Awww Baby Come Home To Me (II)
Street Appeal - Part Two
Note: Above photo courtesy of Houzz (www.houzz.com)
Here we go! Back to our front doors. Today I am going to show you how to choose the right paint and how to paint your front door yourself in 8 simple steps. I will also highlight some colours I have used in the past and new ones which would make your front door look amazing.
The Right Paint
Without the right paint your project will be a disaster right from the get go! Aside from the right colour, it is important to choose the right type of paint. I recommend using a water based (latex) paint rather than an oil based paint where possible. Oil based paints take more work to apply and their drying times are high. Odours coming off oil based paint may be objectionable to some people. People with allergies should stay away from them.
OIL BASED VERSUS WATER BASED
If you are repainting an existing door make sure you determine first whether the old paint is oil based one or a latex. Especially if the paint is older and you don’t know who applied it or what was applied. How do you check this?
There are two ways to check what type of paint is already on your front door:
(1) Wet a Q-tip in alcohol and rub it over the cleaned surface. If the Q-Tip comes away clean the old paint is an oil based one (alcohol removes water based paint).
(2) Alternatively, if you do not have alcohol you can also use nail polish remover. When rubbing a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover over a clean spot, a water based paint will leave a mark, whereas oil based paint will not.
By the way, you can use either one of these methods for any type of paint surface. Good to know, right? When in doubt, check it first! Many moons ago, before I became an interior designer, I was living in an apartment which had an ugly cold coloured wall paper on one of its walls. I disliked it so much I decided to paint over it. Of course, I choose my paint by colour, rather than type of paint. I was young and ignorant. My choice was a high gloss, deep red. It was gorgeous when I rolled it on. It was also really not easy to apply. That's when I discovered that I had purchased a marine enamel paint!!! A marine enamel, of all paint types....... Argh! By then it was to late. I happily lived with that colour for a couple of years. No wonder though, after I left, I was presented with a hefty bill by management for repainting that wall. They had a heck of a time painting over it.
You can paint over an oil based paint, but only after applying a bonding primer. This type of primer will ensure that the water based paint will adhere to the old oil based one. If this step is omitted, the latex paint will not adhere and the result will be a disaster. All your hard work will be for nothing! Regardless, I always recommend priming a surface before painting. Even if the existing paint is a water based one or if it does not require a primer. A primer will always provide a better base to apply fresh paint. It will be easier to apply the new paint and the paint will adhere better. Especially jewel tones like a primer under their colour.
PAINT FORMULATIONS & FINISHES
Your paint needs to be formulated as an exterior paint. It needs to hold up in harsh weather conditions, whether cold or hot. It needs to be colour fast and not fade. It needs to flow on smoothly to ensure a great finish. And the paint needs to provide a deep, rich finish regardless of the chosen colour.
There are several paint finishes to choose from. All paint manufacturers provide a range from flat to high gloss. They may name them differently, but the end results will be very similar. A flat or low lustre paint is recommended when your door has many imperfections you don’t really want to notice. Flat paint absorbs a lot of light and as such its sheen is very low. It can be difficult to maintain the surface of such a door though. Flat and low lustre finishes tend not to be maintenance friendly in general.
BM #2054-30 Venezuelan Sea
One of my favourite colours. This colour looks great with creamy whites, cool greys, wood tones, stone and brick. So versatile and unique!
The next step up is a satin or semi gloss finish. This finish will absorb less light and therefore the sheen is higher than the flat/low lustre ones (it actually reflects more light back). Maintenance will be easier. This type of finish is often used for interior doors and windows. Also, kitchen and bathroom walls are frequently painted out with this finish.
A high gloss finish will show the richest finish. If the condition of the door allows it, I always recommend a high gloss finish. Maintenance is easy and I love how the high gloss, the high sheen reflects so much light. Colours look richer and more dimensional. Pastel colours will have a better presence, neutral colours will look stronger and jewel tones will look brilliant.
BM #HC-155 Newburyport Blue
Always elegant and chic. A safe colour! Looks really good with a crispy white trim. Neutral enough to work with any exterior finish.
Eight Steps To A Beautiful Front Door
There are two ways to approach this project. You can paint the door while in its frame, or take it out of its frame. If painting in its frame protect your interior and exterior floor/ground coverings with drop cloths.
BM #2070-20 Plum Royal
I prefer to call this colour Aubergine. Delectable, yummy, oh so sophisticated, grand. What a statement this colour makes. It still tops my list, after so many years...
- Prepare the door by removing door hardware such as the door handle, knocker and hinges. You can also use masking tape to protect these items, but it might be more difficult to get that perfect finish. To prevent drips and spatters tape off the seams and the sides of the door. If the door has glass panels tape those as well.
- Clean the surface by removing any dirt. If your door has mildew apply a mold retardant first. Dry thoroughly. Remember to check whether the old paint is oil or water based!
- Remove old drips or chips by sanding the surface with a low grit sandpaper. Sand the entire surface properly including any panels and mouldings. In an earlier blog I referred to a liquid sander (deglosser) to remove old paint.
- Prime the door with the appropriate primer as recommended by the paint supplier.
- Apply the first coat. For the flat sections use a roller; for nooks and trim use an angled brush. If you decide to paint the door edges as well, it would be a good idea to paint the hinge edge with the exterior colour if the door swings in. Paint any center panels and mouldings first. Then paint the horizontal rails (top and bottom part of the door). Lastly paint the stiles (vertical side sections). Let the paint dry for as long as recommended by the paint manufacturer.
- Sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Wipe off any saw dust with a damp cloth and let dry again. Hint: use a mask when sanding to prevent inhalation of dust).
- Apply the second coat just like the first one. Sand again and apply a third coat if you want to achieve lots of depth in your colour. Make sure the door dries thoroughly between coats and sanding.
- If necessary, apply a varnish. Whether you need a varnish totally depends on the type of paint you have selected. Talk to your local paint supplier to make sure.
BM #2128-10 Black Beauty
Particularly stunning in high gloss. Door has to be in near perfect condition to show off this colour.
Above four door colours together with their numbers are the colours I have used over and over again in the past years, with great results. My clients were very happy and I highly recommend them.
That's it for now. I hope you can find some inspiration in the photos. If you plan to do some refinishing soon, good luck!