Come and knock on my door

What classic sitcom is that from? Anyone?

A coworker and I were reminiscing about Three's Company one day. At which point an intern piped up perkily : "I think my parents used to watch that show. It's that really cheesy one from the '60's." What the?! So we asked the IT guy to program a virus into her computer sort of laughed and ignored her. If you're reading this and have no idea that Three's Company ever existed......well, sadly this might be where we part ways.
What I'm trying to say is..........that story has nothing to do with this post.
We gave our front door a facelift not too long ago; I finally took photos last month (hence the pathetic poinsetta's on their last leg). I'm just lagging on posting about this project. It was either replace the door (expensive) or give it a low-cost makeover (so I can still afford wine). Mr. FC gave me an ultimatum of sorts: New door or new sofa? Duh. My answer was "Yes".

But no, in the end the practical decision was to make over the front door on a budget, because we plan to add on a mudroom next year. At which point we can go all out on a FIERCE new front door (because this door won't even be visible from the outside).


Now.........the same door after what a quart of paint, some inexpensive hardware, and a few hours can do.  I used Benjamin Moore Ironclad paint which I first discovered here thanks to Chris. It only took two coats. No sanding or primer needed!! For black paint on a white door, that's amazing. It was incredibly easy to work with (I used a brush the whole time), low odor, easy clean-up, and has the perfect lustrous finish. Not too glossy, not too matte. Edit: I've added a Q & A section at the bottom of this post with more details on the step-by-step.

Mr. FC installed the brushed nickel door knocker and lever door handle from Home Depot in mere minutes (the door knocker can be moved to the exterior door of the mudroom when the time comes). OK, so they're not antiques or entirely unique pieces, but they add that extra something. It's the sparkly jewelry to the little black dress that is our front door. So for around $70, we now have a "new" welcoming front door as opposed to the hundreds that we would have spent on a brand new door. Sweet. { Don't mind the smudges near the handle caused by Hiro's nose. }

Now......what I wasn't showing you.
New Year's Resolution #4: Keep it real.

The old door & old light. We removed this light fixture last fall to discover an old wasps' nest behind it. Awesome.
Answers to your questions. Hope this helps!
Q: Did you remove the door to paint it or just prop it open somehow?
It was easier to keep the door on its hinges, prop it open on a nice warm day, and paint it that way. Totally achievable and spares you the headache of removing hinges, etc. If you're replacing your doorknob/hardware, I recommend removing those before painting if possible. It just provides for more of a seamless look and helps prevent any scratches that removing the hardware after painting might cause (speaking from experience, there will be scratches). Or just make sure you have enough paint on hand AFTER replacing the knob to do any touch ups. Also, I didn't paint the top or side edges of the door. It was my personal preference but they're not noticeable at all, and those sides tend to get scratched w/ normal wear & tear anyway.

Here's the step-by-step:
1. If you're replacing the doorknob, lock, hardware, etc. remove it prior to painting (see above answer) OR if you prefer, simply tape over the hardware with painter's tape to protect them.
2. Give it a good wipe-down with a mild soap & water solution. Allow to dry thoroughly.
3. Line the floor/stoop with plastic to catch any wayward paint drips.
4. Sand/prime as necessary. My door did not require either. The beauty of the paint I mentioned above is that it adhered superbly (thanks to built-in primer) to the existing paint, with almost no effort on my part.
5. Go to town with painting. My door (a metal door that had been previously painted) took 2 coats.
6. Leave door propped open as it dries (drying time may vary depending on factors like humidity, weather, etc.)

Q: Why did you choose latex instead of oil?
This is completely personal preference. I prefer latex over oil because in my opinion, it's easier to work with, has less fumes, and clean-up is easier (hands, surfaces, etc). I believe the appeal of oil paint is that it provides more durability possibly? The latex paint I used provides its own durability features. I can attest to the fact that our door has been painted for a few months now and there's barely a scratch to be seen.
The paint
I mentioned above does not require priming (it's already built into the paint!) or sanding, is ideal for wood or metal, and has a superior durability to most normal latex paints on the market. It protects both exterior and interior surfaces from rust and wear, and for a front door it is perfectly adequate. I bombarded the guy at the Benjamin Moore counter with these questions beforehand.

Q: Do you mind sharing what kind of brush you used? I've been wanting to paint our door black as well but I'm worried about how the brush lines will look. You can't see any on yours!
Sure thing! I used
this brush found at Lowe's. It wasn't super spendy, which I love, but it also delivered in other ways. The handle's short, flexible, and rubbery so my hand was able to wrap around it easily, comfortably, and allowed me more control with my brushstrokes. The synthetic bristles made brush strokes almost disappear and the angled sash made applying paint into the nooks & crannies of the panels a breeze. Honestly though, I really think the reason you can barely see any brushstrokes is due to the paint I used! Don't quote me on this, but I swear this paint has a leveling agent in it that forces it to "even out" after application, so that nary a brushstroke is visible by the end of the second coat.
I did start out with a sponge roller but it created too many air bubbles and weird ridges. So, though using a brush is more time-consuming, it really is the way to get the smoothest finish with this project. Just make sure it's a good brush!

