Looking for suggestions on how to update this front door!

by Tammy
My initial thought is to strip it and stain it a darker color. The trim color around the door is new to the entire house and the brick around it covers most of the home. This is a dark alcove that I will be adding a chandelier to at this entry. Ideas??????
The glass in the door has yellow & clear colored glass pieces in it. Door handle and kickplate will be changed to ORB. It's a heavy nice wood door.
  54 answers
  • Updating the handle and the kickplate will make a huge impact. Plus I would show off the glass insert too and bring in light to the area both inside and out. Staining it a bit darker will look good against the brick (or leave it alone because it is a beautiful door). the burlap wreath does not do the door justice and adding a chandelier and working as if the porch was an extension of your home. Just do not crowd it too much but a couple big, tall, colorful pots on each side with plants would really set this area off. have fun!
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    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 28, 2016
      Hm.. Hostas do well here, so that might work!
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 28, 2016
    I would stain the door to contrast with the brick and the new pretty trim color. I also would invest in all new hardware. Personally I would remove the wreath so you can see the glass and lastly most definitely dress the area up with coordinating pots that match the trim.
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    • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 28, 2016
      Gosh I was simply asking. No need to get rattled, I really thought you might have had a new technique as you are so full of ideas all the time. I enjoy your posts! Keep it positive so we can all be helpful. Cheers!
  • Lulu Lulu on Jan 28, 2016
    I like it just as it is.
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 28, 2016
      @Lulu thanks Lulu! It's a beautiful door, but the color is very old - think 32 years old and really needs to be refreshed. It's also a bit "orange" next to the brick color, which is not as nice as it could be. The brass hardware also looks weathered - although no "weather" can get to it! LOL
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 28, 2016
    Hi Tammy I agree with changing the color of the door. Would you consider planters with natural elements like curly willow or forced branches? Then you would have the option of tucking in a shade lover plant like pansy or impatiens for a bit of color.
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    • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 29, 2016
      I made this up for the front if my church. It's under a canopy, nobody wanted to take care of live plants so this worked perfectly. Best part is you can switch out the floral "plants" and put in fall leaves , add birch or red twig dogwood etc as the seasons change. Think about it to add some color !
  • Peppi Peppi on Jan 28, 2016
    i think that some soft gold rubbed on the frame and sanded off a little would be beautiful with your teal trim. also a chandelier would look beautiful in your outside entryway. i agree with new brass or oiled metal would look great and the plants on either side would finish the look. please post when you are done. looking forward to seeing your marvelous transformation.
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 28, 2016
      @Peppi YEP! A chandelier is definitely on my "to buy" list for this space!! Thanks!! if you can think of some plants that would "live" in complete shade in HOT Texas weather, I'm open to suggestions. This porch area is probably 10 feet deep?
  • Kimberly Harris Dodson Kimberly Harris Dodson on Jan 28, 2016
    Have you thought of painting the door the color of the trim?
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on Jan 29, 2016
    I like the trim color. I think the trim around the door needs to be wider all the way around. If the alcove is dark what do you want the focal point to be? The door or the light fixture. As someone else said You should get rid of the wreath and add some greenery on each side of the entrance.For the door I'm thinking the darkest stain you can find . Would love to see the end results.
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    • Kathy Kathy on Jan 29, 2016
      @Jean Myles Totally missed the trim at the top. Thanks for pointing it out!
  • Leslie Leslie on Jan 29, 2016
    Beautiful peacock blue for door and trim. Wreath is hiding the beauty of the door. Chandelier is wonderful idea.
  • Kathy t Kathy t on Jan 29, 2016
    you could get some "stained glass" paint and paint the details in the glass. That way you could have several colors to compliment with outside plants
  • Mickey Baron Mickey Baron on Jan 29, 2016
    I have a door similar & it faded in the sun & elements. Lost its luster. I sanded it lightly, & used a light walnut gel stain. It brought it back to life! Used 3 coats of a protectant afterwards. Your choice of new hardware. Then try kathy t' ^ idea, of the multi color "stain glass" paint. Do all this, & it will look like an entirely different door. THEN decide on if you want to change the trim color. Your chandelier idea is PERFECT. Pls. post after shots?
  • Int2363025 Int2363025 on Jan 29, 2016
    Let's start at the beginning! 1st question......is the trim surrounding the door the same as the trim around the windows of the house or where did you arrive at that color? The trim around the door should be the same as around the Windows, maybe soffit, as long as it coordinates with the color of the house. Is it brick all around? After these questions are addressed, then the color of the front door will be answered. Make it POP....a strong color, dark stain, dark paint color. The door then Will become the focal point. As it is Now the trim is the focal color.
