Wednesday, July 31

Paint the Front Door

Ever since we moved in almost 3 years ago, I haven't been fond of our yucky brown front door. I've thought about painting it for years, but it wasn't until I saw Young House Love's front door makeover last week that I finally decided to tackle it. You know, because I'm nesting and ohmygoodnessthishastohappenNOW.  Husband wasn't in love with the idea, but with me being super pregnant he was powerless to stop me. Well, more like he just stood back and smiled and kept the crazy at bay. Thanks husband! My first step was picking up some paint samples from Lowe's.

Clearly I had no idea what I wanted so I just grabbed anything that caught my eye! I started by eliminating anything that clearly didn't work with the siding or that was the same kind of tone (I wanted something either lighter or darker so it would stand out). Then I taped the remaining contestants on the front door and stood back to take a look. A little boy had to get in on the taping action, can you tell? :)

Stepping back eliminated a few more pretty quickly, but I felt like it was hard to tell what would work with the shutter color. I ended up moving the remaining contestants to the front of the house so I could tell better (no pic of that, sorry!).

After much deliberation and slowly eliminating the competition, I actually ended up picking the one that was my favorite from the beginning! It's the light blue one next to the mailbox in the pics above (it's a bit more aqua in person). It actually works really well with the red shutters and is a great contrast to the siding so it really pops. The color is Olympic's Royal Palm. I tried out their exterior Icon paint with built in primer for the first time... and so far so good!

I started in the morning when we didn't have any plans to leave the house so I could leave the doors open to dry all day. I removed the hardware, wiped off any dust, and roughed it up a bit with sandpaper before I started painting.

Since it had a built-in primer I just dove right in with the blue paint. I used a tiny brush (an artist brush, actually) to carefully do the tricky parts around the windows, then was able to use a foam roller for the rest of the door. The part around the window was killer! I probably spent 1/2 and hour on that, and maybe 5 minutes on the rest of the door. Crazy.

Oh, and while I was at it I decided to do the backdoor too. Why not, right? I got a full gallon since a little quart would be more than half the price so I had plenty of extra.

Here it is after the first coat. I followed the instructions on the can and let it dry for 4 hours before recoating it (I wish I had read that ahead of time, I would have looked for something with a shorter dry time so the final coat would have more time to cure before I closed the doors at night. It ended up being fine, though.)

The next morning I added a little extra fun to the front door. I used these vinyl letter sticker that I got for $1 on clearance at Dick Blick.

I just wanted a friendly little hello. :) I stuck the very bottom edge of each letter to a plastic ruler - this helped me make sure they were spaced evenly and level.

Then I lined them up on the door and pressed them in place.

Oooo, cutesy!

I did make one big oversight, though. I didn't think about the screen door. Fail. And it totally still looks like that because I don't have any more L's to retry it. I'm trying to think of something else to put up instead... any ideas?

After that I just prettied up the hardware (more details on that soon) and my door makeover was complete!

So here's how the cost went down:
$27  -  paint (gallon, such a better deal)
$0  -  spray paint (left over from painting baskets)
$1  -  vinyl letters
$28 total

I think N is still on the fence... but I think it's pretty fabulous. ;)

I love the cheery blue and the contrast of the hardware (that now matches the other metals on the porch. win.).

Of course it still looks like this most of the time with a patched screen door in front of it. We still have lots of things we'd like to do out there like fix/replace the screen door, replace the leaky awning, do something about the carpet on the stairs, and repaint the rusty railings. But for now it's nice (and cheap) step in the right direction!

Anyone else done a front door makeover? Or accidentally put a dirty word on your front door?


  1. No. I can honestly say I have never accidentally put a dirty word on the front door. :D What about "greetings" or "hi" or "howdy"? Or "go away." Or "%$*#," since you seem to like that kind of thing. :D

    Beffy again.

    1. I might go for howdy. As for the %$*#.... I'm telling mom what you said.

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. I have not stopped laughing since I saw your photo on facebook of the door open vs. door closed! I love the new color and would vote for "howdy" or "go away".

  3. OH MY GOODNESS! I love the screendoor closed; too funny:)
    I am sooo painting the front door(s); we have a french door but it is solid. I will have to tape some colors to the door too.

    1. Ha ha, thanks. ;)
      I'd love to hear what color you go with!

  4. This is a great article, I am really glad I came across it. Picking a color to paint you door can be a difficult choice. I really like all the options you are considering. My husband and I decided to paint ours a light tan color because it matches our shutters. I recently just had a Spiral Staircase built in my house and were having some trouble picking a color for the railings. We really want something unique and creative. Any suggestions?

  5. I'm always afraid to go ahead with projects...I get worried that I'll goof something up. So, your sharing this story gives me hope and encouragement to go ahead and try! It's AWESOME that you're not afraid to share the big goof, either :) - the finished product is wonderful, and it sounds like your kids were able to help. You're teaching your children a wonderful lesson about work and life :)

    1. Ha ha, it was just too funny not to share. :) Even when we plan the best we can things sometimes go wrong! The good news is there are very few things that can't be fixed or undone. :)