Shut the Front Door

Strike one off our To-Do list ya’ll.  It’s the first of hopefully many many many. 

In fact, I would be dancing in my pants if we got to complete everything on our To-Do list.  Which is much better than me dancing OUT of my pants.  You don’t want to see that.  It ain’t pretty.  I know.  I tried it one time for Jeremy.  Let’s just say that it ended up with us both laughing up a pair of six-pack abs at my attempt of ‘sexy’. 

Anyhoo.  I really wanted to paint the front door.  I also want to paint the back doors and the side doors and all the trim…but that’s not today’s story.  Today is about the front door.

Remember when I told you guys I was dreaming of an exterior makeover?  Right after my 6 year old nephew Cole told me that the colors of our house were “poop” and “dried mud”.   I even made a little mock-up of my dreams.  Red front door, oil rubbed bronze light fixtures, urns with ferns (hey that rhymes!) and some landscaping… 

Well, we tackled the landscaping already and we bought some urns (they were these ridiculously priced ones that I just HAD to have)…

I even took the time to plant some little $1 annuals just for a little color.  BUT THE DOOR!  It is hideous.  That color!  UGH.  It’s nastier than some of the acts on America’s Got Talent.  And some of those peeps put the Gah in Gross.

So I decided that something must be done.  We removed the door handle that we just installed and pulled on our painting clothes.   

Around the door handle, there were some areas that were obviously a little rough. 

I asked the guy at my local Lowe’s what I should be using for that…and he recommended steel wool.  But then he pulled out this pack of pads.  I was kinda confused, but when we wiped down the area around those holes…it all became clear.  For one, this is kinda like steel wool, kinda like sand paper…and nothing like either.  That might not make sense…you’ll just have to try it out to see what I mean.  You don’t have to wear gloves, but I would recommend wiping down your doors after using these 3M Between Coat Finishing Pads so that you have a nice clean surface to help the paint stick to.  

Speaking of paint, you may be wondering what we decided for a color.  As I was in Lowe’s, I saw the cool new palette of colors provided by Allen + Roth.  Bend me over and call me Lucy, I’m in love.  And when I randomly pulled the swatch in red up to see if it would be a good match for our front doors, the name won me over.

It’s too perfect.  I actually recruited my mom to help me with this project (while Will snoozed his morning nap)…and she is like the master of all things paint.  Since it was a primer & paint in one for exteriors, it worked out just peachy…

Here she blows after the first coat.  Bear in mind that paint usually dries differently than when it is wet. 

And here they are after two coats…

(okay, you can imagine me yelling THE RED COATS ARE COMING repeatedly here…it’s true…it happened)

After we put the hardware back on, I was pleased as cherry punch.  So was Will.  The only thing I don’t like is the gold on the inside of the window.  I might actually have to take it apart to see if I can darken it somehow.  Note to self – buy a sharpie.

Oh and since I’m always nervous about certain decorating choices, I asked Clara.  I figured she has got more decorating talent in her genes than I do in my entire being.  I am interpreting her reply as YUM. LOVE it!

So that’s what we did…a little red door revamp. 

How’s your exterior activities going along?  Anything new outside lately?  Anybody paint exterior doors lately?  Anyone wanna come over and paint my trim? 

p.s.  For all you door buffs out there, our current door is ThermaTru brand.  And I went online to see how much replacing just the windows would be…no such luck…but I did find a little browser that lets you see a bunch of different doors.  I love the ones with big panes of glass…maybe one day…like when one of you gives me a winning lotto ticket :)



  1. Katie Noel says

    I LOVE IT!! We actually, just this past weekend painted our front door and garage door that EXACT color. I am in love with it. And isn’t it fitting that it is called “Front door red?” Mr. Name the Paints was creative with that one for sure! Well you’ve got me motivated to do even more to the house.

    • says

      Haha! I can just see the guy who named it going “What should I call this color?” And someone else says “That would be a good color for a front door.” So the first guy goes “Front Door Red. Check. That was hard, I’m goin’ on break.”