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 29, 2016
      @Interiors291 - Yes, the trim around the door is a new color for the trim on the house - not a huge amount of trim since it's a brick house, but enough that you do see it. I've been using Java Gel Stain by General Finishes on some furniture, and that was what has made me think the front door needs to be this color. It's similar to that dark shade in the bricks, and I think it will coordinate with the trim color well. Thanks for your input.
  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jan 29, 2016
    Hi Tammy. I agree with a few of the above answers, mainly @Kimberly Harris Dodson, paint the door the same as the trim. One is canceling out the other at this point. Also one tall plant/planter on either side of the door. You want the entry to pop not your door OR your trim. Have fun!
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jan 29, 2016
    Hi Tammy! You already have lots of advice but I will chip in my two cents worth. I would stain the door a much darker color-almost black- to enhance the gray of the bricks. That would also highlight the stained glass window ( I would also remove that wreath, as it hides the glass : ) Update the hardware- oil rubbed bronze or brushed chrome- to really stand out against the door. I would also paint the sill- right now it appears to be untreated- which could lead to rot over time. Add a colorful indoor-outdoor carpet and some bright pots that complement that gorgeous teal trim color. The pots could contain anything from tall birch logs with lights to tall flowering plants- depending on the season. Good luck!
    • Peppi Peppi on Jan 29, 2016
      @Sue@CountryDesignHome sue, i love the idea of a rug! something that would reflect a little of what's going on inside. don't want to make the transition from out to in too opposite.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 29, 2016
    I agree with scrap the wreath. It looks like a bunch of scrunched up old panty hose. Paint any and all stained glass colors just leaving clear or frosted color.(This will update it from a faux Victorian look) Go ahead and paint door two shades of blue; darker in cut-in, insets, then brighter on the forward higher panel parts. Use satin, pewter or darker hardware.
  • Kaye Kaye on Jan 29, 2016
    Perhaps,using colored planters and allow the glass in door breathe,it'd be lovely
  • Robin_Weigand Robin_Weigand on Jan 29, 2016
    I'd paint the door cream and add a rug to the entrance. Or paint the door red with white trim.
  • Cindi Cindi on Jan 29, 2016
    I just painted my front entrance door black, looks very classy and rich, I would also remove your wreath to show off that beautiful window as the black will enhance the window
  • Nancy Oden Nancy Oden on Jan 29, 2016
    u might want to consider distressing the door...giving it an aged look.....maybe paint it a nice color..but use the chalk paint and give it that rustic, aged, distressed look...you can do that with stain or with paint...that would update it because this look is very "in" right now...if thats not your cup of tea then painting it a nice color and maybe painting the door handle with that dark bronze spray paint by rustoleum...its called rubbed bronze..or something like that....its nice and tones down the bright brass that is so out of date right now..i plan to use it on my bright brass door handles..look at Fixer Upper on HGTV...that sort of rustic look would go well w what u have..in m opinion..and update it too
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 29, 2016
      @Nancy Oden - I adore the ORB and that is exactly my plan for the door hardware and that kickplate. Distressed is not my cup of tea - I always think it needs to be painted over because it creeps me out. Aged with glaze, I can do though :) Thanks for the ideas!
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on Jan 29, 2016
    i am not sure of what the front of your house looks like, but I am assuming that you have trim or shutters the same as your door trim. The wreath on your door looks like natural fibers, so I am also assuming that you like the natural look. If your trim paint is all the same on the house consider changing the trim to a shade or 2 lighter than what you have. Or, you could do the lighter shade just at the top and around the inner part of the trim. You have 3 indentations on the trim, I would try the middle indent. If you are not inclined to paint, change your wreath to something that has greenery in different shades of greens with touches of you colors in the wreath. You also might try a basket at the bottom of the window or at the top of the bottom panels with the greenery. That way your widow would be a feature and not covered. That does mean that you would need to do a permanent way of hanging something there and not a wreath hanger. Your options are aplenty without a lot pf painting..... since the glass has some yellow, you could also paint a contrast shade yellow that highlights and accents your door.
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 29, 2016
      @Lynn Palmatier No shutters. This house has a minimalist exterior with crank windows that open out. Window frames are all ORB in color, somewhat matching that darker shade in the bricks. Thanks for the suggestion to decorate under the window - you're the first one to suggest that!
  • Angela Roberts Angela Roberts on Jan 29, 2016
    All the previous suggestions are very good. Because the brick on the house has that "aged" look, I would paint it a vibrant color like red, yellow or green with no distressing. I don't know that staining it a darker color would really make it stand out against the brick. Or....you could paint it a shiny black. That could look really cool next to the brick.
  • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Jan 29, 2016
    I'd paint the door a dark navy, or rich shade of blue. I would also remove the wreath from the door and let the window be a feature. They sell masonry nails and hooks for brick like yours, invest in one to hang a wreath/decorative slate welcome sign from just above and to the left of your doorbell. The trim on your door makes the entrance look tall and too thin. Beef it up by adding a more decorative (think less indoor trim looking) moulding -- add a little to the sides and more above the door, with the top trim reaching out past the side trim by a couple of inches. The trim should be a warm & dark stain color. Add an oversized, cheery & bright doormat to complete the look. If your alcove is big enough, add a pretty bench to the right of the door and a cheerful bunch of flowers in a planter/watering can.
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    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Jan 29, 2016
      That is crazy! I can't imagine asking for the mortar and brinks to be flush... I've recently seen (on the home talk site) a great project that used a wooden ladder as a means of displaying things. The ladder was painted white, then distressed, then the crafter leaned it against her house and hung some beautiful planters from it. If you used this concept, you could easily hang a wreath, or even your welcome sign and some friendly flowers from it. As it is only propped against your wall, there's no need for the masonry bit & it's easily updated with the seasons. I'll try looking for that post and link it here if I find it.
  • Patty Patty on Jan 29, 2016
    I'm with @Robin-Weigand with this one, a muted cream would be perfect with your trim and brick!! Good luck.
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 29, 2016
      @Patty - sorry ladies - the cream looks terrible on this house with this brick. That was the color the (crazy previous owner) painted the garage door. When we bought this house there were 3 different uncomplimentary colors on various parts of trim, cream, white and chocolate brown. They are all going away to be replaced by the green you see around the door here.
  • Barbara Barbara on Jan 29, 2016
    I'm afraid if you go a deeper stain color that the 'dark alcove' would be intensified, but I'm not in agreement with the bright colors of red, yellow or green. I might be tempted to try something very different, an aged off white resembling white wash or pickled wood. You might find help on Pinterest or utube for white wash tutorials. The lighter color will focus the eye on the entry and lighten the area. Personally, I love the door as is. I am in agreement about moving the wreath to the left or right of the door so the beautiful glass shows even more. We have a similar door with the beveled cut glass insert in a rectangular shape and it was painted white before we purchased the house. I wanted a more vintage look, so I just painted it with a dark wood (red mahogony)stain, rubbed most of the gel stain off and when dry, sprayed polyurethane to protect it. I love the finished door and it fits the more vintage style I wanted. I only did the exterior of the door as it opens to a very small entry way into our living room and I wanted the interior to match our white wood window/door trim. We also went with the oil rubbed bronze door knob and lock set. I love the finished look!
  • Lynn Couch Lynn Couch on Jan 29, 2016
    Paint it red & the flat part around the window & the 2 panes at the bottom of the door paint the dark alcove color.
  • Cindi Cindi on Jan 29, 2016
    Personally, it would kill me to paint such a beautiful wood door. Everyone wants to paint everything these days, but I only paint wood if it's dinged up. This door is gorgeous, as is. If you want a change, put a different color stain on it, although I love the color wood it is now, it goes with the window. If it was mine I think I'd paint the trim around the door black, and change out the hardware and kick plate to black. That would give a whole new look without touching the wood. If I had to paint this door, I'd paint it bright red, with black trim, but again, it goes against my nature. Try the black trimming first, then brighten it up with pots of colorful flowers on each side of the door, or something with some color.
  • Debbe Debbe on Jan 29, 2016
    You need to brighten it up not such a dark of color? You need a bright color that draws your attention to front door it makes it more inviting. Look on Zillow or any decorating sites and see what colors are out there.
  • Dianne devoll Dianne devoll on Jan 29, 2016
    I would go with a grey similar to brick and, using a VERY fine brush, use black to outline the raised parts. Change handles to old silver, as elaborate as possible. Do not put up a wreath or anything in front of glass.
  • MaryAnn B MaryAnn B on Jan 29, 2016
    I agree with not painting the door. I like the idea of repainting the trim to black, changing the hardware to a polished bronze, and get rid of that door wreath which adds to the "blah" effect. You can try a slight antiquing around the oval window frame with some black to make it stand out, and add a wreath with some color.
