How to Paint a Door for Great Curb Appeal

Posted by: on July 31st, 2013 | 14 Comments
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How to Paint a Door: Kelly green front door makeover from Camila of Effortless-Style 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. 

Your front door might be the most important element in creating great curb appeal for your home. Painting the door in bright new color is an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up the look of your home. That’s exactly what Camila from the Effortless Style blog had in mind in her Style Challenge. Here, she shows us exactly how to paint a door, and how to replace the trim on the door. As you’ll see, the results of her easy front door makeover are quite striking.

Imagine my excitement when I opened an email from Home Depot asking me to participate in their Style Challenge that was focusing on outdoor paint. I knew right away what I wanted to take up that challenge. You see, a couple of years ago I painted our front door black, and since we get a lot of direct sunlight, the moulding on the door started to crack and pop off due to the heat.

Here’s what the house looked like before painting the door:

How to Paint a Door: Camila's front door transformation before painting.

The damage to the door was pretty noticeable:

How to Paint a Door: A front door with broken trim

We were originally going to get a brand new front door, but that meant a lot of labor and hiring someone to do special wood work on the trim. So that plan quickly went out the window. We then realized we could work with what we had. We ordered a new window insert, removed the old trim and picked up new wood to replace the trim.

We had to start by removing all the trim and sanding the door:

How to Paint a Door: Removing trim and sanding the door before applying new moulding

Then we primed the door with Kilz and got to work cutting new trim pieces and adhering them on the door with Liquid Nails.

How to Paint a Door: Using Liquid Nails to attach fresh moulding to the door

Once that was done we were able to get work painting with Behr Marquee. That’s a new line from Behr that offers exceptional resistance to dirt and fading, which is a must for an exterior door.

How to Paint a Door: Behr Marquee's paint is perfect for outdoor painting projects

{I decided to go a bit bold and went with Cress Green from Behr.}

We started painting with a brush for the first coat, but then decided to remove the door from it’s hinges and spray it with our air compressor that has a paint sprayer attachment. We got a nice brush free coat in a matter of minutes. [You can buy an air compressor at The Home Depot. But don't forget that you can rent one, too, from a Home Depot store rental desk. -Ed.]

How to Paint a Door: Man begins applying Behr Marquee's paint to a primed front door

Here is door after painting:

How to Paint a Door: Kelly green brings a pop of color to this front door, from Camila of Effortless Style

Here’s a close up of the paint job and my pretty elephant door knocker:

How to Paint a Door: Kelly green brings a pop of color to this front door, from Camila of Effortless Style

It’s now a treat to walk into my home:

How to Paint a Door: Kelly green brings a pop of color to this front door, from Camila of Effortless Style

Are you green with envy?

Camila Pavone is an interior decorator at Effortless Style Interiors in Westbury, New YorkCamila believes that good design shouldn’t be a luxury and that everyone should be able to enjoy a space that reflects their true self. She blogs at Effortless Style, her daily design journal. 

To complete this project, Camila used the following products:

Sometimes restoring the look of your front door requires a whole new installation. Look to The Home Depot to have new, beautiful doors professionally installed. 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. Camila received a gift card, but The Home Depot provided no other compensation. The opinions and ideas Camila expressed are her own.


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  1. Tammy Morgan says:

    We have an exterior door that was primed. How would I paint the interior and the exterior? There is also a storm door in front of it. Does the inside door need to be painted?

  2. mike says:

    i love the door color against the white exterior. it really stands out. thanks for sharing!

  3. [...] Glam Up Your Front Door:  Freshen up the existing color or change the the color entirely.  Instead of painting just the front door, add some extra umph by painting the sidelights too.  Doing this will give the door more pressence and make it look more grand.  If you don’t have sidelights, no worries!  You can get shudders that are the same height as your door.  The best part is you can purchase them in stock colors or buy them and paint them in a custom color! [...]

  4. Rosie says:

    What color do you paint the inside of the door then?
    I just bought an old 1944 house that has Light Grey wood siding and I am going to repaint the door Red…. There are so many shades of Red out there and I am not sure which color of Red to use. Any suggestions?

  5. Sandy Wings says:

    Actually the green colour was a great choice as surrounded by whites. Thanks Camila for sharing your unique ideas about colours.

  6. Jim says:

    Beautiful exterior painting! i love it1

  7. sheryl says:

    How do I paint a steel front door?

    • Craig Allen says:

      It’s not difficult, sheryl, but you certainly do want to know what you’re doing before you start.

      To be sure we get you the most authoritative advice possible, I posted your question over on our How-To Community Forums. Click here to go to your question. You’ll see a response there shortly.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

    • Camila says:

      Hi Sheryl,

      My door is actually steel. We simply cleaned it up, sanded where the old pvc trim was and then primed and painted. We reattached the new trim as wood because we figured it would wear better than pvc and not bubble.


  8. Looks so fresh! Great color choice. Reminds me I need to work on my front door :)

  9. Nora says:

    Should have given the door frame a new coat of white paint. What’s the use of dressing up the door if your are going to leave the rest of the entry all dirty looking.

    • Camila says:

      Hi Nora,

      You are correct! It was actually on our list to do for the photo shoot on the door, but we had lots of rainy days and simply ran out of time. Hope to tackle it during an upcoming weekend and will post pics on my blog once I do.


  10. Emily Clark says:

    Perfect color choice! So Camila :)

  11. It’s a good thing that you only decided to replace the trimmings. That’s the only place where the damage is so it makes more sense than replacing the entire door. Also, you chose a really nice shade of green, and a Behr Marquee too at that.