  2. Jessica says

    First comment, for realsies? Awesome! Also, insert obligatory “somewhat-long-time reader, first time commenter” here.

    I love the new look – the door color, the urns, the flowers, everything! And thanks for being so awesomely entertaining and inspiring! Last week was a bummer with the website issues, but I kept checking back like a fiend to see if more Blogiversary goodness had been posted. Your posts are always a treat to read, no matter the content – I love it all! :)

  3. says

    Ahhh, it’s gorgeous! I want to paint ours too, it’s on my never ending list. I want to know what kind of paint you used? Gloss? Love, Love, Love it Katie! But, when I think about it… there isn’t really anything that you do that I don’t love!

  4. Christine says

    I am so greatful for this post! My front door is red, but not the right red. Know what I mean? I am so bad at choosing paint colors, my husband will no longer let me do it. I can see what I want it to look like in my head, but I can’t choose it correctly based on those little chips at the hardwares store. Your red is pefect! Painting my front door has now moved up the list of projects.

  5. says

    Love the red doors! Do you happen to have a picture zoomed out from the house (like pic #3 in the post)? Not trying to be picky, just wondering how much different it looks curb appeal-wise. (I’m sure it is a lot! :) )

    And I would love to be your painting buddy to help you with the trim, but we live so far apart :)

    Great work on the doors!

    -Rachel H

  6. says

    Love the red!! We always had a red door growing up…my mom just painted it a plum color but I havent seen it yet! Anyway I am wondering if you can just paint the bronze part? Or is it sandwiched between the glass…

    By the way totally kills me that you had to pay that much for those urns!! If you are ever near or going through Leesburg VA I’ll let you in on a little place I found that sells all kinds of cast iron goodness…you could get those same urns in cast iron for $35 each!! I got two out in front of mi casa! Sorry I dont have a better picture but to get an idea, you can just barely see them in the right hand bottom corner of the second picture here:

  7. Cindy says

    Good job, Katie! Looks great. I’ve pretty much decided I want to paint our front door a dark turquoise blue. My hubs is not so sure.

    However, last night he was admiring our new 22″ Maskros light fixture over the kitchen/dining table and he said, “Sometimes I think your ideas are a little bit wacky, but they always turn out great because you have good taste.”

    AHA! :D xo

  8. Karla says

    I absolutely love it!! I am a huge fan of red doors! I just wish my house wasn’t light yellow. It’s currently white. Any color suggestions? It also unfortunately has the brassy stuff inside. Let me know how the sharpie works :)
    You are amazing!

  9. says

    Bahahahahaha. I LOVE Clara’s face. That kid cracks me up.
    I grew up in a house with a red front door, and I love it so much. Hoping to convince our landlords that we should paint ours as well. White door + white house=snoozefest.

  10. Emily says

    Fab red door. So great in general and so much better than the previous color. Your house is shaping up so nicely with the large spectrum of materials mixed in the house.

  11. says

    I never even noticed the gold until it was painted. Wow. When are you going to paint the trim around it? I didn’t think it was possible, but I think it looks worse against the newly painted door. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It sounds mean. Just that the red door looks fresh and modern and the brown looks like…. dirt.

  12. Melanie says

    If that’s actual stained glass, you can just buy stained glass patina and apply it. It comes in a variety of colors (copper, black, etc.). You just brush it on with a paint brush after thoroughly cleaning the solder or leading (you need different kinds of patina for solder vs. lead. It’s hard to tell from far away, but your windows look like they might be copper foiled and soldered). After it sits for the prescribed amount of time, you just rinse it off with water and it’ll be the right color. The patina will not affect the color of the glass – just the metal portions. Way easier than a sharpie. I would also suggest rub ‘n buff before trying the sharpie! ;)

  13. says

    I love it! That’s the perfect red! I’m already itching to paint the front door of our new house (that we haevn’t even moved into yet) a bright yellow. I think colorful front doors make such a huge impact!

