How To Paint A Door The Easy Way!

As part of our curb appeal makeover, we removed the solid glass storm door and replaced it with an actual front door that allowed us a little more privacy. The door didn’t come in a lot of color options, so we opted for a plain grey color that was pretty similar to the color of our house. But it turned out it was too similar and boring. So I decided to add a fun pop of color to the front of our house by painting the front door! Today I’m going to share how to paint a door the easy way; you don’t need to take it off the hinges, remove the hardware, or anything!

how to paint a door the easy way

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I did a bunch of research into the best way to paint a front door, and the best paint to use, and I decided to use Modern Masters’ Front Door Paint. It comes in a bunch of GORGEOUS colors, is quick-drying so you can paint the door in the morning and close it by the afternoon, and has Never-Fade technology to ensure that the color will always be nice and vibrant! I reached out to Modern Masters and was super excited when they offered to send me a quart of their Front Door Paint in Serene, which is a really nice, subtle navy blue. (By the way, they aren’t paying me for this post or anything like that; I just really loved this paint and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get the door painted!)

If you want to add a pop of color to the front of your house, try painting your front door! It’s way easier than you’d think, and Modern Masters Front Door Paint comes in 25 beautiful colors, so you can be sure to find the exact color that fits your personality (everything from standard white, grey, browns, and black to fun and bright reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and purples!)

How To Paint A Door The Easy Way

  • 1-2 hours (time spent doing stuff)
  • 3-4 hours (time spent waiting around)
  • 4-6 hours (total project time)

Tools For Painting A Door


You can paint right out of the jar if you wish, but I love these little HANDy paint pails. They have a flexible strap so you can slide your hand in and hold it with only one hand, and there is also a strong magnet on the inside to hold your brush so you don’t need to set it down somewhere. They also make disposable liners that fit inside the cup, which I love, because cleaning up after a paint job is the worst; way better when you can just toss the liner!

Here’s what the front of our house looked like before we painted the door. We had already Modern Masters’ Front Door Paint, installed new landscaping, and had the entryway closed off and insulated with new windows and a new door as part of our curb appeal makeover. But after living with it for a while, the door color was too similar to the house color, so we decided to paint it.

how to paint a door the easy way


The first thing you need to do is figure out when you’re going to paint the door. The door will need to be left open while you’re painting and while it’s drying, so pick a day that isn’t too hot or cold, or too windy. You’ll want to do two coats, and it will take a few hours between each coat for the paint to dry, so it’s best to start this project first thing in the morning. You also want to check the weather and ensure there’s no rain in the forecast for the next day or two (or if it will rain, make sure your door is protected by an awning or something so your paint job doesn’t get wet).

My mom was out here for a week, and the weather was super nice, so we decided to paint the door while she was here. Plus she likes painting, so it was nice to have help!

You also need to know what type of paint is already on your door. If it’s latex, you can paint right over it. If it’s oil-based, or if the door is brand new and unpainted, you’ll need to do a coat of primer first so the paint has something to stick to. The best way to tell what kind of paint is on your front door is to dip a q-tip in rubbing alcohol, and rub it back and forth over a painted area of your door. If any paint comes off, it’s latex paint and you can just put your new color right on top of the original color. Just wash the door with a rag and clean water to remove any dust before you start painting. If no paint comes off, it’s oil-based paint, and you need to do a coat of oil-based primer first.

In order to paint your door without taking it off the hinges or removing the hardware, you need to cover those metal pieces up to protect them from the paint. The best way to do this is with aluminum foil and painters tape. Cover larger pieces, like door handles, with aluminum foil, then use a piece of painter’s tape right around the edge where the hardware meets the door to secure the foil and give you a crisp, clean line. Use painter’s tape to cover any other areas like hinges, deadbolts, etc. You can also use painter’s tape to tape off any windows if your door isn’t solid.

Once everything is taped off, you’re ready to paint!

Just one quick note: latex paint dries pretty fast, so it’s best to paint the sections of your door in a very specific order so that you don’t end up with brush strokes in weird places. And make sure that you clean up any drips or blobs of paint as you go so that they don’t dry on your door!

1. Paint the edges first

The edges of your door should be painted first so they have the longest time to dry. If you are only painting the outside of your door, you only want to paint the edge that will be visible when the door is open. Leave the other edge unpainted so it matches the inside of the door. If your door swings inward, paint the hinge edge; if your door swings outward, paint the edge with the latch. If you are painting both the inside and outside of your front door, paint both edges.

