Front Door Improvements

Posted by John on August 22nd, 2012

You could say this past weekend was somewhat productive. In addition to finally knocking out our dining room wainscoting, we did a couple other projects around the house that have been nagging us. One little improvement that Lisa and I are quite fond of is the front door. We spruced it up a little. Sometime last fall, we attempted to paint the side lights to our entrance door. The only problem was we didn’t have any paint left over from the builder, so we tried asking a local paint shop to match the paint based on their records. How did it go? Well, meh, just okay. The color was nice, but it was way off from the original. Didn’t match the shutters at all. We knew we were going to take another whack at this.

To get the color right this time around, I popped off one of the shutters from the front windows and took it to Sherwin Williams for them to match it with a laser tool or something. Whatever it is it works great.

The tricky part about painting the outside part of the front door is keeping it open for four hours. To keep every house fly in New Jersey from stopping by, we taped a table cloth from the dollar store over the opening. Worked well, although we opened a couple windows nearby to keep the air balanced.


After the paint dried, we dressed up the door with new hardware including a new door knob set, a kick plate and a knocker. To help line up the kick plate with the door, we used painter’s tape and marked all our holes.

Notice that Lisa captured my thinning hair. She pretty much does that on purpose in nearly every photo for fun. I usually end up tossing them all and using different ones. This is why I need to turn and smile into the camera next time.

Using a cordless drill to install the kick plate makes it a lot easier.

Here’s our finished product. We’re big fans of the additional gear on the door. We still have yet to paint the side lights. They are on our radar though. The reason we didn’t paint them was because we were busy with some other fun indoor projects that we’ll share with you soon!

Got any door upgrades planned?

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  • I really like that color! The old one was nice, too. Since we live in an apartment I don't know what it's like having to paint the outside of a door.

    • John_OHFScratch

      Thanks! That\’s not a bad thing!

  • I love your tip for keeping the bugs out while you painted the door. I really want to paint ours, but I'm fairly certain that Mike would have a fit: "doors are white!". Maybe while he's out one night, hahaha.

    • You can use a piece of rigid insulation or plywood with a couple tiny holes in it and then push roll wire through the holes and twisted around a 2×4 spanning the interior frame. Keeps out bugs and robbers while working on a front door.

      • John_OHFScratch

        That\’s a great idea Jeff.

    • John_OHFScratch

      Haha. Doors ARE supposed to be white. This whole door painting thing was Lisa\’s idea.

  • Kristen

    The door looks great! I love the way the kick place and the rest of the hardware looks.

    • John_OHFScratch

      Thanks Kristen!

  • What a perfect match to the shutters…God bless technology. I was a psycho and painted our front door during one of the freakishly warm winter days. It was great because there were no bugs to be found, but not so great to leave our door cracked, while we had the heat going. Whoooops!

    And yay for New Jersey! I didn't realize you guys were from Jersey too! 🙂

    • John_OHFScratch

      South Jer-z represent! We tried this the first time when it was too cold and it sucked.

  • casadechristine

    Looks great! Love the kick plate!

    • John_OHFScratch

      Thanks Christine!

  • Lookin good! I think the old one looked good too, but I can understand your need to make it match! Good idea to put the tarp up!

    • John_OHFScratch

      Thanks Whitney!

  • I remember painting our door in our first house. And how I was super smart and used interior paint and had to paint it again the following summer. Life lessons are hard.

    I really didn't notice a color difference at first but I get it now. Looks great!

    • John_OHFScratch

      Haha. That's funny. I do stuff like that all the time.

  • I stumbled upon your blog and am really loving it. Your house is beautiful! We also have a red brick home with black and white exterior accents. Our front door has been white, then black, and now grey. I hated giving up the black, but it got so hot with our south-facing house and glass storm door. I love your painted side lights too… I'm now considering painting ours grey to match.