Painting the front door can refresh the look of your home in just an afternoon. Learn how-to’s, the products we used, and get some color inspiration below!
Q: Do I need special paint?
A: We recommend a paint that is formulated for use on doors. We choose Modern Masters “Front Door Paint.” It had almost five stars on Amazon, so we felt pretty confident it would work well for our door. The paint is made by Rustoleum, and was available in a lot of fun colors. The “Calm” color performed perfectly and covered everything on a previously burgundy colored door exactly as anticipated without a primer. After painting a standard sized door with two coats plus detailing, there was more than 3/4 of the jar left over.
Q: What color should I choose?
A: Coordinate the front door color with the home’s exterior color.
Choosing colors can be tricky. Ideally, you should choose a door color that coordinates with your home’s exterior color. Visiting paint brands online, like Sherwin-Williams or Behr, is helpful for choosing colors and visualizing. Find the color of your home (or one that is similar from their paint options), and see what “coordinating color” suggestions pop up for accents. Those coordinating colors should give you a simple way to explore color options for your front door. Many paint brands’ websites allow you to upload your own photo for testing colors to make visualizing even easier.
OKAY, LET’S PAINT!
Q: What materials will I need?
For Prepping the Door:
- Multisurface Cleaner
- Paper Towels
- Painter’s Tape
- Primer as needed (depends on your current door color)
- Newspapers to protect floor from paint drips
- Paint formulated for doors
- Art brushes for details
- Small roller brush
- Paint tray
- Paper towels/damp rag for drips and mistakes
Turn That Drab Door Fab!
- Clean the door and frame thoroughly, ideally the day before you intend to paint – so that the area has time to dry completely before you begin. Pay special attention to cleaning and detailing the hardware like the handle and the key insert. Get them looking shiny and new so your door looks tip top when it’s finished.
- Lightly sand any rough spots as needed for a smoother application
- Keep in mind: If you are choosing a new door color that is lighter than your current color, (example a black door that you want to make light pink) you may need to use a door primer paint first. Primer and let dry before using the door paint.
- Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas where the paint could bleed over: glass panes, edges, hardware, moulding, house trim, etc.
- Use a small roller to paint the majority of the door.
- Use art brushes to hand-paint the details/places the roller cannot get to; around handles, windows, edges, corners, etc.
- Roller the door with a second coat after you have completed hand-painting the details. This will help to blend any brush marks.
- Leave the door slightly open to dry* so your wet door doesn’t become painted shut or ruined where the door frame meets the door front.
PRO TIP: Paint the door in thinner even layers. Too much paint on the brush or roller leads to thick drippy layers that run before they get to dry, leaving visible streaks and drips on the door.
- Even if you roller and paint perfectly, sometimes paint just drips. If you notice drips, use a brush fix them (scoop them up) while they are wet.
- If the roller is slipping or paint is running, you’re probably using too much paint. Try working it into the brush or roller using the ridges of the paint pan before you paint on the door.
- Once the door has dried, you may notice some see-through spots. Use a roller or hand brush to evenly cover those areas.