Picking a Color for Your Front Door

How to Pick a Paint Color for Your Front Door

So, you live in a white house, with black shutters, and a gray roof. In the back of your mind your thinking that the outside of your house needs something. A bit of color to brighten it up, give it some pizzazz, personality, and curb appeal. You think maybe by introducing some color on the front door, that will do the trick. But, What Color, You think?? In this post, I have a solution that I hope will help you with your color selecting dilemma.

I think the easiest way to pick a color for your front door is to take a color cue from the colors that you have already used to interior decorate the inside of your house. I feel you should concentrate on the colors that you used in your Front Hall and Living Room. Those two rooms are the first two main spaces that you see when entering a house.

Front Hall ..If you have a spacious front hall, that has wallpaper, or a patterned rug in it(your inspiration pieces), that is where I think you should first pull your door color from.

some Inspiration Pieces to pull your Front Door paint color from

The door when opened, will be picking up one of the colors from the wallpaper or carpet in the front hall.

In the collage above, I have put together a number of different patterned oriental rugs, a picture of a painting, and a couple of different samples of fabrics, that would possibly be seen in an entry way. All the elements that make up this collage share the same colors. A russet red, tones of gold, and medium to dark colonial blue. If I were adding a wallpaper sample to the collage, it would be a stripe in one or more of the same colors.

Now slowly look over the different elements that make up the collage. Look at how each of the three colors is, in one way or another, used in most of the samples. Next think for a moment, If you had these elements in your house, which of the three colors attracts you most, and which one would you want on your front door?  There is really no wrong choice.

Living Room..Sometimes a house has a very small entrance way, that is really not decorated, or your front door opens directly into your living room. If you have a floor plan like that, I feel you should consider this option..

Picking a Front Door color inspired by the Living Room

In the collage above, I have assembled a picture of a painting, a fabric swatch, and pictures of some furniture. The three paint samples, show the colors that are pulled from those decorative elements.

Again, any of the paint color samples would be fine as the front door color. A light color would look fun, modern, and airy. A darker color would be more sophisticated and formal. As always, the choice is your.

Paint Finish for a Front Door ..I feel that whatever color you pick, it will Look its Best in a Gloss Finish. I love Gloss paint on doors! The gloss has a way of making a color look richer. The Sparkle, Shine, and Wet Look of a color in gloss is Jewel Like. If gloss is not your cup of tea, then pick a semi gloss finish.

After picking the color, that you will be painting your front door, you will have to decide if you want to paint both sides, or just the outside one. I personally like the outside of the door a color, and the interior side of the front door to be white, or left a wood tone. That way, when you open the door to greet guests, you will see the pop of color, but when closed, you have the more neutral color to look at most of the time.

Years ago, I helped my neighbors pick a color for the inside side of their front door. The walls of their hall were papered in a medium-large floral pattern, with a red background. I chose the red background color of the paper for the door color. The Red Door, bright and rich as it was, became a Non Busy / Solid Space where the eye could rest in that pattern filled room.

Finally, the ideas I’ve just covered pertain to a house sided in white. White is the perfect neutral, and practically everything goes with it. If you have a house covered in brick, or in a colored or painted siding, I suggest that you first isolate your colors, using your interior decorating colors, then one by one put then up against your house’s covering to see which one works best.

After painting your front door, Why not work that color across the front of your house a bit. Plant flowers in that color, paint flower boxes, urns, a bench or trellis to match. Maybe you can even find a gazing ball to go with the color of your front door. Everything you do will add Color and Personality your Home.

Companion Posts
(Exterior Projects)
Picking the Right Paint or Siding Color(s) for your House 11-19-2011,
Choosing the Right Color Roof for your Home 10-7-2011,
Foundation Plants, Laying out Foundation Plants in Front of your Home 9-28-2013,
Putting Foundation Plants across the Front of your Home 10-21-2013,
Distance Foundation Plants from your Home when Planting 5-3-2012
Some Ideas about Planting Trees by your Home for Curb Appeal 4-26-2012,
Looking at Evergreens in the Garden 1-31-2012,
Applying Fertilizer / Weed Control on the Lawn 4-27-2012,
Got Grass growing out onto your Sidewalk or Driveway?…Edge it! 8-26-2012.

