Rack for finishing doors

Designing a rack for finishing interior doors as efficiently as possible. November 7, 2001

I'm trying to come up with a better way to finish interior doors in our shop. We spray 10 or 20 doors at a time. I'd like to spray flat instead of vertical, do both sides of the door without waiting for the finish to dry, and do the tops and bottoms of the door at the same time.

I'm planning on making some stackable frames that would hold one door each, then hold the door in place with a 1/4" lag screw at the center of the top and bottom so it can pivot, then stabilize it with a peg in the latch hole. The screw holes would be plugged when done.

Another option is to make drying racks that would hold several (10?) doors, supporting them by lag screws also so both sides could be finished at once.

Both styles would also work for drying mouldings. I'd be interested in any methods being used for similar situations. I only need to do one or two batches a month.

Forum Responses
Why wouldn't you want to finish them vertically? Except for an occasional run, you would get a much better finish, i.e. less trash, handling damage, etc. Besides, it isn't as easy to spray horizontal as it is vertical. Fixtures would be easier to make.

From the original questioner:
I hadn't considered hanging them sideways. That would save working so close to the floor. The paint room is only 18x 28, so there isn't too much room for a big setup. I would like to stay away from making holes to fix, also.

Spraying interior doors flat is a good idea. Here is a simple method I use:

Four round steel handles are welded to a base plate, looking like the shape of a T after welding. One handle is screwed to each corner of the top and bottom of the door. The door now looks like a stretcher.

To spray, the door is laid across 2 sawhorses, one side is sprayed, the door is flipped, rotating on the handles, and the other side is sprayed. The door is moved to a waiting pair of sawhorses. The process is repeated for all doors, each sprayed door stacked on top of the last by laying a thick block across the handles, at the top and bottom of the door at the bottom of the pile.

I just got out of the booth with six doors. We use 4 stickers, each 3/4 thick, 4" wide and 12" tall. The door ends are spray painted first, then the stickers are power drive screwed lengthwise (centered on the stay) a few inches from the end of the door. This allows the door to be sprayed flat and stood up once the finish has flashed. We come out with a very high-quality product. We have a high volume interior door (paint) company in town that has a dry rack that is basically a welded rack of pocket door upper track hardware sliders. Their rack fits about 12 doors, which are pulled out to paint and returned to dry.

I'm a painting contractor and spray all my doors vertically, but as I was reading the responses I thought of a simple, inexpensive method that might work for you. After painting the top and bottom, you could screw on a length of 2x8 with screws centered lengthwise and washers between door and 2x8 so it doesn't stick. The 2x8s could sit on horses to spray and then you could stack the doors on top of each other to dry. This would leave about six inches between each door for airflow. The 2x8s would work as handles for flipping and moving the doors as well as spacers in the stack.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
We have a newly patented product for finishing doors that addresses these issues. This is not a request for business, but some input as to the question raised. We developed our drying racks to hold the door in the vertical position, while laying on its edge. I am by trade a building contractor, and found that doors that were dried in the flat position or leaning against walls were trouble when rehanging. We were constantly taking door stop off the jambs in order to accommodate the "bowing" effect of the door slab. We used this method repeatedly before ever developing the product for the public.