Along with the fireplace, the paint color of the front door and the shutters was something that I knew I wanted to change. I remember when we were looking at properties this house actually came up in the search and my husband and I decided to drive by it just to see. After driving around in the neighborhood we found the house and initially we wrote it off just because from the road it didn’t seem to be very impressive. It just seemed unkept and looked like the currant tenants didn’t take proper care of the property. It was lacking some serious curb appeal, so we wrote it off and our search continued. We found a few other promising properties and we were out bid three times in a row. We decided to give the little brick ranch house another chance and go into the house and take a look. It had a covered carport, a large back deck, and a floor plan that was very applicable to our current lifestyle. We put an offer in and the rest is history. It just proves that you really can’t judge a book by its cover.
We moved in, unpacked, and the first free sunny weekend we had we jumped on painting the front door and shutters. We knew our neighborhood was up and coming. Houses were getting bought and flipped on every street. From the beginning we knew that our house had some challenges regarding resale. We were on a two lane road, at the end of the street that intersects with a busy road and it almost backs up to a strip mall. Knowing that there were a few negatives batting against us, we knew that we would have to put some serious sell-ability into our house in the time that we are there. We have no intentions of moving but since property values around us are going up we thought we could only help the situation by improving the first impression of our house. Curb appeal or the lack there of, was what initially turned us away so it was naturally one of our first projects. We still have plans for landscaping and still might change the exterior by painting or getting new siding down the road but here are the 3-easy fixes that we tackled… all in one weekend.
PAINT YOUR FRONT DOOR
I waited for a day that was going to be moderately cool to paint the front door, since painting it would require leaving the door open. I didn’t want to waste money and energy by cooling the outdoors. Also when painting exterior projects try not to paint them on humid or very hot days. The humidity and the heat can cause the paint to blister. I’m not sure if any of you have had to deal with blistering paint but it royally sucks! You have to sand off all the paint you just put on and then start over from scratch. So I highly recommend picking a cool day and starting in the morning.
What I used for the door/shutters:
- Semi-Gloss Exterior Latex paint for outside
- Interior trim paint for inside of the door
- Paint brush
- Foam roller
- Paint accessories: paint tray, drop cloth, painters tape
At the time, the exterior of the door was an army green color, and the interior was a natural wood color. I didn’t so much mind the natural wood finish of the interior portion of the door. However, I knew that our living room was a challenge when it came to space, so I thought painting it white might make the space look a bit bigger. I think it definitely helped.
I started by giving the door a good cleaning (inside and out), then removed the hardware, house numbers and kick-plate. Using my paint brush, I painted the cut outs of the door first. I made sure to get into all the crevices before moving on to the outer panels of the door using the foam roller. If you have never used a foam roller before it will change your life! Anytime I am painting cabinetry, furniture, or doors like this, I use a foam roller. Without a nap like a typical roller, your paint will dry much smoother and will have much less texture to the final product.
After the inside was done, I taped off the edge of the door and primed the exterior of the door. I had to wait an hour till it was dry to the touch but 4 hours between coats (always read the back of the can to see how to pretreat your surface and to check for the dry time and time recommended between coats). The back of the can has a wealth of knowledge that could save you a lot of time and money in the long run. My door took 3 coats…. But red is a difficult color to paint.
UPDATE YOUR HARDWARE & HOUSE NUMBERS
I removed our house numbers from the ledge above our door using a screwdriver. They actually weren’t as grimy as I expected but I still gave them a good cleaning to make sure that the paint would adhere.
I placed them on a piece of cardboard and used black spray paint. This time I wanted our numbers to be on the door instead of the ledge where they were originally. Since we had a large tree in our front yard between the road and the door, I wanted to make sure they could easily be seen from the street. I waited until the door was no longer tacky or cool to the touch (about an hour) and attached our house numbers. While we were making some changes we installed a new keyless entry doorknob and a new kick plate. We were able to find both a new door knob and a new kick plate at home depot.
I was a little weary of the keypad lock and keyless entry thing at first, but it is a total life changer. We have absolutely loved it and it actually influenced us throughout our entire house in terms of smart living and smart technology.
PAINT YOUR SHUTTERS & SWITCH OUT YOUR LIGHT
We removed our vinyl shutters (just a few screws), and took a soapy rag to them and made sure to clean off any dirt and grime. Once they were dry, we started painting. We didn’t bother priming the shutters just because we didn’t think that they needed it. Since they were vinyl and had only been painted once before we thought it was safe to skip that step. We knew we wanted contrast so we went with black shutters. Starting with the indented corners on the shutters and used a foam roller on the rest, we quickly made head-way.
We also switched out our porch light. We went from brass to a brushed bronze motion sensor light. This is also one of humans greatest creations. We highly recommend going this route. We found this little gem at Home Depot. Its super easy to install using the instructions and requires no special bulb. We actually use an Edison Bulb because we like the warmth of the amber color it shines and its not too bright when you walk up the stairs to the door.
We reinstalled the shutters once they were dry, and like “that” our house had transformed from drab to refreshed and energized. We knew that it was going to take a little bit more than paint to really make a difference but the impact that these little efforts made was pretty darn big and all for the cost of a Saturday, $40 in paint, $50 light, $65 for new hardware and a $10 kick plate. We totaled out to $165 for the whole project! It was inexpensive, easy and perfect for the time being.
Don’t forget to check back in a few weeks for our planter to porch post, where I share with you how we created a front porch out of our front planter!