Painting a front door black offers a unique way to add strength and contrast to your home. Learn how with added front door tips and a helpful video!
With some nice weather this past weekend, I decided to get out the paint brush, and ended up repainting the front door blackish-brown!
A freshly front painted door can really enhance the curb appeal of your home, along with the home’s value as well. Besides, a freshly painted front door adds instant elegance for yourself or potential buyers!
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Previous front door color
Visit how I painted the door Bayberry green HERE
It wasn’t that I didn’t like my front door as-is… I actually really loved the current Bayberry tone! It was the perfect sage green that chimed in with nature. I highly recommend it!
However I was just ready for a few next steps in my future exterior dream home plans. Which included painting a black front door.
While this tone appears to be a trend, I personally think black is a timeless, classic look. But wait until you see what I added next at the bottom of this post!
Home exterior concepts on a BC Box style home
Awhile back, I shared THIS post on dreaming up new improvements to the outside of my style of house. Here were a few drawings I shared at the time…
My mind has slightly changed over time, however in a nutshell, my current paint colors include neutralizing the tones of the house while adding in some rustic wood charm!
So the first thing I did was play around with the house trim colour hue. I’ve loved the deep chocolate-black trim paint and colour for a number of years already, however it was a flat finish. So as a trial, I ordered up the same tone but in a satin finish so it wasn’t so chalky looking and feeling.
I’m much happier with the new satin sheen! So I painted my exterior door with it too!
Update: I wish I had stayed with the flat finish. Some of the trim work on my home isn’t in perfect condition, so be aware, any kind of sheen, even a satin sheen will further enhance those imperfections!
Choosing black paint
There are many types of paint for a front door one can choose, from latex paint, oil based or a boutique DIY paint.
But my favorite type of paint for front doors is Fusion Mineral Paint. It’s a very durable indoor outdoor DIY paint with a built in top coat that doesn’t fade. In fact, my previous door colors were painted with Fusion!
As for choosing the right shades of black or perhaps a chocolate black like I custom created, or a charcoal to slightly soften the look, grab a stack of paint chips and match up the black closest to either another house feature or to your own personal preferences.
But how do you know what color to paint your front door?
Front door paint colors can be chosen by partially preference, however I like to work with the rest of the house elements in order to choose.
Ideas on how to choose a front door colour:
- Match up a brick or rock tone that’s already present on the house.
- Try an opposite tone from your house tone for a pop of color – view a colour wheel for this reference.
- Start an inspiration folder on Pinterest, and collect door colors you love.
- Choose a blackish tone if you desire a timeless contrast and it goes with another element on your home.
How often should you paint a front door?
I personally love to refresh the front door and door trim paint every spring or summer, so it starts out nice and fresh.
My front door tends to get a little banged up from parking my bike in the front entry. However for the years I did not refresh my front door, I have really noticed how tired it looks in comparison!
I have noticed that when I painted in Fusion, the door paint takes on the scuffs much better. So consider Fusion’s durability!
What kind of paint is best for a front door?
If your door is in good shape, I’d go matte or up to a satin finish for a little more washability. However any imperfections on a door will be enhanced with sheen. I’d personally avoid using a high-gloss finish for this reason.
Should interior doors be painted the same tone as the outside of the door?
Not if you don’t want to. I left my front door interior white so it brightens up my entryway moreso. However if you want the contrast indoors, I say go for it!
Should paint be oil based or water based?
The old school way was that oil based paint lasted longer. And it can. But that also depends on what type of paint you use.
You can most certainly get long term durability with the right kind of water-based paints. Fusion Mineral Paint ranks top notch in my book for durability alone, never mind going on butter-smooth.
Perks of painting with Fusion:
- No fading.
- Extremely durable and washable.
- Comes in lots of colours.
- Goes on butter-smooth.
- Excellent paint for most any DIY projects.
- Offers exceptional coverage.
- No primer nor top-coat required.
Tip: Fusion dries quickly so painting fast is a must, or use Fusion’s Extender to extend the open time.
Read my own review, All About Fusion Mineral Paint HERE to learn more about this wonderful DIY paint option!
Past Fusion door colors
View my Homestead Blue door HERE
Check out the Bayberry sage green door HERE
However this round, I desired to use the same house trim paint so they’d be a perfect match.
In hindsight, I love the long-term front door durability Fusion offered more. Lesson learned.
My paint choice is a custom-blended very deep dark chocolate or warm black.
It goes on looking black, but it dries with a warm chocolate undertone. It’s a warm black shade if you will. But it definitely gives off a front black door vibe.
