How To Paint Your Front Door

So when the time comes for painting a front door—or any exterior door, for that matter—we’re here to help you boost your curb appeal. Whether you go bold, and paint your front door red, or go softer and stick with a neutral, Aura® Grand Entrance® paint is debut-ready.

Ready for a New Look?

Watch our helpful how to paint an exterior door video, or follow our step-by-step guide to learn how simple it is to give your front door a new look.

Step #1: Accents Away

Removing any non-permanent hardware from your front door provides an even work surface and protects it from damage from stray drips and leaks during painting.

Step #2: Get Clean

Front doors are a source of traffic in and out of your home, and they can get dirty. It is imperative that they are completely clean before starting your project: scrub them down, ridding them of any dirt that may have built up. Make sure the doors are completely dry before moving on.

Step #3 (Optional): Scrape!

Due to the high-use nature of a front door, you may see some paint that is peeling or flaking, especially around the doorjamb. Use a paint scraper to chip off any scarred paint.

Step #4: Sand!

Sanding is an important part of your DIY front door painting project, but before you can do that, it’s important to know what kind of paint is currently on your door. To find out, dab some denatured alcohol* or acetone on a cotton ball and rub it on the door. If it comes off, it’s water-based. If it doesn’t, it’s oil-based.

If your door is painted with a water-based paint, give it a good sanding with a fine-grit sandpaper. For oil-based paint, a medium-grit sandpaper (100- to 150-grit) will do the trick.

*Note: Denatured alcohol is not the same as rubbing alcohol.

Step #5: Tape It Up!

Painter’s tape is a necessary accessory to painting a front door. Use it to tape along existing hardware (like the lock and doorknob) to prevent drips, spatters, and rough edges.

Step #6: Know Your Painting Tools

To paint a perfect front door, you need the perfect tools, like high-quality  brushes and rollers. Typically, a flat painting brush is ideal for applying a base coat, but doors have all kinds of nooks and crannies. Use an angled brush to reach spots a flat brush cannot.

Step #7: Prime Time

A good primer can help to hide the old paint on your front door, while providing a surface that will let the new paint stick. We love using Fresh Start High-Hiding All Purpose Primer on non-metal doors to create the ideal base. For metal doors, we recommend Rust Scat™ Int/Ext Waterborne Acrylic Metal Primer. Make sure there are no spots where the primer pools; this can cause uneven spots on your finished door. Once you’re done priming, let the surface dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

Step #8: Time to Paint! (We recommend two coats.)

Front door paint can be applied using brushes or rollers. Use an angled brush to apply paint to small creases. If you use a roller for the larger areas, make sure to go back over any uneven spots with a brush to smooth out the finish.

Once painted, let the door dry for a minimum of 24 hours, and then apply a second coat. Again, let everything dry for a minimum of 24 hours (we recommend extra time for humidity and other bad weather).

Step #9: Reattach Your Hardware

Once everything is fully dry, remove the painter’s tape and reattach removed hardware. It’s time for your freshly repainted door to make its grand entrance! The door in our video makes a splash in Bahaman Sea Blue 2055-40, bringing the welcoming vibe of the Caribbean to a residential home.
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