Before you give your front door a facelift, consider these tips for selecting the perfect paint color.  

By Tamara Kraus
Updated April 19, 2018
Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

For the May issue, Real Simple took a look inside the Nashville home makeover recently completed by Elsie Larson, co-founder of the blog A Beautiful Mess. One of the most striking changes was painting the front door a deeper shade of green to make it stand out against the gorgeous, multicolored brick exterior of the home. While there were quite a few things to consider when choosing the color, we've narrowed it down to the top three things to keep in mind when selecting a shade. Curious to see inside this stunning Nashville fixer upper? Check out the full tour in the May issue.

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Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

1 Consider the Surrounding Exterior

In this case, the home had a brick exterior, so it was important to complement the many tones it had (both red and black). Some brick looks more orange and some more red or black, so it’s important to think about all of the elements surrounding your door before deciding what color family to choose from. Here, we wanted a deeper green that would complement the interior’s green color palette and tie everything together. You should consider not only your home’s siding, but also your patio or porch’s flooring, fences, and of course, the color palette inside your home as well.

2 Pick the Right Finish

A high-gloss finish is best for high-traffic areas like your front door because it’s easy to wipe down. It’s also important to properly paint your door so it lasts (find our top tips here). Make sure to use a high-density foam roller for an even coat and an angled brush for detailed areas, like around any windows or hardware. To keep the paint looking new, give it a fresh coat every three years.

3 Swatch Before Painting

In most cases, paint isn’t going to look exactly like it does on a paint chip, so when in doubt, swatch it out. Test out a shade on every corner of the door so you can compare them side-by-side. Here, we wanted a deeper hunter green to complement the interior’s rich green shades. We discovered that one of the shades was too blue once we swatched it out, so it saved us from making a mistake—and from re-painting the door later.