June 17, 2016

Priming and Painting the Front Door

Happy Friday folks!

I'm back today with Part II of our door painting saga..priming and painting the front door, aka, the fun part!

To see how we prepped and stripped the front door, head here.

how to prime and paint the front door sherwin williams cay

Let's dive right in!

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • Metal Primer or any exterior paint primer
  • 2 in angled brush
  • mini roller in polyester
  • 1 qt exterior paint
Here's a reminder of where we left off:

I made sure the door was smooth and free of any residual citristrip or dust from the sanding by wiping it down with a damp rag. At this point I couldn't wait to get that primer on the door! 

The only problem...I still had major color confusion. If you've been following along with me you know I've debated between several front door colors all the way from blue to blue-green to pink. I had finally decided on Sherwin Williams "Raindrop". I went to my local store and picked up a quart and when I opened it up...it was NOT the right color for me. Somehow it ended up looking too green despite my seemingly careful color selection and testing. 

So I went back to the drawing board and placed my sample paints on a white piece of paper and taped it to the door before I primed. 

It's tough to discern colors through the computer screen, but the color that seemed to pop the most was #1. After running it by my husband (who by the way totally encouraged me to choose pink if I wanted) and some friends, I went with #1 which happened to be "Cay". 
And yes you read that right, I literally chose the front door color the day I painted it despite months of pondering. 

Okay, back to the door! In an attempt to keep this project as inexpensive as possible I used some metal primer we had on hand from our first house.  It's Rustoleum's Metal Primer in White.

I will warn you this stuff does not smell good. It also does NOT rinse from the paint brush so use a brush you wouldn't mind throwing away.  I believe it's oil based but I'm not 100% sure. I couldn't find the information online but judging by the slickness of it I would say it's oil based.

Before applying the primer I went to the Sherwin Williams website and printed out this diagram as a guide for how to apply the paint. 

I applied the primer with a brush on sections A-B and then quickly went over the same section with my mini roller to avoid seeing any brushstrokes.  I used this same technique throughout the door.  I used the paintbrush for section C then quickly rolled, then section D, and so on. I was really pleased after the first coat with not being able to see the brush strokes.

Already looking better! I also propped the front screen door for ventilation.  Before I applied the second coat of primer, I lightly sanded any stray drips.  I applied the second coat the same I did the first. While I was waiting for the primer to dry I decided to paint the sidelight on the exterior of the house. In my search of our neighborhood and pinterest I'd say its about half and half on the sidelight matching the front door color. So, I decided to go for it knowing I can always re-paint it if I don't like it.

Here's the before...just regular 'ol cream color.

I didn't prime the sidelight because it was already cream, I just wiped it down and taped it off. This was also my first glimpse at the color! 

By now the primer was dry and it was time to put some color on that door! I got out a new 2 inch angled brush and put a new roller on and poured that gorgeous paint in the tray.

I applied the paint the same way I applied the primer (brush then roll sections) and I was very happy with this technique.  

You'll notice I didn't tape off the window sections at the top of the door. I honestly just didn't feel like dealing with that so I took a small razor and scraped the paint off once it dried.  

While all this door painting was going on I also did a little DIY on the door hardware.  It was gold, which you know I love, but not a pretty gold. It was shiny brass. Yuck, So, I picked up a few cans of  Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze and gave those babies a makeover. If you've never sprayed hardware before...it's super simple and an inexpensive way to update hardware.  

Once the second coat was applied and dry I placed the door hardware back on and stood outside to get a glimpse of all this hard work!

how to prime and paint the front door without sanding using Sherwin Williams Cay

I honestly can't say it was love at first sight.  It's a realllly bright color and one that I don't normally work with.  Also, my heart was still yearning for a soft pink. And, I'm not sure I like the sidelight painted. Before I change anything I've decided I'm going to live with it for a few weeks.  After all, it's a huge step up from before. But, pink is not off the table :)

Let's look at the side by side.

Total cost for this project was under $50! 
Total time spent: way too many hours for my liking. 
But it was a learning process!

Anyone else recently paint their front door? Any paint picking dilemma's?
Thanks as always for stopping by!


  1. You know, the color looks nice but you have to really it. Or else it's gonna keep bothering you. I think you are doing an amazing job sticking with the process. When it's all said and done, you will have had a lot of experience behind you!

  2. What an informative post! I need to bookmark this page, because my bright red metal front door needs a makeover soon. Your door and sidelight came out great!

  3. seriously this looks so fun!! oneday i will do my own doors!! <3


    1. Thanks for stopping by Marisa! I definitely encourage allll the door painting :)

  4. I think the door looks great, Colette! I love the diagram on where to paint first and I'm glad it worked for you. The door color is so unique, great work!

  5. I love the color you chose and that rug is AWESOME! It looks like you have a tiled porch. Plus, I love the two planters on each side :)

  6. nice article, using great equipment to renovate a house will fasten your work, besides it will produce you with smooth result!


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