Pretty Front Porch: Painting the Front Door

*We’ve done a number of fixes to our front walk and porch so I’ve decided to take a week to talk about them all. Check back each day this week for all the changes we made. 

It’s amazing how much other bloggers influence the project I feel inspired to complete. Even though I’ve wanted to paint my front door pretty much since we moved in I know that the recent door paintings of Young House Love, Bower Power Blog and I Heart Organizing played a part in my choice to jump on the train now.

Here’s a shot of our front door from this spring. Not horrible but it’s definitely a plain boring white door and the yellowish trim around the windows wasn’t really helping at all.

Painting Front Door 1

When Jen at I Heart Organizing prepped her fiberglass door she used deglosser to rough up the surface. After doing that she realized deglosser isn’t meant for fiberglass doors. Now I didn’t think my door was fiberglass but I assumed the same would be true for what I think is a vinyl door. Armed with that information I did a little online research and came up with how I thought I should prep the door.

On Saturday night I grabbed a bucket with water and soap and scrubbed the door down as best as I could. Then I used a steel wool pad in “000” grit to try and get whatever was left off as well as potentially rough up the surface a little. The last prepping step I did was to rub on some mineral spirits to get the last of the grit off the door.

Painting Front Door 2

After the cleanup the door actually looked a little better than before. I chose to prep it the night before so that it would be ready and dry first thing in the morning.

Painting Front Door 3

The next morning I headed out to start the painting! Since I don’t enjoy cutting in or scrapping paint off of windows I taped around the windows as well as around the seals and weather stripping on the door. Chris also pulled off the hardware so I didn’t have to paint around that.

Painting Front Door 4

To paint with I bought a quart of Martha Stewart’s Azurite in Glidden Exterior since that’s the paint that Martha Stewart colors are meant to be mixed in. As far as I can tell it’s actually a darker version of the Darkening Sky that we used in our kitchen.

Painting Front Door 5

During my limited searching online I didn’t see anyone else that primed their door first so I decided to just jump right in. The first coat went on pretty blotchy which surprised Chris, although I had kind of expected that. Since Chris was worried about the paint he started googling how to paint a vinyl door. Everything he was finding said you needed to sand and prime or the paint would flake off. By the time I finished the first door I was starting to freak out. I thought that I had made a huge mistake, that it would look horrible and it would be a ton of work to fix.

Painting Front Door 6

See the great thing about the internet is that there’s a ton of information out there about almost anything. The bad thing is that you don’t always get that personal experience or knowledge from someone who has done things the way you are.

So I called someone I knew would have experience and know what to do; my mom. She assured me that it should be fine and that she had painted doors in the past without primer and they were fine. She also thought that since our door is really sheltered it shouldn’t make a difference anyway. So, that being said if you’re painting a vinyl door that gets a lot of weather you might consider lightly sanding and priming just to avoid the potential stress.

After talking to my mom I  calmed down and painted the second door.

Painting Front Door 7

As we had hoped the second coat went on a lot more opaque. It wasn’t perfect but it did look a lot better than the first.

Painting Front Door 8

I was only able to get in three coats in one day since I had to wait 4 hours in between coats. Chris put the hardware back on and we closed the door. The next afternoon I came back with just a small craft paint brush and touched up a few lighter spots. It was just enough to finish it out.

Painting Front Door 9

After a little stress I think the door turned out great. It’s nice to finally have a little pop of color on our beige and white house. I think it’s the perfect color to go with our house. It’s not so bright that it sticks out like crazy but bright enough to not be boring.

Painting Front Door 11

Even with the freak out painting the front door was really worth it and I’m so glad I finally got on it.

Anyone else attempted to paint there front door and had a momentary freak out?

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