Sometimes the only thing you need to do to improve the curb appeal of your home is to repaint the front door.  This task doesn’t have to be complicated but it does have to be precise. To just paint the door while it is still hung could cause you to paint over the hinges or door frame leave the finished product looking sloppy or causing you to spend more time on clean up.

Tools and Materials

  • sanding block
  • painter’s tape
  • paintbrush
  • paint roller
  • combination paint and primer
  • rags and drop cloths
  • paint bucket
  • paint stir stick

Remove Hardware

Take the hardware — knobs, locks, knockers, etc. — off the door. If you’re not replacing those items, take the opportunity to give them a fresh polishing while the paint dries.

Cover Built-In Hardware

For hardware that can’t be removed — like a peephole — use painter’s tape to protect it from the paint.

Prep Surface for Paint

A fresh coat of paint will adhere better if the finish on the existing coat is knocked down a bit. Use a sanding block with fine-grit sandpaper to ready the surface for the new paint.

Remove Dust

Clean the door thoroughly with a rag to make sure there is no dust remaining on the surface.


Lay down a drop cloth to protect the ground and floor. Paint the door with an exterior-grade paint-and-primer-in-one. Leave the door slightly open as you paint to make sure you paint all the edges. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dry time. You may have to apply two coats to get full coverage. Start in the recessed areas with a brush then follow up with a roller on the flat areas.

Reattach Hardware

Replace the hardware. You may want to upgrade the knob, lock, kick plates, etc. to go with your vivid new door color.

Consider Painting Trim Too

With a new door color, you may find you need to paint the surrounding trim as well.