How To Paint A Front Door


Last September I bought my first home and ever since I have been doing small home improvement projects here and there. My latest DIY venture was painting my front door bright yellow (Bling Bling P280-6 by Behr to be exact). I typically stick to safe/neutral colors when it comes to paint and other decor inside my home, but this time I decided to step outside of my comfort zone. Initially I thought choosing bright yellow might have been a mistake, but over the course of 6 weeks it has actually kind of grown me. Sometime during the July 4th holiday I plan to do a little landscaping with fun colored flowers that will compliment the door color and tie everything together.

If you have a door that you are thinking of painting but feel overwhelmed with the thought of doing it, don’t be, it’s actually very easy to do. I was able to prep & paint the entire door in less than 3 hours with no help. Just follow the step-by-step below and if all else fails, YouTube it!

(btw….I’m working on creating tutorial videos, just gotta get over my camera shyness first lol)

Things You’ll Need:

  • Paintbrush

  • Paint bucket

  • Paint stir stick

  • Painters tape

  • Fine-grit sanding block

  • Combination paint & primer

  • Cleaning solution & rag

  • Wine (preferably Stella Rose Black)

1. Remove & protect hardware:

Take all hardware off including knobs, locks and knockers. For any built in hardware that cannot be removed such as peep holes, fully cover it with painters tape.

Not gonna lie….I left all of my hardware on to save the hassle, but I did take the time to make sure everything was protected. If you can, definitely remove whatever you do not want to get paint on.

2. Prep the surface: The paint will adhere better if the finish on the existing coat is sanded down a bit. Use a fine-grit sanding block to prep the surface and smooth out any rough patches.

3. Remove dust & dirt:

Wash any dirt and grime from your door using warm water and a cleaning solution. Repeat this step as needed until your rag no longer picks up any residue. Allow the door to dry for about 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.

I’ve slowly been trying to transition into more of a non-toxic lifestyle so I went with warm water & vinegar as my cleaning solution. It works just as well, I promise. :)

4. Cover the trim:

Once the door is dry apply painter’s tape to the edges of the door’s windows, hinges and any other details or surrounding areas you want to protect from paint.

5. Paint: Before doing anything, make sure you lay down a drop cloth to protect the ground and floor. Make sure you are using an exterior-grade paint & primer combination so you don’t have to worry about buying & applying primer separately.

Start in the recessed areas with a brush and use a roller for the remaining flat areas. While painting, leave the door slightly open to make sure you paint all the edges. If needed, apply two coats to get full coverage. Allow the door to dry for about 2 hours or go by the manufacturer’s suggested dry time.

My first color of choice was a light moss green, but then I told myself…..“YOLO, why not do a bright and daring color? You eventually plan to get an entirely new door so what does it even matter?”. Needless to say I was in color shock once it was finished lol, but I will say it has definitely grown on me.

6. Replace the hardware: After the paint has dried and the painters tape has been removed, place on all the hardware that was removed in step 1. With your beautiful new door color you may want to upgrade your knob and locks for a complete transformation. I chose to keep mine for now since a totally new door is in my near future. :)

I’m really happy with my results, especially since this was my first time painting an exterior door. I’m even more happy that my door doesn’t look so dark and sad anymore!