(Interior Projects)
Picking the Perfect Gray Paint…A Popular Color choice of the moment 2-15-2014,
Pick (Use) Four Colors when Decorating a Room 3-7-2011,
Paint a Room a Dark Color, then add light accents 3-27-2011,
When Decorating a Beige Room think Tones, Texture and Sculptural Interest 3-16-2011,
ADD color to a Beige Room with Accessories 4-2-2011,
ACCENT WALLS..Some ideas for Painting or Wallpapering an Accent Wall in your Home 10-29-2013,
It’s EASY to Paint Horizontal Stripes on a Wall, Step by Step Instructions 11-8-2013.


About fredgonsowskigardenhome

Your eyes deserve to view beauty. I hope Fred Gonsowski Garden Home helps to turn your vision, into a reality.
This entry was posted in How-to, Interior Decorating Principles, Picking Paint Colors Interior / Exterior / Front Door / Roof. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Picking a Color for Your Front Door

  1. You know me Fred: ORANGE doors (and trim). Can’t resist. Love your illustrations.

  2. Caterina says:

    Thank you for this post! I know nothing about decor/decorating/design, but absolutely love reading about it.

    My house is painted a goldish/deep-yellow with white trim. My husband and I have discussed painting the front door, maybe a burnt orange or deep red. Blue was a contender, but that idea is out. Our dominant color when you walk into the living room is beige, beige and more beige 😦 sad, but true.

    Everything you have suggested here is fabulous and I love it! Thanks again.

    • Hi Caterina Read my post titled When decorating a beige room think tones, textures, and sculptural interest 3-16-2011, and Add color to a beige room with accent 4-2-2011. The burnt orange/russet red color are part of the yellow/gold family (yellow + red = orange), they have yellow undertones (not blue under-toned like cranberry or burgundy ( red + blue = purple). After picking the color for your front door, introduce it into your beige interior as accents. Put a burnt orange/russet red throw on a chair, russet red pillows on the sofa, an area rug with beige and russet red as part of the pattern , russet red vases, arrangements of silk flowers, and some art work with that color in it, etc. Just work the color around the room.

      Thank you for the comment. Each comment might inspire other readers ;-}

  3. Tee Jay says:

    Great article. 🙂 And here’s to hoping you can give me a clue, coz I desperately need some advice. LOL Our house is in dire need of a paint job. (We plan to side it eventually, but that’s not an option for a few years, soo… ) Here are 2 pics of our house:

    The paint is horribly faded. Whomever painted it before we bought it, used a sprayer and painted *everything*: wood siding, trim, gutters, downspouts, ALL the same color. They didn’t bother to protect the black stone foundation either, and the top of it got sprayed as well. 😦 I’ve bought black exterior paint to deal with that, The windows need replaced but that’s another item for the future, so we’re also dealing with the metal trim on the old windows. I’ve considered adding shutters but can’t find any pics of them used with this type of window so have no idea how that would look?? The front door is, of course, the same color. LOL (with the exception of the white storm door.) After lots of internet research, I’m *assuming* this is a Craftsman style home. (?) Heck, I don’t know. (My fiance bought the house before I met him.) Most of the homes in this neighborhood were built pretty much the same, and *painted* the same. (early 1980).

    Please, can you suggest some paint colors that will brighten up this drab horror?? We want to paint this summer, but have no idea how to choose a color and obviously don’t want to get it painted and it end up looking just as bad as it does now. 😦 We’re in a country-type setting (woods in back and on one side). I’m too old to climb up on the roof to check it out, (haha) but it’s a dark grey/black color…

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! If it’s any help, our inside decor is beige (ick) but I’ve added rust, shades of green, yellow, burnt orange, etc…. earthy tones…..

    Please save me. LOL

    • Hi Tee Jay, Looking at your BROWN house, the style is a RANCH. If the roof is a gray-black as you said, I would paint the body of the house (all the area with vertical boards) a light silver gray. The upper part with the horizontal board I would paint a darker gray from that same color strip. All the trim, but not the white part of the windows, I would paint a medium dark gray-green. The front door could be a russet red. The deck railing a darker tone of the gray-green. The lighter color would make it more current looking. If you follow my instructions, pick up every gray, gray-green paint sample they have at the paint store. Bring home dark and light colors. Tape them up against your house to see them in different light. A color that looks dark inside, will be lighter in the sun. Once you find the colors that attract you, go back to the paint store, and get many of the same color strip, tape the many pieces together to make a bigger sample of the color. That way you will be able to see if is the color you want. Good luck, and happy panting.

