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Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought about painting your front door a fun, friendly color, but have opted out for one reason or another. (Hey, we’re not here to judge, DIY projects take time)! We’re here to dissolve any and all of your reservations, because bright hues aren’t reserved for London’s Notting Hill or that cool Palm Springs house you’re always seeing on Instagram. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before painting your front door.

you’ll have to take it off its hinges

If you’re going to perform a proper paint job, you’re going to have to remove your door from its hinges—and while you’re at it, all other hardware. This will ensure even coats of paint and no drips on your precious door number or knob.

shop exterior paint

When you’re browsing paint chips, keep in mind you will be purchasing paint for the exterior of your home and shop accordingly. These days, there are a variety of hues available to shop from your favorite paint retailers—some even created explicitly for front door use.

don’t forget a drop cloth

Just like you want to avoid dripping on your beautiful hardwood floors, you’ll want to protect your driveway from flying paint.

check the forecast

Your door has to dry! Storing it in your garage is, of course, an option, but saving this project for a sunny day (or weekend!) will be much easier. If the temps are scorching, make sure to paint in the morning or afternoon and out of direct sunlight to avoid blistering paint.

cleaning is a must

You didn’t think you could simply slap on a new paint color straight to your door, did you? There is a small amount of necessary preparation, including scraping off flaking paint, wiping down with a cloth to remove dust or dirt, and sanding until the door is smooth.

you’ll need two types of brushes

Like with your walls, you’ll need a bristle brush and a smaller roller. The bristle brush will be used on the bevels and the roller will be used on the flat surfaces.

don’t forget a primer

Priming is key. This step will ensure your front door looks like perfection after the final paint strokes are complete—and that your picture perfect door will last longer. Budget the cost of a quart of exterior primer into your spending for this project.

there’s a right and wrong order

Lowe’s recommends (in this super helpful video!) to first paint the bevels, then panels, the center stile, rails, and finally, the outer stiles. Adapt this plan to the contour of your door and ask a specialist at your local hardware store for help if you have questions.

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