I'm going to paint my front door a deep red.


The door pictured here isn't mine, but one similar to the color I'll use -- a deep red. I used this same color on my split foyer stairs so have experience with this paint. On the stairs, I first used a gray primer, then put on 3 coats of high gloss paint (sanded ever so slightly between each coat), then added 3 coats of poly. So far, it's stood up super well. I don't have kids who would brutalize this new door so it will be well-cared for but I still want to do all I can to try to ensure the paint will be applied correctly and last a long time.. I'll paint it before it's installed. Question: Since I'll poly the door, I'd guess using high gloss red paint wouldn't be necessary and might just slow my progress? If that's true, what's the best paint to use -- flat, satin, etc. And do I need to lightly sand between each coat, anyway? Or, without gloss, is that step unnecessary?

q i m going to paint my front door a deep red
  8 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Aug 23, 2018

    Make sure your paint is exterior rated. Usually poly is not and will turn chalky with exposure. Just a high gloss exterior paint should be good enough with out the poly.

  • Emily Emily on Aug 23, 2018

    Hi Louise. We were in England in 2002 and I fell in love with all the blue doors. We painted ours when we got home. To the best of my knowledge we just used the paint on this 1905 previously unpainted door. My husband recently did one that is upstairs. It is Benj Moore paint and he used the same can he had used in 2002. My husband is an artist and he knows the properties of paint pretty well. So far so good for us. This may well be an porch and deck paint, cause I know we used it on our steel bulk head doors too. Good luck! I love your color!

  • Patti Nicholas Patti Nicholas on Aug 23, 2018

    I would ask these questions of a pro in the paint store ( not a big box store) but I would also look into a marine grade paint that’s made to withstand the elements, or maybe an enamel

  • 29621073 29621073 on Aug 24, 2018

    You definitely want to use an exterior paint. Also consider the amount of sun exposure your door will get. If it is south- or west-facing, red tends to fade (even with exterior paint. I have a red front door. It is wood with previous paint that I covered in one coat of gray primer and two coats of red exterior paint. My door is north facing and is still in good shape after 12 years! Note that this door is not the door we come in and out of each day.

  • Louise Louise on Aug 25, 2018

    I thought about the fading tendencies of red but my yard has more shade than sun so I think it will hold up OK. A neighbor whose yard is also shady has a red door that has held up amazingly. I'm going to visit Sherwin-Williams and get their opinion, too. :-)

  • Eileen McGee Young Eileen McGee Young on Aug 26, 2018

    You need good exterior paint in satin, gloss or high gloss if that is your preference. No Poly....not necessary with the paint!!!

  • Ellis Ellis on Aug 26, 2018

    Another thing to be careful about is the door exposure to the sun. The product information sheet on some steel entry doors warns about doors that are exposed directly to the hot sun: If the door gets direct sunlight, it should not be painted a dark color. This was a big disappointment to me on a home we owned!

  • Louise Louise on Sep 08, 2018

    I've just bought my Sherwin-Williams exterior hi-gloss deep red paint and will start painting the door in a basement room on saw-horses in the next few days. I plan to apply Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 gray primer first and then put about 3 coats of paint on the door, sanding ever so slightly between each coat after they've dried thoroughly. So now the question is -- should I use a roller or brush? The door is a smooth fiberglas and obviously, I want it to look as smooth and nice as possible. I used a brush when I painted my interior bannister this same color because it didn't seem to lend itself to a roller. And IF I go with a roller, which kind will give me the best, smoothest finish? ALSO, the between-coats light sanding --- should it be with very fine steel wool or very find sandpaper or does it make a difference?