The Easiest Way To Paint An Exterior Door

I’ve had this hankering to paint my front exterior door blue ever since I moved into this house because the front exterior house was just kind of… blah. Buuuuut… the problem was I don’t actually own this house. Our landlords are totally AWESOME and when we moved in said they were open to ideas for fixing up the place since they had just barely purchased the home. Uh… yeah. insert hand raising emoji here I THINK I can help you out with that. I told her that I was a DIY home decor blogger and she basically gave me free-reign to do whatever I wanted in the home, provided I stuck to neutral colors. Oh, and did I mention she paid for EVERYTHING?? Holla! I ran the idea by her early on for painting the front door navy blue and she was a little hesitant on the idea. Then after living here for 10 months and seeing how nice the place turned out she finally gave me the go ahead to paint it! So I finally did it. Here’s what she looked like before, in all her glory. 

Beige Exterior door with wreath
exterior door with wreath


150 or higher grit sandpaper

Krud Kutter or heavy duty cleaner

Painters tape

ArtMinds Outdoor Paint

Paint brush

Foam roller

I started by giving it a good sanding. You don’t need to sand it all the way down, just rough it up with some 150 grit or higher so that the paint has something to grip. This also got rid of some of the gunk that has built up over the years.

Sandpaper on exterior door

Next, clean it REEEEAAAALLLY well with a good cleaner. I like to use Krud Kutter for most of my major cleaning projects since it’s non-toxic and doesn’t smell, plus it gets the job done! I like to do this after the sanding so I can clean it of dust all in the same step.

krud kutter and exterior door

Next, tape everything off or if you’re one of those overachievers you can remove the door hardware.

blue painters tape on exterior door

If your door already has a coat of paint on it, you’ll want to do a test to determine if it’s latex based or oil based paint. Grab some rubbing alcohol and use a cotton swab to rub some on. If the paint comes off, it’s latex paint. If you’ve got an oil based paint on your door, or an oil-based finish over a stained door, you’ll want to use a primer before you paint. Nobody wants peeling paint!

Now finally, time to paint! I used the ArtMinds Outdoor paint in the color Marina, but I wanted my door to be a darker navy blue so I mixed in about half of the 4 ounce bottle of Tire Swing with the Marina.

blue paint and beige exterior door

This paint dries quickly and will show brush strokes, so I worked one section at a time using the brush first and then going over the wet paint with a foam roller to smooth it out. Going over it with the roller created some bubbles in the paint that would eventually go away with a few more times rolling over it.

blue painters tape and blue paint on exterior door

Last step, let it dry and take the tape off! I did two coats of the paint on my door.

exterior door painted blue with tape

I decided I was only going to paint the outside of my door because I’m not sure yet how the navy will look on the interior. But doesn’t it look nice??? I made that wreath, too for like, 17 bucks.

exterior door painted blue with wreath
exterior door painted blue with wreath
exterior door painted blue with wreath

Such a simple project that makes a huge impact!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Also, you want to see what else I’ve been up to recently?? Check out these other posts!

Cottage Bathroom Makeover Reveal

Easiest Way to Install Shiplap

The Best Weekly Schedule for the Stay-at-Home Mom



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