How to paint your frint door Ok people. My door was ugly. I am aware of this fact. It was even uglier when I got paint on the bottom right hand corner OVER A YEAR ago when I painted the inside of the door for my entry way makeover. The project was supposed to happen a week after I painted the inside of the door. Well, that didn’t happen, and the ugly door did it’s duty for a year looking like pure ridiculous terribleness. Yep, that’s apparently a word today. We got busy, other projects took over and we just didn’t get around to to until NOW!
It was EASY peasy. I don’t know why it took me this long.
Step 1: Remove the door and prop it up in a well ventilated painting area. {I painted my door in my garage}.
Side note: Want proof of it’s ugliness, well, take a gander.
 Project pictures 120 Project pictures 124
Step 2: Wash the door and sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to help with adhesion. It already looked better with just primer on it!
Step 3: Prime the bad boy with KILZ original spray primer. Yes, I said KILZ and yes I said SPRAY primer. Don’t get that confused. This step is vital to your plan. Let the KILZ dry and repeat step 3 until the door is well covered.      
Step 4: After your primer is dry, take 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand your door. KILZ will sometimes leave a gritty texture on your projects and the 220 will take that grittiness right off in a jiffy. Don’t push too hard, it only takes a light sand. After you have sanded the door, make sure to wipe off the dust with a clean, dry rag.
Step 5: Spray your door with appropriate outdoor paint. The color I used is backstroke by Valpsar, and truth be told I just used some left over latex interior paint that I had in my garage. {I’m just being real here.} The main reason I did this is because I decided that enough was enough and that I was painting the door RIGHT THEN. I didn’t want to wait one more minute. So, I didn’t use outdoor paint. I think it will be fine because of the precautions I made, but I wouldn’t want to advise you to do this since I don’t know what it will look like in three years. Honestly I think it will be fine, but if I were you, I would ask your local Lowes paint specialist which paint to use.
Project pictures 129Project pictures 137
Repeat step five until the entire door is evenly covered. Make sure you paint slowly and that you wait until the paint is completely dry before you paint the next coat.
Step 6: Glaze your door. {For instructions on glazing, go to my Glazing 101 tutorial.} Listen peeps. This is the part that will make your door different! I promise. It makes a HUGE difference. Once you glaze it people start to notice it. It gave my door that extra little edge. If you don’t want to glaze your door, skip step six and move on to step seven. Project pictures 142 Project pictures 185 Project pictures 138 Project pictures 139 
Step 7: Paint your door with a Minwax exterior protective finish to protect it from sunlight, rain, and temperature changes. Make sure to follow the instructions on the can to a T. To reduce the look of brush strokes, you will need to use a nice brush, and I love Purdy brushes, so that is what I always use for clear coat. This clear finish is oil based so make sure you have access to paint thinner for clean up.
Brush on the clear coat, let it dry and then sand with 220 between coats, then repeat for two or three coats.
Project pictures 197Project pictures 152
After the painting process, I felt like it needed a little extra spunk, because who doesn’t need spunk, right!?!? So, I slapped on a wreath from Homegoods
VOILA, the door looks a hundred trillion times better and FINALLY reflects my style and personality!
paint your front door cute wreath paint your doorHow to paint your front doorpainted front doorTurquoise door  
I’m not sure why it took me three years to do it, but that’s ok! I love it! Let me just remind you what it looked like before:

ugly front door 

and now….Front door painted
How could I sleep at night before!?!


  1. says

    I really really really really really need to paint our door….but honestly, I had no idea how involved it would be…I seriously just pictured myself opening the door, slapping on a primer and then whatever paint color I decided to use…and done. I'm so glad you blogged about this because it would be a complete disaster if I did it like that! How long did it take you from start to finish? Is there a humidity and temp. threshold I should be aware of? We are melting here in Omaha…109-112* with super high humidity…wondering if I should wait until it calms down before I attempt this??? Thanks so much for all your fun blog posts….I love your blog!!!

  2. says

    Love it!!! And the awesome wreath too! Is there a big difference between kilz spray primer and the kilz primer in the paint can? Or is it just that spraying is quicker? Thanks! We get the keys to our new house on Sunday and the front door HAS to go! Lol!

  3. Mekenzie @ says

    LOOKS GORGEOUS! I totally need to paint my front door. I need to get ride of the storm door first… so I can hang pretty wreaths. Thanks for the motivation :)

  4. says

    WOW! It looks great! Love it. So my question is, what did you do without a front door for a day or two? Did you have to wait overnight for the door to be finished?

  5. says

    My door would beat your doors butt in an uglyness contest. Its a great solid wood door with nice windows BUT its been shoddily painted several dozen times and my husband took the knocker off in order to prep for my plan of stripping and repainting it then filled the holes left with expanding foam, which of course then dripped down the front of the door a bit and this is how its sits. We have been in the house for about 10 1/2 months now. I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant and its way to hot out to be able to live with out a front door for a day or two so I guess its going to wait until spring…. I could strip it in the next couple weeks but then I might have to live with that disaster all winter so I think just leaving it in its current ugly state is best.

  6. - Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl says

    Brooke, your door looks amazing! I love the glazing you did to really play up the features. Thanks for sharing. I still have yet to paint our door (because I'd have to paint all three doors plus two storm doors that face the street.

  7. Linda Walker says

    OK, now that you have finished yours, will you come paint mine?….,mine is WAY uglier than yours was!!!!

    Your door looks amazing now! I love it!

  8. Unknown says

    OMG, I don't know where to start! Your door looks so classy, I was going to paint ours this year and got scared at the directions I had gotten elsewhere. You make it sound so easy! How long is this process and again, what do you do without a front door for a couple of days? Can you tell me a bit about the glaze, is that where the black on your door came from? Thanks for all your help and great ideas to make our homes more beautiful with easy, inexpensive ways. Only if you could come to my house and instruct me step by step …..

  9. says

    Your door is beautiful and the wreath sets it off perfectly! I have a challenge for you or any other intrepid DIYers. I have a steel front door with a 14 " square window just above my eye level. (I'm 5'2"). I want to lose the door, my husband wants to keep it. What on earth can I do with this animal?!?!?

  10. Brooke @ says

    Thank you everyone for you nice comments! They made my day! Judy, you comment especially made me laugh. Why do you think it took me three years to finally paint my door?!?! Sometimes it takes YEARS to convince the hubsters to be on board. ;)Ha ha.

  11. Lindsey @ Better After says

    Hi Brooke! I'm getting so excited for our upcoming adventure! Can't wait to meet you! :)

  12. says

    This is awesome! I'm totally going to paint my door now – you make it look easy but I'm sure I'll run into some hiccups along the way!

  13. TxTricia says

    I'm so glad I found you (through a pinterest post.) I have a terrifically ugly front door, and now I'm inspired and some-what-confident that I can do this!! Plus I have several pieces of furniture that I've been thinking about painting – you are the one to look to for instructions and encouragement! Thank you so much!!

  14. says

    I was just telling a friend that I want to paint my front door AND I wanted to paint it some kind of blue/teal/not green color and I found your post on pinterest! I think it is the perfect color, love the glaze and I can't wait til the weather gets warmer so that my door can be as lovely as yours. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Kim says

    Hi Brooke,
    I had all of my material to do this to my front door and then my husband had a metal security door stalled – grrrrrrr. Will I be able to achieve the same look on the security door (its metal mesh) :o(

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