Design and Decor Our Home

The Best Paint Finish And Colors For Your Front Door

What Is The Best Paint Finish For Front Door?

Based on the different types of paint finishes, flat, matte and eggshell paints can be categorized as interior paint or paint finishes uses mainly for interior surfaces while pearl, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss paint are paint finishes that can be used both interior and exterior surfaces. However, most of the interior designers and paint experts consider a semi-gloss paint to be a perfect finish for front doors because of its hard-wearing finish that will surely defend your door from the harsh outdoor elements and at the same time will improve curbside appeal of your home. Read our guide below to learn more.

Are you wondering what the best paint finish that you can use and what are best colors that you can choose for your main door? A paint finish and a paint color that will not only add curb appeal but will also stay in good condition for a long time?

When it is time to replace your entry door with a new door or when considering applying new paint for your gateway, it is important to choose the right paint finish that can stand the harsh weather conditions as well as the right paint color that will greatly improve your home’s curb appeal. The front exterior of your home such as landscaping, front porch, drive way, front door and anything outside your front yard are contributing to the curb appeal of your home. According to a 2014 Zillow survey improving your home’s curb appeal is one of best home improvement projects that you can do, especially when it is a time for you to sell your home. Therefore, it is a good idea to educate yourself on what kind of paint finish and the best paint color that you can use for your door in order to take advantage of the possible return of investment when it is time for you to move to another place.

Whether you are going to replace your old front door with a new one or you are planning to freshen it up or get an immediate facelift, you are still going to deal with the following questions:

  • What is the best type of paint finish that you can use for your door material?
  • What exterior paint color are you going to choose? Is it based on what is the current trend is in paint colors or is it based on your favorite colors? Or will you just use timeless and classic colors for your exterior doors?

Whichever color you choose for your main entrance, remember that your main entrance will give the first impression of your home and if you want to really increase the curb appeal for your home, the condition and the door paint color matters. Your home’s curb appeal is anything that your visitor sees whenever they go to your home and your front door is one of them. That is why, it is important that you really need to think it through when choosing the paint color for your front door.

What Are The Different Type of Paint Finishes?

When it comes to the number of paint types, it seems like there is an infinite supply that you can choose from. Most of the hardware and paint stores have hundreds of standard hues, but you can even customize them to match any surface or object. Below are the different type of paint finishes that are available on the market:

  • Satin Paints – It has a low sheen but it definitely has a glossier surface than eggshell and reflects more light, so any flaws will be more visible.
  • Eggshell Paints – Eggshell has a duller sheen than satin and is similar to the matte or flat finish found in many emulsions.

Both Satin and Eggshell types of paints are easy to maintain or clean which makes them ideal for high traffic area such as corridors, kids’ rooms and living rooms. However, satin paint is more durable and less likely to scuff or mark which makes Satin finishes ideal for doors.

  • Flat Paint– This type of finish does not reflect light and has no shine. The absence of reflection allows more paint pigment to show through as a result, it conceals imperfections allowing for a smooth surface.
  • Matte Paints – Matte finish is nearly as shine-free as flat, with slightly more durability and outstanding hiding ability and color depth than flat paint finish.

Both flat and matte finish paints are ideal for interior painting. Flat paint finish is the best choice for walls and always used for ceilings while matte paint finish is ideal for walls, living room, master bedrooms and low-traffic areas.

  • Pearl Paints – This has a a medium shine and is quite durable. A pearl finish adds dimension to trim while also being easy to clean, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. If you live in an area where there is high humidity, this type of paint finish has good mildew resistance.

This paint finish makes it ideal to use for just about anywhere from high traffic walls, cabinets, trim and doors. However, if you are not a professional painter and are prone to make all kinds of painting flaws, just remember that pearl paint’s sheen is more likely to show any type of paint flaws and lap marks.

  • High Gloss Paint – This has a hard, glossy finish that’s ideal for cabinets and trim. It is easy to clean, stain-resistant and offers durability and elegance at the same time.

The high gloss paint finish will definitely be ideal for trim, doors, and even high-traffic kitchens. However, this type of paint finish just like the pearl paint is best left for professional painters because it requires careful preparation and application. Also keep in mind, that any surfaces with glossy paints or with glossy appearance will reflect so much light which can highlights any imperfections.

