Before And After: My Front Door

One of the things I've wanted for a really, really, really long time is a red front door. Pretend each of those "reallys" is a decade and you get the idea—alright, maybe not a decade, maybe five years. Door years are like dog years, perhaps: each human year you want yours to be a different color feels like five times as many when it isn't. 

But guess what? The thing about a red front door is that it's not actually all that hard to achieve. You just kind of buy some red paint and go to town. 

Here's my front door before I did exactly that. It's so sad. So blue. So embarrassed about its rusty lame gold hardware. That rusty lame gold hardware is like a mom that drops you off at the mall in her minivan then blows you a kiss in front of all your friends, just when you're walking into Hot Topic to spend all your babysitting money on a Stussy hoodie. 

So I went to Lowe's, spent about twenty minutes in front of the red paint samples before picking one at random, then came home and slapped some primer on the door. Twelve hours after that, I slapped the red paint on top of it. 

I should mention, obviously, that we took the rusty hardware off first, not only because it's a lot easier to paint when you're not having to paint around something, but also because we bought some rather smart silver replacements for it. Behold, our new door handle! So much chunkier. 

We replaced the porch light too, which I feel sure had been there since the Eisenhower administration, and which was poised to electrocute us at—quite literally—the flick of a switch. You can't really see it from that photo above, but the new porch light has a seed glass bulb so beautiful that it makes me want to ask it out for dinner. (Yep, I love lamp. Come on. Anyone?) 

Of course, it helped immensely that we also had our house painted right after this (though not, I am sad to report, in Dorian Gray), which meant the red front door looked even nicer against the pale gray walls and charcoal floor. We even got new house numbers, just for kicks. That's the sort of thing you do when you're old and married, I'm afraid. 

So that's the makeover story of my red front door, which feels a lot more....front door-ish now. Can we all take a second and collectively acknowledge the restraint I showed in not titling this post "Shut The Front Door," by the way? Because I toyed with it, trust me. 

Feb 23, 2012

A) You deserve to name this post that! It's frickin hilarious!! B) I love your new red door. It's so fabu. Exhibit of "it's the little things in life."

Feb 23, 2012

I love your blog already, but when you go and quote Anchorman, well, now I'm fated to read every post, even if you give it the title "Shut The Front Door."

Feb 23, 2012

Love it.. I miss my red front door - sigh. I also love your entry carpet (maybe because its the same one thats sitting in my front door!) we got good taste girl!

Feb 23, 2012

Did you remove the front door before painting? I want to paint mine this Spring but am terrified that if I take it down or take off the handle, I won't be able to put it back together again.

Feb 23, 2012

Anchorman for the win! And also, I have wanted a red front door in forever too, but until we move out of our 5th floor apartment, I am doomed to live with a manky brown door instead.

Feb 23, 2012

"Brick, where did you get a hand grenade??"

Feb 23, 2012

Looks so nice! My door is brown and boring and I have to ask the HOA before I paint it. Boo.

Feb 23, 2012

Your red door is beautiful! It wouldn't do for me entire house is a similar shade of red and I just LOVE it! Black door, shutters and shingles with white trim...don't ever want to change it...unless...a bright warm yellow door. The chairs I have on the white verandah are that colour and they look fabulous, if I do say so myself!

Feb 23, 2012

I didn't know it was possible to envy someone's front door, but I do. So jealous!

Feb 23, 2012

I have that IKEA doormat too! :)

Feb 23, 2012

I am so jealous of your pretty front door! Sadly, we are subject to a crazy strict HOA, and therefore, stuck with a boring beige door, the lame gold hardware and light fixtures, and no chance of ever having such cool house numbers. I am just waiting for the day when I have free rein over my whole house, and not just the interior. Someday...

Feb 23, 2012

Last year I painted my red door (and shutters) purple. I'm not totally sold on it though. The purple isn't as dark as I had hoped. I also think what I really wanted was my whole house painted. The new house numbers are what turned out best. (house number twins! I just made that a thing)

So here's hoping sometime in the next two years I can get the whole exterior of my house painted. And then shock my neighbors with something crazy. Like a turquoise door. With matching shutters of course.

Feb 23, 2012

That looks amazing! Seriously, I can't get over what a difference it makes. Also, I adore the two plants flanking the door...what kind are they?

Feb 23, 2012

I'm desperate for a turquoise door (a flat nearby has one, and I stop to look at it every time I go past!), but now you've got me thinking about red. Ooh, I can't wait to get out of rented accommodation.

Anna Louisa
Feb 23, 2012

I love lamp!! And I love door :). I live in an apartment building with an ugly black door, but I'm thinking about painting the inside some fun surprising color...and the apartment building will never know :)

Feb 23, 2012

Oh, it's lovely! Our house came with a red front door and you know what I did?
I painted over it.
In purple.
But not PURPLE, more plum-ish.

But it's gorgeous.

