Introduction: Procrastinated Painted Portal

My husband and I moved into this house almost a year ago and we weren't really fans of the previous owner's paint choices. The teal we could live with...but that red (and yellow, and green, and blue.)

No judgement if you happen to like it.

It took us forever to decide on a color.
Thank you, Pinterest.

I had a buddy of mine pick up some paint with his contractor discount and we were ready to go!
But then COVID-19 hit, and Ohio rained for days, and then the ladder was too far away (I didn't actually need a ladder)...alas, the paint supplies sat in a box next to the door for over a month.

After I saw this Instructables "Finish It Already" challenge (I'm serious), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to turn off Netflix, get up from the couch, and git 'er done. So that motivated me to...wait until the very last knock this off my to-do lit.


  • 1 quart of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black - Exterior Resilience Satin
  • 1 paint brush - I used Purdy
  • drop cloth (I used a paper compost bag)
  • wet rag
  • painters tape
  • scraper
  • adhesive remover or white vinegar (maybe)
  • exterior caulk (maybe)
  • knife (maybe)
  • a chair (optional)

Step 1: Prep the Door

As much as I wanted to jump right in, our front door was nasty. When you paint over dust and grime there's a pretty good chance the paint won't look right in those areas.

CLEAN. Wipe down the whole door with a wet rag, especially around decorative elements that may have collected dust. If you find something sticky, follow the instructions on your adhesive remover. I only had white vinegar on hand, so I scrubbed and scraped away as much as I could.

CAULK. Use a scraper to knock off any loose paint. Cut out any old caulking and re-caulk as needed.

Wait for the door to dry.

After I locked my feline escape artists in the basement, it was time to open the door and finish the prep.

PAINTERS TAPE. Tape down any areas where you'd like to be more precise. My professional painter friend says that painter's tape is for amateurs, soooo, yep, I used the tape. I was only painting the front part of the door, so I taped both sides to get better lines. I did not tape the glass portion because that is pretty easy to wipe off if I make a mistake.

DROP CLOTH. Place a [makeshift] drop cloth under and in front of the door.

Step 2: First Coat

Read the instructions on the side of the can for the wait time requirements by temperature. I painted right out of the can but you are welcome to pour it into a separate container. Be mindful to not drip paint over the instructions.

The key to the first coat is to be generous in applying paint and watch for drips. Your first coat doesn't have to be perfect - you'll catch all the missed spots on the second coat. The brush strokes aren't as key on the first coat as they are in the second. It'll look better on the second coat, I promise.

TIP: Place the can of paint on a chair to save your back from bending over or if your hands are too small (like mine) to hold it the whole time. You can also use the chair to sit in like normal people do.

Let that first coat dry for at least 4 hours.

Step 3: Second Coat

After your door has had a chance to dry, it's time to start on the second coat.


  • Pay particular attention to the parts of the door where the old paint is still visible.
  • Keep in mind the direction of your brush strokes. If you paint around the door knob first, you can blend in those lines as you paint the rest of the door.
  • Brush through any parts with drips and clumps of excess paint. They will show.

Keep the door open for as long as you can. At least 4 hours.

Don't do what I did and start this project in the afternoon. The longer you leave the door open to dry, the better.

Clean up the area, wash your brush, and remove the tape.

I will probably do some touch ups later to fix the bottom of the door and a few other smudges.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

After the door has plenty of time to dry, it's time for a few finishing touches. Wipe away any paint spots that aren't where you want them to be. Add some decor and voila!

I wonder if there are any Instructables about DIY doorbells...

Finish It Already Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Finish It Already Speed Challenge