My latest project in the never ending mission to make my home beautiful was, you guessed it, the Front Door!  When we moved in the previous owners threw (almost literally) a coat of flat light grey paint on the door and side lights.  They slopped it on and left paint on the windows and hardware in what seems like an effort to continue making my life harder when it comes to re-painting this home.


As much as the color and the workmanship bothered me I just kept putting this project off.  I’ve never painted a front door and there seem to be so many “best” ways and paints to do so.  It was overwhelming to research the methods, the best paint brands, best brushes, and even the colors.  Because our home is very light in color (shades of light grey bricks) any color we picked would POP, especially with side lights being painted as well.  I won’t admit how many hours I researched door paint colors…

After photo shopping a few different color ideas on the door in a photo we decided on a deep purple.  I fell in love with a majestic purple seen on Pinterest but couldn’t quite match the shade in a brand sold here.  I tried so hard to find a match at various stores in different brands but nothing could compare.  With my closest choices I painted swatches and the door and still didn’t love them.  Those 3 squares stayed on my door for about 2 months!  I just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Since we have a whole house full of guests coming for Thanksgiving I decided now was the time.  Our door before painting was just sad, in color and in promise with those 3 purple squares in waiting.  In the end I made a rash decision and chose a color I had not tested.  Scary…. Sherwin Williams Quixotic Plum was the winner.  It seemed dark enough.

After taking a sander to the entire door to smooth down the terrible and crazy brush strokes as well as the paint globs and runs I was ready to paint.  When painting an exterior door you can’t just remove it and take your time.  I had to carefully plan to start first thing in the morning to allow the many coats to dry before closing the door that night.  It was obvious this courtesy was not done with the grey paint since there were ridges left.  Can you tell how annoyed I am by that paint job?!

I knew enough that I had to do at least 3 very light coats to let the paint dry faster and for a smoother finish.  After one coat I was petrified.  Holy cow… the color was much lighter than I envisioned and it was streak city.  I knew that after more coats it would darken and there would be no streaks.  Still, a part of me was in panic that I was ruining my front door with a loud color and doing a bad job of painting it to boot.  Then my Mother-in-Law walked out and the look on her face said it all.  She tried to save face but I could tell she was not impressed.  I assured her that after another two coats it would look great.  Now I had to fulfill my own prophecy and maintain my status as “painter extraordinaire.”

Thankfully after another coat I saw the promise and true form taking shape.  I just love how painting can (almost) instantly transform something formerly boring and ugly into a shiny new beautiful new thing!  I am addicted to the “after.”

Relatively smooth, even brush strokes, and a nice new shade of purple are words that describe my front door.  I would still like to replace the single door and side lights with a more contemporary style of French Doors but for now this will keep me satisfied.

Tip- rub a white wax candle on the inside of the door where it meets the jam so the paint won’t stick.  The latex paint won’t be cured for at least a week so expect sticky doors and possibly some touch ups…


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