2. Paint the reveals

If your door has raised or sunken panels, you’ll want to paint the reveals next (the little molded edges around all of the panels).

how to paint a door the easy way

3. Paint the panels

Once the reveals have been painted, paint the panels themselves using up and down brush strokes.

how to paint your front door

4. Paint any decorative areas

We have a little shelf on the front of our door, so we painted that next after the panels. If you have any decorative areas of your door besides panels, paint them now.

5. Paint the rails/cross pieces

Next, paint the horizontal cross pieces. Start at the top of the door and paint from left to right, then continue on down the door until you’re painting the very bottom part of the door. There is usually weatherstripping at the bottom of the door, so be careful not to paint the rubber.

6. Paint the stiles/vertical pieces

Paint all of the vertical pieces last, starting with any in the middle of the door and doing the very left and right sides of the door last. Try to do the entire vertical piece in one long brush stroke if you can, so that the brush marks are straight and uninterrupted. Your vertical brush strokes should cover the ends of all of the horizontal brush strokes you just painted in the last step, so that you end up with nice, clean lines.

And you’re done with the first coat! Wait about an hour, then repeat the process for the second coat. Wait about 2-3 hours after the second coat to allow it to fully dry, then you can remove all of the tape and close the door, and you’re done!

paint your front door the easy way

Quick note: We painted a dark blue over a light grey, so two coats was definitely enough coverage. But if you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color, you may want to do three coats for full coverage. But we did two coats on both the inside and the outside of the door, and we still had about ⅓ of the jar of paint leftover, so if you use Modern Masters Front Door Paint, you will definitely have enough paint with just one quart!

how to paint a door the easy way

Much better now, right?!

how to paint your front door

Want to share this project with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons on the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Lyn says

    5 years ago

    Love this post! I had not heard of this fast trying paint product & am thrilled to find it. Painting an exterior door in one day will be a real blessing. Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. Ashley Tavarez says

    5 years ago

    Can you test your door with nail polish remover instead of rubbing alcohol?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      It depends if it’s an acetone-based remover or not. The ones with acetone are strong enough to test with, but the more “natural” ones that are gentler on your skin don’t have enough strength.

  3. Vanessa says

    5 years ago

    Amazing tutorial! My front door came out great!

  4. Jenn says

    5 years ago

    How do you know what color will look good. That’s my biggest issue. The color apps don’t really do it justice.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      Yeah, that’s hard to figure out! I usually start using the color apps to get a good idea, and then I buy sample sizes of a couple that I like and paint swatches to figure out which one I like best.

  5. Beverly Hoyng says

    5 years ago

    Hi, love the door and so appreciate your instructions! If painting trim around door and trim is light gray, door similar blue, is trim painted first?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      I always start with the trim because you need to tape off the door itself while painting the trim so you don’t get trim paint on the door. But after the trim has been painted, you can just open the door and paint it while it’s still on the hinges and the only pieces you need to tape are the hinges and other hardware. That way the trim paint can be drying while you paint the door.

  6. Crystal says

    5 years ago

    Stumbled upon your post through pinterest. Love the redo of the door, we are buying a house and I want a blue door.
    May I ask if you know the other paint colors used for the main plus trim of the house. Its exactly what I’m looking for and I’d hate to just try my luck when your’s looks perfect

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      The outside of the house is vinyl siding, so it just came in that color and I’m not 100% sure what it is, sorry! And the trim is just “white” but I don’t know exactly which white color it is.

  7. Rose says

    5 years ago

    Did you also paint the steps. They look brighter.

  8. Donna says

    5 years ago

    i just tried the link to the paint and it looks like it is no longer available. Love your door, great colour choice! I just painted mine a dark orange and it looks great! thanks for the tutorial.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      Oops sorry, I had it linked to a broken product page! But I just fixed it now, the link should be working if you try it again. 🙂

  9. Jill says

    5 years ago

    I love the colour of your door. Would you share the name of it?
    Thank you

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      It is Front Door Paint from Modern Masters and the color is called “Serene”.

  10. Micki Broadus says

    5 years ago

    Hi Jessie,
    I love your front door. I’m building a new house
    And would love this door. I’ve looked but have not found this one. Is it ok to ask where you purchased it?

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