as proper preparation and careful application are key to achieving a professional-looking finish. For more guides you can check this guide and this one.

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