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?