  14. says

    Hey Katie! Love the doors. I was going to suggest Mohawk Tone Finish Toner in Van Dyke Brown to get rid of the gold in the window. It’s great and gives that oil rubbed finish effect!

  15. says

    Looks great! I’ve been itching to paint our front door red, also! I actually bought some Rustoleum red/brick colored paint when I bought the house 3 years ago… it’s still sitting in the basement, unused. My door is metal – any suggestions for the type of paint to use? Also, I second the question above – what finish? High Gloss? Semi-Gloss?

  16. says

    Looks great!

    Did you ever think about doing the urns, too?

    Such a nice punch of color at the front of a big house :)

    We are doing our door this weekend-but it’s an old wood door, circa 1948, and hubby is freaked out about painting it, so some kind of tuscany- yellowish- goldy color stain it will be-fingers crossed for nice weather here :)

  17. Suze says

    Love it! That looks so much better and brighter. What a difference.

    Please, please, please paint your wicker dining chairs black and put them on the porch. It looks so pretty in my head. lol. Would look amazing with the red door!

  18. Brooke M says

    WOW! What a difference. I love it!! I think that it even distracts from the “poop and dried mud” trim. Makes me want to slap a few coats on my front door!!! Good job Katie!!

  19. says

    The red doors look awesome! We had a red door for awhile but I decided I wanted a glossy black door a few years later. The red I had used just wasn’t the right shade.

  20. says

    Love the red! I always wanted a red front door but alas, the front of my house is brick and it just didn’t seem right to put a red door in the middle of all of that red brick…so I settled for a black front door and put the red on the living room walls. :) Great job!


  21. Cindy says

    Love it! My house has wood shingles that are stained a dark brown and I have a door similar to yours with the stained glass/brass inside. I love red doors and I painted it red to my husband’s dismay and I hate to admit it but he was right. It doesn’t look right at all. Here’s my thing….I am loving black doors now. Can I paint the front door black if my house is brown? The railings leading up the front steps are black wrought iron so I thought it might look okay but no one is really backing me up on this decision. What do you think?

  22. Susanna says

    I love it! I have always loved a red front door. My husband and I painted our front door red a few years ago and, no joke, we had to paint it about 10 times. I actually lost count. Don’t ask me what kind of paint we used, but it clearly wasn’t the right stuff. Regardless, I’m happy with the way it looks now!

  23. says

    I love love love the red doors! I may paint mine red. Except I live in a rental. Except I live in a row of townhouses. A solitary red door mayattrack unwanted attention. I think I will wait until we buy a house.

  24. Nina says

    Katie, I have Therma-Tru doors at my house too, and although I have a different style door, mine also has those glass panels with the brass – YUCK!! I hate it! I’ve been trying to convince my husband to let me replace the doors, but it’s a long shot.

    So if you ever figure out a way to pop those windows out and paint that ugly brass – I BEG of you to post all about it, because that would be flat out awesome and you would be my hero!

    I’d buy you a cape.

  25. Ange says

    OK, since no-one seems to be going there I will…Dancing out of your pants is not THAT rare, I think? I once did it a long time ago, for a boyfriend, to that song “Moondance” you know? Van Morrison. Anyway, it turned out pretty much how yours did. Soooo, now I’ve shared that – I love the red front door. I wanted to paint our front door red. We just replaced a single with a double door, but our house is cream & blue with black trim. Although I accessorise with red, I figured the door would look kind of out of place. So I’m currently trying to convince the Hubs to paint them gloss black. It’s my second favourite look & I saw one on this really swanky boutique in our city & can’t get it out of my mind since. So the doors are just gloss stained timber at the moment. Every time we discuss it, I say “black” & he says “really?” and then we leave it until the next time. I’m getting closer though….

  26. SheilaG says

    Looks great, and your humor always puts a smile on my face! Someone probably already mentioned it, but I’d try the rub ‘n buff on the glass trim- I don’t know if boo-boos would be hard to get off the glass, though….

