9 Dos and Don'ts for Choosing the Best Front Door Color

Ready for a front door refresh but not sure where to start? Look to these expert color tips and discover the perfect hue for your home.

Front door colors shouldn't be an afterthought for homeowners. After all, it's the first thing people see when they visit your home. The front entry should serve as a welcoming beacon to greet guests. Although you can paint your front door any color, a few considerations can help you pick a shade you'll love.

With these tips on choosing a front door color, you can make yours stand out, blend in, suit a design style, or bend the rules, depending on your vision. If you live in an older home, repainting a worn front door is an easy weekend refresh that'll score major curb appeal points. Follow these dos and don'ts for choosing the perfect front door color.

Do: Stick with the Classics

Blue front door with white trim
Werner Straube

Use a neutral hue such as brown, black, or gray for a look that will withstand the test of time. Even deep reds and navy blues are classic front door colors that act as neutrals. If your style changes or you alter your home's exterior later, neutral hues will adapt with you. Another neutral option is to use stain for your front door color instead of painting it. A wood stain will emphasize the door's natural material or grain pattern.

Don't: Be Afraid of a Bright Front Door Color

brick front steps with key lime door
Brie Williams

Some people are nervous about using bright colors in their decor, but a door is a smaller commitment than painting an entire house or room. Why not experiment? Try it out if you have a hue that really speaks to you! A splash of orange, yellow, or lime green makes a bold statement for front door colors. If brights are too daunting, try a dark version of a color, such as burgundy, forest green, or eggplant.

Do: Purchase the Right Paint

dog sitting at front door of home red door
Kevin Miyazaki Photography

Since your door is exposed to outside elements, using the proper paint to prevent peeling and fading is essential. Latex exterior paints provide weather-resistant coverage. If your door is metal, look for one with built-in rust protection. Remember that you'll need to go over the door with an exterior primer no matter what you choose. Door-friendly exterior paints are available in various finishes, including matte, semigloss, and glossy. A high-gloss finish will bring out architectural details but will also show more knicks and blemishes on a door. Opt for semigloss paint for a more forgiving front door finish to hide flaws.

Don't: Neglect Your Screen Door

green house front exterior front lawn landscaping
Kim Cornelison

If your front door features a storm or screen door, you can paint its frame a contrasting hue for punchy front door color. This charming cottage home uses cool-tone pastels to its advantage. The cheery pale blue of the screen door gets a repeat appearance on the window frames and as a step riser accent. The mostly-green house blends into the surrounding foliage and the blue accents lead guests up the stairs and through the door.

Do: Speak to Your Home's Style

White house with green front door and dogs on porch
Brie Williams

Your home's overall style can help you pick a front door color. A bold, unusual hue like the lime green on this home is a nod to its modern exterior. But don't be afraid to break the rules. Using an unexpected color can add personality and liven up a traditional facade.

Do: Consider Your Surroundings

Wooden house with light blue front door
Brie Williams

If you're stumped on a color for your front door, look to your home's natural surroundings for inspiration. Greens, blues, browns, and other tones that appear together in nature will also work well on your house. Using natural colors has the bonus of making your home look like it belongs in the landscape.

Don't: Pick a Front Door Color Indoors

white brick house exterior teal front door

To fully understand how a paint color will look, you need to see it in its planned environment. Front door colors can look very different in different lighting conditions. Tape paint swatches to an exterior door and observe the color throughout the day. If you want a better idea of how it'll look, paint a small swatch directly on the door.

Do: Make it Monochrome

White house with gray wooden pillars
Jeff Herr

If you have a small house, this trick is for you. Visually expand your home by painting the door, trim, window frames, and exterior the same color. A monochromatic color scheme also provides a neutral backdrop for accessories to shine, such as the planters and sconces around this farmhouse front door. Use color to highlight other architectural details, too. Here, columns painted in a darker shade frame the front door.

Don't: Ignore the Trim

Stone entryway with green door and white pillars
Greg Scheidemann

Your front door trim is also a candidate for painting. White is classic, but another option is to make the door pop with contrasting trim. Rich brown tones, for example, can warm up a cool-colored door. Dark trim prevents the green door from fading into the surrounding stone of this house.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much paint do you need for a front door?

    For the average-size front exterior door (80 inches tall and 36 inches wide), you will need about one quart of paint—even less if you only paint one side of the door.

  • How much does it cost to paint a front door?

    On average, having your front door painted costs between $100 and $225, but that cost could be more if you have double doors or if your doors are made of a material that requires a little more prep work (like fiberglass or steel). 

  • Should I paint the front door myself or hire a professional?

    You can save yourself more than half the cost of a professional painting job by doing the work yourself. Ultimately, it comes down to deciding what's more valuable, your time or your money. So if you like doing DIY projects, go ahead and tackle the painting job yourself. It's a simple, effective, inexpensive way to boost your home's curb appeal and change its overall look. 

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