Front Door | Painting a Front Door

Meet our front door:

Front Door

Even though this door is old and has a lot of wear I still think it’s really beautiful. The door is brown like our siding and I always felt sad that it didn’t stand out. We really wanted the door to be seen so we decided to give it a makeover. There’s lots of fun colors that I like for doors but we chose to go with a color that would compliment the brown siding. Instead of going with a crazy fun color (sorry lime green and canary yellow) we decided to play it safe and go with a classic red front door.

We headed over to Lowe’s and picked up Valspar’s Duramax (Exterior/Semi-Gloss) in the color Heirloom Red.

Valspar Duramax Heirloom Red

After removing the hardware from the door we were ready to prep it for paint. To prep the door, exterior frame & sidelight J lightly sanded the wood down with a medium grit sanding block. The wood was pretty weatherbeaten so it didn’t take much sanding to prep it for paint. After giving the door a good wipe down we were ready to start.

We left the door on its hinges and J painted the door from inside the house. He used a brush to cut all of the edges and a roller for the rest of the door.

Here’s the door prepped and with 1 coat of paint:

Painting Front Door

J lightly sanded between the first two coats of paint before applying the third and final coat. Once the paint dried he was able to install the new door hardware that we ordered from

The following day J headed outside to prime the door frame and sidelight before painting. He used Kilz Premium No Voc Primer.

Front Door Primer

The next day J finished up the project with 2 coats of white exterior paint. He used the exterior paint that was left by the previous owners.

Before & After:

Red Front Door Before and After

I’m SO glad we painted the door. Now the entry to our home looks cheerful and bright. Isn’t it much more welcoming with some color?

We still have some landscaping to do in the front as well as new lighting and front porch decor. I really want our home to feel welcoming from the curb and little by little I think we’ll get there. Adding some flowers and a place to sit are at the top of my list. What have you done to make your home feel more welcoming?

Exterior | Paint It Black

The exterior of our house was painted brown and it’s not a color that we would have picked. The Hardie Siding is only a few years old and having the entire exterior re-painted would be pretty expensive so for now we’re living with the color and trying to add some of our personality and curb appeal in other ways.

To keep things consistent we decided that all of our window treatments in the front should match. Our favorite window treatments are plantation shutters and after having a set installed in our playroom/office we went ahead and ordered them for the rest of our front windows. The plantation shutters were a splurge but we think that they’re a good investment and they’ll definitely be enjoyed – we LOVE them and can’t wait to have the rest installed in a few weeks! In the meantime we’re living with paper shades and the window treatments left by the previous owners.

The wood shutters on the exterior of the house were painted white but we felt that there needed to be some contrast between the windows, the window frames and the exterior shutters. The trim of the house and our two front porches are also painted white. We love that the house has big windows and pretty porches but because everything but the siding was painted white nothing felt defined and everything was blending into each other. Choosing a color to compliment the brown siding was difficult so in the end we decided to keep things simple and go with black. We’re going to save pops of color for the front door, the landscaping and the porch decor.

The shutters were previously painted with Valspar paint (the leftover paint was in the garage) so we headed over to Lowe’s to choose a new color. We went with Valspar’s Reserve Paint + Primer with HydroChroma Technology in the color Lincoln Cottage Black/Satin Finish.

Before J started painting he power washed all of the shutters and then gave them a quick blow dry with his shop vac. Once the shutters were completely dry he was able to start painting them. We thought it would be an afternoon project but it ended up taking about two full days for J to apply 2 coats of paint to all of the shutters without my help.

Prepping and Painting Shutters

Painting the shutters started a chain reaction and we ended up pulling out some landscaping that we’ve been wanting to replace (a friend scored a bunch of blue agave) and we removed the corbels from the front porches for a cleaner look.

Here’s a peek at the difference between white and black shutters. Painting the shutters definitely gives the windows more definition and it helps the front porches stand out instead of blending in.

Painting Shutters

Next up will be the landscaping. We started scouting the neighborhood and the local nursery to get some ideas and we’re set on painting the front door a fun color. Can you guess what color I’m thinking? In a few weeks we can say goodbye to the paper shades & curtains and all of our front windows will have plantation shutters installed. Yay!

We’re hoping that as the spring turns to summer all of these changes will help improve the curb appeal of the house. I’m most excited to paint the front door and accessorize the porch. Patience is a virtue right? 

So has Spring gotten you in the mood for outdoor projects too?