paint the front door

That has a way better ring to it in my head.  Like “shut the front door!”.  Like “no way!”.  Or “way to go!”.  Ahhh, well … better luck next time.

Paint the front door!

Nope, still not right.

Ok, instead, let’s start out today by taking a look at this picture …

… and tell me the first three things you notice.

Ok, I’ll go first.  ;)

1 – Hello sad, sad landscaping and empty pots.  It’s the mid winter blues out there.
2 – Is the whole “one light” a new trend we’re trying to start?
3 – I am in love with the light shade on the door and dark shade of the hardware.  BAM!
4 – (because I’m an overachiever) The dark hardware plus the dark mailbox plus the dark shutters make it seem like dark light fixtures would be in order.  Hmmmm … and the project list continues to grow

This is a picture of what was our primary residence in Maryland.  Such a great house, and yet another one that we’re saying good-bye to.  We seem to be doing that a lot these days. Watcha gonna do, right?!?!

The time has come and we’re ready to let her go.  But we couldn’t very well expect someone to fall in love with her when she was looking like this.
tips for how to paint the front doorThat picture is actually after I sanded her down … and might not look too terrible from that distance … but this is her close up before any sanding.
Yep, I was painting hardware before painting hardware was cool.  And I love a good crackle paint finish, but not really on a front door.  The last time I updated the look of that door was probably 6 or more years ago.

I really was just going to repaint her a similar shade … I really like the look of a dark red front door.  And why complicate things.  Because I can.

I had found the little Valspar sample pots at Lowe’s and figured the easiest solution would be to just pick a color that was easily available … I think the sample pots were about $3.50.
tips for how to paint the front door

But I first worried the shade of red they had had too much blue in it, making it appear more purple than I wanted.  Maybe a yellow would be fun?

 But then I worried it was too similar to the color of the siding.  Maybe grey would be good?
tips for how to paint the front doorBut the grey was just so … grey.  Maybe this color?
tips for how to paint the front doorI actually really liked this option.  It would cover the red great.  It was a rich shade of midnight blue, with a lot of charcoal tones so it wasn’t screaming blue.

But I already had a plan to go dark with the hardware.  Did I really want dark on dark?  Would it be enough contrast or would the hardware just get lost on the dark door?  Maybe an earthy shade of green would be the ticket?
tips for how to paint the front doorI kinda liked it.  Green is my favorite color, so it’s not really surprising.  I was thinking it would look great with some fresh, dark hardware.  It went well with the neutral siding, but still had enough presence to make a statement.  Let’s do it.

Then, in one of those moments you hope to happen during every project, I walked in to Lowe’s to find almost the exact shade I had decided on in a quart can on the mistint table marked $2.50!

You know the moment, when you have to grab something so quickly you almost look like you’re up to something bad.

Then you look around so shiftily that you now definitely look like you’re up to something bad.

Then you try hard to move in slow, normal motions because you now feel like you were doing something bad.

Yeah, I was totally there.

So on my slow, casual walk to the check out I gave it a thorough once over.  Make sure it’s the right color (check), finish (check) and type of paint (check – more on that in a minute).  And it was more paint than I was expecting to get and $1 less than I was expecting to spend.  LOVE those project moments!
tips for how to paint the front doorSo here’s the deal with the interior paint on an exterior door.  I had actually done a bunch of research on it, because the sample pots were also interior paint.  Turns out exterior paint is not stronger than interior paint so to speak.  Exterior paint is made specifically to hold up to exterior elements like wind and sun exposure.

This front door is covered year round by a storm door so she only comes in contact with wind when you enter or exit.  And with this shade of green a little sun fading doesn’t really seem like a big deal to me.  And did I mention it’s a quart of paint for $2.50????  :)

Consider it a calculated risk.

