Can You Paint Fire Doors?

Can You Paint Fire Doors?

Fire doors are designed and constructed differently from regular doors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decorate them. In this guide, we’ll show you how to paint a fire door.

Can you paint a fire door?

You can paint a fire door using regular paint, but be careful not to add too many coats of paint, which could affect fire performance.

For best results, use intumescent paint, which expands many times its original thickness at high temperatures to slow flames from spreading.

Always check with the manufacturer for specific requirements or restrictions regarding painting your fire door.

They may have specific guidelines or restrictions on the paints and coatings that can be applied without compromising the door’s integrity and fire-resisting properties.

Fire doors in school.

How to safely paint a fire door

It’s critical to follow the correct procedures when painting fire doors. Painting it should not diminish its ability to protect against the spread of flames and smoke.

Detailed preparation, appropriate materials, and careful application are key to maintaining the door’s fire-resistant qualities.

While the process may seem straightforward, specific steps must be followed to guarantee the door retains its fire-resisting capabilities.

Prepare the door

Begin by removing the door hardware or covering it with masking tape to protect it from paint.

It’s essential to ensure that nothing obstructs the door hardware or frame, as this could hinder their efficiency and prevent the door from shutting correctly, which is crucial in a fire.

Choose the correct paint

Choosing the right type of paint is vital when painting a fire door.

Intumescent paint is often recommended, as it expands when exposed to high temperatures, helping to seal gaps and prevent the passage of flames and smoke.

However, if you opt for regular paint, it is crucial to apply thin coats to avoid compromising the door’s fire-resistant properties.

Don’t paint over smoke seals

It’s crucial to avoid painting over smoke seals, as they prevent smoke from passing through doors.

Smoke seals play a critical role in a fire door’s design, helping to inhibit smoke from passing through gaps. When painting a fire door, it’s essential not to paint over these seals.

Preserving their integrity is necessary for the door to function correctly in the event of a fire.

Sand the door

To ensure the paint adheres correctly, lightly sand the door’s surface before applying any primer or paint.

This creates a smooth base for paint so that the layers of paint adhere evenly and provide good coverage.

Prime the door

After sanding, apply a primer as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If necessary, lightly sand the door again after the primer has dried to ensure a smooth base for the topcoat.

This helps to create a solid and even foundation for the paint to adhere to.

Paint the door

When applying intumescent paint to a fire door, it’s important to use thin, even coats. Start with a brush or roller and spread the paint uniformly across the door’s surface.

This approach helps maintain the door’s fire-resisting properties while ensuring a professional finish.

Once you have applied the first coat of paint, make sure to give it enough time to dry completely before you decide whether or not the door requires additional coats.

If it does, repeat the process, ensuring each layer of paint is allowed to dry completely before adding another.

It is important to follow this step carefully to achieve the desired appearance without compromising the door’s safety features.


What paint can you use on a fire door?

For fire doors, you can use a variety of paints, including regular paint and fire-resistant paint. However, intumescent paint is highly recommended.

Intumescent paint provides additional protection by expanding under high temperatures and sealing gaps that could allow the passage of smoke and flames.

Can you paint fire doors with gloss?

Yes, fire doors can be painted using gloss paint, provided it is applied correctly in thin, even coats, so it doesn’t interfere with the door’s functionality.

Do fire doors need to be a specific colour?

No, internal fire doors in the UK do not need to be a specific colour; you can choose any colour you want or per the building’s design scheme.

However, ensuring that the door meets all relevant safety standards and regulations before installation is essential.

Is it illegal to paint a fire door?

It is not illegal to paint a fire door, but any painting must be carried out in accordance with guidelines that ensure the door maintains its fire resistance.

Can you paint fire doors with a roller?

Painting FD60 fire doors with a roller is acceptable, provided the paint or varnish is applied in thin layers.

Always allow the paint to dry completely between coats, and use a hand roller for an even application across the door’s surface.

It’s important not to paint over intumescent strips, as these are designed to expand to improve fire resistance.

After sanding the door, wipe it with a damp cloth to remove dust.

What is the best paint for fire doors?

The best paint for fire doors is fire-rated intumescent paint, which expands when exposed to heat, helping to seal the door against smoke and flames.

This type of paint is compatible with fire safety standards and contributes to the overall fire protection of a building.

When painting your fire doors, applying a coat of primer specifically designed for fire doors is crucial to ensure proper adhesion and effectiveness.

Regular paint can be used but does not provide the same level of fire resistance.

Alternatives to painting a fire door

Traynor Williams offers a range of fire door finishes to suit every taste and style.

Wood veneer fire doors

Wood veneer fire doors give a classic, natural look. The warmth and feel of a natural wood without compromising safety and performance.

Laminated fire doors

Laminate fire doors offer versatility with hundreds of colour options.

Painted fire doors

Painted fire doors offer the flexibility of colour and consistency coupled with a high-standard factory finish.

PVC postformed doors

Postformed doors are manufactured in a wide range of colours. Fully encapsulated, impact and abrasive-resistant.