Error loading player:
No playable sources found
Alicia W
Alicia W
  • Hometalker
  • Middletown, PA

The Proper Way to Paint (and Stencil) a Front Door

6 Materials
$20
2 Days
Easy

This is my sister's front door. While it looks okay from afar, the closer you look, you can see it needs to be painted. The color also needs to be changed and we need to make it special.


the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

I begin by applying painter's tape around the window, door handle and lock.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

My sister loves color and she wanted to make her front door unique (like she is) but wasn't sure how to do that. While we discussed her options she mentioned that she loves the look of paisley. That's when I got the idea to paint her front door with a paisley pattern.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

The door had been white and she had painted it yellow; however, she didn't prep the door before she painted so the yellow paint was really streaky and you could see the brush marks.

I used 180 grit medium sandpaper over the entire door making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

After sanding, I wiped the door clean with blue Dawn and water. This not only removed the sanding dust, it also de-greased the door. Sanding and wiping down the door is a very important step.

After wiping the door, I sanded again and wiped again.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

I also used the brush to paint inside the details of the door panels.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

Even though she loves color, we decided to paint the door black. Using Krylon Colormaxx acrylic latex paint in Satin Black, I started at the top of the door. I used a paintbrush to paint around the entire window frame.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

I allowed the door to dry then apply a second and third coat of paint. I allow those coats to dry 24 hours.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

Working my way down the door, I use a sponge roller to paint the flat areas of the door.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

It is critical that you allow the door to dry between coats otherwise, when you apply another coat, you will remove the paint underneath. This part was hard for me because I just wanted to get. that. door. painted.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

The following day, there were a few spots that weren't covered. I applied paint only to those spots using a brush.

Now it was time to stencil. This stencil is from ArtMinds which I purchased from Michael's. I taped the stencil to the door using painter's tape.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

For the stencil color, I used ArtMinds outdoor exterior paint in "Concrete".

I also used a stencil brush by ArtMinds.

If you've never stenciled before here are some tips:


  1. Add a small amount of paint to a plastic plate.
  2. Dip just the tips of your brush into the paint
  3. Remove excess paint from the brush by pouncing or dabbing the brush up and down on a paper towel.

You don't want the brush too wet or the paint will leak under the stencil. This is dry brush technique.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

As you can see, I turned the stencil in different directions each time I used it. Along the edges of the door, I position the stencil so there were parts of it not completely on the door.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

Apply the paint to the door by gently pouncing the brush against the door. Pouncing means tapping the brush against the your surface in light, rapid strokes. Again, you don't want too much paint on the brush or it will leak under the stencil. You can always add more paint if you need to.


Once the stencil is completely painted, remove the stencil from the door.

the proper way to paint and stencil a front door

While the door is not painted a bright color, the paisley makes it unique - which makes it exactly what my sister wanted.

She does have a screen door which hides a good bit of the door when it's closed; however, you can still see the top of the door through the screen door and when you open the door - - - Wow!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Mary Becker
    on Jun 8, 2018

    The stencil goes over the door panels. How did you keep the paint from going under the edges of these areas? I'm thinking I may do an inside door or two. Love the look. Very bohemian.

    • Alicia W
      on Jun 13, 2018

      Hi Mary. Using the dry brush technique as I explained in the post and lightly pouncing with the stencil brush, you won’t have any “leakage” underneath the stencil.

  • Dorothy A Erickson
    on Jun 8, 2018

    how do you prevent streaking and brush marks

    • Alicia W
      on Jun 13, 2018

      Hi Dorothy. If you follow the steps in the post you won’t have any brushstrokes.

      Its really all in the prep-especially the sanding before and between coats.

  • Paulette Rogers
    on Jun 13, 2018

    Is it a wood or metal door? Should I do anything different if I have a metal door?

    • Dfm
      on Mar 5, 2019

      if that black door gets much sun on it , it may warp the door. did a barn red door a few years back at house number1, yup it warped. a bit difficult to get it closed properly.

Join the conversation

3 of 50 comments
  • Stencils have their place, but I'm thinking this door isn't one of them, but very well executed.

  • Mwood
    on Aug 14, 2018

    Actually, I was looking at the license plate flowers! I absolutely LOVE that idea as I have a few dozen plates lying around!

Your comment...