Tuesday, July 23, 2013

my house is smiling

...and I am too.

It was a running joke while we were house hunting that (probably) 9 of the 11 houses we looked at had red doors.  So it is not strange that the house we picked had a red door.

Now don't get me wrong in the next little bit.  I am not a red door hater.  Some houses look great with them; some get the shade of red right.  But my house did not.  It was a weird orange tinted red and it was painted badly.  You could see all of the brush strokes going in all the wrong directions.

It had to go.  And of course it only took me thinking it, and John and Sherry at YoungHouseLove doing it at the same time, to push me over the edge.  You probably saw their "The Door Is The Smile Of The House" post not too long ago (thus the name of this post).  Of course their choice of color influenced mine as well, though I really did give green a chance.

One last look at the red door.

It took a couple days to finally decide on a paint color.  We had to narrow it down.

"holy paint samples batman" indeed (-Julia)
After a few hours of having them hanging there, it dawned on me that it is a bad idea to look at them all on top of the color I am trying to get rid of.  So I downsized some of the darker ones and put them on the trim next to the brick, since that is what they need to look good next to.

The list got even shorter once Kyle got home.  He took one look and said "blue".  I agreed.  I tried so hard to give green a chance, but I was just really in love with the blues.

The list got shorter and shorter over the next 24 hours as I realized some of them were just too "beachy" or greyish next to the ashy red brick.  I wanted something that would pop.  Something that would say "there are definitely new owners in this house".  I checked our street.  Yup... all white or red doors.

I wanted something brighter and Kyle wanted something darker, but I did put up both of our favorites in the final list.

Top to bottom:
Valspar "Smokey Blue", "Betsy Ross House Blue", "Aqua Dance", "trade secret", "ocean front".

I ended up making the final decision.  Basically 5 minutes before we left for church, I looked at them one last time, ruled out Smokey, Aqua, or Ocean because they were a little darker and dull than I really wanted, and threw out Trade because it was pretty ashy with the brick.  So we went to church, then stopped by Lowes and bought a quart of "Betsy Ross House Blue".  The hardware on the outside had been spray painted and needed a little better coating, so I picked up some more of that, and decided I would also spray the ugly brass inside the door the same Rubbed Oil Bronze.

The Duramax cost a little more than I had planned on ($18 vs $14... no biggie), but the Lowe's paint man highly recommended this thickest version of Valspar's paint+primer since I was painting on top of a red door.  It did NOT disappoint.  This stuff was fantastic.

So most of my Friday, some spray paint mishaps, 2 coats of paint, and half a greek pizza later, I had a smiling blue door.  And I am in love.

So for less than $30, I have a new door!  For my first completely solo project, I think this has turned out really well.  Finally I have accomplished a big (to me) DIY project... I can't wait for the next one!

Tomorrow I will give more details on how I changed my red door to blue.

Now... can someone tell me how to fix this little issue?  Those spindles don't move...


  1. I love the after! Your house looks a thousand times more modern and youthful. It's crazy about those spindles... I wonder how the previous painter got them covered.

    I've been wanting to paint our front door (it's currently black) for about a year now, but since we don't have a screen door I'm not sure how to go about it without inviting in a million bugs during the day-long process.

    1. I would say wait until the fall so you don't get heat stroke and tape up some drop cloths or plastic around your doorway so you can leave it open without the bugs.

  2. I love it!!! Now I want to paint mine too!! I have a red brick house and black door any suggestions???

  3. With the spindles, it might be best to just paint them blue on both sides with a little craft foam brush.

  4. Red doors look lively, but blue doors are relaxing! About the spindles, you just have to be patient and paint them one by one. Or if you want, you can consider changing them to glass instead.

  5. LOVE this color. you can get to the spindles by removing the decades of paint on the inner frame (you can see the fame which goes all the way around the glass on the indoor's side of the door) then, once the paint is gone you just take a small pry bar and gently, very gently, pry the fame off and remove the glass. It might be best to have a helping hand to 'catch' the glass so it doesn't fall once the frame is gone. Then, just paint the spindles and put it all back. If you like, you can use some wood glue to seal the frame back on but in most cases it's just so snug that it never needs it (at least that's how they made them in older homes and with wood doors, not sure about metal doors or new makes). Hope that helps. :)


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