  • Dianab Dianab on Jan 29, 2016
    I would go for a white pickled look, works great on that colour stain. and, yes, I would get rid of the wreath as well, hang it to the side of the door
  • Patti McCarty Patti McCarty on Jan 29, 2016
    Well, first off, I'd use a different color moulding.... something lighter, perhaps, same color family, or a cream, maybe? That green is too dark. Maybe even add another layer of moulding... accent the door facing more... or put a piece, like an old dresser/vanity back piece on the top. Really pimp up the facing above the door. Look at some headboards for ideas. Check out a book at the library... there are books totally devoted to front door ideas. Then I think I'd hit the door with a sander to lighten it up a bit, too. Rub it down with coconut oil. Give it a month or two, see how you like it. You can always re-stain it before next winter. I like the brass kickplate. Think of the additions to the door as jewelry. Go big or go home. Your doorbell just gets lost, too. And by all means, add a spectacular light or two.... a planter or two....or three... or four. Try formal balance... then try informal balance. Go tall, add smaller pieces below. How about a bench? Play with it. Be brave. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • Annadele Annadele on Jan 29, 2016
    Tammy, my two cents worth, since you're asking!!! First off, I'd remove the kickplate. My feeling is it looks dated, and not in line with your sleek-design exterior. That's the first thing I did to my front double doors when I move in, and haven't missed them at all. People aren't supposed to kick the door!!! Anyway, since the blue, as pretty as it is, makes the door look smaller, why not paint the door and trim the same color. But not the blue, as much as I like it. This gives you a visually larger door and more inviting entry into your home. I might (a) pick a color that coordinates with the brick, perhaps the color of the grout - just read that grey in all its forms is out for 2016!, or (b) go completely off the grid, style wise- what about a coordinating yellow or red, or a brilliant blue or another color that won't clash with the window trim? And if there are not many windows, maybe you can repaint them the same color as your new door makeover. Just try some sample pots for a couple dollars each. You may be surprised if you think outside the color wheel. Good luck, and have fun...
  • Mary Bradford Barranti Mary Bradford Barranti on Jan 29, 2016
    A front door needs to shout, "Welcome! Enter here." Doors that fade into their surroundings say, "I'm shy, I'm hiding, please don't find me." I love your trim color. It goes really well with your brick. The trick with the door is to find a color you love in the same family as the brick and trim colors. Hot or dark colors would be too shocking. Gray would fade into the brick and make your door disappear, and painting it the same color as the trim would simply be tacky. The trim and brick appear to be in the cool family, so perhaps a cool creamy white about the color of the grout, or a soft yellow that would bring out the highlights in the window would be pleasing. The kind of yellow I'm thinking of is Hue: 33, Sat: 159, Lum: 195, Red: 239, Green: 228, and Blue 176. Very soft and in the cool family, and will go very well with your new ORB door handle. However, I agree with Annadele - lose the kickplate. It throws off the proportions of the door and makes it look squatty. I also agree with Patti that you need to do something to enhance the overall appearance, perhaps by somehow changing the trim. It would be very easy to add full length shutters to either side of the door and paint them the same teal as the molding. They would add warmth, width, and class to your entrance without spending a lot of money. Whatever you decide, I hope you will post pictures sharing your results.
  • Cathy MatkoskyBostic Cathy MatkoskyBostic on Jan 29, 2016
    Hi, my x has this door. The color you have painted on the trim is the color he painted his door and his trim. Looks wonderful and yes I would get rid of the kick plate.
  • Heather McGee Heather McGee on Jan 29, 2016
    My 2 cents. Loose the kick plate.Change out the door handle to something substantial in black or dark bronze.Or if you wish to be "cost effective" paint the existing handle black. The steel of the base of the door frame is being highlighted by the brassy tones. Without, seeing an overall distance view of the entry with more of the house in the view, I am having a difficult time deciding on a colour, although I am leaning to white or the green of the trim. If you really want to draw attention in purple will complement the green,grey & yellow of the glass, but that would only be for the truly adventurous. I think the wreath needs to either go or move.It's competing with the glass. Move to above the doorbell on the wall. I am a fan of planters & would place 1 on each side of the door.
  • S. Roy S. Roy on Jan 29, 2016
    I love to paint things, but I would never paint that beautiful door. Change to a dark hardware and add tall, light fixtures of the same metal on each side of the door. Add a colorful rug with the grays of your brick and the blue of the trim. Add some color with planters of geraniums on the sides of the door. I agree with getting rid of the kick plate and the wreath. Would love to see a picture of the front of the house to help put it in perspective,
  • Janice Grizzle Janice Grizzle on Jan 29, 2016
    I agree, get ride of kick plate and wreath stain the door a dark stain, if it on your budget change the hardware to nickel.
  • Wbf3257703 Wbf3257703 on Jan 30, 2016
    Add some Aqua into the wreath.
