Asked on Sep 23, 2013

Front door makeover

Jessica L
by Jessica L
As you can see from the photos, my front door is in need of a major makeover. I cringe every time I walk in! I can't decide on a color that would go well with the exterior color. Also need advice on how to fix all the marks. We are renovating portions of the house little by little but have to do so on a tight budget. Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance
q front door makeover, curb appeal, diy, doors, how to, painting, Look at all those marks
Look at all those marks!!
q front door makeover, curb appeal, diy, doors, how to, painting, The ugly front door
The ugly front door
q front door makeover, curb appeal, diy, doors, how to, painting, This is a further view of the door I want a color that doesn t contrast too much from the stone As you can see we are in the process of redoing a lot but the front door is in need of a makeover
This is a further view of the door. I want a color that doesn't contrast too much from the stone. As you can see we are in the process of redoing a lot but the front door is in need of a makeover.
q front door makeover, curb appeal, diy, doors, how to, painting, Another close up
Another close up
q front door makeover, curb appeal, diy, doors, how to, painting, This is the stone that is around the house This is in need of some updated too
This is the stone that is around the house. This is in need of some updated too.
  46 answers
  • Robin Berteau Robin Berteau on Sep 23, 2013
    Is the door steel or wood? A nice bright white door would do just fine. With a wood door you would need to use a wood filler and sand, then paint, with a steel door they can be repaired with a bondo kit like the use on cars. I would leave the stone. It looks good around the house. I would knock out the stone lamp post and change to a pole and paint the lantern to match the door. Spray Paint works works on steel doors. That should brighten up the front door. Change out the door hands and kick plate. Trimming the myrtle tree up above the roof line and shape it. I would also replant the smaller shrub some where else. Clean out the bed, put in a few smaller boxwoods and mulch it. Easy maintenance plants.

  • Z Z on Sep 23, 2013
    I tried to do a couple virtuals on a couple different programs for you, but with the trees in the way and the dark door it was impossible to get to look real. Since you're just painting the door and not the whole house I'd go with the soft beige/golden color pulled from the stone, which I think it pretty just the way it is. I think the house color that's off. If I were painting the whole house I'd go with the beige golden color for the whole house and a few shaded darker or lighter on the paint strip for the door. As for the actual painting process I'm going to call in an expert for you. Charles (from @Peace Painting Co., Inc.) could you please help Jessica with tips on the best process to paint her door please?

  • Jessica L Jessica L on Sep 23, 2013
    Thank you both very much! I am a new mom and this is out first family home so all the advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Z Z on Sep 23, 2013
      @Jessica congratulations. How old is your baby?

  • Nancy Gramm Nancy Gramm on Sep 23, 2013
    Here's a site that shows a number of stone houses with the accent colors listed, a couple with stone similar to yours--I like the stone, btw; it's very similar to mine. The Craftsman is my fave, with warm olive green, deep eggplant and ivory accent colors.

  • Lucy in the sky Lucy in the sky on Sep 23, 2013 this is just me I think it needs some color to bring out the beauty of the house and the stone has it's own natural colors so whatever color you choose will be fine ;) here's one that's very nice with the white trim

  • Jessica L Jessica L on Sep 23, 2013
    @becky my son just turned one. Thank you!!

  • The Homely Fowl The Homely Fowl on Sep 24, 2013
    I would use a lighter color .. if you like the green maybe a sea green. You can dress it up with stencils or a nice wreath or even a welcome sign on the door. You can also dress up the porch area itself with plants and a decorative welcome mat. As for the stone .. you can dress that up with ribbon or rope for a more countryish look. Good luck to you! Renovations can get pricey but when you use your imagination they don't have to be!

  • Daniel Starrett Daniel Starrett on Sep 24, 2013
    how deep are the scratches on the door? I could not tell from the picture. If they are just "keyed" style scratches like you have on a car, the easiest and simplest way would be to remove the entire door; take off all the hardware (hinges and knob) and using sandpaper glued to a block of wood (a sanding block) sand the entire door smooth. you could use an electric hand sander but without experience you might sand too deep. After everything is smooth again, you can either paint the door a color of your choice, or you could stain it. either way, make sure you add a coat of weather sealant in order to protect the paint/stain from the weather. Good Luck :D

    • Z Z on Sep 24, 2013
      @Daniel the door is steel (if you look at the close up of the knob you can see rust) so using a power mouse-like sander would be okay, however the trim could very well be wood and care would be needed sanding those areas. Even a skilled sander can make mistakes, so very good point.

