What color should I paint my front door?

mclarkeMay 22, 2009

Okay, it's finally time to paint that front door.

We also need some advice about the color for the upright facings for the front steps. We started to paint them blue-grey, but as you can see, we had a crisis of confidence and didn't finish.

This led to a discussion of the front door color. Should it stay white?

Or is there another choice? A wonderful choice?


Thanks so much for all your help!

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My, what a beautiful home!

I assume that your shutters are brown...deep chocolate brown. However, using that color on the door would be too dark and certainly not welcoming. For the steps, I would go with a tone out of your stone walk. Not sure what those colors are and how they would blend with the tan house color, but if in doubt, you could use the brown from the shutters on the stairs for continuity.

Regarding the door, it will have to be a totally different color to bring some spice to your house. I am seeing a beautiful coppery cinnamon...that would look awesome next to the tan as well as coordinate with the shutters. I would get several different tones and paint dinner plate size samples on the door and then stand back and choose your favorite.

Just a thought but if you ever replace your roof, go with a darker high-end true dimensional roof that incorporates multi-tones of brown to pick up the shutter color. Right now the very light low impact color on the roof does not bring out the best in your home. (Owens Corning has some gorgeous lines - Duration, Oakridge).

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:45AM
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Thank you, Susan!

You're absolutely right about the roof color. But I don't think we'll be here long enough to change the roof. At least I hope not, LOL..

Yes, the shutters are a deep chocolate brown. When we moved in, they were black. I had to convince DH to change the color... he didn't see the point, since the chocolate is so dark. Now he admits the chocolate is much less harsh than the black.

The front walkway is a paver-mix of pinkish-tan colors. It works for the walkway, but I don't see anything there that I would want on the door.

A coppery cinnamon... hmmmm.... I like that idea.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Copper would be nice, and matching the chocolate would also be nice. Obviously you would paint just the door, and leave all the surrounding lights white, to work with the windows.
I like white stair risers, but they do need upkeep, and people's toes and heels leave marks. Gray is a good idea, but the one you used is, I think, too blue, and too dark. Find one that is closer in tone to the surface, and I think it will look fine.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Gorgeous house, Mclarke! Just stunning! The first idea that came to mind was red. Any shade of red would be fabulous on your door, but Benjamn Moore's Cottage Red is what I have in mind. It is on the cooler side & subtle, not orangey or fire-engine at all. The cinnamon idea sounds nice too.

Another completely different direction might be a green! Maybe a mossy, earthy green, since your landscaping is so tranquil &soothing. That would keep the mood very quiet & serene.

Every "expert" resource I've encountered about front door colors says that the front door should "pop" & be a completely different color from all other elements of the house. Don't, they say, match your house color, trim color, garage door, roof, etc.! Experts aside, I just intuitively like that look & approach. The front door should stand alone (but coordinate with the other elements, yes).

You can have fun here & do something unexpected & emphasize the beauty of your already striking entry. You have one of the prettiest houses I've ever seen. By painting the door you will have gone from having an exquisite house, to an exquisite house...with more oomph!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:14PM
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Oh, stinky-gardener, thank you!!! I am overwhelmed by your compliments. We do love this house.

I agree with you totally, I would like a front door that says, "Here I am! Good things inside!"

I googled "Benjamin Moore Cottage Red" and found a million photos of front doors! It's a great front-door color:

... although I'm not sure it would work with my beige stucco and my chocolate shutters. I wish I had some photoshop skills.

Green is a color I hadn't considered. I love green. Hmmmm.

Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:39PM
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A few red shades (influenced by the rhodie next to door):

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Here's your door two ways:



I think that white says welcome the best, but that's just my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Honestly, what's wrong with white? I like it the way it is... in fact I prefer changing even the shutters to white. White is very elegantly standing out on the beige.

Like someone earlier suggested, match up the steps with the stone walk.

May be you could ask someone to photo shop it for you.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Thank you so much, suero and mjlb. How amazing! My eyebrows went right up to my hairline. So often on this forum, I have seen gifted photoshoppers like you guys transform someone's house -- but until you see it done to YOUR house, you just can't imagine the impact.

