Our new red front door!

10 December 2014

While I really adore our home’s curb appeal, the one thing I knew I’d want to change down the line was the color of our front door. When we bought the house it was maroon – already not my favorite color, but on top of that, our door is set back under a big overhang, so it kind of looked like a dark hole.


I wanted something brighter and more fun, and considered poppy red and haint blue. Y’all gave such thoughtful comments back here, but I think the gold star goes to our friend Nancy: I think red would look beautiful and patriotic and New-Englandy, which represents your roots. Also, we share hearts of patriotism, and I think that a red door would be well suited in the Thomas household. (Not to mention it would tie in perfectly with that pretty American flag!)

Between her convincing arguments and John’s dislike for anything that even approaches Carolina blue, we decided a cheery red was the way to go. We pulled paint chips, and ended up liking California Poppy by Behr the best. That’s it over on the left:


We bought the top of the line Behr exterior paint, which is primer and paint in one. Prep was pretty easy – we taped the major parts, including the handle/lock; filled in one gouge from moving day with wood filler; and wiped down the door to get rid of any dust/pollen. Then we waited for a not-too-warm, not-too-cold, dry day, and brushed on the first coat!


After which, it looked… pretty much the same, except dingier. All told, I ended up doing four coats with several days in between each, and in the end, I think it looks pretty good! A few tips I learned along the way:

1. I liked using an angled brush, no foam roller.
2. As Sherry recommended, I painted the inside of each panel first, then the flat planks around them and between them, always going in the direction of the planks. I worked upward to do the vertical and horizontal planks in the middle, then at the end dragged from top to bottom to do the vertical parts on each side.
3. I figured I could get away without priming since we used an all in one paint and the color we were painting over was fairly similar, but in hindsight, I might have been able to do fewer coats if I had started with a separate primer.
4. When I removed the tape around the hardware, a few chips of paint came off (very annoying). This probably could have been avoided if I had removed the hardware instead of taping around it, but since I painted over several days, I think it would have been more annoying to remove and replace the hardware four times.


This was a fairly easy project, and I’d definitely recommend it as a little front porch pick-me-up! I’m especially enjoying our new red front door dressed up for Christmas :)


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December 10, 2014 7:45 am

It looks so cheery and welcoming! I originally voted for blue, but I’ve changed my mind :) Can’t wait to see it in person!

December 10, 2014 8:05 am

There’s something so charming about a red front door. I love the way it turned out! Thanks for letting us follow along with the updates :)

December 10, 2014 8:05 am

Love the new red door – perfect timing for Christmas x

December 10, 2014 12:21 pm

That last photo is seriously too cute! I loved reading this post, as we just painted our new front door.. but ours does not look nearly as good as yours. We went with the same bright blue as our original door, but next to the siding (that hasn’t been painted in years) it looks way too bright now. A couple days later the temperatures dipped well below freezing with some rain/snow and the paint bubbled up, and now we have to wait until it warms up consistently in the spring (!) to try a new color. Oy!

December 10, 2014 3:17 pm

This looks delightful Emily! I love what Nancy said about having a beautiful and patriotic New England feel to reflect your roots. Thank you for sharing your suggestions!

December 10, 2014 9:46 pm

I LOVE the red door! And the Christmas lights make it look even more festive!

December 12, 2014 5:51 pm

So cheerful!