top of page

How To Paint French Doors

Professional Decorators Tips - How To Use Liquid Masking

A decorators pro tips guide for how to paint French windows

We all know how daunting the thought of painting French Doors can be, ever wondered how the professionals get perfect straight edges between the painted wood and the glass. Here the team have put together a step by step guide to painting French doors or internal glazed doors that have multiple window panes.

Tip #1 -Preparation is important for painting and decorating

This first step is one of the most important and we'll keep is simple. French doors frequently get cleaned with various products and this is usually on the paintwork too. We recommend using a degreasing agent such as a sugar soap spray to clean any contaminates away. Then a gentle sandpaper over the paint surface, we recommend a 200-220 grit sandpaper, just enough to create micro abrasion which will help your paint key to the surface.

Tip #2 - Masking the window panes - Liquid Masking

Looking at the picture above, there are 50 window panes to mask, trying to "brush cut" the edges in by eye is very difficult and can leave an inconsistent finish. Another option would be to use decorators masking tape, using the example in the picture above we estimate this would take a team member 2-3 hours at least for each side. Introducing "Liquid Masking"

Painters and decorators using Liquid Masking for windows and french doors

Liquid masking (many brands available) is painted directly onto the glass and up to the edge and even slightly onto the woodwork too, we recommend two coats for complete coverage allowing the product to dry between coats, try to avoid runs in corners. The product dries completely clear and and acts like a thin film barrier to which you can paint on to. Don't worry about getting it on the woodwork, liquid masking acts as a primer too.

"This is a game changer for decorators and home DIY" – Wayne - Chicoco Team Member

Tip #3 - Time to get painting

Once the liquid masking is completely dry (it dries clear) simply paint your woodwork, again don't worry about paint going onto the glass, this will be removed later (its magic), simply focus on getting a good undercoat and a good top coat or two on. the image below shows French Doors that have Liquid Masking on the glass and then the paint has been applied with a sprayer (but could be by brush or roller), as you can see the paint is on the glazed areas too, but this is fine.

a painter and decorator in Cornwall demonstrating how to paint French windows

Tip #4 - The magic happens, removing liquid masking

Whether you have applied your liquid masking and paint by brush, roller or sprayer the next step is the same, its fun too! Get a sharp utility knife, our team members like the Stanley Knife, simply get the knife onto the glass at about 45 degrees to the wooden edge and create a cut line all around the pane for the nice crisp edge. Finally, peel away, the masking comes away from the glass easily with any overlapping paint on the glazed areas, leaving a crisp, even professional line.

a demonstration of how to remove liquid masking from windows

Click to play the video below

Is this process just good for painting French doors ?

Anywhere that you have to paint woodwork against glass, liquid masking could be the process for you. French doors, Georgian Windows, Internal Glazed doors, regular or irregular shaped windows all benefit from this process.

If you're in Cornwall and want the professionals to do this for you then we would be delighted to hear from you.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page