icon How to Paint Your Front Door A STEP BY STEP DIY GUIDE

How to Paint Your Front Door A STEP BY STEP DIY GUIDE

For most people, purchasing a home is the single biggest investment they will ever make.  Your home is the center of your family, and the place where you welcome friends and neighbors into your lives.  In a very real way, your house is an extension of your own personality, your hospitality, and your heart.  Finding ways to make your home a unique expression of who you are as a person is a common undertaking!  

Looking down at a door mat that says, "Home" in front of a door.

Your front door is the first impression of your home. It’s where people enter , but it’s also clearly visible from the street.  Painting your front door a cheerful, welcoming color is an easy expensive DIY that can seriously boost your house’s curb appeal!  The best part about it is that you can do it in just one day! 

Same image as article header, but this image lists all of the supplies you will need to paint your front door.

Here is the Supply List:

*For some fun inspiration on front door colors, check out my blog posts on Fresh, Fun Front Door Colors for Brick or White Houses! 

Before you begin this project, there are several things to consider.  First of all, do you have a storm door?  Many people paint this exterior door to match their front door, especially if your storm door covers more than just the exterior edges.  If your storm door is metal, make sure your paint and primer are compatible with this medium, so the paint adheres properly.  

Same image as article header, but this one lists all the steps needed to paint your front door.

Your door will also be OPEN for the majority of the day when you do this DIY project!  If you have pets or children that may escape, make plans to keep them occupied or put up a toddler gate to keep them away from temptation!  If you are painting on a drizzly or humid day, allow extra dry time between coats of paint.  If your door receives direct sunlight, be aware that your paint may dry more quickly than you anticipate, and make sure to check back frequently for drips or runs to avoid having them dry before you can correct them!  

  1. To begin your project, lightly sand any imperfections, bumps, or peeling paint on your front door.  Creating a smooth, clean palette for your paint application will make the process go more quickly and yield a better result.  After sanding, lightly dust your door with a clean rag to remove any remaining dust.  It’s also a good idea to give your door a good cleaning to remove any dirt spatters before you begin your project!  Just make sure your door is completely dry from any wetness or cleaner before you start to paint. 
  2. After your door is clean and sanded, carefully apply Painter’s Tape around any doorknobs, hinges, kickplates, and windows.  Painter’s tape works as a physical boundary to keep paint from adhering to these features, so make sure the tape is securely stuck to your perimeters without any bubbles or wrinkles that may allow bits of paint to leak through.  
  3. Place a Drop cloth (or trash bag or large flattened cardboard box) underneath your door to catch any drips or sprinkles of paint as you begin your project!  You will thank yourself for this step later!
  4. With a clean brush, carefully apply a thin coat of Primer to your entire door.  Primer serves a number of purposes, including smoothing out a door’s finish, filling in any cracks or imperfections, and, most importantly, giving your paint pigment a consistent palette to adhere to. Don’t skip this step, especially if you are changing the hue of your door several shades- one coat of primer does the work of 4-5 coats of paint when it comes to making your color’s consistency and vibrancy pop!  
  5. After allowing the primer 1-2 hours to dry, begin applying your semi-gloss paint. When the primer is fully dry, begin applying your paint.  Use a thin coat, and work in the same direction with all your brushstrokes.  On a door, I would recommend working in vertical lines to match the woodgrain.  Avoid the temptation to slop on a thick layer of paint, this will result in paint lines and drip marks on your door.  Just apply a thin coat cleanly and consistently, making a habit of checking behind yourself a few minutes later to wipe away any drips or lines that appear in the paint.  
  6. Plan to repeat Step 5 at least twice to get a bright, even coat of paint on your door.   In between coats of paint, simply pop your paintbrush into a sealed plastic baggie to avoid having to clean it repeatedly throughout the day!  Allow an extra 3-4 hours for the final coat to dry before you close your, to avoid the dry-to-the-touch but still tacky paint from sticking to your doorframe and peeling off.
  7. Remove you painter’s tape, and gently scrape any paint that may have seeped through with your fingernail.  Before it fully dries it should be relatively easy to scrape away.  
  8. Enjoy your new front door, and consider some other easy curb-appeal improvements for your next weekend warrior project!  

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