Asked on Jul 02, 2014

What would you do with this door?

by Sla344491
Please help! I purchased a new (to me) home which seems to still have the original door from when it was built around 1950. It is boring...and is painted a boring white. I can't afford a new door right now, So can anyone suggest some ideas to add some texture, or anything to dress it up.
  60 answers
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jul 03, 2014
    Paint it! Be sure to use the right paint. If it's metal use enamel, wood doors use valspar called dura max . It's made for hard wear which the sun beating down in it, and rain is hard wear! You would be surprised how much difference it makes painting a door. I took my plain ole white door and painted it black! I have a grey house. My Neighor has a yellow yucky house, they painted theirs mint green and I drive by that house everyday and I am in love with it now! The paint on the house, and the green door just pops! Congratulations on your house!
  • Cathy Kurpil Cathy Kurpil on Jul 03, 2014
    Yes paint it a gorgeous color! I can definitely imagine this door in red...I can't see what your house looks like though. A couple of planters with some of the same color on either side, would do wonders! :)
  • Katie Price Katie Price on Jul 03, 2014
    Judging by the screw holes in the moulding around the windows, it is a steel, insulated door. Those didn't exist in the 50s, so it isn't original, and is worth keeping. I agree that a couple of coats of an interesting color would make it much more appealing.
  • Savvy Chic Michelle Savvy Chic Michelle on Jul 03, 2014
    Add more trim and paint it. Keep the door. I Love old things. Just give it new life.
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Jul 05, 2014
    I would add some dental molding under the 3 windows and then take flat molding to mimic the 3 panels like the door below. Then paint it a color to go with your home. Also a new knob with a face plate would dress it up too.
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  • Maribeth Bastian Maribeth Bastian on Jul 05, 2014
    How about painting faux panels on the door?
  • Mom233426 Mom233426 on Jul 05, 2014
    several years ago both of my doors were plain white/primer and I was very nervous about painting them but, went and got some paint chips from Home depot, taped them on the door for a day or so to see the color in different light and wound up painting it a really pretty color called Raspberry Ice. I have had so many compliments, even customers who came into the place I worked would say they drove by and loved my doors! So, be brave, keep house color in mind and step out of the box a little. Also, can always decorate door a little more afterwards with a DIY wreath!
  • Reinventing Space Reinventing Space on Jul 05, 2014
    Stay true to your 50's home by respecting the retro styling of the day. You could add trim molding in diamonds or additional squares or just paint it a fun, pop color:
  • Carolyn rogers Carolyn rogers on Jul 05, 2014
    @ Donna, great idea!!!
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jul 05, 2014
    Definitely paint it a complimentary color! For the best success, be sure to prep correctly. Home Depot folks are always good for advice. Also, change the hardware and add a kick plate. WOW. Post pictures when you are done. Good luck.
  • Sandy Sandy on Jul 05, 2014
    I'm with Donna on this one - great idea! (And I love your door!)
  • Brenda Walmsley Brenda Walmsley on Jul 05, 2014
    Paint it a colour that pops. Paint the rest of the porch in a complimentary colour. Put out some outdoor pots that work with the colours and get a new outdoor mat and that will tie the whole thing together.
  • Mike Demchik Mike Demchik on Jul 05, 2014
    is it wood or metal, if it is wood get picture frames over size to fit the door at the bottom, take the time & glue a picture, sun rise or water falls or plants what have you but the color may stay the same but u may want to change it to match the picture
  • Lisa Lisa on Jul 05, 2014
    New paint will be your base! Be sure to use door and trim paint which leave a smooth no brush mark finish. An over sized door knocked just below your windows with matching finish new door handles and kick plate would dress it up. Dont forget a decorative doorbell ringer and new entry light to finish things off. Would love to see the after!
  • Kris {Driven By Decor} Kris {Driven By Decor} on Jul 05, 2014
    Hi Angela - we had some ugly flat closet doors that I didn't want to pay to replace and I dressed them up by adding panel molding and new paint. It was a very inexpensive fix and you can create whatever shapes/style you like with the molding. Here's a link to my post on it if you want more info: Good luck!
  • CORINNE CORINNE on Jul 05, 2014
    Paint it your favorite color and add new hardware!
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Jul 05, 2014
    Put on some moulding and give it a colorful paint. Add a door knocker. I had a shed I made into a studio..It was on a short shoe string( I used most of the money in sheet rock and insulation and obsessed over paint color, because I could not afford to redo it.).) so it was a plain white door..The building was blue, I painted the door purple..and we put on a green cast iron Dragonfly door knocker and an old fashioned wooden screen door that I painted green.. Yes it is colorful. You can do almost anything to make this door yours.
  • Peggy Peggy on Jul 05, 2014
    I would paint it a bright color and leave the window trims white to pop them out
  • Lesa Lesa on Jul 05, 2014
    If it's wood, you can add interest with some decorative molding squares. Large and chunky not the little ones around windows. If it's metal you can do same, just use a good metal to wood construction glue. If you take you measurements in to Lowes or HD they will cut them for you. Then just paint a complimentary color and use a great wreath or door hanging
