How to Repaint a Front Door in 3 Afternoons

You can do it!!

Two weeks before I gave birth, I was painting the inside of our front door. Our front door was one of the things I hated about our new house. It was a really dark color, and just didn’t go with everything else in and on the house (which is light colored). So, I painted the inside white.

Fast forward to a year later…it was past time to change the outside of the door. But to what color? We thought red or yellow…red is more traditional, yellow is bold. We went with bold. And you know what? We love it.

Repainting a door can seem like a daunting project, but when you have the right supplies and take it one step at a time, it’s not so terrible. Having quality supplies and paint is key, because it will help keep you from making mistakes that cost time (and money). Plus, painting your door can really give the front of your home a facelift in a big way, with minimal cost. I spent about $80 total on this project.

What you need:

  • Paint (we used Sherwin Williams from Lowes…buying paint from them is great because you can return it if you don’t like it). Make sure you tell the paint mixer that this paint will be used on an exterior door, so that they give you the correct finish.
  • High-Hiding Primer
  • Paint mixing stick
  • Paint brushes (Purdy is a great brand) – flat, corner, and rollers
  • Paint roller stick
  • Paint tray
  • Sanding sponge
  • Ladder
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Paint thinner (for those inevitable drop mistakes and to clean brushes between coats)
  • Cool music (optional)

How to do it:

  • The easiest way to do this project is to remove the door from the frame completely. We don’t have a storm door, so I didn’t have this luxury and had to paint the door while it was up. If you have to do this, make sure you allow time for the door to be open (so that the paint on the top and sides can dry) and use a LOT of painter’s tape to cover up what you don’t want painted. Remove all hardware and door handles if possible.
  • Use painters tape to cover up trim, window panes, and any surfaces that you don’t want paint to touch. Take time and do this accurately – it will save you time later. Trust me.
  • Sand any rough areas of the door where paint may be chipped. I sanded the middle section of our door (see below).
  • Use a flat brush (if you have a paneled door like I do) or a paint roller to apply a coat of high hiding primer. You may need one or two coats, depending on how drastic of a color change you are doing.
Use tape wherever you can
  • Once primer is dry and you cannot see the existing paint, you can begin painting! Try a test spot first to make sure you love the color.
  • Using your roller brush if possible, make broad vertical strokes on the door. I find it easiest to work from left to right. In the case of my paneled door, I had to use a paintbrush, so I did the vertical and horizontal spaces first, and then painted the recessed boxes.
Oh yeah, it’s a bold choice. This was the first coat, wet.
  • Allow paint to dry, per can instructions. Check for any drips or uneven areas, and sand them with a sanding sponge. Then apply second coat of paint. I waited overnight before applying the second coat and had beautiful results; no third coat needed. I painted the trim as well, which you can do while you are waiting for the door to dry.
  • Touch up any gap areas with small paintbrush. Change door hardware if desired (we did). Peel off tape and enjoy!

The finished product…

After! Our color is called Golden Moon by Sherwin Williams


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *