Painting the exterior doors of your home can be a very inexpensive way to increase your property’s curb appeal. Not to mention the fact that it makes giving people directions to your place even easier, especially if you live in a semi-detached or a subdivision with similar houses. The small investment (time and money wise) with a big impact is exactly why it was my first home improvement project when I bought my house. Anyone can pull this off; just follow these nine easy steps for an eye-catching entrance.
Step 1:Determine existing paint type
You first need to determine what type of paint is already on your door – this makes a difference in what you can buy to paint over it. A simple test is to swab your door with methyl hydrate or acetone (nail polish remover with acetone will do the trick). If anything comes off on your swab, it’s latex paint. If nothing comes off, it’s oil-based paint. This step also determines which paint base you will need to cover the existing colour.
Step 2: Choose your colour
This is the fun part! I find it best to decide what colour to paint your door based on your siding colour and personal preference. I found this colour chart for free download from Better Homes and Gardens at the time, which helped to ensure that what I had it mind would also compliment my siding colour. I wanted something bold and happy, so I chose a bright, sunflower yellow to contrast the modern, dark grey siding. The yellow mum on my front step was part of the inspiration!
Step 3: Buy your paint and tools
Any Home Improvement store should be able to mix the colour you want. Find the base (white) paint brand and texture that you’re looking for, then bring a sample of the colour from a swatch in the rainbow assortment of paint cards. They will then mix up that exact colour and you’ll be on your way. I got my paint brush, sponge brush, tape and tray from the dollar store to save a few bucks.
Step 4: Set up your paint station
It’s go time! You’ll want to do this on a day where you have a few hours to complete the transformation – preferably over the weekend or on a vacation day. It should also be done early in the morning on a sunny day so that it’s not too hot and can dry over a couple hours. You will want to put a large sheet, or in my case newspaper, down on the floor to protect it from any excess paint drops, drips or spills. Don’t forget to wear your best painting clothes – aka ones you don’t mind ruining! Have a table handy with your tray and different brushes as well as some water and a rag to wash the door before painting.
Step 5: Remove hardware, wipe down and tape
Be sure to remove hardware like door knobs and locks before cleaning the door – you would be surprised at how much dirt can build up under there! Once you’ve removed the knobs, set them aside and give the surface a good wipe down with warm water. While the door dries, tape around any windows with painter’s tape to ensure those lines are clean and sharp after the job is done!
Step 6: Get your paint on!
Dip your brush and paint away! Long, even strokes will ensure it looks its best. Use the sponge brush around sharp edges and tricky spots for accuracy.
Step 7: Let it dry
Clean up your supplies, do some laundry, mow the lawn, have a beer and relax – it’s drying time. Your door should be dry and ready to fully close after 4-6 hours, so be patient and find yourself something around the house to do while you wait!
Step 8: Reattach hardware and remove tape
Put your knobs and locks back on and remove painter’s tape for the final touches.
Step 9: Admire your masterpiece
Step back and view your work of art! Take some photos from the street and up-close to share with friends on social media and maybe even when you go to sell in the future! I decided to paint both my front and side door, as you can see both from the street. You wouldn’t believe the amount of compliments I get from friends and strangers alike on this small improvement. The second photo is a year later and it still looks great!
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Ashly is the Managing Editor for Welcome Mat. She is based out of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.