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  • Gwen Gwen on Jul 05, 2014
    I like Lisa's idea of adding. But I probably would never find the trim! Since I love your door, as is, I like the door handle and lock her photo shows. Not a DIY project though!! Some people do not like the kick plate but I like mine in the darker color to match the darker new door handle. Paint? Choose what you like. Even if it is white. But I like color. And can easily be changed. Before my injury I painted my outside of door yearly! Congrats on your new home! I'm so glad you have your original door. Love the three windows. Soo unique.
  • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Jul 05, 2014
    I would put wood trim to the door and then paint. I also like Lisa's idea but not in that color I wood do burgundy or red depending on your house color.
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  • Karen Karen on Jul 05, 2014
    I have one similia r,unless it would not go with the rest ,my house is white & I painted the doors black ,I love the way they look
  • Karen Karen on Jul 05, 2014
    A little more after I look at you pic. The little frames around the windows I painted white & the frame around the door white
  • Pat Pat on Jul 05, 2014
    BRIGHT purple or green, make it POP!
  • Tegma Tegma on Jul 05, 2014
    An inexpensive way to add molding to the door is to buy a few picture frames from a thrift store or yard sale. Two long rectangular ones (upright) side by side would look nice.... or one square one near the top and a rectangular one or two across the bottom. Just tack them on, then paint the door in whatever color would pop with your house color . The "frames" will give it more character. Do you have a storm door? If so, don't waste your money on a kick plate, but if no storm door, then a kick plate would add even more oomph! You may get one at Lowes for $20 or less....
  • Sue Walker Sue Walker on Jul 05, 2014
    A lot of good ideas. I definitely like the molding idea. The picture frames is an economical method, but you can also find many trims at the hardware stores (sometimes they have left over pieces at a discount). Go to a Habitat Restore if one is near you and you may find used hardware (new to you) for the door too.
  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Jul 05, 2014
    If it were me I'd do one of two things. Either replace it with a Craftsman style 3 top window heavy wooden or faux wooden steele door with the antique looking darkened hardward OR I'd strip it all down to the bare wood and stain it and seal with a marine finish. Still change out the hardward to above stated. Good luck. If it were me, I'd replace it if budget allowed. OH and you've GOT to replace that door knob to a dead bolt 2 in one kit. Dead bolt on top - flip switch on the inside for quick exit in case of fire and the door knob that comes with it. About 30. - 35.00 at Home Depot or Lowes. Since you stated your budget is tight, definitely get the new doorknob kit, then if you can rent or borrow a power sander or palm sander, cheaper to buy one for little jobs around the house, sand it all down, stain it either pecan or light oak and again put a marine hard finish on it. And like some others stated, adapt some cute frames around the top and be sure to use short finish nails and try not to break the frames nailing them in place OR you could try a hot glue gun but you have to consider some clear sealant spray for waterproofing. But safety first you've got to change that door knob, because frankly that's a break-in waiting to be pushed in!
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Jul 05, 2014
    I also would paint a really nice color, as bright as you can handle. I would also go the the home improvement store and look at the molding/trims and put trim on it. Look online at door pictures, find one you like and copy it with the molding. Can't wait to see what it looks like finished.
  • Natalie Jason Freed Natalie Jason Freed on Jul 05, 2014
    How about adding a beautiful door knocker in the middle below the windows. You could search the web to find something you like.
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  • Cathy C Cathy C on Jul 05, 2014
    The least expensive thing I can think of is repaint in the color of your choosing and do some stencil work for added interest.
  • Catherine S Catherine S on Jul 05, 2014
    It looks fairly Mid-Century Modern, so I'll assume it goes with a MCM home. Don't add anything, paint it a bright color, and change out your hardware to something sleek and as MCM as you can go. It's a great door, don't add a thing.
  • Centrd Centrd on Jul 05, 2014
    Lesa & Beatrice's photos show exactly what I was could easily take an ordinary door and turn it into something quite's very easy with flat molding. Here are some more doors & door hacks for inspiration...2nd one is in progress but shows you how easy it really is.
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  • Fran McCarty Fran McCarty on Jul 05, 2014
    I'd paint the trim around the glass black. Paint the door red, add a black door knocker and have a black knob with a scroll trim plate. A full length glass storm door with black trim. Just my opinion...and you know how opinions are (everybody has one). Best of luck!
  • Kris Schwarz Kris Schwarz on Jul 05, 2014
    How about just hanging a large, colorful wreath or decoration on your door? The white background would really make it stand out!
  • Joanna Stoltzfus Joanna Stoltzfus on Jul 05, 2014
    1. maybe some stenciling? 2. you could maybe paint the initial of your last name on the door 3. or you could hang a large wreath or another decoration
  • Cindy Barto Cindy Barto on Jul 05, 2014
