I used to be so intimidated by the idea of painting my front door! But after reading some successes and failures online and talking to some experts at Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, and painting a couple front doors myself, I am happy to show you what I learned to get a professional finish on your front door!
First, the list of supplies:
1. A damp rag
You might also need a deglosser, if your front door was painted with a glossy finish or if you have a wood door that had a varnish on it. A deglosser is a chemical sander that allows the paint to adhere better. Both of the doors I’ve painted were white, pre-primed doors with a flat satin finish, so I just gave them a good scrubbing to get dirt off.
2. Phillips screwdriver
3. Painter’s tape
4. A quart of your choice of paint.
I’m a firm believer that when it comes to paint, you get what you pay for. Higher quality (and often higher price) equals better coverage, longer lasting color (especially with sun exposure), and durability. I used BM Aura Waterborne Exterior Paint in Semi-Gloss (a deep red for a previous white door, which took 3 coats) for our old front door at our previous house and LOVED it. Most recently, I used Sherwin Williams Resilience Water-Based Exterior Paint in Semi-Gloss. I’d say, both are of equal quality. About 1/2 quart-3/4 quart is enough for 3 coats. Buy more if you need to paint any other doors the same color or if you want to paint your shutters (like I did).
5. A quality paint brush. Like a 2″ Purdy Glide.
6. A small foam roller paint brush.
Like the kind for doors and cabinets (smooth nap).
This acrylic latex paint additive practically eliminates brush strokes. This makes the real difference once it dries! Just add a splash of it to the paint pan ( or plastic container) as you go, mixing it well with a stir stick. You should notice pretty quickly if brush strokes are still visible. If they are, add a little more.
8. Paint pan or small plastic container with lid.
This is the extent of the prep-work which takes maybe 20-30 minutes.
The directions you should paint when starting the door. Once you finish the grooved areas (in the 1st pic), don’t put your brush away just yet. Go ahead and paint areas 1 and 5 with the brush and keep it handy in case you need to touch up. This part takes about 30 minutes.
You will definitely want to give your door 3 coats of paint, letting it dry up to 24 hours in between each coat. On the red door I did on our old house, I started painting in the late afternoon/evening and I waited a full 24 hours between coats. I did not close the door tightly until all 3 coats were finished because the paint can and will adhere to the door trim making it stick when you open it again.
I would recommend starting in the morning so that by evening, most of the curing has taken place and you can lock your door. This time, I was able to put on 2 coats (one morning, one evening) and the 3rd coat I put on 24 hours after that. With each coat I noticed the color became richer, truer. For the final coat, you can put a little vaseline on the edge of the door where it will touch the trim, so as to prevent the paint from sticking over-night.
The finished product is a durable/scrubbable awesome color with NO brush-strokes!
If you have shutters, you can paint them to match, but don’t feel obligated to paint the garage door to match too! I’ve seen people do that and more often than not (especially with a bold color), it looks ridiculous!
I LOVE this shade of aqua for our front door! It’s SW Meander Blue and to me it really is the perfect color for a cottage front door. My house is not a cute little cottage, but with some paint, plants and decor, it can start to transform it to have the feel of a cottage!
Have you ever painted your front door? Any tips I missed? What are your favorite colors for front doors?