Thursday, August 27, 2015

My New Adventure in Color!

My New Adventure in Door Color....

So I know this is a gardening blog, but there's not much going on in my gardens at this time of year so I just had to share a change of another sort that I was finally able to make: After more than seven years living in this house, I finally painted our front door a different color!

I know this is an incredibly easy task that requires only a couple of hours and a small amount of paint, certainly less than $20 worth, or no additional cost in my case, since I already had the paint. And I have painted the walls in every room in our house at least once since moving in, so it's not as though I couldn't physically paint our door. The trouble was, I just couldn't decide what color to paint it.

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time considering this issue, yet I've remained paralyzed by indecision:

  • I've read numerous articles on Houzz about how to choose a color for your front door and what the colors traditionally signify. 
  • I've tried changing the color in pictures of my house using Photoshop and Sherwin-Williams' Color Visualizer software. 
  • I've looked at countless photos of nice-looking house fronts that beckoned me with their curb appeal and their sophisticated door colors.

Now this is curb appeal! I've been saving this photo in my Houzz folder called "Front Doors" for several years, as I liked the blue door against the white wood (I also like the classical, symmetrical entrance area, and the winking eyebrow window too, and, in fact, many things about this very grand house). (

Or how about this cute house? I considered painting my front door a soft yellow, which I think looks very nice against white siding and trim, and as my door opens into my kitchen which is yellow, I thought it might look good from the inside too. (

When we moved in, our door was dinged-up white paint over a dented, gray, steel hollow-core door, and as I wanted to paint the door a different color, I put off painting it at all for several years while I tried to decide what color it should be. After a few years I couldn't stand how grungy it looked any more and re-painted it white, so that it was at least clean looking. But I really wanted a more fun door color.

It was impossible to find a photo in which my front door was closed, but here it is last year after I cleaned it up by repainting it white. I know the white looks crisp, but I really wanted something different.

The problem was that my house and every outbuilding on my Iowa acreage is white, as are most older farm houses here in Iowa. My husband, who grew up on a farm not far from here, is highly suspicious of any other color than white for farm houses, or perhaps tan/beige in the case of newer construction. And he's undoubtedly right that our house should remain white -- but I wanted to try a different color, just for the front door.

Recently, my nearly teenage daughter decided that she no longer likes the light purple that I chose for her room when we moved here (too girly!) and chose instead a bold blue called "Mr. Bluebird," and we repainted her walls together.

Since there was leftover paint, and my husband and the kids had left me on my own last weekend while they attended the ComicCon in Chicago (superheroes, comic books, etc.), on the spur of the moment on Sunday afternoon I decided to throw caution to the winds and Just Do It, and I rolled on two coats of "Mr. Bluebird" with a little roller.

This door is a similar color to the "Mr. Bluebird" that I first painted my front door. I decided upon reflection that the color was too dark.

But after I finished the second coat and took a look at it from outside, it looked too dark. Then I remembered that I still had some paint left over from painting our downstairs bathroom seven years ago, called "Walden Pond," that was a few shades lighter, and before "Mr. Bluebird" was even completely dry, I re-painted over it.

Our front door after two coats of "Walden Pond."

Now our front door matches the pots on either side of the door, which I bought to match the light blue on the underside of the porch ceiling. And I think it makes it easier to tell where our front door is for people who visit for the first time.

Our front door is easier to see now. (And my "Welcome" sign with the bluebirds fits in now.)

I think the new door color goes well with the blue porch ceiling, as well as with the blue in the pillows on our porch bench.
And since this is a garden blog, after all, I'll close with a
closeup of the reblooming delphiniums along our front
fence, not incidentally in a color reminiscent of my
new front door.

My husband and children are still not sold on this color, and perhaps I will want to try a different color in the future, but at least I have finally painted it some color other than white. (Now we only have to pay someone to repaint the white exterior of our whole house, the expense of which I've been dreading. I think we'll have to put that off until next year -- it's too bad that job won't be as quick, easy and inexpensive as painting the front door was....)

What do you think of experimenting with front door colors? Have you tried different colors on your own front doors, and did they change the look of your house?

Thanks for reading!  -Beth


  1. I love it!! And it goes so well with the pots and the touch of pink from the flowers! When I lived down south, most of the doors were wood or a very sedate color. At one of our houses, the front door was a dark navy color, to match the shutters, but that's as jazzed up as it got before we moved up here to New England. I love all the doors up here with their bright colors! Colorful doors are so fun, and I think they add a welcoming touch, too. I like how the ceiling of your porch is painted blue, too!

    1. Hi Indie, That's interesting that you've noticed a regional difference in whether front doors are painted colors or not. I guess I do think of England and Ireland as having painted front doors; perhaps New England has inherited that tendency. I'm glad you like my new color -- thanks for reading! -Beth

  2. Is that haint blue?
    Our door is red. We tried 3 shades, and it's still not quite what I wanted. But it works.

    1. Hi Diana, You know, I'm not sure exactly what color "haint blue" is supposed to be, even though I've read about southern porch ceilings being painted a blueish color. I think it can range from light blue through more greenish hues and sometimes darker colors too. My porch ceiling was this color when we moved here and I liked it so much I simply left it as it was. I hope you continue to experiment with your front door color until you find one you really like. Thanks so much for stopping by! -Beth

  3. I really do love the blue colour, actually I have 4 doors in my kitchen painted in about the same colour. Our front door is old Dutch green, like many classic frontdoors in our country.

    1. Hi Janneke, that's interesting that many doors are painted green in the Netherlands. I would love to visit your country and see such traditional things myself. Thanks for reading! -Beth

  4. I like your light blue door! Very pretty, Beth. Our front door has been black, teal, and now red. It's pretty easy to change so no risk involved. :)

    1. Hi Beth, I'm glad to hear that you have repainted your front door several times, changing the color each time. My husband seems to think that no one does such crazy things in Iowa.... ;-) Thanks for stopping by! -Beth

  5. Oh I love the color and how it matches all....a front door color is creative and does a lot for a garden and curb appeal...well done. Our front door is a nice rich purple. I wanted a purple door with our gray house. Many people thought we were crazy as it was so unusual to have a different color than your shutters (ours are evergreen), but I wanted outside the we are now know as Purple Door in the neighborhood and a few more neighbors painted their doors purple. I say keep the color. It is perfect with the porch and the house.

    1. Hi Donna, I'm so glad you think the blue door looks nice! Now a purple door -- that's adventurous. I'm sure it looks very good with your house, and the proof is how many people have been inspired by your choice. Thanks for stopping by! -Beth

  6. I think it looks great! My front door is red. I love it! :o)

    1. Ooh, a Red Door -- how exciting! I always wanted to have one of those. But blue is a good start -- I'm glad you like it too. Thanks for stopping by! -Beth