PAINTING your front door can be a great way to instantly update the curb appeal of your home, and most people are unaware that early autumn’s cosy and chilly weather is the perfect time to do so.
Sam Williams, DIY expert at SGS Engineering, exclusively told Fabulous why autumn offers the best weather for a front door transformation, the go-to colour if you’re trying to sell you house and a step-by-step guide to achieving a professional finish.
Why is Autumn the best time to paint your front door?
Sam said: “Autumn offers the best conditions to paint your front door, as you’ll typically need around 48 hours of dry weather and temperatures of between 8°C and 25°C to get the best result.
“Autumn typically offers mild temperatures which allow paint to dry evenly and perfectly.
“Extreme heat can cause the paint to dry too quickly and sometimes dry some areas faster than others, leaving uneven patches of paint.
"On the other hand, winter’s cold weather can slow down the drying process.”
He added: “During this season there are lower humidity levels, which is great as humidity can trap moisture and lead to long drying time and even cracking or peeling.
“And although long summer days will be missed, when it comes to painting exposure to the sun make your paint dry too quickly and leave brush and roller marks on it.”
Picking the perfect front door colour
Sam said: “It’s really down to personal preference, but colours that are popular include:
- Beige / brown
“Reports have shown that the right front door can add up to £4,000 to the value of your home, so it’s definitely worth putting time and a little bit of money into getting this looking really smart.
“Some experts suggest that for a quick sale, a blue front door is the best option to go. A paler duck-egg blue is recommended for light stone exteriors, while a royal blue can look better with a red brick.
“However, a more neutral colour may be best, as people can either love or loathe bright shades and you don’t want to put potential buyers off.
“Ultimately, you should think about the surrounding area (any plants for example) and the colour of your exterior walls.
“Chances are you’ll also paint your garage door the same colour, so keep this in mind too.”
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How to paint your front door
Step 1: Gather up the tools you’ll need, these are likely to include…
- A scraper or sander/sandpaper (if you need to get rid of old flaky paint)
- A scrubbing brush (or a jet wash if you have one)
- Cleaning detergent (washing up liquid is fine)
- A dust sheet
- A dust mask
- A paint brush
- A step ladder
- Masking or painter’s tape
- Exterior paint in a matt or gloss finish
Step 2: Put down a dust sheet to protect the area around your door from paint, and make cleaning up afterwards a lot easier.
Step 3: Remove old paint (optional) . If your current front door has been previously painted, then you’ll need to remove this old paint layer first – especially if it is flaking off.
To do this, pop your goggles and mask on and use a scraper to remove any of the flaky sections.
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Step 4: Apply filler (optional). If there are any deep scratches or chips in your door, then you may want to apply filler to these.
Step 5: Sand it down (optional). Next, use sandpaper or an electric sander to go over the whole of the door to get a nice smooth finish.
Step 6: Clean it thoroughly by removing any dust, cobwebs or general dirt that remains on the surface of your door (including around the edges).
A scrubbing brush and some soapy water (hot water with a tiny bit of washing up liquid) usually works well. You may need a step ladder to reach the top.
Make sure the surface of the door is really clean and completely dry before moving onto the next step.
Step 7: Apply tape around the edges to avoid painting your door frame or exterior walls unintentionally. You may also want to tape off the handle, letterbox, and knocker too.
Step 8: Prime it (optional). If you have a wooden door, then you’ll need to put a primer or undercoat layer on before you apply your colour. This protects the wood and helps you to achieve a better and longer-lasting finish.
You’ll typically need to apply two coats of primer or undercoat and leave them to dry for at least 24 hours before moving onto the next step.
Step 9: Apply your paint. Open your door and start by painting the edges first, then move on to the main door area working from the top down. It’s likely you’ll need two coats to get a consistent colour. Wait for a couple of hours (checking it’s dry to the touch) before you apply your second coat.
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