  • Diana Diana on Sep 25, 2013
    I would use putty on any deep spots on the door and let that dry, after sanding and cleaning it. Use an outdoor paint with primer from Lowe's or Home Depot. They both have sample sizes if you want to try different colors first. I have seen some wonderful rich teals that would look great. Lowes has a color called Tropical Oasis that would be very pretty with the trim and house color.

  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Sep 25, 2013
    I vote for red also.

  • Patty Patty on Sep 25, 2013
    I agree, a pretty brick red with white trim would brighten up the front of your house and the rock work will look even more beautiful. As far as the scratches go, its hard to tell from photos but they look superficial and probably all you need to do is some light sanding.

  • Julie Julie on Sep 25, 2013
    I also am partial to Red! I have a Red front door too and never regretted going with Red. Can't go wrong with a beautiful RED DOOR! You want to have a contrast from the house color- white would be bright but it would show all the future scratches and finger and hand marks. I also thought possibly a deep plum color as I looked at some of the other surrounding things. If possible you could paint the light/lantern the same as the door. Looks like just cleaning up some of the over growth around your entrance area would help make a big difference too. I bet you're over whelmed about now with a little one and a new home. Congrats!! Enjoy your new place!!

  • Helen Cocuzza Helen Cocuzza on Sep 25, 2013
    I would paint the door trim & sidelight white to tie in with your existing front window and then the door can be done in a deep barn red that would jazz it up or you can even go lighter if you want to a taupe or even lighter to a cream that would tie in with the houses stucco/ concrete look. then you can add seasonal wreaths, & other décor so it wouldn't feel so drab. I would change the door décor regularly even! As for the front light, leave the stone, paint the light either a brass finish rustolem paint or black & then add some vinery with sea thru beads around it that would catch the light & reflect- a very pretty & chic look that is becoming more fashionable, I just saw someone else use (what I thought was my own idea, lol) on Pinterest & Hometalk - ck there for visuals. Good Luck!

  • Cindy Cindy on Sep 25, 2013
    How funny! I just painted my front door that color! :)

  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Sep 25, 2013
    Front doors should kind of compliment the house color...but do not have to match anymore. Very popular to paint it a bright color. I think a shade of orange would look great with that stone work! The color it is now makes the door area very whatever color...maybe yellow...should be lighter to brighten it up and make look more inviting!

  • Laurajean Laurajean on Sep 25, 2013
    My first thought was maroon, but I think it's too dark in that space already. After I saw the brick, I would pick a (muted) orange or pumpkin color with white trim. Save the metal kick plate and reattach. Paint the trim around the side window (soft, off-white) white...or even the whole side window.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Sep 25, 2013
    My vote on the door color would be something in the terra cotta family, medium pumpkin color. I would pull the pretty orangey color out of your stone. I guess your door is metal, so I would talk to someone at Lowes/Home Depot about what putty you will need to fill in the gouges. If the gouges are deep I would also look into to a mesh that can be applied first to give you some stability with the putty. Take your time with the prep work because that is the KEY to your paint job being awesome.

  • Jill Jill on Sep 25, 2013
    I am a traditionalist and would probably go with a glossy black. You can also paint the lamp, shutters and trim in black and really make it pop. But clean up the area first! Most of your problem seems to be that your yard needs some TLC!

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on Sep 25, 2013
    Jessica, it looks like the top coat is being scratched off of a lighter under coat. If that's the case, it means the top coat is not stuck too well. In any case, sand the door with a palm sander or sanding block of medium grit. Then wash it with a house wash solution and rinse. When its dry, you are ready to prime it entirely with a high quality latex primer like Zinzer 123. At that point, any gouges or surface scratches will be noticeable and you can wood fill them with a product like Minwax wood filler that comes in a toothpaste kinda tube. Spot sand and spot prime those spots and you are ready for two finish coats of paint. Do not use regular house paint on your doors because it is too soft for handling. Instead use an enamel like Sher-Wms water base All Surface Enamel. This not only will wear better but look nicer as well. Regards, Charles

    • Z Z on Sep 25, 2013
      Thank you Charles. I knew you'd know what was needed to ready this door for new paint.