Thanks so much!

I can just imagine my husband shrieking when he sees the pink door, LOLOLOL...

I like the green but I'm not sure it suits the house. It certainly is welcoming, but ...

I just don't know.

My husband has suggested a medium brown. Sort of halfway between the beige of the stucco and the chocolate brown of the shutters.

What do you guys think?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:44PM
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"Honestly, what's wrong with white?"

Oh, nothing really -- except that I was wondering if one of the talented people here could suggest something that might be more welcoming. White is elegant, but not exactly warm.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Your house has great curb appeal, but something about the shutter/ house color seems off like the colors are in different family tones- I'm looking at undertones, obviously the top colors are different. The mock up door colors seem really bright- I think color on the door and shutters is fine you just need a little softer look that transitions better from one color to the next.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:13PM
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I think your husband's suggestion is great.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:17PM
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I think a green would be lovely. Something with a bit more yellow in it than the pic that suero posted. I think that one is a bit cool for your beige stucco.
I think red would be great, but because you seem to favor pinks/purples in your flowers, I'm not sure it's the best choice.

Here's a link to a previous house with a similar color scheme, scroll down a bit for a picture of the house with a red front door, it looks really good! I would just consider changing that one planting by the front door if you went this route

Here is a link that might be useful: Beige House, brown shutters, red door

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:45PM
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Suero, thanks for making the door a brown. I see you did the stair risers too -- thanks!

The brown does seem to unify everything.

Patty, thanks for the link to the other thread. I love that red door! But they do have that brick facing, which has some reds in it. I don't have that.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 4:25PM
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I like the white. Why not add a pretty wreath to it? It would make it more "welcoming" IMO. The other colors seem to stand out too much, and the brown looks too blah. One thing nice about the white door is the eye doesn't go directly to it, instead it goes to the house as a whole which is beautiful as is. :)

BTW, are you going to move from that house? I'd cry if that were my house and I had to leave it. lol

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 6:44PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7


    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 7:07PM
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Ok so you probably don't want to change your shutter color but I thought I'd throw out a couple different looks. Your house makes me think of garden cottage.

Using colors that might go better with your roof, or are just softer against the light color of the house, less hard contrast. You seemed to lean towards having the door stand out with a separate color from the shutters. Adding color to just the door and not the side windows help to balance the heavy white trim of the bay window to the left.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 7:31PM
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Gorgeous home, and I just love that formal balcony off the front! Here are some more colors that I think are pretty. Labeled since our monitors show differently:

Tomatoe red, but not so good with the lavendar rhodos:

Grayed Sage green

Grayed Sage Green, a bit darker:

Bluish green, somewhat teal, kind of Mediterranean:

Darker Mediterranean teal:

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:02PM
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I absolutely LOVE your home!! It is so charming. Right out of a story book. I don't like the white door but I do think the trim around the transoms should stay white (matches the window trim.) I am not sure what color the door should be but it needs color. Maybe some kind of fun blue with an undertone that matches the stucco color?

Have you thought about the entry? What color would look good (or not good) when the door is open?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:08PM
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Squirrelheaven, those are fabulous! I love the dark grey! Or I guess I mean the "mediterranean teal". I will show this to DH and get his reaction. Thank you so much!

Kitchenkelly, you are very kind. What do you mean by "when the door is open? Hmmm. I never thought of this. The door seldom stays open very long, because the cat would escape, LOL...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:18PM
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You're welcome : ) That's my fav too : ) Yes, it is grayed, to pick up on the roof. And if you see gray and love that, well that's just even better, lol. Here it is again, with the blue-green more pronounced. Forgot about your step painting. It's really hard to tell, but I wonder if a brownish color would work? Here's a medium toned brown:

