29 May 2012

Shut The Front Door!

Our front door was U.G.L.Y.  There was no way around it. It was boring white, dirty, and the handle was half falling off - it was bad, really bad. It needed help.

This isn't our 'forever' home, so we weren't ready to drop $500 or more for a new door. As much as I'd love a door with a window or some nice stained glass, it just wasn't going to happen.  Our only real option was to paint.

As you've seen before, our window planter boxes are stained a dark navy blue.  I love how the dark colour looks against our light grey house, so I had always thought a navy blue door would work well with our exterior.  But you know me, I can't just go with one option....I must torture myself with tons of choices and force myself to make a decision.  I couldn't get the idea of a yellow door out of my head. But would yellow go with the already blue window boxes? Is yellow too bold for our ticky tacky street? Decisions, decisions.....

A few nights ago I hiked on over to Home Depot to pick up a few paint chips.  A few quickly turned into stuffing as many yellow and navy paint chips into my purse as I could before the paint counter guys accused me of stealing.  When I walked back in the door, Mr. Swell looked at me and sort of rolled his eyes as if, "here we go again".  He humoured me though and stood outside with me while I narrowed down the options.  He's sort of colour blind, so really in the end it's all up to me and he just stands there with me to confirm that I am making the right choices (moral support).

We narrowed it down to 3 blue shades and 2 yellow.  We looked at them over a few days in a bunch of different lights and at different times of the day.  After a couple of days I gave up on the yellow and decided that blue was the way to go.

Then it took another couple of days to debate over the final blue choices.  We have December Eve in our master bedroom and I love it so I brought it into consideration for the door.

In the end, we decided to go with Martha Stewart's Wrought Iron.  December Eve was too blue.  There wasn't much difference between Wrought Iron and Starless Night, but Wrought Iron seemed to have just a titch more grey in it, which I figured would work well with the grey siding.

Back to Home Depot I headed to pick up a small can of Behr Premium Plus Ultra exterior paint in satin finish, colour matched to the Martha Stewart colour.  The quart set us back $24, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than a whole new door.

I wasn't going to prime the door first, but since we had a gallon of Zinsser 1-2-3 Bullseye primer just hanging around the house, I figured there wasn't much to lose by priming.

I washed the whole door down with soapy water, removed the hardware and then taped around the edges (just to be extra safe - I didn't want any navy blue to make its way to the inside of the door).  Then I applied the primer using a brush to cut into the recessed areas first and then a foam roller to finish the rest of the areas.  It's hard to tell in the picture that the door is primed since the door was white before, but here's the door after the prepping and priming.

The Zinsser primer dries insanely quickly and is good for recoating in an hour. Considering we started this at 2 in the afternoon, I was very thankful for the quick recoat time.  I used the same method with the  navy blue exterior paint - cut in first and then used a foam roller.

Obviously one coat wasn't going to do it (I never expected it to).  We waited the required 4 hours and then did a second coat.

By the time the second coat was dry it was dark outside and I was getting pretty sick of the front door being open.  We had the baby gate up to keep Diefenbaker inside.  Some poor little girl rang the doorbell and had quite the surprise when Dief shoved his head at her over the baby gate.

I figured 2 coats would be good enough, but there were still a few areas that looked a bit patchy.  It was too late at night to do another coat (sigh), so we had to reattach the hardware and go to bed, leaving the third coat for the next day.

Here's how it looked in the morning after 2 coats.

Bright and early the next morning I got to it.  After removing the hardware, I rolled on one more coat (no cutting in).

The third coat did the trick and covered evenly.

4 hours later we reattached the hardware. Finally...a closed and locked door! We weren't hostages in our own house anymore.

What do you think?

Here's a before and after for ya.....

Now I can't wait to get my hands on that front porch and give it a fresh coat of white paint.   I also think the fancy new door is in need of a wreath.


  1. OOh that made a big difference!! I also did my front door a dark navy and I love it :-) Unfortunately I did it when it was so humid that it never dried properly and I still have touch ups to do!

  2. The new color makes the door pop a lot more and definitely makes a great statement in terms of curb appeal. Dark colors are so hard to paint, our dining room is orange and it was a multi-step process. Great job :)

  3. Oh thank you!! I want the door painted soooo bad - it looks worse than your first door but husband has been at work all the time. I was worried that the door had to be removed to paint - I see you did perfectly well with it up and its so beautiful!! I think ill paint this weekend while he is busy! (and Im tired of waiting :) Your door is just gorgeous and the color you chose is excellent! I need a bright color so am going to do a red. Do you use high gloss or what for the finish?

    1. Thanks for your comment! It really is quite easy, and the only hardware you will have to remove is the deadbolt and handle - but you could probably even just tape around those if you arent comfortable removing them on your own. I used a satin finish. Honestly though, if I did it all over again I would maybe choose a semi-gloss, I find the satin kind of dull. Good luck with your door!

  4. It looks amazing! I love the before/after shot! The navy door made a huge difference. I just wanted to let you know that I used one of your pictures in my front door color inspiration post - credited of course. Right now Im undecided on color, but kinda leaning towards navy - I love the shade you picked! Im definitely going to grab that color card to test out.


  5. What color is your main house? Love the door color!

    1. Hi Staci,
      Do you mean what colour is the outside of our house, or the main walls inside our house? Ill answer both....the outside is just grey, it was done when we moved in so I dont have an exact colour, although its quite close to BM Grey Owl. The interior main walls were Rockport Grey by Benjamin Moore.


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