Front Door Paint Update – A How To Guide

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I recently updated my front door handleset and our front door color just paled in comparison. It was time to refresh the color and give our house some fresh curb appeal. I wish I had thought about this sooner because changing your exterior door paint color is a quick way to refresh your entire exterior. 

Like always, I started off with a Pinterest hunt of front door paint color pictures. I’m naturally drawn to greens and blues but I even considered painting my front door red. I quickly realized that every home has a personality and the color of your front door should reflect that. A bright red door wouldn’t necessarily complement the reddish-brown brick on our exterior. I finally had the color narrowed down to a medium toned blue with hints of teal. I got Moody Blue by Sherwin Williams but I want you to stick around till the end for some behind the scenes info. 

Testing paint colors

Check out my last blog to get a glimpse of the different cottage paint colors I’ve incorporated throughout my home. Once you’ve picked your color, let’s get some FAQs out of the way.

What is the best paint for the front door?

When it comes to the kind of paint you buy, don’t buy the cheapest option! Make sure you get paint and primer that are rated for exterior use. Satin or Semi-gloss acrylic latex paint is ideal for front doors. You want the paint to be durable, and easy to clean. This tutorial is for painting a wood door, but this kind of paint works on fiberglass doors as well. Before purchasing latex paint, make sure the existing paint color is also acrylic/latex and not oil based paint.

When painting the front door do you paint the sides?

This is always a tricky one if you’re not painting the inside of the door. However, I highly recommend painting the inside and outside of your front door the same color to give it continuity. And in that case, you will also need to paint the sides to match the fresh coat of paint.

How much paint to use for the front door?

You only need a quart for a standard sized door. I bought a quart of the primer and a quart of the actual paint color and still have a lot left. One tip is to get your primer tinted to the actual paint color which I learned from a pro and it gives the best result in terms of color and coverage. Plus, you end up using less paint.

How to paint front door without brush marks?

The best way to avoid paint brush marks when painting your front door, is to go over the door with a foam roller to smooth out any marks. I used a 1/4” nap paint roller for the job and it worked perfectly. 

What tools do i need for painting front door?

Tools needed to paint your front door

Here is the list of tools you will need for updating your front door paint color:

  1. Paintbrush (my favorite brush for painting doors is the Zibra Triangle brush 1.25”.  It’s precise and gets in all the corners)
  2. 4” Paint Roller 1/4” nap
  3. Painters Tape
  4. Sanding block 220 grit
  5. Tack cloth (this helps pick up any sanding dust that is left behind)
  6. Degreaser (any household degreaser will work)
  7. Primer 
  8. Paint
  9. Paint tray

How to paint a front door without removing it?

Now I’m a lazy-girl DIY-er and if I can avoid something without compromising on quality, you bet I will give it a shot. Yes, you heard it here first, you don’t have to remove your front door before painting it! All you need to do is tape up the handleset and hinge pins with painters tape – yes! You don’t even have to remove the door handle if you don’t want to! Just make sure your taping is precise.

Step 1:

Start by cleaning your front door with a degreaser, spray it and give it a good wipe down. 

Step 2:

Use the sanding block to lightly sand all surfaces of the door slab to get it ready for paint. If there are any imperfections like cracks, fill them with wood filler and a putty knife before moving on. 

Step 3:

Wipe down the door with a tack cloth to get all the dust off and if you patched up any imperfections,  let dry completely before sanding again and repeat step 3. 

Step 4:

Start rolling on the first coat of primer and use the Zibra Triangle brush to get into the grooves and crevices. Wait a few hours or so for it to dry before doing a second coat. It was really hot here in Houston so the paint dried very quickly. Make sure to get the front door sides painted as well! I used my roller to get the sides. Additionally, I also painted the door frame the same color for a modern look.

Step 5:

I didn’t need a third coat of primer so I moved onto the actual front door paint color once the primer had dried. Paint the door with the actual paint color the same way as you did the primer and repeat once coat one is completely dry. 

Painting your front door

Now you can remove the painters tape and enjoy the newly updated front door paint color! Or if you’re annoying like me, you can start questioning the color choice and go spiraling down a rabbit hole. Yes, I loved the new paint color on Day 1 but after seeing it in different lighting it looks a little too farmhouse for my style. I might be doing this exact project with you again when it’s cooler out here in Texas! Maybe I’ll go for a lighter shade of blue this time – or Barbie pink. Who knows. But until then, follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m up to and if I’ve picked another color yet! 

Painting Front Door Before and After

To recap this easy project – here’s what mistakes you need to avoid when painting your front door:

  1. Don’t skip the prep! Thoroughly clean the door, sand, and apply painters tape where needed
  2. Wait in between coats! Give the paint adequate amount of time to dry between coats
  3. Use quality products – make sure the paint you get is rated for exterior use and you get the right tools to get that professional paint look!
This post contains affiliate links to products that I used or recommend. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
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