Cloverdale Covercoat Satin (new colour)
100% Acrylic Latex
Recipe for 1 litre
How-to: Painting front door black
So I brought out my little folding table to the front door to hold the paint supplies and got to work!
Here’s how I went about painting front door black with a touch of warmth!
Supplies I used:
Exterior paint – I used exterior house paint in a satin finish however I favor Fusion Mineral Paint
Fusion’s phosphate-free TSP Alternative
Get 10% off all Fusion Mineral Paint products from HERE
Method of painting front door black
While painting a front door is relatively easy, being outdoors can provide a few challenges as paint dries quickly in windy conditions. So here’s a run down of how I do it, keeping in mind to always paint against a wet edge.
View short video of my process below these instructions.
1. Remove door handle and lock
I personally like to paint a front door by leaving it on the house, so I leave the door hinges on.
However I do remove the door hardware, such as the door handle and lock so you’re left with a much more professional looking smoother paint job, while reducing paint drips cutting in around obstacles.
Painting a door outdoors can dry the paint quickly, resulting in added brush strokes, so you’ll need to paint quickly!
Another option is to remove the door so you can paint it inside, better protected from the weather elements.
Tip: Add Fusion’s Extender HERE to extend the open time of your paint to avoid brush strokes from drying too fast if painting outdoors or on the house.
2. Clean the door
I had just pressure washed the front of the house so wiping the grime, dust and dirt off with a damp rag did the trick.
But if dirty, I like to use Fusion’s phosphate free TSP. It’s very concentrated and lasts a long time, is non toxic, and you don’t even have to rinse it off!
3. Scuff sand the surface
3. Scuff sand the door, then remove the dust with a tack cloth.
Scuff sanding (ending with high grit sand paper) adds some tooth for new paint to stick to. After removing the dust with a tack cloth, I also quickly go over the door with a damp cloth to ensure all the dust has been removed.
View this door being painted in Homestead House Blue HERE
4. Tape off anything you don’t want covered in paint.
Taping off sections of the door you don’t want painted will help make repainting your door so much quicker and offers a better finished look!
This includes door handles, knockers, edge of the door (if inside is a different tone), and muntins / mullions that sit on top of a window.
4. Prime the door if needed
Most paints these days don’t require a coat of primer first.
However if you are transitioning from oil base paint to latex, your door may need a primer. Test to see if your current door paint is oil or latex first. If latex on latex, a light scuff sand may be all that’s required.
5. Paint the door
- Paint the trim work and door incidents with a paint brush first.
- Roll the rest of the paint on with a quality roller meant for detail work.
- Smooth out the orange peel roller texture with a paint brush if you feel it’s needed.
I like to start out with a good quality paint brush first to paint all the trim work or indents in the door where a roller can’t reach.
Then roll the paint on the rest of the door with a velour or microfibre roller.
Next, I prefer to use a 100% synthetic paint brush to smooth out the slight orange peel texture using long, even strokes. However if you don’t mind the texture or find it minimal, you can skip this step.
Sometimes I paint the door with just a brush. But this round, I tried out using a microfibre roller to apply the paint first, then smooth it out with a brush right after. It did make the task quicker, but the only thing I would do differently next time is use more paint on the roller so there’s more open time to work with.
Or use Fusion’s paint Extender for more open time to avoid brush strokes.
Try one coat first. Paint on a second coat if it’s needed.
6. Consider painting the door frame same as the door.
I use to just paint my front door with different toned sidelight and door frames. But this round, I did it all in one tone. And my goodness… I love it so much more!
The door has so much more presence and feels grander painted all the same!
Other door painting tips:
- A good quality 100% synthetic brush tends to leave a smoother finish vs. a brush that contains natural bristles.
- I paint the horizontal sections of the door first, then the verticals, moving from top to bottom, always against a wet edge.
- An artist’s brush was used to paint the smaller inner window frame areas.
- After the paint dried, I used a razer blade scraper to clean up the glass.
- I only applied one coat.
- My door was not primed, because my last paint was Fusion Mineral Paint. A scuff sand was all that was required.
- The interior of the door was left white.
You may need to prime your door if you are going from oil to water base. It really depends what is already on your door and what paint you are applying. I suggest to ask a retailer for instruction or read the suggestions on the paint label.
Click above to watch a short video of my paint method.
Painting front door black reveal!
And in just a few minutes, I had the most beautiful, deep chocolate neutral black door ever thanks to a fresh coat of paint! Isn’t it pretty?!