  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Sep 25, 2013
    Have you considered painting the front door a deep lead gray? The trim around it would be a lovely softer, lighter gray & I would paint the lantern the same color as the door...accent the front garden area with deep burgundy plants in pots or planted around the base of the lantern stone structure...awesome complimentary color scheme!

  • Peggy Davis Peggy Davis on Sep 25, 2013
    I would take the door down and sand the entire thing with a sander. Also sand lightly around the woodwork....then paint....I would be partial to a blue-gray

  • Bryn Bryn on Sep 25, 2013
    I think the kick plate looks very dated. Especially brassy gold. There is a paint at HD that looks like hammered metal when applied. Love it! Door handles are $$ to replace but maybe that hammered paint in dark brown would class them up on the deep "pumpkin" color from the bricks and trim all the wood work in deep brown. My 2 cents.

  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Sep 25, 2013
    I would remove hardware before any sanding, priming, painting. I just did mine in Ben Moore Cottage Red. My door has always been natural wood and I agonized over painting it. Sooooo love it. The paint looks fabulous. I would suggest, however, having your primer tinted to eliminate 2nd and 3rd coats.

  • Jessica L Jessica L on Sep 25, 2013
    Thank you all so much! Great ideas. I can't wait for the weekend to come so I can get to working!

  • Leida R Leida R on Sep 25, 2013
    @Jessica, as many already said, I would also love a red door. The trims, white. The best thing is that you already have white on the front window to complement everything. BTW, @Lucy in the sky, I love the picture you posted.

  • Kay Green Kay Green on Sep 26, 2013
    My parents moved into a 20 year old house and the front door needed a fresh paint job. I took it to the back patio and began stripping it. Two days, two gallons of stripper, and seven different colors of paint later I was back to the wood. I sanded, primed, and painted it barn red with gray accents to match the gray shutters. Stripping all that caked up paint off revealed the detail in the door panels and it looked brand new again. Much better. I'd definitely recommend stripping that door back to the wood and starting over. It looks like it has been painted with latex over oil based paint and it is hard to get that to stick, hence the scratched and worn finish.

  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold on Sep 26, 2013
    I love red doors,in fact mine is. I only worry about it clashing with your stonework. Also,your entry seems a bit dark.. I might go with something closer to the color of your roof to lighten things up a bit. It needs to be stripped and primed before painting. If it's a wood door you can sand it smooth first.Metal? Get a filler product from the paint store that you can apply and sand smooth. Good luck!

  • Jessica L Jessica L on Sep 27, 2013
    For those that like bright colors and an orange, I just so happened to get my HGTV magazine yesterday and this was the front door of the month (Candy Corn by Pittsburg Paints). Thoughts?

    • Leida R Leida R on Sep 27, 2013
      @Jessica, this color would be very nice too, and even better because it would go nicer with the stonework of the house.

  • Linda Lee Kaplan Linda Lee Kaplan on Sep 28, 2013
    I love that color. I would paint the door hardware and light in a rusty brown Add some pots in the door color and flowers in white, golds,deep burgundy and the door color.

  • Linda Crandall Linda Crandall on Sep 28, 2013
    A sassy green or a reddish brown would be lovely on the door. Sand the door down, prime, and spray the hardware with a rustuleum oil rubbed bronze finish and the and the light as well This should brighten the space and bring out the colors in the brick work.

  • Linda Crandall Linda Crandall on Sep 28, 2013
    This would look lovely with your flagstone.

  • Patty Patty on Sep 28, 2013
    I think that orange is very pretty and would bring out the colors in the stone.

  • Seabreezn Seabreezn on Oct 02, 2013
    Hi Jessica - Once you've choosen your paint colors etc...have you considered a brass/ copper plating around the door lock area ? Sorta similar to your "Kick plate " at the bottom of your door ..especially copper as it ages and is scuffed it tends to take on a "patina " which makes hits around the locks look like an art piece , yet subtle ...

