How to Pick the Best Front Door Paint

Front door paint is one of the quickest, easiest and most affordable ways to add instant curb appeal. And good news: A successful front door makeover can be done in one weekend, tops.

Yellow Front Door with LandscapingHannamariah/Shutterstock

Front door paint is one of the quickest, easiest and most affordable ways to add instant curb appeal. And good news: A successful front door makeover can be done in one weekend, tops. Start here:

Choose the Best Color for the Front Door

How you choose the best paint color depends on personal taste and your home’s character. If you typically shy away from bright colors, remember, a door is a smaller commitment, why not experiment with a shade that wows? Classic, neutral hues like black, brown and gray will withstand the test of time, but using an unexpected front door paint can liven up a more traditional façade.

To narrow down your selections, tape paint chips or color swatches to your existing door. Observe the swatches throughout the day, since colors can change as the light brightens or dims. Take the color selection part seriously, as front door paint can earn you more money in a future home sale.

Plus: These are 15 of the most stunning front doors to inspire your painting project.

Choose the Best Paint for the Front Door

Since your door is likely exposed to outside elements, using the proper exterior paint type will prevent peeling and fading.

The first question is whether to go with a latex paint or an oil-based paint (and corresponding stain-blocking primer). Latex paints provide weather-resistant coverage and rust protection if your door is metal. Using oil-based paints can result in an overall tougher protective coat.

For finish, always choose semigloss over flat or eggshell. Semigloss is preferred for front door paint because it highlights architectural features and stands up to nicks and scrapes.

Tips When Painting the Front Door

A cloudy to partly sunny, dry day with little to no wind is best for exterior painting. If the sun beats down on your door while you’re painting it, the paint will dry too fast.

If possible, remove the hardware before painting and consider adding a touch of modern style by swapping in new knobs, door handles or knockers.

Prep the door by going over the existing surface with fine-grit sandpaper to ready the surface and remove imperfections (fresh paint adheres better to a sanded door). Remove the dust with a shop vacuum or a tack cloth.

Next, check out 10 amazing modern front doors.

Depending on your door, a foam roller or paintbrush will handle the bulk of the job. A roller tends to evenly coat the surface more efficiently, while a paintbrush will give you a nice “hand-painted” feel. Pro tip: a stiff angle brush is perfect for the trim or to minimize slip-ups in areas with small margins for error. Plan on at least two hours of dry time and a second coat of paint to ensure full coverage. For quick touch-ups, keep a Mason jar of front door paint in the hall closet.

Check out this expert guide on how to paint a door.

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Shawnna Stiver
Shawnna is a veteran lifestyle, marketing and news content writer, currently contributing to ecommerce companies in the parenting and babies space. She has had the pleasure of writing traditional, digital and social content for the following industries: beauty, consumer goods, entrepreneurship, financial services, health/wellness, home improvement/DIY, lifestyle, non-profit, parenting and self improvement. For a dose of positivity and to see innovative ways companies are doing good in the world, check out her website: www.kindco.org