Feb 23, 2012

Isn't it amazing how happy a new front door can make you? I painted ours orange when we bought our house, and I love it sooo much! I love your red, too!

Feb 23, 2012

Boy that escalated quickly! Brick killed a guy!
Oh, also your red door looks awesome! And of course now I really want to paint my front door.

Feb 23, 2012

Totalllllly unrelated, but didn't you say you were a little Cranberries obsessed?


Feb 23, 2012

Oh, and my dragging out of the "l" in "totally" makes absolutely no sense.

Feb 23, 2012

Wait, WHY did you not title it "Shut the Front Door"? I laughed out loud (though you must bear in mind that my humor is only humorous 37% of the time, so I wouldn't run to the nearest computer without passing go and retitle this in the name of a laughing audience. If I were you, I mean.)

Feb 23, 2012

LOVE the red. My house is a medium tan with a deep red door. Only downside of the bright color is if it weathers badly... mine, fortunately, faces south and gets NO direct sunlight, so it's held up well for eight years. I wish the same for you!

xmas uncle
Feb 23, 2012

why is there christmas wreathe (?) on your door?

Feb 24, 2012

I wanted a red front door for years, but my girlfriend is a bit OCD and things need to be "balanced" and she couldn't see the red door balancing with the black shutters, so I didn't push. Then we put the house on the market last spring and I insisted for curb appeal. It looked great and of course she said, "We should have done this years ago!" (Cue evil eye!) I loved it and got to live with it a few months, but not nearly long enough!

Feb 24, 2012

You've perfectly captured The Way To Make Everything Seem Better By Fixing Up Smaller Things. I can't afford to renovate my bathroom, and so I'm replacing faucets, putting down a DIY floor, and making removable covers for my shelving. Voila - "new" bathroom!

Love your red door.

janice baer
Feb 24, 2012

it looks awesome!! love the #3 also- where did that come from?

Diana B.
Feb 24, 2012

Looks lovely! SOON I will have a new front door and I have been planning to make it a very deep red.

Where did you get the lamps that are on your bedside tables? I've coveted them forever, but haven't a clue how to start searching for them except to slog through some huge lamp website. Google does not turn up the desired results. Help!

Roxanna (miguelina)
Feb 24, 2012

I have red doors as well. They make me smile. (Ours are in Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore. I spent weeks obsessing over choosing a color :)

Nothing But Bonfires
Feb 24, 2012

Xmas Uncle -- it was an older picture from earlier this year, when I still had the wreath on the door.

Janice Baer -- the numbers are just from Home Depot!

Feb 24, 2012

Love it! I'm sure my lovely red front door was part of the reason I bought my house. And the name of the street helped too. I'm pretty shallow.

Feb 24, 2012

Have been thinking of painting our front door red but then thanks to Pinterest have discovered the perfect turquoise door.
Hmmm ... decisions, decisions!

Feb 25, 2012

Red is the world's best color. Seriously.

Feb 25, 2012

Here are some interpretations of what a red door means:

Savvy in San Francisco
Feb 27, 2012

I love your red door! It looks so fabulous! So much better!

Chrissy (The New Me)
Feb 28, 2012

I love this! Your door looks a million times better. I, too, have pined for a red door for years (though now I am also considering yellow, due to Young House Love) but as we're renting, a beautiful door will have to wait. For now, I will live vicariously through you!

ipad slots
Feb 28, 2012


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Feb 28, 2012

OK, this comment has nothing to do with your post. In fact I haven't even read the above post (I will do that next), because I was so eager to tell you that tonight I bought a tube of Cover Girl Lip Slicks in Daring and it's awesome! I have been deeply skeptical of the whole "it will work on anyone!" thing, because usually it means "it will work on anyone who's skin is the same general tone as mine and not more than two or three shades lighter or darker."

Imagine my delight that I can now report that Daring looks quite good on darker skin as well. I'd describe mine as sort of medium to medium dark... maybe J-Lo colored, or Beyonce-ish. I was intrigued by how dark the color looked in the tube, and when I put it on it really was kind of a perfect "your lips but better" color. So thank you Holly for the recommendation! Now I'm going to go buy it in bulk to stave off any fear of it being discontinued.

Feb 28, 2012

Love it! I've been back & forth between red & yellow for our front door for awhile now (only one really's worth, maybe?). And I completely agree with this: "We even got new house numbers, just for kicks. That's the sort of thing you do when you're old and married, I'm afraid." :)

Feb 29, 2012

What is the name of the color? Our red front door needs a little pick-me-up.

Mar 07, 2012

Wow. This is kind of creepy. We both have the exact same door handles and house numbers.

Terry Arnold
Apr 04, 2013

Whoa, what a huge difference! The funny thing is, red doors are usually paired with gold fixtures to make them stand out, while blue doors are given silver or chrome fixtures. You’ve done the opposite, and it still looks just as good! It just goes to show that you can’t always let tradition dictate taste, eh? Great job!

May 19, 2016

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