  • MaryLeigh Trent MaryLeigh Trent on Oct 16, 2013
    I love everyone's ideas also, but I have a question. My front door looks similar to hers but mine is metal & the paint just starts to look like this after a couple of months. Kids kicking it, dogs scratching at it, bumping it with stuff going in & out, scratches it all up. How do I get the paint to last longer on the metal door. Also how do I get the door knob to stay on over time it wriggles loose so that it slides back & forth on the door, until it falls off in peices?

    • Rose Goodman Rose Goodman on Oct 23, 2014
      @MaryLeigh Trent Try using a clear coat sealer or go old fashioned and sand and patina there is a few choices of metal colors hopes that helps

  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Oct 19, 2013
    Jessica L, what have you decided on? Okay, don't hate me, cause I am in a similar sit...... I am NOT wanting to paint my front door a brick red (metal roof and all that) or very, very deep Forest Green....... so sick of the trim.......... thinking a lime green...... Okay, okay, don't shoot me yet.... cause I am lost on this with my house. It is awful........ I have embraced the very pale yellow concrete body of the house and since I have no choice I am good with the dark green on the what ever you call it....... but my newer window frames are black and my blasted trim is white............... HELP? I will be lucky if I can afford a can of one color of paint...... thinking a gallon right now and just touching up the rest of the house with it........ yellow? Very dark green is not beckoning to me STILL........... so what do I do?

  • Barbara Hobbs Barbara Hobbs on Oct 20, 2013
    What would be a great color for the door if you live in the desert? I have seen red doors and they look out of place for some reason. My home is a champagne color.......would appreciate any ideas

  • Francine Mosuk-Regnier Francine Mosuk-Regnier on Oct 20, 2013
    I would go with a warm yellow, like amber ..... would co-ordinate with the brick and warm up the front of the house. Amber would be beautiful for a door in the desert too . It must be warm though no wishy washy baby ( blueish/white) yellow!

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Dec 31, 2013
    I would pick a color from the stonework at the front & repaint the door in the rusty orange color from the stone. or pick one that you prefer but the color you have now is too dark!

  • Modern Masters Modern Masters on Jul 03, 2014
    @Jessica L - We just posted a new article here on HomeTalk that covers best tips and tools for choosing a perfect front door color. Stop on by and discover our new Front Door Paint collection.

  • Zabitat Zabitat on Oct 23, 2014
    In addition to some new paint, what about putting a door glass insert into it? After adding glass to their door, our customers can't believe the difference outside AND inside their home! Stop by our profile page to see some great Before and After photos.

  • Rose Goodman Rose Goodman on Oct 23, 2014
    It seems to me to brighten this area trying shades of medium blue preferably glossy to reflect any light and enhance the browns and oranges, repaint the door frame the same white as the windows.

  • Rose Goodman Rose Goodman on Oct 23, 2014
    It may help you to decide to make copies of the pictures you sent out and recolor the door on them after all your the one that gets to live there so have some fun.

  • Sue lockett Sue lockett on Mar 31, 2016
    The door does not look like it has deep scratches. I would sand it down good and put a good primer and than a exterior satin oil based paint on the door. I would remove the kick plate as, well, as it dates the door. A mild yellow, not too bright would be pretty. Add a pop of color to the left with a painted flower pot with some bright pretty flowers.

  • Mary Mary on Oct 10, 2017
    I have discovered a great Front Door Paint by Modern Masters & you can find this at Hobby Lobby , Home Depot also may order it for you if not in stock & Amazon also has this door paint ! Modern has all the info you may need about the paint as well tutorials . I have used Rustoleum paint that I rolled on after I prepped & primed as directed & I actually could not have been more pleased with the results ! Just read all instructions with any product & depending on the weather drying time is variable

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 28, 2022

    How about going for the old gold colour like your stone pillars . In that way you will probably not be able to see the Brass kick board quite as much as you can now. Burnt Orange may also work for you, or as a contrast Deep Turquoise

    Tub the door down, fill in any dings or deep scratches. Sand again. U.ndercoat with suitable colour then 2 coats of Gloss paint.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 28, 2022

    Needs colour. Turquoise? Like red but not with such stark white trim. Is there vegetation growing out of your eavestroughs? If so, I would tend to this first.