Can You Paint Your Front Door? Learning Entry Door Types

Can You Paint Your Front Door?

If you’ve been considering home improvement projects anytime in the past year, you’ve probably wondered: can you paint your front door? The answer is yes, but there are many different factors that come into play. The front door is often the first thing people notice about your home. With this in mind, there are several things to consider before you switch front door colors.

Can You Paint Your Front Door?

Know Your Doors

Before starting your DIY door painting project, you’ll need to know exactly what material your entry door is made of. There are several common materials used for front doors and their frames, and there are almost endless ways to combine these materials. For example, while many homes feature a wooden front door and wooden frames,  your entryway may feature a steel door with a wooden frame, or a fiberglass door with an aluminum frame. The materials your door and frame are made of will determine what steps you’ll take to change its color. 

Wood Doors

Wood doors are the most common door type for a home. While older homes may feature solid wood doors made entirely of natural wood, many wood doors today are actually composite wood doors. These doors are built using a combination of wood veneer skins with engineered wood cores. Composite doors aren’t as prone to the serious issues that solid wood doors face, such as warping, expansion, and contraction, and are generally much more dent resistant than their counterparts. Solid wood doors are relatively high maintenance and require regular repainting to preserve their looks.

While painting wood doors is trendy right now, you may consider custom staining instead of painting. Staining your wood door gives it a timeless look that stays classic and inviting. 

Steel Doors

Steel doors are all about security and durability. They’re stronger than most other door options and rarely crack or warp. Steel doors are also the easiest of the doors to fix since any dents can be pulled and puttied with a basic auto-body repair kit. Of course, this is important because steel doors are also the easiest to dent, so they’re not an ideal choice for a door that’s being frequently used.

Despite common misconceptions, steel doors don’t have to look metallic or harsh. Some can be concealed to look like wooden doors with an embossed wood grain finish. However, many steel doors are coated with a baked-on polyester finish, which requires periodic repainting.

Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass doors are incredibly dent resistant, making them well-suited for high-traffic spaces, like the front entryway of a home. You can get these doors with a wood grain texture molded into the door, or option for a smooth surface, depending on the desired look. They are more dent resistant than steel doors and can be stained or painted.

Aluminum Doors

Aluminum doors, much like their steel counterparts, use an isolated core and metallic skin. The difference is that these doors are usually custom built: due to the malleability of aluminum, they’re ideal for doors with unique shapes or framing needs. 

A pro of these doors is that with a baked enamel finish, they’ll rarely need repainting and don’t rust. Of course, with those kinds of pros, it makes sense that they’re also the most expensive choice after solid wood.

Iron Doors

Iron doors are mainly known for their ornate designs, though some feature very plain, modern designs. These doors are both secure and durable due to their sturdy material.

Luckily, iron doors can be painted. If you do choose to paint an iron door, be aware of rust, which must be removed with either sandpaper or a steel brush. You may also want to remove the door from its hinges in order to properly clean, prime, and paint the door.

Picking the Paint for Your Door

Now that you’ve figured out what kind of door you have, you may be wondering how you can paint your front door. There are some important factors to consider when deciding on a paint color and type.

Choose the Right Paint 

When selecting your paint, you’ll first want to look for a paint that is labeled as either “exterior” or “interior/exterior.” These thicker paints will contain more pigment, seins, and other additives that will make them more resistant to daily wear and tear, as well as weather and sun damage. If you have a metal door, you’ll also want to select a paint with built-in rust protection, too.

You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll need to buy a separate paint and primer, or a paint with a built-in primer. There are pros and cons to each of these, and they really come down to the current condition of your door. You may need a separate paint and primer if you have a stained wood door, are switching from a darker color to a lighter one, or if the existing coat is peeling or flaking off. Paint and primer combos work best on brand new doors, as well as doors that have never been painted. These products are also good to use if you’re painting your door the same color as before, or if you’re moving from a lighter color to a darker one.

Choose the Right Color

When weighing your paint color options, you’ll want to consider why you’re painting your door. If you’re planning to sell your home, you may want to consider black or charcoal gray, which can increase a home’s resale value by more than $6,000

Another factor to consider is the size of your home. If you have a small house, you can make it look larger by doing a monochromatic color scheme across the door, the trim, window frames, and siding. If you have a larger house, think about using the door as a focal point with a brighter color.

If you’re truly stuck on what color to paint your door, take into account its surroundings. Looking at your yard and the natural colors around your home can help you decide what tones would look best on your front door.

No matter what color options you have, don’t skip swatching! Paint colors can vary dramatically depending on the lighting, or whether they’re featured on an indoor or outdoor surface. To compare paper paint swatches, securely tape your swatches to the exterior door and view them throughout the day from various angles. If you want to get an even clearer picture of the color, you can use paint samples to paint a small swatch directly onto the door before committing to a full paint job.

Finally, don’t ignore your door’s hardware or other embellishments. Updating your door with new decorative glass, siding, or doorknobs can be just as important as changing its color. These features can say as much about your home as the door itself, which is why Acadian Windows offers exciting accents and designs that will make your home the envy of your block, not to mention that new windows can have an extremely high return rate for homes over time.

Still Wondering if You Can Paint Your Front Door?

If you’re still asking yourself ‘can you paint your front door,’ the answer is yes, but you don’t have to. Acadian Windows offers a wide variety of doors for those looking to change things up without the hassle of painting, and does custom staining that offers a timeless look for any home. Contact Acadian Windows today for more information on what entry door is best for your home!