Loving the side of the door trim painted out the same as well, which makes the front door seem more prominent. What a pretty exterior color! The darker shade really makes the darker bricks pop.
I desired the side window framework and door to be the same tone because I have some fun plans on building a custom rustic wood screen door which will ultimately change the look of the door.
Update: Here’s the screen door version!
Did it hold up?
I don’t yet have working knowledge how this particular paint will hold up as a front door choice. (Painted May 2020) Dust does collect on it quickly, and I’ve found if I run my fingers on it, it leaves smudges. Probably similar to most other dark tones.
Wiping it with a wet rag appears to be the best way to clean it.
But I do prefer the satin finish over the flat I had for certain! The tone looks richer and deeper and the feel is smoother to the touch on trim work. The door has a very slight satin sheen to it which looks really pretty.
I will for sure update this post on how repainting a front door blackish-brown ultimately turned out as time goes on.
I can however highly recommend using Fusion Mineral Paint for your front door. It’s very durable. I’d suggest to add their new paint extender when working outdoors so you have more open time to avoid premature drying, which can add brush strokes.
I love the front door black, however I much prefer using Fusion Mineral Paint for front door painting with possibly a top coat to avoid fingerprints showing.
So let’s take a quick tour of the door as it stands today… with more fun revamps to come!
Front porch tour
This antique crate holds fresh cut bachelor button flowers from the front garden. It’s an easy way to have fresh flowers that appear to be grown inside a window box. Simply replace as desired.
The spring flower beds are exploding right now! But they’ll fade quickly, so I couldn’t bypass not capturing them at their present best…
The flowerbeds are so full, there’s barely any soil showing!
I love it this way. Last year was the first time I didn’t cut everything down to the ground over winter, so I think that move paid off.
Not bad for not planting one new thing, huh?
In other front door news, while I pressure washed the driveway and house last week, I also hit this wicker love seat hard, knocking ALL the original paint off! I picked up this piece from a neighbour giving it away last summer.
My other current dreams for the house exterior:
- Covering the brick around the door with either wood planks or cedar shingles.
- Wrapping the brick posts with wood so they appear solid wood.
- Repainting the house siding… if I don’t replace it with new hardy board. I’d really love for it to be white…
- Adding a DIY rustic custom screen door with soda pop advertising to the door handle.
- Painting or somehow resurfacing the concrete in front of the front door.
Can you see what I see?
What suggestions do you have?
I love the decision on repainting a front door blackish-brown! And can’t wait to implement more changes!
Painting your front door a lovely deep black is a nice move if you love neutrals. All that’s left to do is choose the right paint and tone for the style of your home and desires. I’m hopeful my own front door painting was inspiration for you to add to the value of your home with your own front door painting!
When’s the last time you painted your front door? What would you like it to be?
How to build a DIY screen door HERE
Update… and here is what the front door looks like now with the added DIY screen door!
The all black front door with side trim all the same tone really allows that rustic screen door to pop!
Other front door projects you may enjoy:
When I painted the door Bayberry green
When I painted the door Homestead Blue
Adding a custom screen door built from scratch
How I Buffalo Checked a front door mat
Get the Buffalo Check – large stencil HERE
How I edge flowerbeds like a pro (with video)
Visit many other creative outdoor projects HERE
35 thoughts on “Painting a front door black: with paint tips and video!”
I love the door in black. Looks great!
Thanks! I’m loving the change myself!
I love the new look …dark brownish black. It looked good in green but way more pop with the new look. I always love a painted door. I have a metal and glass screen door so I really don’t know what it would like like if the main door was painted…would it look weird?. I can never visualize.
I LOVE the new color of your door and entry. It picks up the darker colors in your brick. I’d leave the brick as is, and highly recommend Hardy Plank siding. My husband and I redid all our siding 10+ years ago and we can’t say enough good things about it. It is so easy to work with and paint. If you use the recommended shears the job is a breeze. It does take two people though as the planks are heavy and do bend easily over longer expanses. Email me if you have any questions.
Thanks Sharon! I love the door too.
I got a quote for hardy board and it was rather over-the-top… as I don’t feel this is something I can accomplish on my own. Sigh… maybe one day.
Love the new rich looking color. Front doors are a fun way to change things up for not a lot of investment of money and time. Your yard looks so pretty too….and tidy as usual. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, I’m enjoying it as well! I agree… a door makes such a dramatic difference and is very cost effective to change! And I cut out the messy parts of my yard in the picture… they exist. Big time. haha
Love the new color on your door and also your beautiful yard. Happy Spring!
