How to Refurbish Steel Lift Doors with a Perfect Surface Finish?

refurbish steel lift doors with a perfect surface finish

Proper maintenance of a lift door enhances a building’s appearance and guarantees its longevity and safety. Steel lift doors can develop scratches, dents, rust, and wear with time. Restoring these doors can bring back their original look and functionality. This guide will detail the steps to refurbish steel lift doors thoroughly, achieving a flawless surface finish. It covers cleaning, surface preparation, painting, and final touches, providing the expertise and skills required for a high-quality refurbishment.

Understanding Steel Lift Doors

Steel elevator doors are available in different types and finishes, each possessing unique characteristics that impact the refurbishment. Let’s examine the various aspects of steel in elevator doors and its effects on the refurbishment process.

Types of Steel

Stainless steel is favored for lift doors in luxury buildings due to its resistance to corrosion and stylish look. It is particularly suitable for environments with high moisture levels like swimming pools and coastal areas.

Mild steel, also called carbon steel, is widely used in lift doors for its strength and durability at a lower price than stainless steel. Nevertheless, it is more susceptible to corrosion and might need extra coatings to avoid rust.

Door Finishes

The appearance and maintenance requirements of a steel lift door are greatly influenced by its finish. Below are some common finishes and their effects on the refurbishment process:

Brushed Finish: Brushed steel features fine parallel lines from abrasive brushing, effectively concealing minor imperfections like scratches and fingerprints. Maintenance for brushed steel doors typically involves cleaning and polishing to revive the original brushed texture.

Mirror-Polished Finish: Mirror-polished steel boasts a reflective surface akin to a mirror, necessitating meticulous care for upkeep. Refurbishing mirror-polished doors often entails polishing with fine abrasives to eliminate scratches and imperfections while preserving the reflective quality.

Cleaning and Surface Preparation

Properly cleaning and preparing the surface are crucial steps in refurbishing steel lift doors. Start by eliminating rust and old paint using a wire brush or sandpaper to scrape away loose elements. Proceed with a rust remover to dissolve any remaining rust, ensuring proper adhesion and durability of the new finish. After removing rust and old paint, thoroughly clean the surface with a degreaser or mild cleaning solution to remove grease, dirt, and other impurities. Rinse the doors with clean water and let them dry completely to create a smooth, contaminant-free surface, ideal for priming and painting.

Surface RepairSanding for a Smooth Surface

Filling Dents and Scratches

The initial step is choosing the right filler. For small imperfections, opt for a top-notch metal filler created for steel surfaces. These fillers are long-lasting and seamlessly integrate with the metal, offering a sturdy foundation for future painting tasks. Use a putty knife to apply the filler, ensuring it is firmly pressed into the dents and scratches. Evenly spread the filler over the affected region, leaving a slightly raised surface for subsequent sanding.

Sanding for a Smooth Surface

Begin by using coarse sandpaper (approximately 80-100 grit) to eliminate extra filler and even out the surface. Advance to finer grits (220-320 grit) to refine the surface and remove any remaining imperfections. Utilize a sanding block to apply uniform pressure and prevent uneven areas. Sand in continuous, circular motions, frequently inspecting the surface for consistency and smoothness.

Priming the Surface

Priming steel lift doors is essential in the refurbishment process to establish a durable base for the final finish. There are various primer options for steel surfaces. Epoxy primers are a top choice due to their strong adhesion and resistance to corrosion, making them suitable for steel doors exposed to different environmental conditions. Zinc-rich primers provide extra protection against corrosion by forming a protective layer that stops rust from reaching the steel beneath. Rust-inhibiting primers are designed to eliminate rust and stop it from coming back, guaranteeing lasting durability.

Proper application technique is crucial for achieving the best results when applying primer. Whether you opt for a brush, roller, or spray gun, it is essential to achieve complete coverage and ensure even application on all door surfaces. Brushes work well for precise work and small sections, while rollers are effective for covering large areas efficiently. Spray guns provide accuracy and a sleek finish but need adequate ventilation and masking to avoid overspray. Whichever method you select, make sure to apply the primer evenly, avoiding drips or uneven spots.

Once the primer has been applied, it is crucial to exercise patience as the drying period can differ based on the type of primer used and the surrounding environmental factors. It is important to let the primer dry thoroughly following the guidelines provided by the manufacturer before moving on to subsequent layers or the final finish. If needed, apply several coats of primer to guarantee full coverage and improve its protective qualities. After the primer has fully dried, the surface will be primed and prepared for the final stages of painting or polishing, bringing your steel lift doors closer to attaining a flawless surface finish.


In conclusion, refurbishing steel lift doors is a meticulous process crucial for maintaining a building’s aesthetics, longevity, and safety. By understanding the types of steel and finishes, as well as employing proper cleaning, surface preparation, and priming techniques, one can achieve a flawless surface finish. Whether dealing with stainless or mild steel, brushed or mirror-polished finishes, attention to detail and the right materials ensure a successful refurbishment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *