How to
Paint a Front Door

A home with a dark red-painted front door adds a pop of colour to a gray-black-painted exterior. A home with a dark red-painted front door adds a pop of colour to a gray-black-painted exterior.

How to
Paint a Front Door

Whether it's a bold and bright paint colour or a more neutral hue, it's time to refresh your front door with the power of paint!

Boost your curb appeal quickly and easily. Follow our expert guidance to get spectacular DIY results.
Watch this step-by-step guide on how to successfully paint your front door and refresh your home’s façade with ease.

Ready to Paint Your Front Door?

Watch our how-to paint video on how to paint exterior doors.

Once you've got the painting tools and Benjamin Moore exterior paint you need, follow our step-by-step guide to give your front door a fresh new look.
An image of a person removing hardware from an exterior door in preparation for painting.

Step #1: Accents Away

Just like when you paint kitchen cabinets, removing any non-permanent hardware from your front door provides an even work surface and protects it from damage from stray drips and leaks during painting.
How to Clean Front Door Before Painting

Step #2: Get Clean

Front doors are a source of traffic in and out of your home, and they can get dirty. It is imperative that they are completely clean before starting your project: scrub them down, ridding them of any dirt that may have built up. Make sure the doors are completely dry before moving on.
How to Scrape Front Door Paint Before Painting

Step #3 (Optional): Scrape!

Due to the high-use nature of a front door, you may see some paint that is peeling or flaking, especially around the doorjamb. Use a paint scraper to chip off any scarred paint.
How to Sand Front Door Before Painting

Step #4: Sand!

Sanding is an important part of your DIY front door painting project, but before you can do that, it’s important to know what kind of paint is currently on your door. To find out, dab some denatured alcohol* on a cotton ball and rub it on the door. If it comes off, it’s water-based. If it doesn’t, it’s oil-based.

If your door is painted with a water-based paint, give it a good sanding with a fine-grit sandpaper. For oil-based paint, a medium-grit sandpaper (100- to 150-grit) will do the trick.

*Note: Denatured alcohol is not the same as rubbing alcohol. Look for it at home improvement stores.
How to Tape Front Door to Prepare for Painting

Step #5: Tape It Up!

Painter’s tape is a necessary accessory to painting a front door. Use it to tape along existing hardware (like the lock and doorknob) to prevent drips, spatters, and rough edges.
Paint Roller in Blue Paint

Step #6: Know Your Painting Tools

To paint a perfect front door, you need the perfect tools, like high-quality Benjamin Moore brushes and rollers. Typically, a flat painting brush is ideal for applying a base coat, but doors have all kinds of nooks and crannies. Use an angled brush to reach spots a flat brush cannot.
How to Paint Your Front Door

Step #7: Prime Time

A good primer can help to hide the old paint on your front door, while providing a surface that will let the new paint stick. We love using Fresh Start High-Hiding All Purpose Primer K046 on non-metal doors to create the ideal base. For metal doors, we recommend Ultra Spec HP Acrylic Metal Primer FP04. Make sure there are no spots where the primer pools; this can cause uneven spots on your finished door. Once you’re done priming, let the surface dry for a minimum of 24 hours.
How to Finish Painting Your Front Door

Step #8: Time to Paint! (We recommend two coats.)

Front door paint can be applied using brushes or rollers. Use an angled brush to apply paint to small creases. If you use a roller for the larger areas, make sure to go back over any uneven spots with a brush to smooth out the finish.

Once painted, let the door dry for a minimum of 24 hours, and then apply a second coat. Again, let everything dry for a minimum of 24 hours (we recommend extra time for humidity and other bad weather).
A painted front door in Bahaman Sea Blue framed by dark gray shutters on an off-white brick home facade.

Step #9: Reattach Your Hardware

Once everything is fully dry, remove the painter’s tape and reattach removed hardware. It’s time for your freshly repainted door to make its grand entrance! The door in our video makes a splash in Bahaman Sea Blue 2055-40, bringing the welcoming vibe of the Caribbean to a residential home.

Have More Questions? Visit your local Benjamin Moore store or contact Customer Support.
Aura® Exterior Paint

AURA® Exterior Paint

Get rich, unparalleled exterior paint colour with superior fade resistance, gloss retention, and much more.

An off-white house with an orange-painted door and black roof with flowering green shrubbery.

Front Entrance

Give your front door a dose of fresh colour to perk up a home’s exterior and extend a gracious welcome.

Step-by-Step Guides.

Step-by-Step Guides

Explore how to get your next DIY project done–and done right.