Click here to see more of our house exterior's transformation!
Care to share the color of your front door?


  1. I'll be waiting for you. Oh Mr. Roper.

    Anyway, Love the door makeover - totally pops with your new paint color. The hardware is gorgeous against it, too. LOOOVE.

    Our door is navy blue.

  2. Love the makeover! This is really inspiring since I plan to paint my door red this summer. I have what may be a stupid question - did you remove the door to paint it or just prop it open somehow? I am trying to wrap my head around what the process will be like. Thanks!

  3. Love the door. What a huge change for cheap! I just peeked at your exterior house photos too. I love the colors. My husband and I are from Denver (but currently living in Guatemala)and plan on purchasing a home in the downtown Denver area this coming summer, but we are so uninspired by the architecture. It seems like there are about 4 styles - bungalow, story & a half, Denver square or victorian. No surprises. We've looked at tons and tons of homes and none of them spark much passion in us. Boulder is just 30 minutes away, but the architecture is so much more interesting...Lucky you!

  4. @ Christine: Thank you!! It was easier to keep the door on its hinges, prop it open on a warm, nice day, and to paint it that way. Totally achievable and spares you the headache of removing hinges, etc.

    If you're replacing your doorknob, I recommend removing those before painting if possible. It just provides for more of a seamless look. Or just make sure you have enough paint on hand AFTER replacing the knob, to do any touch ups.

    Also, I didn't paint the top or side edge of the door. It's not noticeable at all and those sides tend to get scratched w/ normal wear & tear anyway.

    Hope that helps!

  5. My door is boring white. I have been thinking about painting it for a while. I actually really like the color you painted your house- have been in love with that color ever since I read the post about it. I also wondered if you took the door off before you painted it? Love the doorknocker and hardware. Brushed nickel makes me smile. :)

  6. Ok, love Three's Company, although I don't think I ever watched it in prime time...I caught the reruns at some point and was hooked.

    Now that I'm the ripe old age of 31 and have already gone through the whole "mid-life" crisis thing resulting in the sale of my home, quitting my good paying corporate job, and taking up teaching math, well, I have a lot of those "I really can't be that old" moments. A few weeks ago I asked my students if they ever heard of the TV show Remington Steel. Dead silence cause nobody had a clue what I was talking about. If only I could keep that that quiet all of the time :)

    PS. The front door is bangin' hot. What color black is that? Love it!

  7. Duh...the name of the paint color is just black. How simple was that?!

  8. Truth be told I have always wanted to open bar called the Regal Beagle in honor of that fabulous show. Who didn't lust after Chrissy's sassy hairdo's and Mrs. Ropers mu-mu's?

  9. Our door is already black, but I like the more matte look of yours so I might repaint it. And your hardware is fabulous. Ours is still old and hideous. In need of a change for sure.

  10. Enjoyed reading this because I just posted about painting our front door a shade of teal in the near future. This makes me want to attack our door ASAP but you know... a long to-do list :-) you can read it at

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  12. when i saw your title on my blog roll i immediately new threes company. love that show! anyhow, you def can do something to make your current screen door work. its still in working condition so you should just sand and paint it.

  13. Hi FC! Love what you did with your door! My door was also white once and I painted mine black as well. Love it!

    Have a great week!

    P.S. Totally loved Three's Company. Did you ever see the controversial episode that showed Jack's business? Hilarious.

  14. It looks GORGEOUS! Just pops! It goes esp well with the new house color too!

  15. FrecklesChick... my long lost siamese twin! Just found you today and it's as if we could (but won't... since we're not uber-annoying teenage girls) complete each other's sentences.

    LOVE your blog (is that egotistical considering that it reminds me of mine? hope not, but oh well) and it's so fun to 'meet' someone with similar writing and, well, sarcasm.

    Good to know that one day I might even get more than 17 followers, since you have lots of addicts.

    ~ Joanna

  16. Love love love the black door with the brushed nickel ! Next to your white trim and gray siding, it's perfection ! What plant will you surprise us with this spring ?


  17. looks great! i am going to paint my door this summer. it is stained solid oak. i am guessing i'll need to prime, but i don't think i'll have to sand. i love b.moore paints. why did you choose latex instead of oil? just curious for details because i WILL be copying you.

  18. love the door. very chic, as always.

    We are still apartment-bound, but when we have a house, I dream of a red door. Want it, need it, love it.