Now for anyone looking to tackle this kind of a project, here are my tips for how to paint the front door:

  • prep the door – sand her all down and fill in any cracks in the door itself with exterior grade, paintable caulk, like this
  • work at a time where you know you’ll be able to leave the door ajar for a few hours to let it cure
  • work in sections, I like to brush around all edges of any panels in the door and roll the flat surfaces to save time, but then brush over to give it a brushed on look
  • I debated not taping off the little half circle windows but since I didn’t have a razor blade on hand to scrape off the paint after the Frog Tape came in handy
  • 2 – 3 coats should do the trick, don’t judge the look of the finish after the first coat, it will be streaky and blotchy and unattractive … the awkward pre puberty version of the final product
tips for how to paint the front door

For only a $2.50 investment, and the hour or so it takes to actually paint the front door, you’ve got yourself an awesome upgrade.

Update:  I show you how I transformed the look of the hardware without removing it here.

What do you think of the color?  What do you think of the dark hardware?  What do you think of the one light bulb?  Awesome, right?!?!  :/

ps.  The winners of the EPIC De-Stash Bash Giveaway have been announced, see if you’re one of them in the Rafflecopter form here.

*post contains an affiliate link for a darn good product
And I might be linking this post at Tip JunkieBNOTPDIY Show OffPositively SplendidHome Stories A to ZHouse of HepworthsShabby Creek CottageThe 36th Avenue and Savvy Southern Style.
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About Karah

I'm Karah and I'm so glad you're here! I'm a small town girl from the North East who finds myself moving around with my husband and pups every few years and constantly on a journey to make the most of every space we find ourselves in. That little space between what has been and what will be. It'd be so cool if you'd like to join us for the ride.
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47 Responses to paint the front door

  1. Gina says:

    Looks great! What paint did you use on the hardware?

  2. Debbie says:

    lol You might have something with the ‘one light’. I agree, they should be dark to match the rest of the hardware. Can you paint them, too, or will you replace them? I do love the new door colour! :)

  3. Nancy Carr says:

    Pretty color. I am so excited to see what you do with your new house. Hug the dogs for me.

  4. Cindy Green says:

    What is the name of the paint color? I love the way it looks with the dark hardware. Good job as usual!

    • Karah says:

      Doh … I didn’t even jot it down. But I’m headed back up to MD to put that house on the market in a couple of weeks so I will get it and let you know. I was worried the light green might be too ‘boring’ but with the dark hardware I think it has just the right amount of presence … if that even makes any sense. :)

      • Karah says:

        I am so sorry it has taken so long to get back to you! It has been crazy around here with the move! Unfortunately, The paint I used didn’t have a color listed on the can. Maybe it was a color match gone wrong. I am so sorry I couldn’t help!!

  5. Erin says:

    Looks very nice! The color is great, the hardware is much improved and the price of the paint is perfect!

  6. Love the color…it was just meant to be as the can was just waiting for you to come and “give it a great home”…

  7. Thistle says:

    Karah,

    Love the new front door color…especially with the dark hardware.

    Have a great day!
    karianne

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  9. Traci says:

    “Paint the front door” is a catchy little phrase for sure. Love the green door. You were so lucky to find the oops paint in a color you want. I was wondering if giving the interior paint a top coat of exterior poly would solve the weathering problem. But if you are selling the house it won’t be your problem to deal with.
    Traci

    • Karah says:

      I bet an exterior poly would work … but I also like the idea of just being able to update it again in a few years … but I guess that’s for the new owners to decide. :)

  10. I love the new color — very fresh! And the one bulb makes it look like she’s winking at me… kind of cheeky. And I like that, too. :-)
    xo Heidi

  11. Shut the front door, it looks great!

  12. Loving the green door … that is my favorite color. You did a great job to cover that red. The dark hardware looks very good too. Fix and paint the lights; add a few plants and you will have created an inviting curb appeal.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  13. That color is PERFECTION. Like, you could NOT have done better. LOVE it!

  14. Maybe I will finally get to paint my door and the trim around the front ….. I really like the lime green…… :)

  15. Carla Pennington says:

    Hilarious, as usual. Well, there are the touching moments, too, such as when Mico (gosh, hope I got the name right) was in a very scary place, but mostly your posts make me giggle, if not outright snort. Not ladylike, but how many fun things are?

