Make a Statement With a Painted Front Door

A pink door in a brick building.
What You'll Need
painter's tape
drop cloth
paint roller

Ever walk by the paint chips in the home store and marvel at all the different shades of your favorite color? You may not want to douse your whole house in a cornflower blue or a cherry red...but why not put a shade to use on your front door? That small pop of color may be just what you need to brighten your day, and you don't have to give up your home's design aesthetic (or leave the neighbors scratching their heads) to achieve a unique look. We share how to get there in the following steps.

Prepare to Paint

Sand the door if there are any small bumps or imperfections that need to be evened out. Also, giving it a semi-rough surface will give the new coat something to adhere to. After sanding, ensure the door is clean and dry before you begin painting. Any little specks of wood, dust, or dirt will get stuck in the paint if they aren’t removed. If you choose to wipe the door with a damp cloth, make sure the door is completely dry before you begin your painting project.

Protect the Surrounding Area

Before you begin painting, place tarps or clear painter’s plastic on the floor or ground around the door so that paint doesn’t drip and do any damage. This will protect your floor or entryway from paint. If the plastic won’t fit under the door while it’s open, move it around so it’s underneath wherever you’re painting.

Choose Your Paint

Choose your paint color based on the surrounding decoration and style. (Visit our painted front door slideshow for some photo inspiration and tips on how to choose the most flattering color for your home.) If you’re opting to paint a dark-colored door a lighter color, the next step will be to paint the door with a coat of primer. This will prevent the dark color from showing underneath the new coat of paint and ensure your paint job is even. Primer should also be used on doors that don’t yet have a coat of paint and are wooden or bare. No need to use primer if you’re painting the door a darker color or the same color.

Tape Around the Edges

As with any decorating or painting project, it’s important to trim the edges with painter’s tape to create clean lines and prevent paint from getting anywhere it shouldn’t. In order to avoid painting the door handle, hinges, or any walls, use painter's tape to cover these areas by outlining them with painter’s tape. Cover the door handle and hinges completely with tape or remove them completely and take the door off the hinges. Run painter’s tape along any baseboards or walls close to the door that have a chance of getting any paint on them.

Paint Away

Use a roller to paint the door, as brushes can leave streaks. Start by painting any panels first, and then move on to the longer sections of the door in the middle and on the sides. Always paint in the direction of the wood grain. The longer sections of the door can be painted horizontally, unless this goes against the grain of the wood. The paint should always blend in nicely and not look like it’s going in the opposite direction of the grain.

Small Touches

When it comes to the edges of the door, be sure to paint the vertical edges that make contact with the wall when the door is closed. Do not paint the top edge of the door or the bottom, as no one will ever see them. Let the door dry for several hours and then paint a second coat, if needed.