By Lisa Siglag

Greet guests in style for the holidays: A fresh coat of paint will revitalize your front door and make your home feel more welcoming. Before you choose your paint color, consider what you’ll be hanging on the door -- such as a wreath or swag -- as well as what coordinates with the rest of the exterior.


Drop cloth

Household cleaner

Rags or paper towels


Wood putty to fill any holes or cracks

3-inch paintbrush

1-inch paintbrush



If you want to lay the door flat to paint, you’ll need:

A table or two sawhorses


Hammer to remove the rod from the hinge


1.  Determine if your front door is made of wood, steel or fiberglass.

Use a paint that’s appropriate for your door type. Consult with your home center salesperson for help deciding between oil, latex and acrylic exterior paint.

2.  Optional: Remove your front door.

You may find it easier to repaint your door if you remove the door from its hinges and place it on a table (or two sawhorses). You can also paint your front door while it’s hanging in place.

3.  Prepare the door for painting.

Clean the door with household cleaner and rags or paper towels, and allow it to dry. Fill any cracks with wood putty and sand the door lightly to prepare the surface for painting.

4.  Paint the door.

First, apply a coat of primer to the entire surface of the door. Start with the doorjamb so it has the most time to dry. Touch up the small spots with a 1-inch brush, and then use your 3-inch brush to cover the panels. Feather the paint out to give it an even look. After allowing it to dry, apply the first coat of paint. (You can apply the paint the same way you applied the primer.) Let it dry overnight, and apply a second coat if needed.


Color selection:

If you have a screen door, the screen will make the paint look darker when both doors are closed. Test the color samples and look at them under different light to see how you like them.


Think about the weather and how long you can leave your home open. Each coat of paint needs to dry for about 24 hours.

Lisa Siglag is the former editor of House Beautiful Kitchens and Baths and a freelance writer specializing in home design. She has written for Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful Home Remodeling and Decorating, Custom Home and Country Living. Her dining room is graced with white beadboard and pale-blue walls.


Available at

Eco Chic Home: Rethink, Reuse, and Remake Your Way to Sustainable Style

The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living

The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget: Save Money. Save Time. Save the Planet..

Copyright ©. All rights reserved.





Home Projects - Front door looking shabby?