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.

By Sydney Price
Updated March 05, 2020

Your front door color shouldn't be an afterthought. 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 you'd like, there are a few considerations that can help you pick a shade you'll love. With these tips, you can make your door stand out or blend in, suit a design style or bend the rules, depending on your vision. Plus, if you live in an older home, repainting a worn front door is an easy weekend refresh that'll score you major curb appeal points. Follow these dos and don'ts for choosing the perfect front door color.

Werner Straube

Do: Stick with the Classics

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 stain your door instead of painting it. A wood stain will emphasize the door's natural material or grain pattern.

Brie Williams

Don't: Be Afraid of Color

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? If you have a hue that really speaks to you, try it out! A splash of orange, yellow, or lime green makes a bold statement on your front door. If brights are too daunting, try a dark version of a color, such as burgundy, forest green, or eggplant.

Kevin Miyazaki Photography

Do: Purchase the Right Paint

Since your door will be exposed to outside elements, it's essential to use the proper paint to prevent peeling and fading later. Latex exterior paints provide weather-resistant coverage. If your door is metal, look for one with built-in rust protection. No matter what you choose, you will need to go over the door with an exterior primer first. Door-friendly exterior paints are available in a variety of 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. For a more forgiving front door paint finish that will hide flaws, opt for a semi-gloss paint.

Kim Cornelison Photography

Don't: Neglect Your Screen Door

If your front door features a storm door or screen door, you can paint it's frame a contrasting hue for a second punch of 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 greenery, and the blue accents lead guests up the stairs and through the door.

Brie Williams

Do: Speak to Your Home's Style

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

Brie Williams

Do: Consider Your Surroundings

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 added bonus of making your home look like it belongs in the landscape.

Don't: Pick a Paint Color Indoors

To fully understand how a paint color will look, you need to see it in its planned environment. 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 to get an even better idea of how it'll look, paint a small swatch directly on the door.

Jeff Herr

Do: Make it Monochrome

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.

Greg Scheidemann

Don't: Ignore the Trim

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. On this house, dark trim prevents the green door from fading into the surrounding stone.

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Comments (9)

Anonymous
August 9, 2018
How about showing a semi-attached home with yellow brick surrounding the door?
Anonymous
August 8, 2018
I agree! No videos
Anonymous
June 29, 2018
I also agree with Linda.
Anonymous
June 1, 2018
I agree with Linda Sutton. No videos. Please. Slide show is better.
Anonymous
May 4, 2018
No videos please. Slide shows are much easier to study. I also agree with ginger_g1 that the written commentary impedes visualizing the door experience.
Anonymous
April 27, 2018
The full effect of the doors could not really be seen as they breezed by with writing all across them. Suggestion: Why not let someone give their thoughts on it as you get a good look at each house. Someone took a lot of time on this. It is a shame the effect was wasted by covering up the views of the doors.
Anonymous
April 26, 2018
Each of these homes look great though these houses each have architectural interests. I live in a BOX type home. A small ranch with a circular driveway to the rear to the garage. I have been trying to choose new colors for 2 years. I
Anonymous
April 26, 2018
I love the red door. I have one and makes me feel happy to be home.
Anonymous
April 26, 2018
I like the red front door on the gray house very much