Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shut the Front Door

Exterior paint colors are my nemesis. My kryptonite if you will.

You need anything selected beyond your front door and I'm in, but if what you need falls on the exterior of your walls, I'm always at a loss.

Plants, colors, etc. I just don't see an exterior vision like I can an interior.

Don't get me wrong. I know what looks good and what looks bad. I just struggle on the process to get mine into the good category.

The front door was in pretty rough shape when we bought the house. For one it was painted red. A red door on a red brick house. Blah. Two, whoever painted it last did it with their eyes shut with no prep.

We changed out the lock set and hardware and by the time we did all of that the door was looking pretty rough.

But I needed to get a paint color selected and kind of in a hurry. I wanted to get the door cleaned up and painted before the weather turned too cool. But picking the front door color was going to be a lot of pressure.

I went through my paint box and picked out the first 12 colors that stood out to me. Knowing that I'd be narrowing it down to 3 by the time I got to the house and held them against the brick.

Before we took them out to the house, I Photoshopped some of the colors onto a photo we had of the front entry. The decision wasn't any easier.

Paul categorized four of them in the "no-way" category. Four of them in the "that could work category" and the last four into a "I could totally go for that category".

One morning before work, while Paul was breaking into our own garage (because we're totally classy like that), I taped some of the paint swatches up on the door thinking I'd immediately get it down to a smaller number.

I knocked one out of the running immediately but was still left with 11 options.

We went to work for the day, and when we came back by at 5:00 to check the mail, we did actually whittle it down. To 6 options. So, not really any closer to a decision. 

We sat on it for the evening, then narrowed it down to 4 options and bought some testers. We knocked out the top purple and the bottom blue. We were left with a deep purple, a blue green, a dark gray/blue/black and a light gray.

All of the colors were a little "safer" than I wanted to go with. I like a really well thought out colored front door. But most houses I see with a great color door have painted lapboard, or painted brick. Our Oklahoma red brick really forced our door color direction.

By the glow of a construction light we painted our swatches on the door. At night. I was so impatient.

Turns out, you can't pick a paint color in the dark. After standing in the cold Oklahoma wind wearing a dress, in my yard, on my sidewalk, in the street and in the neighbors driveway we were no closer to picking a color. 

The next day, we looked it over and decided the sweatshirt my mother-in-law was wearing was going to be the color instead. The next morning we bought a gallon of paint to match her sweatshirt, without testing it first. This is how this family rolls.

We decided on a back up color (a safe color) just in case after we painted the door we hated it, we could cough up another $40 and repaint it. The backup is the top right color, Sherwin Williams' Peppercorn.

After removing the solid wood door (cough, heavy, cough) and trying to strip off the existing paint, we realized we'd be at it for hours. Maybe even multiple days. So we stripped all of the cracked and peeling paint then sanded it down with a very coarse grit sandpaper with our hand sander. Putting the door back on was quite the show. Five adults and one door with a toddler watching very impatiently. 
After it was back up and we determined we were leaving it up for the rest of it's life, Paul took a tub of wood putty and applied it, liberally, all over the door to fill in all of the 1/8" divots and missing paint. After allowing it to dry for 24 hours, he took the sander and smoothed out the entire door so we'd have a flush even surface to paint. We also removed the existing dinky little doorbell in preparation for a legit one that we'll be able to hear past the first 18" of the house. Please excuse the crooked iPhone photos. I seem to be snapping these in the mornings before work so I'm always rushed.
Then it rained. Could there be anything more irritating than rain when you are ready to paint!?
After it dried out, it was time. Cue the color by Glidden called Totally Teal. 
Whoa, right? We are actually fans of Behr's 2-in-1 Ultra Exterior Semi-Gloss paint. We have never had to prime while using it even when painting over scotch tape yellow and deep dining room red so we had the Glidden color matched for the Behr paint. This door however did need a second coat. The grain of the wood on the front door had enough red paint in it to require a solid second coat. And the back of the door which was white took the paint completely differently than the front (almost worse). But, it wasn't difficult to get it on and the coverage went quickly.

We decided to paint both the exterior and interior side of the door the same color. It is one of the colors in the fabric I am using in the dining room that is tying this whole puppy together so we wanted to be able to see it's happiness from inside the house.

The color seems to be out of place right now. But once we get the landscaping taken care of it'll be perfect. Now if only we can decide whether or not to paint all of the exterior doors this color we'll be set.

Still up for the door: Paint the brackets a fresh coat of black with some Rustoleum to look as fresh as the railing, re-attach the weather stripping and get the sticker off of the lead glass window.

1 comment:

  1. This helped me a lot. We have similar red brick. I'm painting our shutters black but would like a color on the front door. I'm so scared it will look bad. But love teal and seeing yours... It looks awesome!