Today I’m excited to share our front door update! There’s still lots more work to do on the exterior of our home (did you catch our exterior update a couple weeks back?), even around the front door (lights, house numbers etc!)… BUT painting and trimming the door has made a world of difference in how chaotic it feels walking into our home. For this post I wanted to share not only how the update is looking but some tips around using painters tape and painting an exterior door! Before I get to that… want to see the before photos? Who doesn’t love before photos ;)
Here’s the waaaay before. This is what it looked like when we moved in and what pretty much what it stayed like for the past three and a half years of us living here. Below is what it looked like at our last update- we’d replaced the window/door combo, ripped off the stucco and started on siding.
Since we didn’t have all the trim on the windows, we had a little less prep to do- we just taped off the windows not the siding on the outside since that would be covered. We painted the trim on sawhorses before installing which went so much quicker- we could use a roller for the faces and the edges. We used Painter’s Mate Green® painter’s tape for this project- after renovating this whole house and painting every inch of walls/trim/doors inside our house… it’s what we pretty much use all the time. It’s one of the most cost-effective tapes but it is totally effective. Especially if you use it properly. I partnered with them for this post but over the past 4 years I couldn’t even count how many rolls we’ve gone through- we always have it on hand.
The first tip I have is to really use your fingers to press it down along the edge right before painting. I usually apply the tape pretty quickly and then right before I paint, I’ll press it down with my fingers again to make sure it’s sealed. Then on the first coat (in our case, the primer) do a lighter coat. Once that’s dried- you can load as much paint into those corners as you want and won’t have any bleed.
I also wanted to point out how I taped off the windows but NOT the door… and that’s because of the weather stripping! I find I have a hard time getting tape in under the weather stripping perfectly and spend so much time doing this that I just don’t anymore. What I do is use a guard- you can get them in the painters tape section or just use a piece of cardboard. I think they’re meant for slipping under baseboards for carpet but they work perfectly for weather stripping. Just slip it in between the trim and weatherstrip and slide it around with you as you’re painting. The one I have is angled so it even pops over the door handle nicely.
If you’ve painted any amount before… you’re probably pretty comfortable with painters tape but for the first time ever I got to try double sided poly tape on this project. I really wanted to drop cloth the heck out of our entry way since the door needed to be open to be painted and we JUST finished renovating it. I bought a roll of the thin poly drop cloth and taped off the door edges using Painters Mate Double Sided Poly Hanging Tape. The bonus for us was that it did a pretty good job keeping the smoky air out of our house while the door was open for painting! I can see myself using this for holding drop cloth down in places where we’re walking all over it too (it always slides out of corners of closets and such!).
The other tip I want to remind you of is to read the directions… I KNOW this sounds ridiculous BUT painters tape is meant to be easily removable… for a certain amount of time. We almost always follow this and never have any issues. We’ve even left it for waaaay longer than recommended indoors (at a normal temperature) and haven’t noticed any difference. This project we tested those recommendations though. The smoke has been so bad here that we’ve been indoors every minute. Shane got me a good mask to do the painting outside but since breathing is already tough for me being pregnant, I only got a bit done each day so this little front door refresh dragged on for over a week and that front wall gets SO much sun. I tried to edit out the smoky cast on the photos (it’s the orange glow) BUT on the last day that we finished… the smoke cleared so you can see what the colors really look like! That said… even though we left it on longer, it wasn’t hard to get off, it just didn’t come off as effortlessly as usual so it’s something to consider if you’re working in the heat and over a long period of time.
For removal… if you have quite a few layers of paint or THICK layers of paint… you can run a utility knife along the edge (where the tape meets the paint) lightly before peeling back to make sure it releases perfectly. This is especially easy to do around windows or corners where you have an edge as a guide.
So those are all my tips for using painters tape. For painting a front door? My tips are pretty simple (there are a MILLION posts about this if you’re wanting more). If you can pop the door off the hinges and paint it on sawhorses that’s totally the best case. We did that when we painted the inside of the door for our entryway makeover. No hinges to or anything to worry about. If you can’t or don’t want to (it only took two coats with the right paint, so popping it off is a big commitment)… at least take the hardware off (handles and locks). I have never taken them off before but it took four screws and I was done- so easy! Don’t let it stress you out and just take them off.
For actually painting, use a brush to get in all the grooves first then, working quickly while it’s still wet, roll out the rest of the door. We chose Americana Curb Appeal in New England Navy for the door- it’s a a quick drying paint so we could close the door 2 hours after painting. That’s AMAZING but it means that we had to work pretty quickly. Another tip with outdoor surfaces like doors… pretty much any kind of paint ever can’t be applied when it’s over 21 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) because it won’t cure. That meant getting up early in the morning to paint- but I’d way prefer that over dealing with peeling paint in a few months ;)
That’s it! I’m SO happy with how having this little part of our exterior done makes me feel about our progress. Working on it in evenings and weekends with kids underfoot has been slower than we imagined (isn’t everything with kids?) so this was a welcome win. I can’t wait to get the rest of the exterior done to share with you all!