Mix It Up with a Paintable Front Door

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

The front door of your home is a focal point, so take the time to think about what would look best. While some people really prefer natural woodgrain and color, there is also plenty of history behind painted doors and they give you virtually limitless options. If you’re contemplating a custom colored front entry that highlights the house and shows off some personality, here are some points to keep in mind to help you pull it off!

Therma-Tru Smooth-Star Shaker-style

Recently introduced, Smooth-Star® Shaker-Style Doors & Sidelites from Therma-Tru® Doors have a classic and simple design that fits well with historical architecture. This colonial home’s steely blue entry is a beautiful, subdued pop of color that is in line with its original style.

Colorful Doors Have History

Back in the day, most houses were constructed with materials available in the immediate area. That meant brick, stone, and wood were seen in varying amounts around cities and the countryside, and there were few color options. What paints were available were mostly subdued and earthy tones created using pigments like white lead and a range of iron oxides—far from the full spectrum we’re used to today. Before the Industrial Revolution gave us intricately designed Victorians, paint was expensive and had limited availability geographically, and because of the strict guidelines in urban areas where it could be purchased, any bold and colorful hues were restricted to doors and shutters. The entry became the place to make a statement, and so you’ll find old colonial, Cape Cod, Greek revival, and Federal houses with doors that stand out in shades of red, green, blue, and black.

The tradition of colorful doors goes far beyond the historical architecture of the Northeast United States, though. No matter where you look for inspiration, there are color tips and trends that give houses a certain classic look and cultural connection. Blue or turquoise doors are popular in areas with Spanish and Moroccan influence and are considered good for luck and protection—and of course they look great against the light neutral colors often used in these areas. Feng Shui suggests different auspicious colors depending which direction a front door faces, and it seems that people on every continent have something good to say about red doors specifically. All over the world, people take culture and tradition into account when choosing colors, and it’s no wonder so many of them focus on the entry to the home.

Therma-Tru Smooth-Star

A Smooth-Star® entry door with Riserva decorative glass is a warm welcome home to this Southwestern-style house when painted a rich salmon color.

Choosing a Door Color

If you are convinced that the colorful route is the way to go with your front entry, you have a lot to take into account before settling on the winning shade. Everything from the type of architecture, to the siding and roof colors, to your own preferences should be considered, and there is certainly a solution that you’ll love and that will look great on your home.

Start with style. Most colonials and farm houses have very simple exterior designs that pair well with boldly painted doors. Whether you’re working with white clad siding or natural brick, dark hues are a beautiful complement that draw the eye. On the other hand, stucco houses typically look best with lighter and brighter doors that show off higher color saturation. If your home has multi-colored siding, it is more difficult, but not impossible, to match a colored door; choose a prominent shade for a monochromatic scheme, but if there is a variety of colors involved like is common for Craftsman homes, a natural wood look is usually the easier option. And there aren’t any real hard and fast rules for modern architecture, which is too diverse a category to generalize—just choose something that grabs attention.

The shade of the color you choose is generally more important than its temperature, which is good news if you have a favorite. Take blue, for example. A deep indigo door is the perfect match for a brick colonial, aqua better suits a Southwestern color scheme, and royal blue is great for a modern design, or if you just want something funky and out of the ordinary for another style. Just look—the same basic pattern works if you would prefer orange instead! Then there’s bright red, which is special in that it has history and looks good on just about any home that has light, dark, or naturally neutral exterior colors, but you can still go deeper and lighter with success. If you have trouble imagining the possibilities, try searching online for your favorite architecture or color of door and you’ll quickly see the effect that different hues and shades have on the home’s overall impression.

Smooth-Star 3.5 Inch Simulated Divided Lites

Therma-Tru’s® brand-new 3.5 inch simulated divided lites are paired with satin etch glass to provide a modern vibe with privacy to suit House Plan 9038. This paintable Smooth-Star® door is a strong black color that stands out against the home’s siding and projects an air of confidence in line with its bold architecture.

Finding a Paintable Door

Not every door is designed to take and hold paint well, so you should seek out a paintable surface if you know that you want to use color to define your entry. You can still have the classic recessed panels and stile and rail lines that you would expect from a wood door, but fiberglass offers the added benefit of better energy efficiency and its smooth surface is easy to wash, dry, and apply paint to. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you use an exterior acrylic latex paint to complete the door, and you can expect many years of eye-catching color to welcome you home. All of this starts with finding the perfect base, so get acquainted with the different doors out there!

Luckily, there’s plenty of choice. The Smooth-Star® line has a huge range of door and glass styles, and it includes the new Shaker-style doors if you’re looking for historical timelessness. With so many options, this is a fantastic place to start. If you’re sure that you want a totally modern feel for your door, check out Pulse® and keep in mind that you want a paintable finish, as stainable woodgrain finishes are also available. The premium Classic-Craft® Canvas Collection® offers heftier doors with wider glass for undeniably grand entries, so look here for the luxury design of your dreams. All of these doors are completely customizable with the color you decide on, so they’ll make your home one of a kind.

If you’re ready to look at your front door in a whole new way, check out the color resources available from Therma-Tru®! When you choose one of their smooth fiberglass entries, you get efficient construction with a paintable surface that you can color with confidence. Find a local Therma-Tru® dealer to see the possibilities in person and to find the perfect door to support your colorful vision!

Therma Tru Doors For House Plans Online