Thanks Nancy, I’m enjoying the change!
Years ago I tried a black door. I don’t know what I did wrong but it was far from awesome like yours!
Thanks Bliss! It isn’t a true black… it was hard to capture in photos what it really looks like. I think the warmth to it really makes a difference other than straight out black perhaps?
Very dramatic. Can’t wait to see those hefty beams in place. Keep going.
Thanks Melissa! Yup… it’s a good start for sure!
Love the black/brown door. A green wreath will really stand out! Black is your neutral. Colors will pop! How about painting the brick off white? Still frame the columns with wood. Love your house. Love the kitchen cabinets!!! Don’t paint those!
Haha! I go back and forth on my kitchen cabs… I actually do like the wooden bottoms but would love shelves on top but I don’t think my kitchen could handle the removed storage. So there it sits…
Interesting thought on paint and wood for the columns! And I had a green wreath on the door but it looked to faux. haha I’d like to make a real one! Maybe once the screen door is also on…
Love the new door color! Black just adds a bit of class to everything. How about painting the bricks white? Either solid white or with the German shmear (sp?) effect? Maybe some rustic wood shutters?
Thanks Lora! The house use to have shutters but I had them removed. LOL I felt like they dated the house. But rustic ones… now there’s a though!
I have considered shmearing or painting the brick, and it may happen, but my heart says WOOD. I guess I like to make things difficult. haha
The fresh new door color is a hit! It adds a more classic look. Of course, your surrounding decor makes it all tie together. Your gardens look so perfect, nice work and I know it is work. Happy Spring. It is still coming for us in Michigan. A cool season this year. Trees are popping and the grass is waking up. I like your plans for wrapping the brick columns; that would really change the look of the front of the house. Enjoy
Thanks Eloise, yes, I’m craving wood accents on the house. The screen door that’s to come will make a big diff too!
Hope your weather warms up so you can enjoy the outdoors more-so! It’s basically saving me right now.
Very nice color. I can see where a satin finish makes a good difference. It’s one of my preferred ones. It goes very well with your brick. Appreciate your attention to details in your explanations.
Thanks Joanne! Yes, the sheen is actually perfect. Just wait till that door is on… working on it this weekend!
Oooh, I love the black door too! You have a very good eye for colors. Now about your concrete driveway – I was just searching online yesterday for ideas on how to stencil old concrete patios. Some of them look fantastic; however, I’m spoiled with the quality of your stencils and the thought of buying huge stencils for outdoor use probably wouldn’t be as sturdy as the stencils your sell. (hint, hint ;)) A lot of the really large stencils out there give a lacy kind of look, not what I had in mind. Maybe you might ponder a large stencil for using on walkways and patios? 😉
I have thought of larger floor scaled stencils Sharon! And I know the quality we offer would be superior for that. I will consider it!
I don’t want to stencil my driveway as I love the exposed look (although it needs a $$$ redo!), but the sidewalk is a different story. It’s in rough shape. I’d rather place wood on it to resemble a farmhouse porch but paint would be a 2nd choice for sure.
Is your door wood or fiberglass? I’ve been wanting to paint mine but it’s fiberglas and I didn’t know if you could paint over it.
Hi Jill! My front door is metal. Most doors can be painted on though so I’d find a good bonding primer for your given surface? Perhaps ask the paint store for their suggestions.
Beautiful. I use Modern Master’s Front Door Paint. It dries really quick. 🙂
I didn’t know they had a front door paint Reenie! That’s really cool!
Thanks for answering my question about house trim color. I love what you’ve done AND your vision for future changes. I CAN see it! 🙂
Cool, I’m not completely crazy then! I’m even possibly visualizing some metal clad siding instead of shake shingles for an industrial (somewhat brave) twist… wish me luck! haha
Donna, your front door is beautiful in your new color! I’m anxious to see how you add a rustic screen door with a soda pop handle…I have one too and have no idea how to use it but it brings back great memories when I was a kid. The corner store, 25 cents would buy you a brown lunch bag full of penny candy!
Thank-you! Still figuring out all the logistics to finishing the screen door up but I will most definitely post how I do it once it’s done!
Love your new door color & how it coordinates with the brick, which has great colors. And your yard…my dream. Please share a post making your screen door as I need to make one for an antique 34″ exterior door on my house.
Thanks Luane! I definitely will once it’s complete!
Just a silly question. I don’t know if the time of day you are taking pictures, but your windows look mirrored. I love it. Are they mirrored?
Hi Jody, the door just has normal glass. That’s just the natural reflection they give off.