  • Semi-Gloss Paint – A semi-gloss finish creates a brilliant appearance that will help to highlight any architectural features of your home and will add dimension to millwork, trim, and doors. It has a hard-wearing finish, is more stain-resistant than paint with a flatter sheen and is more reflective making it easy to clean and maintain.

Because of the features offered by the semi-gloss paint, it makes this type of shiny finish ideal for a main entrance. It is durable and at the same gives a beautiful splash of shine to the doorway. It also hides and conceals imperfections better than a higher gloss paint.

Best Paint Finish For Each Material Door Type

Exterior paints come in two forms, water based and oil-based. Water-based which is also known as latex paint has great color retention which makes it a perfect paint for entryway. It is also a more eco-friendly paint because it emits fewer fumes which therefore lets the paint dry faster than an oil-based paint. The oil-based paint however, has the durability feature because it combines pigment and resin in a solvent thinner; after the thinner evaporates, the resin hardens into a stain-resistant covering. However, it produces more fumes which then leads to a longer drying time than a latex or water-based paint. Below are the different types of door and materials and what the appropriate paint is for them:

Metal Doors or Steel Storm Doors – The appropriate type of paint to use for your exterior metal door is an oil-based paint. The oil-based paint is the best metal paint because it will prevent rust formation on metal doors.

Doors Made of White Fir Lumber, Pine Wood or any type of wood that does not gives off a tinted compound called tannins. Use a water-based exterior paint and primer.

Doors Made of Cypress, Cedar or other type of wood that bleeds (gives off tannins) – Go with an oil-based exterior paint. Tannins bleed-through is less of a problem with an oil-based paint. Tannins can leak into water-based paint, resulting in yellowish-brown splotches.

Fiberglass Doors – Use a water-based paint because it has a thinner and less sticky composition which makes it easier to apply on a smooth fiberglass surface than oil-based paint which has a thick consistency.

Now that you know what type of exterior paint you must use for each particular type of door material, it is now time for the fun part, picking out what color paint you would like to have for your main entrance.

Best Classic and Timeless Front Door Colors

Black Paint – Black color paint offers a good contrast with most exteriors. A black gateway gives a welcoming invite and encourages your house guests to enter.

Dark and Rich Wood Stain For Your Wooden Door – If you prefer to have a wood-stained door rather than painted, then go for a dark and rich wood stain. It will give the same welcoming effect just like the black color paint

Bright Color Red Paint– Red is the first color that you see in the color spectrum which means that if you paint your main entrance with red, it will definitely grabs people’s attention.

Other Great Door Colors

best paint finish for front door

Blue – A blue color whether you like a bright powder blue color, super light baby blue, shiny navy blue or whatever shades of blue, it will definitely create an ambiance of relaxation, calm and tranquility to any home.

best paint finish for front door

Yellow – Is another vibrant color that grabs attention, promotes happiness and a positive vibe to whoever sees them .

best paint finish for front door

Teal – If you have a midcentury-style home, a bold color teal will create a vintage feel to your front entrance.

Exterior Color Scheme

Although you have all the freedom to choose whatever color you want for your front entrance, keep it mind however that there are only certain colors that will increase the resale value of your home when it is time for you to find another home. These colors are typically not gender and taste specific and are definitely colors that are suited for the architectural style and color scheme of your home.

Always remember that you can only use three exterior colors in order to mesh with architectural style of your home. Now you need to take note of the color of your siding or brick and consider that this is your first color while the color of your trim or other architectural features is your second color. The third will be the front entrance color. Therefore, the color of your entryway should be a complementary color to the other exterior colors which are the colors of your siding or brick and the color of your trim or other architectural feature. In this way, you will make sure that the color of your front door is suited with the architectural style of your home.

I will share with you the color that we used for our front door when we renovated our fixer upper home.  Based on the before and after photos, you can really tell that the use of three exterior colors and the color of your main entrance matters as it greatly improves the curb appeal of our home.

best paint finish for front door


I hope that this guide on best paint finish for front door helps you to decide what paint finish and what exterior door paint color you are going to use for your next home improvement paint job.


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