Exterior Painting Tips: Painting your Front Door

Exterior Painting Tips: Painting your Front Door

On most homes, the front door is strictly utilitarian; it is a gate you pass through to enter or exit. When it is painted a well-chosen color, however, the front door becomes a beautiful accent, an eye-catching addition, infusing elegance and interest into your whole home exterior. Painting your front door is a manageable do-it-yourself project for many homeowners, or you can consider hiring a professional painting company.

Choosing a Paint Color for your Front Door

To transform your front door into an item of beauty, choosing the exterior paint color is the first key. On most homes, deep red, rich blue, or forest green are sure bets for success. Other colors such as buttercup yellow, lavender, or pumpkin orange can make an even more unique statement, as long as they do not clash with your main siding colors. If your home is a light color such as white, tan, or light gray, a black door is a very striking and attractive option.

A simple way to sort through the options for front door paint colors is with an online image search. Browse the photos and look for ones that appeal to you. If the siding colors on those homes are similar to yours, then their front door colors should work on your home also.

How to Paint an Exterior Door


If you have the tools and experience to remove and reinstall the door, this is the easiest way to paint it. That way, you can lay it flat as you paint it, and you don’t need to worry about getting paint on the door frame by accident. Removing the knobs and locks will also help facilitate the whole process.

It is not necessary, however, to remove the door. To paint it in place, just use tarps or plastic, plus a generous amount of painter’s tape, to protect the floors, the door hardware, and the adjacent surfaces. Also, keep the door propped open as you paint it.

Priming an exterior door is only necessary if there is bare wood or metal (which is unusual), or if you are making an extreme color change. In the second case, primer will help you achieve the new color with fewer topcoats.

Applying the Exterior Paint

Use a two-inch angled paint brush to brush paint into all the nooks and crannies that a roller cannot get into. Keep your brush strokes going with the grain of the wood as much as possible, and all in consistent directions that compliment the shapes of the door design. Then use a three-inch foam roller to paint the smooth surfaces of the door.

If the door is still in the frame, start from the top and work your way down, always checking for drips and runs. Apply the paint in relatively thin coats. It is better to use two or three coats of paint, rather than trying to do one thick coat. The results will look better and last longer this way. If your door is lying flat, just start at one end and work towards the other.

For best results, paint the sides of the door as well. Though they are not visible when the door is closed, they can be seen when the door is open.

Be careful not to close the door until well after the drying time indicated on the paint can. If the door is closed too soon, the paint will stick to the frame and then peel off.

Should I Hire a Professional Painter?

If you have some painting experience and a day or two of free time, painting an exterior door is a fine do-it-yourself activity. However, when you hire a professional painter, you are ensured higher-quality results, with beauty and protection that are guaranteed to last.

Williams Professional Painting has been serving the Washington, D.C. region for over 40 years. We combine superior craftsmanship with excellent customer service, and we guarantee our painting results so you can be confident when you work with us.

Whether you are only painting your front door, or your whole home exterior needs repainting, Williams Professional Painting is the name you can trust. Serving Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the D.C. area, Williams Professional Painting is your local house painting company!

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