Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Fresh Red Paint for the Front Door

Posted by: on July 24th, 2013 | 18 Comments
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Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Red front door from Sandra of Sawdust Girl blog


In our Style Challenge series, we ask some of our favorite bloggers from around the web to surprise us with their ideas for creating a stylish and functional space using Home Depot products as a starting point. 

Sandra, from the Sawdust Girl blog, shares her simple front porch decorating ideas. See how painting her front door in a lively red transformed the look of her front porch. She added some potted plants and a couple of DIY benches, too, to boost her home’s curb appeal to a whole new level.

I’ve read that a red front door bids guests and travelers “Welcome” in almost every culture. I love that!

Plus, I wanted a red door because I thought it would contrast well with the white trim and stone on the front of my house.  :-)

We’ve lived in our home for two years, and while I’ve done a LOT of work on the inside, I’ve completely ignored the front porch. That’s funny because the front porch is the first thing people see when they come to visit.

Getting the invitation to participate in the Home Depot Front Door Design Challenge lit a fire under me to take a real hard look at my front porch.


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Front door before the front porch makeover


It’s not terrible, but it’s pretty blah –which is sad because it’s a huge covered porch and has some real potential.

The first thing to tackle was painting the front door. Nothing is that simple though.

First I had to clean…


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Sandra of the Sawdust Girl blog preps her door for painting


and fix…


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Filling in dings with wood filler before painting the front door


and repair…


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Filling in dings with wood filler before painting the front door


and THEN paint.


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: A white front door in the process of being painted a vibrant red


I painted with Behr Marquee – Awning Red. Red is usually a difficult color to get coverage with, and I normally prime with grey before I tackle the red. Since the primer is IN the Marquee paint, I didn’t prime my door first. I just went for it, and it only took three coats.


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: A front door after one, two and three coats of red paint


Much better!


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: Front door makeover with Behr Marquee paint in Awning Red


Once the door was fresh and lovely, I decided to go “all out”. I added some pots and flowers and built a couple benches to make the entire porch look welcoming.


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: DIY wooden benches and planters flank the red front door


It’s funny that I ignored this space for so long. Now whenever the doorbell rings, it brings a smile to my face because I know my visitors are waiting in a cute little space. They’re probably laughing at the fact that the flowers are sitting on scraps of 2×4 in the giant pots, though. (So I didn’t COMPLETELY finish the makeover…I’ll get to that someday.)


Front Porch Decorating Ideas: A beautiful front porch with a red door, planters and DIY benches


Check out the plans and tutorial for the X-leg benches you see in the photos at

Sandra, author of the blog Sawdust Girl, is a designer, is a carpenter and DIY coach. She’s been remodeling homes and designing and building custom built-ins for over a decade. She loves sharing her skills and knowledge with others who want to learn how to “Build it Yourself”.

To complete this project, Sandra used Behr Marquee paint in Awning Red.

When a fresh coat of paint isn’t enough, use our certified installation professionals to buy and install a new entry door. For more painting and front porch decorating ideas, see other Style Challenge articles here on the Apron blog, and follow our All About Paint and Curb Appeal pin boards on Pinterest.

Style Challenge is a series of posts from guest contributors who aim to bring you fresh inspiration and ideas for your home and garden using Home Depot products as a starting point. Sandra received a gift card, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Sandra expressed are her own.
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Leave a Comment

  1. Suzanne says:

    What color do you paint the inside door trim if the front and back of door are different colors?

  2. James says:

    How do I drill or screw into exterior home stucco surface in order to
    hang a frame?

    Is stucco difficult to work with?

  3. jeri says:

    I love this..My door is red but not bright enough… It will be before the weather gets warm!

  4. Debbie Wolf says:

    Where did you get the lighted ceiling fans?

  5. kathy michael says:

    Love the red front door but not on my house. Just added a big beautiful porch to the front of my home and it’s my mellow place. Red would be too jarring.

    Just painted the main door a light teal color and the gingerbread screen door a bit darker shade of the same color.

  6. Karen says:

    Looks Awesome!! Did you paint the INSIDE of the door or did you leave it white?? Ive been wanting to do the same thing but I wasnt sure if the inside was left, as I would want/need to leave it, I think????

    • Karen says:

      PS: By the way I have a white screen door on my front door as well, how would
      you all suggest I take care of the front screen door?? Paint it too or leave it white??

  7. maggie houlihan says:

    the front of my home has a gable and I want a porch where the gable is can that be done?

  8. Vernon Acors says:

    I ve been a painter most of my life To get a color such as red or deep blue regardless that you are using a paint that has primer and finish in it use a medium gray primer first and your colors will come out much more vibrant and hold its color longer from fading

  9. Rafael says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I had been contemplating but hesitant on painting my front door from the dull white to something bold and red being my favorite color kinda sealed the deal. After reading your post I found the courage to just go for it and I am quite happy and proud I did.
    I found your step by step very informative. Thanks again.

  10. [...] colors are best for creating a serene environment, but don’t be afraid to splash some more color. Paint your front door (try brick red, bright yellow or light blue) and add complimentary colors with large flower pots or [...]

  11. Garth Steele says:

    That red door looks amazing. I was thinking about re painting our garage too. I would think that a neutral color would do up against a bold color like red. Maybe beige?

  12. katie says:

    I love the red door that Sandra did! I’m such a fan of a red door and can’t wait to paint our door red one day!

  13. Ryan Hart says:

    Most people don’t realize how easy it is to improve your curb appeal with a few flower pots, benches and a coat of paint. This article is a great example of how simple the process can be. Great job!

  14. Chris says:

    Thank you. It looks great.

    (we are hoping to have our son do a similar upgrade to our front-door). :)

  15. Steve bewan says:

    Beautiful Post with beautiful Images. I love these kind of posts.

  16. Sabrina says:

    Great look from the plain white door. Thanks for sharing.