5 Tips for Painting Your Front Door

Laurey W. Glenn
Got a weekend? That's all you need.

Painting a front door is one of the easiest, quickest, and most affordable ways to majorly update your home, and all you need is a weekend to get it done. But before you slap on a fresh gallon of your new favorite shade, double check your game plan. So much of a successful front door makeover is in the prep work (and the waiting game…). Here, our five friendly reminders for any front door paint project:

1. Pick the Right Color—And Don’t Rush
Take your time picking the shade you’re about to cover your front door with. Be sure to consider how the color interacts with the light at different times of day. Also, choose what finish you’re looking for ahead of time.

2. Wait for a Good Weekend
Whether you take the door off or prop it open, you’re going to need good weather for the paint to properly dry and keep your house comfortable. Spring and fall are best, just watch the forecast for spring showers that could foil your project. Direct sun is also dangerous—too much could cause the paint to blister. Wait for a weekend that is juuuuust right.

3. Prep the Door
If you have the patience, space, and materials, go ahead and take your door off the hinges and lay it flat on sawhorse legs. You can paint it on the hinges (be sure to cover them in painters’ tape) but laying it flat will help prevents drips and runs. You can also tape the hardware, but for a truly professional job go ahead and take those off too. (This is a great time to change those out as well!) Next, sand, clean, and prime the door. This will ensure a true color and no yucky painted dust clumps. (eek!)

4. Paint Piece-by-Piece
First paint the bevels (the lower inset parts) using a handheld brush. Then paint the inset panels, using a roller. Finish with the center and outer flat surfaces, also using a roller.

5. Practice Patience
Wait until each layer of paint is dry before adding another. Then, don’t close the door until it’s completely dry. You may want to start the job in the morning so the door can be closed and locked at bedtime. If you close it before it’s completely dry, not only will you paint yourself in, all your hard work will be ruined.

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