Putting a door horizontally on sawhorses while painting is a great way to prevent drips and runs, but it makes it hard to paint both sides at the same time. Here’s a simple solution to solve the problem:

  1. Insert two 3” drywall screws in the edge of one end of the door, leaving about half (1½”) of the screw protruding from the door.
  2. Insert one 3” drywall screw in the center of the edge on the other end of the door, also leaving about half the screw protruding.
  3. Position the door on the sawhorses, so the door is resting on the screws at each end.
  4. Paint one side of the door, then pick up the end of the door with the two screws, and carefully rotate it to the other side, using the screw at the other end as a pivot point.
  5. Paint the other side of the door, and allow the paint to dry thoroughly before removing from the sawhorses.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Painting doors is much easier to do if the doors are off its hinges. What I like to do is set the door horizontally on a couple of sawhorses. That allows you to apply the paint, and the paint won’t run and drip off the surface.

Once you get one side painted, what do you do? You can’t just flip it over and rest it on the sawhorses. So here’s the trick. Take two three inch drywall screws, and drive them through the end of the door, leaving about an inch to an inch and a half of screw sticking out.

Then come down to the other end of the door, and just drive one screw right in the center. Again, leave about half of it sticking out. This is the pivot screw, and I’ll show you why they call it the pivot screw.

Pull the sawhorse out, and rest the screw head right on top of the sawhorse. Then you come down here, and use these two screws as handles. Pull out the sawhorse a little bit, and just rotate the door. See that, how easy that is. And you set it again, with screws right on top of the sawhorse.

Now, you have the freshly painted surface underneath, and this clean surface ready to paint right now.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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