Today, I’m going to share with you one of the hardest decor decisions we ever faced as a couple (second only to deciding to paint all of the wood wainscotting in our family room). It was the decision of what color to paint our front door.
When we moved into our house, we had a plain, boring white door. The window had a big seagull on it. I’m sure it was really something much more majestic than that, but to me, it looked like a seagull. It was hideous. We both agreed that it had to go. However, deciding on a color was a much more difficult decision.
This is the only picture I have of my original door, because I swear my husband changed out that seagull window ten minutes after the movers left. (And that;s my dad standing there in the window. Hi Dad!)
I really wanted to paint the door purple. Why? Well, not only is purple my favorite color, but I also know my color wheel fairly well, and I knew that purple would be perfect for our front door. We have a brick house but the bricks are more of a yellowish-orange than a red. I tend to not favor orange, and wanted to tone down the orange and bring out the yellow. How do you bring out a color? By adding it’s complement. The opposite color of yellow is purple.
Purple is also a split complementary with sky blue and yellow orange, so I knew that it would look amazing. However, my husband wasn’t so fond of a “purple” door. So we settled on navy.
Unfortunately, what Behr called “navy” I did not – I called it Royal. But it was thanksgiving, winter was approaching, and we decided to leave it, rather than paint a new shade of blue. That was two years ago, and everytime I pulled into my driveway, I would think, “That’s a nice shade of blue, but it’s not the right color for our door.”
The perfect opportunity came while my husband was away this summer on training. I found out about this front door paint from Modern Masters that never fades. It’s available in tons of cool shades, and they were giving away 100 jars to readers, and then holding a contest for the best door makeover. I took a picture of my door, and then opened it in photoshop to see what my favorite swatches looked like. (After I did this, I discovered Modern Masters has an app where you can take a picture of your door and apply your choice of the paint colors for a preview – how cool!) Here were my top three:
The red stood out a lot. It was much bolder than my orange yellow house – it looks amazing, but wasn’t me. It was too many warm colors, and I really gravitate towards the cool side of the color wheel. The brown also looked nice, but blended a little too much. I wanted something right in the middle, and purple it was. I talked to some friends and my sister (who was also very weary of a purple door when I initially mentioned it) and when they saw the pictures, everyone agreed – purple, and more specifically, THIS purple, was the right color for my front door. So I entered, the free paint came, and then what was my husband to say? He begrudgingly set about the task of painting our front door purple. He did however tell me that I had to call it something besides purple. (We settled on eggplant.)
We didn’t even use half of the jar, and it goes on like a dream – and I am not even being paid to say this! This is just an honest to goodness “I love this product” blurb here. It’s amazing. And it’s no fade! With a house that gets full sun all day long, that’s a huge plus!
Want to know how to choose a color for your front door? Here are some tips:
- Trust the color wheel. It will never lie. The colors opposite each other are always complementary, and the two colors next to a colors compliment are called split complimentaries. This trio will always look great as well. You can also choose analogous colors (next to each other on the wheel), or a triad (even 1/3’s apart on the color wheel).
- Think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to warm up the entrance of a grey brick house? Choose a color on the warm side of the color wheel (red, orange, yellow). Remember that this includes many shades and tones. You don’t need a fire engine red – a mustard would warm it up without screaming at people. Want a door that blends with your red brick? Choose an analogous color!
- Don’t worry about messing up – it’s only paint! If you choose a color and you don’t love it, you can always paint over it again!
- Don’t paint your door on a really hot or cold day. The paint won’t dry properly and may peel or blister.
How about you, have you painted your front door? How did you choose the perfect color?