Tips for Painting Your Front Door

Painting your front door is a great way to improve the curb appeal of your home. As we head into Spring (or Fall, for those of you in the southern hemisphere), now is the perfect time to get started. With no priming needed and a beautiful color selection, Jolie Paint provides an easy solution for giving your door that much needed refresh. Read on for some of our best front door makeover tips.

Photo via Jolie Retailer Stylish Patina | Door in Hibiscus

When to Paint

In general, the best time to paint outdoors is during the Spring and Fall when temperatures are mild. You want to avoid painting outdoors in weather below about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as cold temperatures can affect paint's adhesion. In the Summer, painting in hot, direct sunlight can also cause paint to crack if the water evaporates from it too quickly.

Spring and Fall are also good times to paint because you are probably doing yard work anyway. Clearing out dead foliage from winter and planting new flowers adds immediate curb appeal. You will want to dress the front of your home, and a freshly painted front door can do just that!

PRO TIP: In addition to painting your front door, you can also paint your stairs or walkway. Jolie Paint loves concrete and absorbs into its porous surface.

Surface Prep

Always begin by cleaning your front door really well to remove any dirt and algae that may have built up over time. You can use biodegradable cleaners, like Simple Green, or some good old fashion bleach and water with a scrub brush. You will want to make sure that the surface is rinsed thoroughly with water and dried well before painting.

You may choose to remove your door or hardware before painting; however, this step is optional. If you do not remove your hardware, we recommend taping it off with painters tape for easy clean-up.

Unlike many traditional paints, Jolie Paint can be applied over existing oil-based or latex paints without priming. While sanding isn't usually necessary, it can be helpful to give the surface a light sand with 220 grit sandpaper (or the Jolie Sanding Sponge in black) to remove any loose paint or debris and create surface tension, which will help Jolie Paint to adhere better. You do not have to sand to remove the underlying material.

Refer to Project Prep: Best Practices for a Successful Paint Project for additional tips on prepping for your project.


Most doors will require 2-3 coats of Jolie Paint. Apply your paint with a brush, roller or sprayer, taking special care to catch any drips or pooling in recessed areas. We recommend painting with the grain to avoid unwanted brushstrokes.

After painting your door, you may want to apply a topcoat for added protection. You should never use Jolie Finishing Wax outside because the heat can soften the wax or even melt it. Instead, we recommend Jolie Varnish or leaving your door unsealed.

Although Jolie Varnish is water-resistant, it is not water-proof, so it's best for doors in covered areas. It's available in two sheen levels. Use Low-Luster for a subtle matte finish, or Gloss for more of a statement look.

If you are painting outdoors and do not have the benefit of a covered space, we recommend using no topcoat and instead leaving your door unsealed. When moisture gets trapped beneath a topcoat, it can push the finish from the surface cause it to peel. Leaving your paint unsealed will allow moisture to move through the paint, and your door will weather better over time. Be sure to check the weather before beginning your project and allow for Jolie Paint to cure at least 5 days exposing it to rain so that it can be more hardwearing. It will take about 3 weeks for Jolie Paint to fully cure and harden.

Photo via Jolie Retailer Lisa Wilkin Interiors | Door in Emperor's Yellow

Our Favorite Front Door Colors

Since your front door is one of the first impressions your guests or neighbors will have of your home, it's important to select a color that complements the style of your house. Try to consider both the architectural style of your home as well as your interiors, and choose a color that complements both.

Photo via Sweet Little House of Mine | Door in Slate

Blue doors can feel very inviting and welcoming to guest. Darker and mid-tone blues feel more traditional, where lighter hues can lean more coastal. A Realtor once told me that they sell the most homes with blue doors. I am inclined to think that is because more people paint their doors blue!  

For red brick or khaki-colored homes, choose a deep blue like Classic Navy or Gentlemen’s Blue. Pair it with Satin Brass hardware for a gorgeous pop and elevated look. For a cottage or provincial feel, choose Bliss or French Blue. These colors look lovely against a garden of full of colorful blooms

For an elegant French style, choose French Grey or Slate. These look best when used against ivory, beige, cream, and ecru colors.

Red doors pair perfectly with white or light blue homes (especially siding) or red brick. You can go bright with Rouge or deeper with Terra Rosa. A red front door was a sign of welcome in early American tradition and is still popular today in many areas.

Green front doors look fantastic against tan, beige, and brown homes - think muted colors. My favorite go-to greens for a front door is Eucalyptus, Sage and Legacy.

If you want a more neutral look, black is always a great option. A black front door is best used against a white or light-colored home. The contrast that the black on white provides is striking and bold, yet elegant. If this is the look you are going for, use Jolie Paint in Noir.

Door in Noir

Unlike the more classic colors above, bold pops of color can make a statement and feel very modern. Brighter hues work well on both contemporary architecture or in as an unexpected element for more traditional homes. Make a statement with pinks, yellows, oranges, and bright blues.

Photo via Her Kitchen Garden | Door in Moroccan Clay

Are you working on a front door update of your own? Share photos of your progress with us by tagging #JolieByMe on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured on our site and social channels.

Get Your Materials

Get started on your front door transformation using the Jolie products below. For our full collection, shop here.

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