BHG Style Spotters

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Editor Project: How to Paint Your Front Door

Hi everyone, Kelly Eagle here! A while back I shared some of the bold front door color choices that had been inspiring me as I was prepping to paint my own front door. Well, now my front door is finished I wanted to share the DIY details with you – and the beautiful finished product!

This is my house with the original plain front door.


Here is what you’ll need to paint your front door. (Here is a another tutorial from BHG, they are very similar.)

  1. Exterior paint. I used Behr Exterior Semi-Gloss enamel paint with built-in primer
  2. High-density foam roller and brush
  3. Fine grit sand paper
  4. Sponge
  5. Painters tape to close up holes from hardware
  6. Tools to remove door hardware
  7. Drop cloth

Since our door has never been painted, the prep was pretty simple, and I didn’t even remove the door from the hinges.

First, we (and by we, I mean my husband) removed the door knob and deadbolt. I taped up the holes on the inside of the house to keep the dust from sanding the door outside instead of in our living room.

Next, we (again, my husband) sanded the door with fine grit sand paper. The sanding removed any rough spots or dirt, making the surface as clean and smooth as possible for the paint.

Once the sanding was finished, the door was wiped down with a damp sponge to remove the dust. This took a few bowls of clean water before I felt like I’d removed all of the dust.

Then, it was time for paint!  Our door swings in, so we swung it inside the house, opened a bunch of windows and covered the floor with a drop cloth. It’s important to paint the door out of direct sunlight to avoid the paint drying before you have a chance to properly roll or brush it on.

I began painting with the foam brush. I painted the panels of the door using long vertical strokes. It’s bright yellow! Did you see that coming? The paint color is Vivid by Behr.

Paint color: Behr ‘Vivid’


Next, I used the foam roller and rolled the rest of the door using horizontal strokes. Here is how the door looked after 1 coat.



The coverage was pretty good with just 1 coat, but I think that is because our door was originally white. Up close it was obvious it would need a second coat of paint. The directions on the side of the can said to wait 4 hours between coats, so 4 hours later, I brushed/rolled on the second coat. What a difference another coat of paint made! I was thrilled with the paint color – and thank goodness, because it’s bright!

Don’t be alarmed if after the first coat you can see brush and roller marks on the door. Once I finished the second coat  of paint, any of the initial brush and roller marks were no longer visible.

We let the door dry until we went to bed that night — almost 6 hours — before we put the hardware back on and shut it. I was nervous about shutting the door because I’d read a few accounts where the paint wasn’t dry and they shut the door for the night, only to open it in the morning and have paint stuck to their weather stripping, ruining the paint job and causing a huge mess, so be sure to give the door plenty of time to dry before you have to close up for the night.

Lucky for us, the door was perfect the next morning and here is our new, bright exterior door.



It’s definitely bright, but I think with a new entry rug and a tall planter with bright flowers, our front porch will have loads more charm than it did before! And there is nothing better than coming home to a charming front porch.

- Kelly Eagle,


3 Responses to “ Editor Project: How to Paint Your Front Door ”

  1. The house looks so much better with the painting! What a perfect example of spicing up your house exterior/interior with a small yet smart project.

    Your front door sets the tone for what lies beyond. As I am clueless how your interior looks like, but I’m sure you must have considered that the new color of the door reflects your style inside.

    You can also think of other smart and easy means – add finesse to your place with a few accessories to the door. Use door knobs, handles, nameplates, letter boxes that are made of brass, nickel and steel for styles of range from contemporary to traditional. All in all, color and accessories of the door should reflect what’s inside.

  2. The actual painting part is easy for us because we are roofing contractors and consider ourselves pretty handy. However, picking a paint color that goes good with the siding and roofing material is the difficult part. Especially in Westchester NY where we have very afluent homes, we want to give our roofing customers ideas to help their homes stand out. We are considering hiring a designer to work with MCAS Roofing & Contracting and our roofing customers for other aspects of their homes, but we would appreciate tips on picking exterior paint colors.

  3. We had a simple builder’s special white metal front door. One day I saw a car in a color that I like and thought “I wish I could paint our door that color.”
    Light bulb moment.
    I took the door down, stripped the paint and lugged the whole thing in to my local auto body shop who finished it in the paint color of my choise in that glossy finish you see on new cars. It wasn’t cheap but I love it. We now have a one-of-a-kind door and we frequently get comments from people who take the time to look at the front door.

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