  27. says

    So, so, so glad that you posted this! I have been trying to convince my husband that we need a new front door and that it needs to be painted red. He sells building supplies, so we purchased a new front door for el cheapo, but haven’t been able to decide on a color. I can’t wait to show him this transformation!!

    And I’m inspired to blog about our before and after once its complete!

  28. says

    Love the door; it looks so good! I love a red door. Just not on my house. Because it’s peach. I painted our boring off-white door blue, which helped but I still want to paint our house tan. Or yellow. You know, after I fall into a giant pile of money.

    But anyway, back to your door! I didn’t notice the gold until you painted it. Isn’t that always how it goes? Here’s hoping there is an easy fix for it. Good luck with the rest of your list! Can’t wait to follow along.

    ps- You are hilarious and you make my day with your humor whenever you post!

  29. says

    Thank you for posting this! I have been agonizing over what color red to paint my front door. I have gotten paint samples from just about every store – Benjamin Moore, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. But I could not make a decision! I don’t want the old Williamsburg burgundy red but I don’t want anything too shocking either. This is perfect! And I love that I can see it up on the door all done. Thanks – off to go get me some red paint! (Oh, and a new front door – still working on that one…)

  30. Katie says

    Love the new color! I am wondering – is that a fiberglass door? We have one (maybe a Therma-tru) in a nasty golden oak color that I would LOVE to paint, but DH thinks it’s a bad idea since it’s already a nice “wood” look…yuck!

    If it is fiberglass, how is the paint holding up? Any special paint? THANKS!

    • says

      I have no idea…it looks like wood but don’t know if it’s fiberglass or metal underneath that thin wood overlay. If I would take a guess…it’s fiberglass. The paint was just Valspar exterior Duramax in semigloss and it’s holding up great!
      xo – kb

  31. says

    First I have to ask about the “bend me over and call me Lucy”… we just named our baby girl Lucy and it sounds like a hooker saying I’ve never heard!!! :(

    With that out of the way, I have the same brass on the inside of my front door glass and have hated it since we moved in almost a year ago. I can’t wait to see if you figure out a way to deal with it since we like the light that the door lets in and doors are EXPENSIVE! We’re tearing out both the front and back yards right now and redoing them so everything else is kind of on hold.

    • says

      Heehee…I just always heard the name Lucy as Loosey Goosey Lucy…maybe I ran with a perverted crowd though. I actually love the name though…all joking aside. Remember, I have a little Will Power…I mean…Bower on my hands :)
      xo – kb

  32. Julie says

    Katie, you are the best! I thought it would take forever to talk my husband into a red front door, but when I showed him your post, he enthusiastically agreed to paint our door red. I have a question – how long did it take ( including drying time) from start to finish? Thanks!

    • says

      Hmm…from start to finish about six hours. That is when I felt confident enough that it was dry to put the hardware back on.
      xo – kb

  33. Jessica says

    Have you checked with your local glass shop about having the window replaced? Depending on your door, they might be able to replace it and will usually be affordable! Good luck. Love the red, have that same paint chip hanging on my kitchen door:)

    • says

      No we haven’t checked. We are really too close-fisted to fork out money for new ones…but a girl can dream, right?!
      xo – kb

  34. Elizabeth says

    Now that I have seen that red door, I will be expecting pampering services a la Elizabeth Arden should I ever enter your home! LOL

    Looks great!

    p.s. The French translation of the name for that “steel wool/sandpaper thingy” had me cracking up. I am so juvenile.

  35. allison bolton says

    I have that gold in my doors too, I think you can have the glass changed out. I am going to do that to my doors , I want to have my glass changed to glass and iron. I love the red, I think I will get that color , it looks like the perfect red!

  36. says

    The sanding pads are just soooo good. We use them when we recoated our ‘butcher-top style’ counter tops.
    Oh, and front door really pops now and definitely doesn’t look like poop anymore.

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