Elevate your Home’s Curb Appeal with JC Licht’s DIY Front Door Painting Guide

How often do you think about your front door? As long as it keeps the frigid cold of the Chicagoland winters out and protects your house from the spring rain, you probably don’t give it much thought. But your front door is so much more than a place where packages pile up; it’s a place where memories are made. Your front door is where you welcome your guests, take your kid’s “first day of school” pictures, and accessorize with seasonal decorations like fresh flowers in the springtime or pumpkins in the fall.

If you feel your front door could use a little refresh, there’s a simple DIY project that will make your home the envy of the neighborhood: adding a fresh coat of paint to your exterior door! And the best part is that you can do it all in a single weekend (assuming the Chicagoland weather cooperates).

Whether you’re trying to cover up water stains and chipping or want a bright new color, painting your exterior door will score you major points when it comes to curb appeal, and it can even increase the value of your property.

If this is your first venture into DIY territory, or you’re a little apprehensive about taking on a project that’s so visible, fear not because we’ve put together a guide that’s easy to follow no matter your level of painting experience.

It all starts with quality paint. Benjamin Moore carries the perfect paint that offers both curb appeal boosting beauty and durability against the harsh Midwest weather. It’sBenjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance, and you can pick it up at one of JC Licht’s 48 Chicagoland locations.

But first, check out our guide below for tips on color selection, supplies you’ll need, and a step-by-step process you can follow to get the front door you’ve always wanted.

Choosing A Color

front entry door in benjamin moore aura grand entrance Witching Hour 2120-30

Your front door is the perfect place to bend the rules a little and showcase your personality! Depending on your vision and the style of your home, you can go classic, bold, bright, traditional, or a combination of the styles, when selecting the color that will adorn your exterior door.

If you want to create a statement door, black offers both sophistication and elegance with a whole lot of versatility. Black front doors are so popular right now, and for a good reason. The color makes your front door the focal point of your home and offers the perfect backdrop for your welcome sign and other seasonal decorations. To get that jet black look, we recommend Benjamin Moore Jet Black 2120-10.

If you’re looking to add a trendy pop of color, bright turquoise and teal hues are in right now. Just imagine how inviting your home will feel when the sunshine is bouncing off the teal in the summertime or how it will illuminate your home’s facade amidst the snow in the wintertime. Benjamin Moore’s color of the year Aegean Teal 2136-40 is the perfect shade for your front door. Or consider Cape Blue 1642 or St. John’s Blue CSP-675 (which is exclusively in Benjamin Moore Aura and Grand Entrance paints).

front entry door in benjamin moore aura grand entrance Aegean Teal 2136-40

Pro Tip: Any color can look good for your front door depending on the surrounding colors. Greens will naturally pull from your home’s landscaping. Shades of red offer positive energy according to feng shui principles, and yellows can embody a home’s warm energy.

If you’re not quite ready to take a big risk with your front door, softer neutral tones are inviting and timeless. Choose the same color as your shutters to complement the exterior of your home, or you can provide some contrast by going a shade lighter or a shade darker.

Take a good look at your home’s exterior before choosing a color. Take into account the color of your house, the surrounding landscape, and how you plan to accessorize your front stoop. If you have a statement red wicker chair, you won’t want to have an exterior door color that’s always competing.

If you need help choosing complementary color palettes, consult with one of JC Licht’s expert color consultants to help you find the perfect shade for your exterior door.

What Paint to Use

The last thing you want is to use a paint that will chip or fade when exposed to the elements. Luckily, Benjamin Moore has a finish made explicitly for exterior front doors –Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance.

Grand Entrance provides a beautiful and luxurious finish and is designed to retain its color no matter the conditions Mother Nature decides to throw its way. This paint is easy to apply and comes in thousands of color options, so whatever Benjamin Moore hue you like best will be available in Aura Grand Entrance.

Visit your local JC Licht store to get your Benjamin Moore exterior door paint and all the supplies you’ll need to give your door a DIY makeover.

When to Paint

The weather must be moderate and dry for your DIY door painting project. This may be a challenge with Chicagoland’s fluctuating temps, but you’ll need to have your front door open for several hours, so make sure that it’s not too hot or too cold. Investing in a quality tarp to hang up can provide a temporary “door” that will protect your home from unwanted rodents or birds.

While we live in an area deemed the “Windy City,” you want to make sure that it’s not windy on the day you decide to paint. Dust and debris could blow around and stick to the wet paint if it’s too breezy.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect day, it’s time to get started!

Alt text: front entry door in benjamin moore aura grand entrance

How to Paint

Step 1: Take the door off its hinges (loosen the hinges by wedging a screwdriver in the joints between the hinges and hinge pin and tap lightly with a hammer) and place on two sawhorses outside. Remove all other hardware like the door handle.

Step 2: Ensure a smooth painting surface by wiping the door clean. You may need to sand out some rough areas or repair cracks with paintable filler. Once the door is dry, sand the surface until it’s smooth and wipe off all dust.

Step 3: If there is glass on the door or other areas you don’t want to be painted, use painter’s tape to section off those areas.

Step 4: A coat of primer will smooth out the texture and keep the door from absorbing moisture. Apply a primer such as Benjamin Moore High Hiding Primer using a foam roller or wide paintbrush.

Step 5: After the primer is dry, it’s time to start painting. Here is the order we recommend to paint: bevels, panels, center stile, rails, then outer stiles.

Pro Tip: If you have a different color for the exterior and interior sides of the door, paint the hinged edge the exterior color if the door swings in (or the side with the knob if the door swings out).

Step 6: Once the first coat is dry, apply another coat to smooth out the finish and get a more authentic color. After the second coat is completely dry, you can reinstall the door.

Now, you’re ready to step up your curb appeal with a freshly painted front door! Stop into your local JC Licht store for Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance paint, all the painting supplies, and expertise you’ll need to impress your neighbors with your DIY skills (and your fresh façade). 

Have you decided to give DIY a try? Share your front door with us on social media by tagging @JCLicht!