      Two past posts that might interest you , that you will find under Archive on the right.. When Decorating a Beige Room, think Tones, Texture and Sculptural interest 3-16-2011, and Add Color to a Beige Room with Accents 4-2-2011

  4. Tee Jay says:

    Thank you, EVER so much!!! I was totally at a loss at even where to BEGIN to try t figure out what color to go with; everything I looked at online was the wrong style, or for some reason didn’t look like it would work. I will be going to the paint store tomorrow to check out the colors you suggested, and going over to read your other articles now. Thanks again, for your help!!! 🙂

    • Hi Tee Jay, My color picking was just a practical guess, NOT knowing you, or your taste. I thought the gray tones would make the place look modern, and neat. Anything is better than the fading brown. If I were giving another suggestion, it would be, maybe two tones of gray-green for the body, and a light silver gray for the trim. Either my first suggestion, or the second would be taking gray from the roof and working it down onto the body of the house. That is what design is all about, moving color, pattern and texture around. If you find another color that attracts you even more, try to bring the gray of the roof, down onto the body of the house, one way or another. Make sure, once you find the body color for the house, that you put it up against the color you think you want for the trim, to make sure they all work together. Happy Painting!

  5. Mariella says:

    Thank you for this inspiring post! I am renovating my house. It is small cape in new england. I chose tan green for the siding with white trim around windows. For the door I am thinking orange. No sure a bright orange or a darker orange… some of plants in front are strawberry red and purple… I hope it doesn’t look too much! Thanks again for this post.

    • Hi there Mariella, go to the paint store and get every sample of orange paint that they have. Put the different samples of the orange paint up against the siding color you have and look at them OUTSIDE during different times of the day. You will then be able to pick an orange tone that attracts you and works best with your hours. Also think about a orange-red or red-orange to match the plants. Purple and orange really look good together, so maybe you can put a wreath on the door with purple and orange flowers, and a few red ones in it to tie everything together. Best of luck with you project, and enjoy the Summer! Thanks for commenting ;-}

  6. Rita Mills says:

    my house is a 2 story white siding home with brown roof, what color front door and shutters would look best. I love a cottage feel thought about brown shutters

    • Hi there Rita, if you are not taking a color cue from your house’s interior colors, than work the brown from the roof down to the face of your house on either the shutters or the front door. Get a brown paint that matches the roof color close as possible so it looks coordinated. If you do brown shutters, do a dark leaf green or moss green door; that would look nice with any plantings that are by the front of your house, you could also do a green on the shutters and brown door. Another option would be to pick brown for the shutters, and possibly consider a yellow or yellow-orange for the door. You could also be kind of bold and pick a bright french blue for the door and pair it with the brown shutters. Brown is a neutral, and I could see it with a salmon pink, a burgundy red, possibly a purple tone and a pumpkin orange (brown also says Fall to me, so any of the Autumn colors would go with brown). Do you have a sample of the roof color? If you do, take it to the paint store and pass it by every paint color chip they have on the rack and bring home every sample that smiles at you. Lay the roof sample next to the body of your house and tape the possible color samples for the door or shutters next to them. Step back and see if you like any of the things you brought home. Check the color combination at different times of the day so you can see them in different kinds of light. Once you have a few colors that you would consider using, go back to the paint store and bring home like six of the same sample colors that you like. Tape the six samples together of each color to make a larger sample of that color and look again, you will eventually find something you like. Good Luck with the project.

  7. Susan says:

    Hello, I recently bought a 1998 single level house with a grey/brown cement tile roof. It has a large grey cement block retaining wall. My interior color is blue grey with accents in fabric of kiwi green, tangerine, red, gold and navy. I love color. I want to paint the house a tan/gold color with lighter trim and the tangerine for the front door. I will be adding stone to the columns in front of the house in a grey/ brown to go with the roof. What do you think?

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