How to Paint a Front Door

Home improvement expert Mina Starsiak shows how to give a brilliant new hue to your entry door.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Along with the door color, we installed new lighting, added doormats to match the new color and accented the space with fresh plants. 

Tools and Materials

  • sanding block
  • painter's tape
  • paintbrush
  • combination paint and primer
  • rags and drop cloths
  • paint bucket
  • paint stir stick
  • optional: new hardware
  • optional: doormat
  • optional: outdoor lighting

Before: The white-on-white color scheme is underwhelming and not very inviting.

Before: The white-on-white color scheme is underwhelming and not very inviting.

Remove Hardware

Take the hardware — knobs, locks, knockers, etc. — off the door. If you're not replacing those items, take the opportunity to give them a fresh polishing while the paint dries.

Cover Built-In Hardware

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

For hardware that can’t be removed — like a peephole — use painter’s tape to protect it from the paint. 

Prep Surface for Paint

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

A fresh coat of paint will adhere better if the finish on the existing coat is knocked down a bit. Use a sanding block with fine-grit sandpaper to ready the surface for the new paint. 

Remove Dust

Clean the door thoroughly with a rag to make sure there is no dust remaining on the surface. 

Paint

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Lay down a drop cloth to protect the ground and floor. Paint the door with an exterior-grade paint-and-primer-in-one. Leave the door slightly open as you paint to make sure you paint all the edges. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dry time. You may have to apply two coats to get full coverage. Start in the recessed areas with a brush then follow up with a roller on the flat areas. 

Reattach Hardware

Replace the hardware. You may want to upgrade the knob, lock, kick plates, etc. to go with your vivid new door color. 

Consider Painting Trim Too

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

With a new door color, you may find you need to paint the surrounding trim as well. 

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Onto the Next Project

To make this porch even more welcoming, we enlarged the columns and added corbels, take a look at the step-by-step instructions.  

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