Whether it's an energetic shade of fire-engine red or a soothing muted coral, red is one of the most popular color for front doors. If you're thinking of updating your entrance, here are some tips on how to sort out the best shades for red front doors.

By Kelly Roberson and Jessica Bennett
Updated March 06, 2020

Crimson, salmon, burgundy, scarlet, ruby: With hundreds of shades and hues, red is a color with dramatic variations. It can offer playful energy or traditional elegance, and draw striking contrast or complement your existing color scheme. Regardless of the shade, red is a widely popular front door color that can make an otherwise bland exterior pop. Not to mention, this quick and easy update can add a big boost of curb appeal to your home. If you've decided to refresh your facade with a red front door, picking a shade that works with your exterior is the next step. Follow these tips to choose the right red for your front door.

Robert Brinson

Understand the Different Shades of Red

In general, different shades of the color red are made by adjusting the amounts of white and black as well as by varying the intensities of base shades. For example, a deep, rich burgundy has much more black in its appearance than a soft pastel shade of red. On the home above, a muted shade of red incorporates more white for a soft salmon appearance that complements crisp white trim and architectural details.

John Bessler

Whatever your home's architectural style, red can serve to complement that design and establish a mood that's apparent from the street. A deep, rich red, for example, creates feelings that are soothing and solid. On the other hand, a brighter, more electric hue will convey much more energy and excitement. Decide on the vibe you want your exterior to emit and select a red paint color that provokes that feeling in you.

Match Your Red Front Door with Your Home Color and Style

A red front door can serve to complement or contrast with the rest of your home's exterior, as well as provide accent to its particular style. For example, a dark-colored siding or brick on the exterior might need the pop of a brighter red door in order to draw attention to the front entryway. A lighter shade of siding might benefit from a darker hue of red on the front door. Both choices will help draw attention to the door and offer an attractive contrast.

Seth Smoot

Your home's style might also help provide guidelines for the best shades of red for your front door. A traditionally styled door might call for a more classic hue of red. A cottage or contemporary styled home might offer more design and color flexibility when it comes to a red front door, with options like a quirky candy-apple red or a sophisticated ruby shade. However, design rules can always be broken, so you should choose a color you love.

Sarah Dorio Photography

If you have a few samples of red that you're trying to choose from, test them out on the front door. Paint swatches a few inches apart as well as close to the surrounding door frame; then step back to see how they look. Make sure to view them from various angles and distances, including from the driveway and the street. When it comes to sheens, high-gloss red paint adds elegance and complements a traditional home but also shows the most blemishes. Semi-gloss paint will give you a red door look you love while hiding imperfections.

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