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Stopping the Paint from Peeling Along the Edge of a Freshly Painted Door

Recently, I received a call from a Client regarding a concern of theirs that a door we had painted kept having the paint along its edges lift up each time one of our techs had gone to correct it.

This was a frustrating endeavor because each side involved had thought the door had dried thoroughly enough so that it would be able to be closed without an issue.

After a few attempts at going through the same experience – paint door, believe door is dry, close door, open door at later point in time, beat head on wall because edge paint had peeled (again!) – the Client reached out to me directly and I realized what was occurring.

Fortunately, this is a challenge that has probably been around since doors started to be painted and years ago, I learned a wise old trick (that I have apparently not been teaching as diligently as I should be lately!) to prevent this annoyance from occurring.


Using ‘Vaseline’ to prevent a newly painted door from peeling along the edge is a simple and effective trick that many DIY (Do It Yourself) enthusiasts and professional painters employ.

The application of Vaseline, a brand of petroleum jelly, creates a protective barrier which prevents the paint from adhering to unwanted areas and reduces the risk of peeling or chipping along the door’s edges.

While it may sound unconventional, this method is tried and tested, offering a cost-effective solution to achieve clean and professional-looking results.

In a nutshell, here is a step-by-step process of using Vaseline to protect a newly painted door:

Step 1: Gather the necessary materials before starting the painting process

These include Vaseline, a small paintbrush or cotton swabs, painter’s tape, paint, a paint tray, and a paint roller or brush.

Step 2: Prepare the door for painting

Proper preparation is crucial for achieving the best results. Begin by removing any existing paint or debris from the door surface. Clean the door thoroughly using a mild detergent and water. Allow the door to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Apply painter’s tape

To ensure clean and crisp edges, apply painter’s tape along the areas you want to protect from paint. This includes the doorframe, hinges, handles, and any other adjacent surfaces. Make sure the tape is securely adhered and pressed down to prevent paint from seeping underneath.


Step 4: Apply Vaseline

Dip a small paintbrush or a cotton swab into the Vaseline. Apply a thin, even layer of Vaseline along the edge of the door, where you want to prevent peeling. Pay close attention to the junction between the door and the doorframe, as this is where peeling is most likely to occur. Be careful not to apply too much Vaseline, as it can affect the paint’s adhesion.

Step 5: Start painting

Once the Vaseline has been applied, it’s time to start painting the door. Pour the desired paint color into a paint tray and load the paint roller or brush. Begin painting the door, starting from the top and working your way down. Apply the paint evenly, using smooth and consistent strokes. Take care not to overload the roller or brush with paint, as this can lead to drips and uneven coverage.

Step 6: Allow the paint to dry

After you’ve finished painting the door, allow the paint to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s important to resist the temptation to touch or disturb the paint during this time, as it may lead to smudges or imperfections.

Step 7: Remove painter’s tape and Vaseline

Once the paint is fully dried, carefully remove the painter’s tape from the door. Take your time to ensure clean edges. As you remove the tape, the Vaseline will come off along with it, leaving behind a clean line where the paint won’t have adhered.


Step 8: Clean up and admire the results

Dispose of the painter’s tape and clean your tools and workspace. Stand back and admire your newly painted door, free from peeling along the edges!

Bonus Step

As a safety net, I often recommend applying a thin layer of Vaseline along the edge of the door’s jamb, this should be a VERY small amount, just enough to provide the additional assurance that the paint will not stick to the edge of the jamb.

Using Vaseline as a protective barrier when painting a door can be a relatively unknown yet helpful way to prevent peeling along its edges during the painting process.

By following the steps outlined above, you can achieve professional-looking results with clean and crisp lines. Remember, proper preparation and application are key to ensuring success!

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