  19. Bwahahahaha! Don't forget pills. It doesn't work unless it's a combo of booze and pills! :)

    Ummm, the 60s? How old is this chick? 5? One of the best shows, ever! Biatch, please!

    Love the door and every single accessory! Beautiful!

  20. I love how it came out! Do you mind sharing what kind of brush you used? I've been wanting to paint our door black as well but I'm worried about how the brush lines will look. You can't see any on yours!

  21. What a surprise - I love it. Although, not really a surprise since I adore everything you do. I love black doors. Just classic.

  22. It looks great! I just love the transformation of your home!

  23. What a sexy door! Love the color and the "jewelry" is a nice touch.

  24. You love my newly painted door AND Three's Company?! You readers rock my world!

    @ Elisa: The teal you chose is DIVINE, my friend! Lovely.

    @ anhesty: Oh girl, the screen door is so much scarier in person. I think it's beyond saving. It should be condemned. =]

    @ Suzie: I know! I was like, the '60's?! Who is this girl?! Oh right, she's a product of the '90's. Yeesh!

    @ Anna See & Anne: I've just added a Q & A section to the bottom of this post. Thanks for your questions, I hope this helps. Good luck with your doors, would love to see the finished product!!

  25. @ Amanda: OMG! I forgot about that episode! Thx for the laugh. Oh, Jack & his "business". =]

    @ Chandelier: Aw thank you! You're hilarious. Humor BFF's, mmmkay? Off to check out your blog.

  26. Great face lift on the door. It's amazing what a little elbow grease can do.

    As for the previous post I love the images. So inspiring.

    I know it's hard to keep up with the blog world, but keep at it your blog is great :)

    take care,

  27. Wow! What a great affordable transformation. So do you have the horse picture hanging yet? I can't wait to see what it looks like.

  28. Our door is black as well, but yours looks so much more fabulous! You're making me think about a quick once over with your fancy paint. Oh, and I use that paint brush as well. It's a godsend.

  29. I love the look of the front door! Where did you get the light fixture - I need to replace our outdoor light fixtures and I love that one! Thanks!

  30. @ Frugal: The horse photo JUST arrived as I type this! Photos to come next week!

    @ Heather: Thank you!! Our light hails from good ol' Lowe's. It's a motion sensor light and was around $50, I think? We love the classic lines it has! If you get it, would love to see pics!

  31. I've been begging my parents to just paint their front doors black already, but they never listen to me that it really will be fabulous! I'm sending them these pictures right now.

    Love this project and it makes the front of your home look just divine!

  32. Your front door entry is beautiful! What an amazing transformation! And I watched a lot of "Three's Company." I believe my television line-up included: Three's Company, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island...and some Little House on the Prairie thrown in there for good measure. ; ) Trina

  33. So when are you going to be knocking on my door? :) I have seriously wondered how black would look on our front door. Looks like I have to wait for the weather to be more accommodating before I even think about attempting this. I think the entrance looks stunning..and as make me laugh. :) All I can think of is Chrissy and her roller skates. :)


  34. What a difference some black paint can make! The door looks awesome!
    I was shoked when John Ritter died, I grew up watching that show. Thats when we had like 7 channels!

  35. Fantastic door makeover! Great job!

    -Cara @ Live the Home Life

  36. Love the black and the new accessories! I really want to paint our front door black. Right now it matches our shutters which are a olive green color (not picked by me). But when moved in we replaced the brass hardware with oil rubbed bronze and I am not sure how it will look with black. The husband will probably not want to change it again after just a year and a half so I am stuck.

  37. Looks beautiful, very traditional and elegant, what a difference some paint and hardware makes! Great job!

  38. I love your front door. How hard was it to install the door knocker? We currently don't have one and my fiance claims it's a big pain in the behind..

    Also.. shame on your intern for not watching Three's Company! (at least re runs)Classic!

  39. The '60s?!?! OUCH! I used to love that show.

    Anyway, your door looks amazing! Love it. Ours is basic white and needs to go! One day, FC. One day. ;)

  40. Love the look with the dark color. My front door is well dark brown almost black. We live in an HOA, so the door color cannot be changed, god forbid any one try to be different! lol.

  41. You did such a great job on this! I would have thought it was a brand new door if you hadn't told us :)

  42. Good job! I love a black door, still working on my Love to see the beauty of it. I'll show him yours I am sure that will help.

  43. Looks great! very elegant door. For your next door checkout I bought my entry doors from them and I love it. They have huge selection and the quality is 100 times better than home depot and lowes.

  44. The door looks great.

    But Im very sad that there are people out there who aren't familiar with Three's Company! I never thought about it but I guess they stopped rerunning those shows over and over at some point. (Its almost as sad as people who didn't watch the Honeymooners growing up!)


Let's get weird up in here.
~Freckles Chick~