I’ve been looking forward to painting our front door since the minute we moved in. It was always one of those things that we’d get to…later. There were so many other pressing issues (gold everything, organization, flooring updates, getting a nursery ready, welcoming our daughter Emma, fixing broken appliances, refinishing other doors around the house, putting a workspace together, refinishing our stairs, the list goes on and on). But finally, we were ready to tackle the big gold monster on the front of our house. It was time to paint our front door something other than metallic gold (no joke…the trim AND the door itself were shades of gold) and choose the perfect front door color.
Here’s the issue – all of the trim on our house is cream, and so are the garage doors, which limits some of the colors that I could choose. I know that we’ll paint everything white someday (hopefully soon!) but for now, I still wanted it to look good. So, I was struggling with how to make a color really work. I thought about a gorgeous navy color, but wanted more brightness in our dim entryway. I thought about a brighter blue, but wanted something that would look good with Christmas decorations, the debate went on and on. Thankfully, I did a lot of research, and came up with some great pieces of advice!
We decided to go with white because it absolutely goes with EVERYTHING. The other main factor was that I wanted something that would really brighten up our dim entryway, both in the ‘portico’ area and inside. White and black are both solid choices for every home, but because of the brightening that I was after, we went with white over another color. Someday, when we paint the trim white, I’ll add in a pop of something a little more bold, but I’m super happy with my choice for now!
In case you’re feeling the bug to update your front door as well, I put together a little freebie for you to help guide you. I did a lot of research when trying to choose the right one, so I think it will be super helpful. Just put your email in the box above, and I’ll send it right over! Anyway…on to the tutorial.
This is what we were starting with, in all her glory. When we moved in, we immediately changed the locks so the previous homeowners wouldn’t have a key to our brand new home. We ended up using the Kwikset Kevo and have been pretty happy with it (affiliate link). However, that left us with a paint ring around where the old deadbolt was.
My plan was to sand it down as much as possible, and then hopefully the paint would cover it. It ended up being a little too deep of a ridge to be able to sand down (without getting to bare metal), but it’s barely noticeable once the new paint was on. This door definitely had some quirks, but nothing we couldn’t tackle. Here’s how we prepped it for paint:
- Remove all the hardware (we couldn’t get the knocker off, but I painted around it just fine)
- Sand down any paint ridges or rough patches from previous paint jobs
- Tape off anything that you don’t want to be painted
- Gather materials (we used Modern Masters paint in the color Hopeful, affiliate link)
Once all the prep work was finished, I went to town painting the inset parts of the panels first and working my way outwards. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to do this. Talitha over at Love, Pomegranate House has a great walkthrough, as does Anna at Ask Anna (here’s hers!). The basics are:
- Start with any inset panels, working quickly so your paint lines stay wet
- Paint the inside of the boxes that you’ve created with step one
- Paint with the grain of the wood for the remainder of the door
Overall, my best advice is just to work quickly. There really isn’t a need to take a door off its hinges if you are going to paint it. In my opinion, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, especially when you have a quick turnaround on a project, like painting a front door. I don’t know many people that want to wait for paint to dry at night with a giant hole in the front of your house.
Anway, since Aaron and I tend to divide and conquer, there weren’t many progress shots. Emma needs lots of cuddles and attention, so it’s usually one of us with her and one of us working on whatever project it is for that day. And I wouldn’t have it any other way! We started with the inside of the door, and once coat one was applied, switched to the exterior. The cool thing about living in Texas is that paint dries FAST. It was hot, and by the time we finished the exterior, the interior was ready for a second coat. So we dipped our paintbrushes, rinsed, and repeated. Here’s what we came out with!
Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m so in love with the bright white and the dark handle. We ended up upgrading that too since the old one had definitely seen better days. Here’s an affiliate link to the exact one we bought (no deadbolt included since we use the Kwikset Kevo (also affiliate). I think the white, even though it’s a neutral, really pops and brightens up the front of the house. Plus, it lets the wreath be the center of attention!
The new door hardware makes my heart go pitter-patter. Though our house definitely leans a little more traditional on the outside, we love mixing the old and new. The clean lines of the handle and square accents play well with all the other elements we have going on around our front porch. The high contrast between the door handle and the bright white of the door itself is striking!
On the inside, I couldn’t be happier. In fact, I think when we were painting the first few coats, that I may have told Aaron “I’m so excited. This is going to look SO good!” about 20 times. I can’t explain how much brighter this simple color change makes our entryway. This is one of those projects where you ask yourself why you didn’t do it sooner!
The modern touches continue inside with the included handle, and I’m in love. I still need to go get a new strike plate for the deadbolt, but that’s a project for another day. You can also see in this picture (though it’s a little blown out thanks to our super bright Texas sun) that we decided to take down the old metal blinds in the tiny window next to our door. Any way I can get more light into this space, I’m doing it.
One last shot, just because I’m a little obsessed. It looks so great, guys. A coat of paint can make such a huge impact – I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner! Just in case you are interested in any of the items in our entryway or front porch area, I threw together a little roundup for you!
*This post contains affiliate links*
What have you guys done around the house lately? Anybody else out there painting your front door? Making little upgrades outside (or inside!)? Tell me all about it in the comments below, and don’t forget to grab that worksheet if you’re also thinking about changing up your door color!