Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DecoArt and it contains affiliate links. I only recommend products and companies I love. Read my full disclosure policy here.
It’s my favorite time of the year. After a cold and cozy winter, I love the longer, warmer days and the chance to finally enjoy the outdoors again.
Like most homeowners, spring is also a season of projects for us. We’re busy with spring cleaning, outdoor chores, gardening, planting, lawn tending and other necessary home maintenance now that winter has passed.
Not every home maintenance project has a gorgeous glamour shot reveal. But I’m still blown away by how much better this utilitarian area of our home looks after just a few hours of work.
You’re looking at a door on the side of our house, located right beside the garage. It leads to our laundry room, and we keep our trash bins here.
The door was dirty and scuffed and the trim was badly peeling. And those steps were quite the eyesore.
But it was nothing a little pressure washing, patching and painting couldn’t fix.
For our door makeover, I used DecoArt’s new Americana Decor Curb Appeal paint, which is specially formulated for use on wood and metal doors, shutters, railings, mailboxes and other outdoor projects.
Curb Appeal is available in 21 colors, specifically chosen because they’re the most popular choices for front doors and shutters. You can also mix the paints to create your own custom shade.
I used Salem Gray on our door and steps and Farmhouse White for the trim.
Before I share my tips for how to paint a door without removing it, let’s talk about prep.
Before you open your paint can, gather up some supplies:
- painter’s tape
- TSP or another degreaser
- sand paper
- paintable outdoor wood filler
- 2-inch angled brush
Our first chore was prepping the trim, which was badly peeling. My husband and I tag teamed the job, sanding away the peeling paint and creating a smooth surface to paint on. You could use a paint stripper, but sanding worked for us.
I also filled some spots in the wood. Make sure you use a wood filler or patching compound that can be used outdoors.
Next, I used the cleaning nozzle on our pressure washer to clean the door and the steps. I also pressure washed the surrounding concrete, and cleaned down the surrounding siding. I even washed the trash cans. What a difference that made!
To ensure I had a clean surface for painting, I cleaned the exterior of the door with TSP, my go-to cleaner when I’m rehabbing furniture or tackling any refinishing job.
Finally, I taped off the window panel on the door, as well as the deadbolt and the doorknob.
Because Curb Appeal paint dries quickly, you don’t have to take down your door to paint it. I did wait for a nice day when I wouldn’t mind leaving the door open for a few hours.
I recommend painting with the door open. I stood (and squatted) in the laundry room to paint ours.
Before beginning to paint, make sure the surface is completely dry.
For best results, outdoor surfaces should be painted when temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees and when humidity is low. Try to plan your painting around rainy weather. Surfaces should dry overnight before being exposed to idea. (But two to three days is ideal.)
When you’re painting a door, focus on the detailed and recessed areas first. On our door, I painted around the window first before moving on to the bottom panels. Then paint the remaining flat areas. DecoArt has a great diagram showing you exactly how to paint a door.
With Curb Appeal paint, you want to use long strokes and light coats.
Here’s our door after the first coat. You can definitely see some white spots, especially near the bottom. (Clearly, I don’t paint as well or as evenly when I’m squatting!)
But no worries. Just let that first coat dry for an hour or two and follow up with a second coat for full coverage. Again, be sure to paint raised and recessed sections first, before moving on to flat areas. And use long strokes, in the direction of the wood.
The steps also got two coats of Salem Gray paint, and the trim got two coats of Farmhouse White.
To make the job easier, we painted the trim with the door open, too. That way we didn’t have to tape off the newly painted door or worry about a lot of touchups.
I will fess up and admit that I did not paint the interior of the stair risers.
Because we have a lot left to do on our spring home maintenance checklist, I didn’t want to bother with removing the stairs to paint those hard-to-reach spots. And the idea of laying on the concrete driveway to do it didn’t appeal to me either. So, I left them bare. We’ll probably replace these steps in a few years anyway.
One door down, four more to go.
Next, I need to tackle these French doors, plus two more leading out onto our back porch and patio area. And I think that wrought iron railing needs painting, too.
What outdoor home improvement projects are on your list for spring?
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