I recently took it upon myself to give our front door a new lease of life with a lick of paint. Since we moved into our house just over a year ago now, the door has been a shade of pale mushroom – not exactly an offensive colour, but just lacking in a bit of personality. So, I thought it was about time we added our stamp to the front of the house. Who doesn’t love a dose of kerb appeal as they approach their house from the street?!
I had always envisaged painting the front door a gorgeous, deep navy (i.e. something like this), however we are trying to stick to a budget whilst we go about updating and redecorating the house, so head ruled over heart and I resorted to using up a tin of another (still gorgeous) Farrow & Ball colour I had leftover from a little upcycling project I completed last year. The shade is called Stiffkey Blue, a pretty well known paint colour, thanks to the trend for ‘going dark’ in our interiors that’s all over Pinterest these days.
In typical Farrow & Ball fashion, Stiffkey Blue is described as being ‘naturally dramatic’ and is named after a north Norfolk beach where the mud is this particular shade of blue. Our house was built in the mid ’30s and the front door is original to it, so a lick of paint in what I would term a quite traditional, yet contemporary, shade, would be just what it needed to lift it a little into the present day. In addition, the face of our house is covered in a trailing ivy which turns a beautiful shade of russet red in late summer through to Autumn and I reckoned this shade of blue would look stunning against it – time will tell!
I thought I would guide you briefly through the steps I took to paint the door, because a good old DIY how-to is always helpful, especially at this time of year, when many of us are turning our attention to Spring jobs outdoors.
I decided on a bit of a whim, if I’m to be truly honest, to repaint our front door. (My husband has resorted, over the years, to just letting me get on with it, as it’s likely I’ll do things anyway, once I get an idea in my head… is it just me?! Surely I’m not alone in this)!
Anyway, I checked the weather forecast (I cannot stress enough the importance of this point when planning any outdoor painting job in this country!) and with two mild, slightly cloudy, but dry, days in store, I got started. The key for me was that it remained cloudy, as our front door gets the full south sun during the day and I didn’t want the freshly coated paint blistering in the direct sunlight (another important point to take note of if this applies to you).
Here is a shot of the door before…
The first step I took was to tape off the door furniture – some DIY pros would advise that you completely remove brassware before starting, but I’m not a DIY pro. It’s entirely up to you, but not really necessary in my humble opinion.
I gave the door a very light sanding using fine grade sandpaper, just enough until there was no shininess left on the previous gloss finish. On any parts where the paint was cracked or peeling, I went over it with a coarser sandpaper to remove any flaky bits of old paint. At this stage, I then applied a quick coat of primer all over the door, but especially on the flaky areas I’d had to sand right back to bare wood. I really like this product, as it’s quick drying, water based and can be painted onto almost any surface with very little or no sanding beforehand. I just decided to prep the whole door with primer to ensure an extra durable finish.
I realised at this point that I’d better mask off the glass panes on the door, otherwise it would look a mess once I approached it with the blue paint! So I applied masking tape along all the inside edges, which was a painstakingly boring process, but it paid off in the end!
The door took two coats of paint to complete it with around 16 hours of drying time in between (please note that I used a colour-matched paint by Johnstone’s which was an oil based gloss and although potentially messier and with a longer drying time than water based eggshells, in my opinion it has a longer lasting, more durable finish). It has a lovely, almost matt, eggshell finish, which I think is so much more modern in appearance than the traditional high shine gloss paints.
Between each coat, I left the door ajar for as long as I could so that it wouldn’t stick to the frame upon closing at night. I discovered a great trick to prevent sticking before gloss paint is completely dry – once the surface is touch dry, with only minimal tackiness, pop a few strips of greaseproof baking paper within the door edge before closing. The waxy surface of the paper will prevent it from sticking to the slightly tacky painted surface. And it worked!!
Here is the door with its fresh lick of paint on… I do think if the surrounding wall was painted white it would really set it off. Just need to figure out how to paint around the vines!!
I’m looking forward to seeing how the reddish leaves of the creeper will look against the Stiffkey Blue…
Just need to use a scalpel blade to scrape off any of the mushroom colour that’s still peeping through along some of the edges!
I do love how the design on the leadlights to either side of the door are much more visible now.
So there you have it. A nice refresh for Spring which I completed in 36 hours. A perfect job for a dry weekend and definitely not one to shy away from or pay a handy man to do – easy peasy!!
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