    I always like to hang something to go with the season or holiday on a door. On this one I think making stained glass windows would be decorative , in colors to go with the house.
  • Leo Leo on Jul 05, 2014
    Hi If it were me I would find a long cheap window at a yard sale or swap meet and install it in the door. You can then paint the window the same as your other windows and the door a opposite bright color like red. You could also add blinds to the window if you choose.
  • Grace Puscizna Grace Puscizna on Jul 06, 2014
    Depending on the look or style of your home, I would strip and stain.) Or Work at having the some of the paint stay in within the groves and have a distressed look ,or shabby chic. Otherwise their are plenty of add - ons, like hardware ( door handles, hinges, moldings) I would definitely look online for new doors and see what I could imitate. When you want to do it with little expense it is best to research, or do your homework first. Grace , Modesto,CA
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jul 06, 2014
    If it's solid core (probably is) I'd get a larger window from ReStore and put that in. I'd also change the knob - looks too small for the door. Maybe paint it a different colour but I would not do distressed - no chic, just shabby.
  • Patti Patti on Jul 06, 2014
    Put molding on the door. It will make all the difference. Then paint.
  • Therese Ryan-Haas Therese Ryan-Haas on Jul 06, 2014
    Look at for great ideas. If you are not crafty or feel as if your up to adding molding of some sort, just paint it a cherry color. I can see it bright sunny yellow with the windows trimmed in white!
  • Jennifer Serrano Jennifer Serrano on Jul 06, 2014
    Looks like you could do a little of all of the above! Just add some moldings to form the 4 rectangles below, paint, add a nice door knocker and some new hardware and voile!!!! Be sure to clean the original door well, prime with an exterior primer, and use an exterior paint...2-3 coats. OR Only 2 rectangles and your house numbers. A couple of plants to flank it, and ta da!! Please post what you decided to do!!!! (hmmmmm....I had pictures posted and they disappeared...sorry!)
  • Jessie Jessie on Jul 06, 2014
    Decorative molding just a simple rectangle and paint. I used the exterior paint pamphlets at the paint store to pick my door color, I just found a photo of a house painted a similar to mine and found the perfect color for my door.
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jul 06, 2014
    I would try sketching out some rectangles made w moulding similar to what is around windows. Maybe leave a space the size of the windows, then make a horizontal rectangle same size as the 3 windows together. Then another similar blank space, then 2 vertical rectangles, same width as above, w another equal blank space on bottom. Maybe a door knocker in the space under windows.
  • Rita Fabro Rita Fabro on Jul 07, 2014
    I'd paint the door a suitable colour that blends with your brick work, then change the hardware, hand a door knocker, and possibly a lovely wreath.
  • Deanna Grace Deanna Grace on Jul 07, 2014
    If you could afford it I would do all ao If you can afford it I would do all of the of the comments from every one. And if you can you can make it look likeyou have moulding there with paint and a ruller. I have done this and it works great until you can afford what you want to do. Good luck let us know what you do. :-)
  • Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson on Jul 07, 2014
    Sounds like you have some excellent advice so I will just wait for the results..
    • Sla344491 Sla344491 on Jul 12, 2014
      There are soo many great ideas!! I think I know what I'm going to do. Now I just have to do it & I will def post pics.
    Google 'craftsman doors' and use molding. Those 3 windows are a perfect setting to put a ledge under, a la craftsman doors, and go from there.... similar to this.
    well, it won't let me copy/paste any of the plethora of Google images of 'craftsman front doors', but trust me, this door has perfect bones for this make-over!! Maybe you can even add an iron speakeasy....some clavos (fancy, hammered nail heads).....
  • Bj Moore Bj Moore on Jul 10, 2014
    Use molding to recreate this door and paint it :)
  • Andrea Andrea on Jul 10, 2014
    Rita Fabro had excellent advice but there were many others. i hope you post your results
  • Moxie Moxie on Jul 11, 2014
    It has character just not color or texture. If it was mine, I would add a faux ledge below the windows (to mimic a craftsman style door) and the paint faux grain on it with the grain tools to make it look like there are panels below the windows. If you angle the corners in your faux finishing you will get a 3d effect that can really trick they eye..and of course protect it with satin poly like Varathane. Good luck with your door what ever you do and enjoy the creative process! I would love to see pics on what you decide to do.
  • Sla344491 Sla344491 on Jul 12, 2014
    I will! I still haven't decided what going to do, but it will be soon!
  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Jun 17, 2021

    Paint the door a color you love!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 09, 2021

    Use Picture frame mouldings or Panel it . Make one long oblong about 4 inches in or Two square panels or add a frame around the entire door, or Wallpaper it in the middle and paint on the outside.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Sep 28, 2021

    Giving the door a fresh coat of paint can work wonders. After that, all you need is a nice wreath to add some pizazz!

  • Sla344491 Sla344491 on Sep 28, 2021

    Thanks everyone. The door has been painted and updated.

  • Dah54312934 Dah54312934 on Oct 30, 2021

    I would do an artistic nature scene. I plan to paint some to use as a partition outdoors.