Quick, High-Impact Refresh: Paint A Door Black
Last weekend I took on a project that has been languishing for more than a year and it felt so good to complete it. I painted our back door black! Of course, I found the inspiration and paint recommendation on Pinterest. Unfortunately the blog I got the recommendations from expired (🙁) so I can’t share the original tutorial with you, but you can see the original image that got me hooked here.
I just noticed that a lot of my projects contain some aspect of something “languishing” and they all started somewhere on Pinterest. Has anyone else noticed this trend, too? 😂
If you’re looking for a quick, high-impact project to satisfy your design itch and refresh a space, definitely paint a door. Every time I see my door, I’m like, wow, we have a whole new entryway! And all I did was paint the door! All-in-all, the whole project took me about 3 hours broken up into 45-minute segments. The only things you really need are nice weather so you can leave the door open, some way to block curious toddler hands from touching the wet paint, and patience during drying time between coats.
The before isn’t bad, it also just isn’t anything special. It’s just a standard off-white metal door:
In the now-extinct blog that I read, the person recommended Benjamin Moore’s IronClad Latex Metal & Wood Enamel. When I went to the local Benjamin Moore store, they told me that had been replaced with Super Spec DTM Alkyd Low Lustre, so that’s what I got. (Although now that I’m Googling it, I’m sort of wishing I got the semi-gloss.) Be aware, it is oil-based, so unless you want to clean your brush with paint thinner or mineral spirits afterward, plan on tossing it out. I don’t even own paint thinner or mineral spirits—for some reason oil-based paints scare me—so I used a brush I didn’t care about.
Aside from the paint and a brush, you may want to get a small foam roller brush. As you know, I use these a lot, and this is one project the foam roller brush works amazingly for. I think it has something to do with the paint being oil-based. I also for some reason thought I needed a foam sponge brush, but I didn’t wind up using it.
I always think I’ll just be a slow and careful painter. But I never am, and it finally sank in. I just always resort to taping now. If I don’t tape, I wind up with sloppy lines and an inevitable goof somewhere. So, just tape. 🙂
So I stirred and stirred and stirred my paint and finally started painting. There’s apparently a right way to paint a door, so I used a couple of cheat-sheet graphics from Pinterest like this one (and this one and this one) to figure out what parts to tackle when. As I mentioned, I followed up the regular paint brush with the foam roller brush. The first few rolls really thinned the paint out, but once the roller brush got saturated with paint, it just smoothed the paint out and left most of it on the door.
I have to say, painting with this oil-based paint made me realize why people use it…. it’s awesome! The finish is so smooth and it went on like buttah.
You can see that the first coat left a little to be desired, but I wasn’t worried. Between coats, I put the brush and foam roller in a ziploc bag to prevent them from drying out. Also… that crooked doorknob bothers me so much, but every time we change the battery in that keypad and try to get it straightened out it just. won’t. So we live with it and try not to let it make us crazy.
After dinner I slapped another coat on, which went even faster than the first, and the result was a gorgeous, smooth, refreshed garage entry door!
I love it so much. The next day I did it all again on the inside of the door and wound up with a much higher-impact change. We can see this door from the kitchen, so we see it a million times a day.
While the coats were drying, I was cooking up the final step: number stenciling. I found a font I liked and printed out “no. 105” on photo paper (I thought the added thickness would help) and then I used an exacto knife to painstakingly cut the “stencil” out. There’s a million stencils out there, so you could buy one too, but I had wicked project fever and couldn’t wait a few days for a stencil to arrive.
While the inside was drying, I used my silver liquid leaf from the vanity I recently refinished to stencil the number on the outside. The Hubster happened to be home when I was deciding where to put the stencil, so I consulted with him—should we put it on the top horizontal position or the middle one? It was nice to have his opinion because he hadn’t seen my inspiration picture for the project and he doesn’t peruse Pinterest looking at house numbers all the time, so it was uninfluenced and genuine. He thought the middle position was more modern, so we taped it up and off I went.
I thought it would need two coats, so I waited a few hours and did a second coat. Boy was I wrong. I should have stopped when I was ahead. For the first coat, I—wisely—applied the paint so, so, so, so thinly. But when I put on the second coat, I must have gotten carried away. When I took off the stencil, I could see this gorgeous crisp line from the first coat and then blotches and blobs and other general horrors bleeding over the crisp line from the second coat.
I was grumbling and annoyed with myself and The Hubster just quipped, “At least we didn’t put it at eye level.” 🤣 Thank goodness for his humor! His lighthearted reaction took the edge off for me, and I was then able to solve the problem well enough to live with.
I had to get out a little paint brush and apply black over the bleeding blobs of silver. Up close, it looks terrible:
But if you take a step back, you seriously don’t notice it.
Here are the final before and afters! 🙂
What do you think? Would you ever paint a door black? Have you already done it? Tell me about it!