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:30PM
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Here's a very warm French Gray, bordering on brown, that picks up on the brown in your shutters.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:35PM
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You have a very beautiful home. The chocolate colored shutters really complement the stucco. Of all the doors, I like either the grayish blue or the sage green, with the sidelights and transom in the white.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:39PM
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Bronzed a little. One might even see a little green/mossy-gold in this one. Or a milk chocolate.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Plum anyone?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Bowl of plums, coming up, though it's kind of hard to see.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:53PM
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Great work Squirrel! I love the plum! Doesn't it look fabulous with the house color, plantings & window box flowers? It its unexpected & frankly unusual, but still subtle enough to work with the classic architecture of the house. I mean, we're not talking popsicle purple here! Very nice. Wonder what Mclarke thinks. I thought the teal was pretty too.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 10:54PM
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Thanks : ) I love the plum. It's rich, beautiful, and sophisticated. I love those colors together. With the roof so light, though, it does feel a bit bottom heavy to me. The lighter colors connect to the roof better.

Trying a lighter, what else but, smokey amethyst : )

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:30PM
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You can't beat a burnt red front door. It will look good with your other colors.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:42PM
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Here are some other reds:

Burnt Red:

Deep Dark Red:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:00AM
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Squirrel, great job!

McClarke, your home is darling. I would do a nice burgundy on the door.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:34AM
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Oh the "amethyst" is lovely! The "deep dark red" is too, as it reminds me of what I invisioned with the Cottage Red, a red that leans to burgundy. As Oceanna suggests, going even more burgundy would also be gorgeous.

Well, Mclarke you appear to have a lot of options to choose from. It's been fun "visiting" your house & thinking about your door. Good luck! Please let us know what you decide. I'd love to see the finished results!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 6:51AM
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What a fun thread...you girls are sooo talented with the photoshopping!!! Mclarke...absolutely lovely home!
Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 6:57AM
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mclarke, your home is one of the most charming I have ever seen! I love the cottage red--or a red with a touch more brown in it. I also love the plum--it would be sure to make a statement!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 7:34AM
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Thank you, all of you!!!!

My son borrowed my computer for the evening, so I missed the spectacular unfolding of all of those door colors.

I absolutely LOVE looking at the different colors. Each one changes the whole look of the house so much. What a wonderful resource you all are. I am humbled, thank you.

At first glance I am loving the plummy-grey brown. It satisfies my urge for a red door, while incorporating the beige of the house and the brown shutters AND the grey roof. Brilliant.

Oakleyok, you suggested a wreath. Great minds! I had a lovely spring wreath on the door, but the birds decided they wanted to use it for nesting material. We were treated to a constant scrabbling noise as they tried to remove the twigs from the wreath -- so I had to temporarily take it down. Right now it's hanging on the INSIDE of the door.

Thanks again, everyone! I will tell you what we decide, and then post more photos later.

-- Maureen

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 8:15AM
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I'm sorry. I automatically think everyone has a full screen/storm door like me and keeps their main door open. lol. Yes, not a problem for you. Don't let the cat out.

I love the darker mediteranean teal blue, squirrelheaven. Good eye.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 9:18AM
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RED, RED AND RED. It will make your door POP and give your house a very classy look. Also, the Chinese say a red door blocks out evil/bad things and lets good thing in. You can't beat that! Seriously, with you colors on the house a red door will pull it all together. Very sharp look!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 10:17AM
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Thanks, Oceanna : ) This one's more of a burgundy:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 1:47PM
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Sorry, I like the white door. And my thought too was that you need a fabulous wreath on the door. Something to tie in with the up window boxes. Tell those birds the jig is up! All those colors on the door just look like sore thumbs to me. The only one I would even consider (and I know this is all photoshop so not an exact science) is the plum.

Of course, I'm no decorator. Just like to play one on GW. HA!

good luck!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 10:22PM
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I love the dark teal and the smokey amethyst!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Thanks, Squirrel. I like the burgundy the best. :o) And hey, you deserve the credit for all the hard work here!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:11PM
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For overall continuity and warmth and sophistication, I really think you should consider painting your shutters white! They don't balance with the rest of the house. Especially if you are going to go with a blue/grey tone on the risors and door. Personally, I like Green for both steps and door. Trim the Rhododendron back. Beautiful home!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:01AM
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