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How I Tackled My Door Painting Project WITHOUT Pulling My Hair Out! (And Minimal Swearing!)

Hi friends!  Welcome to this edition of Jill vs Life.  The life that I am going to talk about battling today was painting my front door.  I seems so trivial I know, but it’s not a tiny project!  Here is a picture of my front door before.


Now, I realize it may not look horrific to some of you but the color has bothered me since the day we moved into this house 2&1/2 years ago.  I started seeing it as mauve and by yesterday morning it was obviously flaming neon pink…you see it right?

I had started trying to decide on a color to paint this a few months ago.  Typically, I am a bright color person, so I figured I needed a bright color door.  The problem was nothing seemed quite right.  I had settled on a “bright navy”  a few weeks ago, but as time went on, it still didn’t seem right.  Finally last week sometime I had a light bulb go off in the form of BLACK!  That was it.  I could picture it in my head.  The thought of black with my brick and siding colors just made me feel peaceful and happy.  Perfect!

So I took to Pinterest to find the best DIY door painting tutorial I could find and I found about 5 that I smooshed their techniques together and came up with my own.

I knew I did not want to mess with the time or effort it was going to take to remove the door from it’s hinges, find a temporary door, saw horses…blah blah blah. You get the picture.  I’m lazy.  So I finally just decided to go for it.  I started in the morning, midday (all tutorials said start in the morning but life happened..).

Paint choice:  my friendly Lowe’s paint staff suggested Valspas Duramax paint and it did not disappoint.  I went with a color called Lincoln Cottage Black.  I always judge a book by it’s cover, it sounded nice and Elli agreed so we went with it!  In addition to paint, I picked up a new brush (because I can never remember what I have at home) and a “Door and Cabinet Roller Set

I came home, took our Dewalt palm sander with some 180 grit paper and gave the door a once over to rough things up a bit.  Then took a wet microfiber rag and cleaned every nook and cranny of the front of the door.  Next I taped the top and side edges with some green frog painting tape.  Then covered the deadbolt, handle and hinges with more tape.

I wasn’t aware until researching it that you are supposed to paint the inside (where the hinges are) of the door if your door opens away from you (most front doors right?) and the outside edge (where the latch is) if the door opens toward you.  The previous painters evidently didn’t read that blog because it was still white, but I obliged and started there.

Now we were ready!  I threw down my drop cloth, poured the paint and put my brush to the canvas.  I started with the edge (hinges) and then from there I followed this diagram from  She was one of my very helpful tutorials in figuring out my stuff.

I used a brush on the beveled areas (1) and to cutdoor-diagram in around the hardware (you know this lazy girl was not about to remove that shizz), then I used a roller on the rest.  Ended up being surprisingly simple-LOVE THAT!

Once it was all complete, I left the door open to let it dry as long as possible.  Our dry air here in Colorado this week was a benefit for that for sure.  It was dry to the touch in about 10 minutes but I left cracked open until we went to bed (Lexi escaped once but it wouldn’t be my crazy chaos life if she didn’t!)

When we went to bed, just to be on the safe side.  I lined the door jam with wax paper to prevent any sticking as it continued to dry overnight.  Checked it this morning and it looked as pristine as it did last night.


So that is about it…OHHH you want an after picture!!  Well, who am I to keep you from that!  I am completely and utterly thrilled with how it turned out and now I have 3/4 of a gallon of Lincoln Black Cottage to paint ALL the things with!  img_2277

If I left any details out or you have questions or suggestions for my next project, comment below or email me at  Thanks for playing and cheers until our next project!