  • Lynda Dexter Lynda Dexter on Jan 30, 2016
    Get rid of the wreath! It blocks the beautiful window. Remove kick plate. I would also try adding some color to the glass with some glass paint from any craft store. Maybe 2 tone the door with light and dark, the inlayed area either dark or light and the opposite on the rest.
    • Tammy Tammy on Jan 31, 2016
      @Lynda Dexter - thanks. I never would have thought it was possible to add more color to clear leaded glass! It is currently amber and clear. Not that appealing and just adds to the orangeness of the door stain.
  • Sammy Sammy on Jan 30, 2016
    This is a beautiful door with a wonderful golden patina. I definitely would not change color. Remove kick plate, change door handle to something wrought iron that has curves to complement the curves of the door. Remove wreath. If the stained glass is outdated this can be removed and changed to another stained glass (depending on your budget of course). Personally I prefer a peephole, which in this case could be a clear bevel at eye level.
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Jan 30, 2016
    Would love to see more photos of your house before making a suggestion - What is the style of the house? Is that blue trim around the door, all around the house? Do you have a front porch? Post some additional photos from further back to see the whole house, otherwise people are just giving you their opinions that won't necessarily go with your style or the style of the house.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jan 30, 2016
    My house is off white vinyl siding so I would keep the turquoise trim since that is one of my favorite colors and go with colors that go with turquoise, maybe copper trim along with the light wood, maybe a darker copper or brown for the door. I would play with the colors on cardboard first before touching the door.
  • Fred Williams Fred Williams on Jan 30, 2016
    Why would you change anything anything the door is a beautiful color. Get rid of the wreath, change the kick plate and door hardware. The door will be even more beautiful.
  • Tammy, I had a client aske me to paint her front doors. Very similar to yours when I started. She wanted this color as her house is an off white with a mexican tile entry way in this color blue and white. It's not for everyone, but it makes the house pop! Oh and the gold was her existing hardware. She was going to switch to ORB. I did this in a custom mixed chalk paint in two different blues and then Used a tung oil/varnish sealer. when I got the doors, they were in horrible shape.
  • Sharon Slater Miller Sharon Slater Miller on Jan 30, 2016
    Maybe simply remove the gold hardware including the kick plate and spray them in a hammered silver finish that willmgombetter with the grey in your brick It is a simple fix if your fear it just buy new hardware in a nickel plate finish.
  • Barb Barb on Jan 31, 2016
    The door is beautiful as it is. I would change the hardware and kickplate and leave the rest. Don't fix what isn't broken. I would love to have that door.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Feb 01, 2016
    The green trim is a bit ersatz - I would match your door to have a bigger looking entrance.
  • Lynda Dexter Lynda Dexter on Feb 01, 2016
    You are welcome! the first thing I noticed was that window was almost lost you could hardly tell it was a window. Yet it is a beautiful addition to the door. It just needs some color. Have fun exploring your options.
  • Patricia Patricia on Feb 04, 2016
    What a beautiful oak door! If you want to lighten up the area, replace the green paint with an off white color which blends with the mortar of the bricks. Personally, I'd remove the wreath which is covering up that gorgeous glass, change the trim, maybe a new kick plate, or polish the old one, and some new hardware (the darker colors are really popular now) and it will look like new! I'll take the wreath and put it on my plain door! (LOL) Show off that beauty of yours!
  • Tammy Tammy on Feb 10, 2016
  • Marilou b. Marilou b. on Jun 03, 2016
    Go red! Love a red door. Use a different wreath with some color (red, white & blue for 4th of July and then again Labor Day.
  • Mary Kay Mary Kay on Jun 05, 2016
    Depends on the style of the house, but my taste goes more modern. I'd replace the glass with glass w/ a cleaner look, then paint out the door, love the red suggestion above.
  • Marci Marci on Jul 21, 2016
    Yep! Replace the glass. I like changing out the trim, and, possibly paint the door. Depending on overall landscaping and home style etc., red or maybe crème on both the door and trim?
  • Dea Dea on Nov 03, 2016
    The door could be stripped to the bare wood then make it a lighter stain or even a white washing stain. Paint the green the mortar color as another lady thought last change the glass all clear or a soft etched pattern that does not prevent you from seeing who is at the door, You need to pep up the wreath and you may hang it below the glass with a removable Scott's tape hook. There is no rule that the wreath must be front and center. You could place it on the wall next to the door. Take a picture of the door and copy it on your printer or trace it. Then play with coloring the door pictures and design your new door.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 31, 2023

    You have a super Solid Oak Door. Leave it be! Maybe Add a Trellis arch against the wall or around the door. Large Pots the colour of the trim and change up the wreath for something more colourful.