    I LOVE a red front door and obviously have only been waiting for your post to appear in my inbox. Can’t be cause I scaaaared to paint it, of course not. But you’ve given me courage, yaaay, I can do it, I think I can, I think I can. Your advice is so clear and relateable (spelling? please don’t circle in red in incorrect!) and even inspiring that I’m starting to believe. That way if I totally fail, it will be your fault, right?

    Looks great and as usual, your choices are spot on. My dear. In honor of Downtown and Dame Maggie.

    • Karah says:

      This might have to go down as one of the best comments evah!!! First, Thank you for commenting … nice to see you’ve been around for awhile … I appreciate you coming out of the woodwork. ;) And HECK YEAH it will be my fault if you totally end up not liking, and I’m ok with that. :) I’d love to see a picture if you do go ahead with it! And don’t ever worry about typos, I average a few every post … and shudder when I go back and look at my FB posts sometimes. hahaha Have a great day!!

      • Carla Pennington says:

        Out of the woodwork? Is that a pun? (Hint: take credit, even if none is due!) Yes, I’ve been following for quite a while. Your Pallet Period hooked me early – I prefer it to Some Other Artist’s Blue Period any day.

        And if I’d been a little less tired, not typing in semi-darkness with the computer precariously balanced on my lap and taken more time to proof, I might have noticed that I’d somehow deleted and then garbeled part of my message. I meant to say that I’d thought about painting my door red for ages, but hadn’t had the courage. Dog hair will stick to it, cat hair will adhere to it, pine needles will blow onto it, all before it dries, my hubs (who, I might add, actually has very little say in the matter), will be sure I’ve officially lost it. My neighbors will hear me cursing when the aforementioned stuff lands on the wet paint. IT WON”T LOOK GOOD!

        But you’ve given me the go ahead. I think I can, I think I can. Wasn’t that engine red, too? :-) And finally, if it fails (it won’t, right?) yes, you got it. I’ve the perfect excuse. YOU. I’ll just say a darn blogger made it look so easy. It ain’t my fault. That’ll be my story and I’l stick to it.

        Thanks for laughs, inspiration and a great blog. Hope Mico is great, btw.

        • Karah says:

          Go for it!!! Mico is doing remarkably well, we love having her around for all of this borrowed time. :)

          • Carla Pennington says:

            I, love the green, too, but my green is waaay dark and is faded, too, thus I’m thinking of racy red. But I thought aqua was your favorite color! This green is such a refreshing green that it reminds me a bit of aqua. Sort of cool and clean and renewing, like spring. :-)

            Glad Mico is stickin’ around for new adventures!

          • Karah says:

            Hahaha, I do love me some aqua … not sure it’d be Joel’s first choice for a front door … and when you find oops paint for $2.50 I kind of just have to take that as a sign. lol We are over the moon everyday we have that cute black dog around. :)

  16. A refreshing change! Like a breath of fresh Spring air!

    :) Linda

  17. Amy says:

    Our new place has a green door, but not the good kind of green. I love this shade!

  18. cassie says:

    OOOOH YES! i love the green! i think it looks so lovely- cottagey and sweet and suits the home!

  19. Beckie says:

    Awesome fresh look! You’ve got a nice color choice – definitely better than the previous one! Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Shandy says:

    Ahhhh… breath of fresh air! (Your door AND your writing style!) Found you at the Weekend Wrap Up Party, and am now following you. (Man, that never ceases to sound completely creepy. LOL) Have a great weekend!

    Shandy @ http://aprons-n-pearls.blogspot.com/

    • Karah says:

      Thank you so much for coming by Shandy! The door does seem really fresh since she’s been painted! And don’t worry, I’m not creeped out at all. LOL

  23. Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D says:

    I like it!
    And, we only have one light fixture…
    but we’re totally rocking the new “Burned Out Bulb” look!

  24. Kathryn says:

    The green looks greats!

  25. I really want to paint our door now! I absolutely love your new color! It’s gorgeous!

  26. Emily says:

    LOVE it! I have been wanting to paint our front door for awhile now. You did a wonderful job. I really like the color you chose. :)

    Visiting from Someday Crafts.

    ~Emily

    http://www.texaslifeblog.com

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Let me know what you think!