Let’s just say I’m a sucker for good curb appeal. When I was house shopping, most realty websites would list the outside picture of the house as the first photo. This is your “first look” photo of your house, and to be honest, if it looked like a dump on the outside, in my mind it was probably going to be a dump on the inside. While the curb appeal of my house isn’t *amazing*, it’s pretty normal looking. Plus, I like doing curb appeal type improvements, so more fun for me! 🙂
One of the first projects I knew I wanted to tackle was the front door. Originally I was just going to replace the entire front door because the storm door is kind of “meh” and the front door was definitely “bleh.” Well that plan was instantly trashed (Helloooooo, expensive AF), so I needed to figure something else out because my front door was definitely not gonna cut it. So what’s the next best thing to a new door? Painting it!
I’m constantly on Pinterest (let’s be honest, what girl isn’t?), and I’m in loooooove with the funky front door color ideas (Lime green front doors, anyone?). But my home is a little more traditional-looking on the outside, and unless it’s executed just right, a funky bright color can really make your front door look unsophisticated. Definitely not the look I was going for. So how did I settle on a color? I had recently stained a bench for my front hallway and by happy accident got a dark blue-gray color, and ended up loving it. The color would complement the light gray siding on my house while giving the front door the “pop” I was looking for.
What you’ll need:
- Paint brushes (I used a 2 in. flat brush for the wide parts, and used this 1 ¼ in triangle trim and corner brush for all the smaller areas, which btw, is the most amazing brush I’ve ever bought)
- Drop cloths to minimize spills
- Exterior Paint (I used Behr Premium Plus Satin Exterior in Chimney. I only got a quart and it was more than plenty to cover the door)
- Sand Paper
- Tape for windows and other areas you don’t want painted if you aren’t a master painter (I am not, so I used Frog Tape because it’s what I already had left over from my bench project)
To start, I removed the hardware and kick plate from my door and got my drop cloth all laid out. I read multiple tutorials saying you could either take the door off the hinge and paint it flat, or leave it up and paint it where it was. Because I’m lazy, I decided taking off all the hardware and kick plate was enough work, and I was going to need to tape of the window sections anyways, I might as well just tape the other areas that I didn’t want paint to get on. Originally I was just planning on painting the front of the door, and leaving the inside of the door the original color, but halfway through painting I decided that the door color would match my interior colors nicely as well, so I painted the whole door (and it only took a few hours!).
Next you can sand your door. I skipped this step because the front of the door was already pretty stripped from being weather worn, and the paint stuck to the inside of the door just fine. My front door is aluminum coated with a wood grain texture, but didn’t feel as “slippery” as a typical aluminum coated door does. You will need to gauge your door material and figure out what works for you. If it seems like the paint just isn’t coating evenly, sanding with fine grit sand paper will roughen it up enough. The paint I got also had a primer included in it, so I didn’t need to prime the door either. If your paint doesn’t have a primer, I would definitely recommend adding an additional step for priming, as it’s going to extend the life of your paint and make it less prone to flaking and chipping (especially if you are painting an aluminum coated door).
Now, time to paint! I got so excited with this part I jumped right into painting before I took any pictures. You can see my progress halfway through the front of the door. Apparently, there’s a science to painting doors, but I started by cutting into all the grooves of the door with my triangle trim brush (Seriously, this brush makes the paint go on so smooth and sexy. Is that a thing? Sexy paint?) and then tackling the wide areas with the 2 in. brush, keeping an eye out for drips. My boyfriend has eyes like an eagle for that kinda stuff, so he was really good at pointing out all the drips for me. That was his way of “helping.” The whole painting process took me about 3 hours, including dry time and additional coats. I think in total I did three coats because I wanted to make sure the paint was really even.
Once it was dry, I pulled off all the tape, re-installed the hardware and kick plate, added my wreath, and ta-da! A beautiful front door!
I’m super happy how this project turned out, and for the next couple weeks after every time I pulled out of the driveway, I’d tap my boyfriend on the shoulder and say “Look at that door! It looks so nice now!” I said it so much, even my kids started saying it too!
Note: the bench I painted in the background is where I matched the color from.
All in all, the project cost me about $25 dollars, for the paint and I splurged on the trim paint brush (did I mention that it makes painting sexy?). I already had a lot of the supplies, so if you need to purchase the full supply list, I would plan on spending upwards of $40-50. I also liked the look of the brushed nickel finish my hardware and kick plate had, so I just used the same hardware. I had a lot of paint left over from the project, so maybe next I’ll paint my side service door too?