We have an older (1950’s) house, Cinder block construction. The frame for the front door is a steel frame, set VERY solidly into the block. The 1/2 of the door hinges that are normally SCREWED into the frame are a welded part of the frame. They CANNOT be removed. (The other 1/2 of the Hinges on the door, of course, can be unscrewed).

1). Has anyone ever seen such a beast?

2). We are going to replace the front door. We plan to get a retrofit door – take the OLD door into a shop and they promise that they can cut an exact replica – all the mortices and stuff in the exact same spots… only need to reattach the door 1/2 of the hinges and up it goes. Anyone use this approach? Does the new door REALLY fit?

3). The frame has, oh… about 1,000 coats of paint. DW has been stripping it down to bare steel. It looks great. NOW – how do I best refinish it? I am thinking of a spray primer, two coats, then a spray topcoat. Was in Lowes looking at spray paing, there are some that are kind of textured now. Rustoleum puts some out. What kind of paint is best for a door frame? Should it be spray? Or is there a really heavy duty paint that would work out well brushed on? I want something that will LAST.

If the steel surface isn’t really clean (free of any rust pits) I’d use Ospho or some like product to arrest any oxidation there. Carefully though because concrete (mortar….ie) isn’t very fond of phosphoric acid, which is what is in these products. 2coats of primer and at least 2 topcoats sounds about right, but I’d add some hardener to those topcoats to get some chip resistance. Of course I would spray it.

The frame is really nice. so far just “000” steel wool, have not gone o “0000” yet.

So, forget a can of spray paint and go rent a sprayer and add hardner to the paint? I assume a full service paint store – Kelly Moore, Dutch Boy, one of those – would be able to help out with a good grade / type of paint.

Depending on the color a option to consider is your local Farm and Home. They sell what is commonly labled implement paint or out building paint. These are designed for application to steel and aluminum structures and vehicels. They often sell a hardener that will increase the life of the paint. A good etching primer to start and a couple of coats. These can be brushed on and it you use a good quality finish brush designed for oil based finishes they are fairly self leveling. they can be sprayed as well and a good option if you already have a compressor is a small HVLP touch up sprayer from Harbor Freight. The colors are basic black, white, barn red, grey and any tractor color you might want. Your chance to have a Deer Green door frame!

Painted a school bus with this in 2004 and it still loooks decent after constant exposure in Kansas.