Painting the Door and Shutters: Part I

As soon as we saw our new house, I knew I would be painting the shutters and doors if we bought it. While I love cobalt blue, I think it’s a little much on every door and shutter. I like it much more when shutters are a more neutral, quiet color and the front door is a bold hue (like cobalt! It’s beautiful on a door).

That being said, I did have a lot of fun taking photos of our front door for Instagram — cobalt is such a striking color, and it looks great in pictures!

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Of course, I immediately thought I would use shades of green. The shutters have little pine tree cutouts — not something I would have chosen myself, but I like that it gives a nod to the Adirondacks area, where we live. Shades of green look so elegant on a house in the country, I think — it just makes it fit in with the natural surroundings. I knew I wanted greens with a lot of gray or brown in them as opposed to yellow and blue, so they looked more organic and neutral. Here are some of my inspiration photos:

Aren’t those green doors delicious? I especially loved the super saturated, rich, dark shades.

And the green shutters just seem to spell relaxed country house (perhaps in the French countryside), and go so well with the beautiful gardens and flowers, landscaping and wood tones in the photos.

I tried out so many shades of green in my usual process of whittling down colors. I collected all of these paint cards over a few months prior to actually being ready to start the project. I would just grab them each time I went to Lowes or Home Depot, so the colors are from a mix of brands.

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When I finally put all the colors together, I went through and did an initial purge of colors that I thought were too bright, lime-y or garish. It’s easier to tell when they are all together! Like I said, I was looking for those perfect, elegant gray-greens or brown-greens that look so rich in the sunlight without being too vivid.

Then, I took all the other colors outside and stuck them up on one of the shutters and the door (light ones on the shutters, dark ones on the door). Graham was so excited to help me with this part! We backed way up and surveyed the colors. It was easy to see which colors on the shutters were wrong — some looked like plain white in the sunlight, others looked like straight gray. For the door, many of the colors also looked really light in the sunlight — they were too similar to the shutters colors or just didn’t achieve that super-saturated, rich color I was after.

Once I was down to the last few contenders, it was more about matching the shutters and door colors to each other and seeing which ones worked best together. I finally settled on Fig Tree by Behr for the door (in High Gloss) and Artichoke Leaf by Glidden (in satin) for the shutters. Isn’t it great when beautiful paint colors have perfect names, too?

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Here are the before photos of the outside of the house:

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The two big maple trees out front cast the craziest shadows, don’t they?

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Painting the front door was such a quick project — I finished it all during one naptime (about 2 and a half hours), so satisfying!

I took off the door knocker and cleaned it first. I realized that it was old cast iron, along with the door handle, so I painted them both a matte black. For the door, I gave it a light sanding and then painted the whole thing with a 1 inch angled paintbrush — my favorite. I always edge around the door hardware first (if I don’t remove it), then I paint the inset panels, then I painted the horizontal strips and then the vertical strips. This method has always worked the best for me and makes the brush lines look the cleanest.

So there’s not much to this DIY, just a really satisfying before-and-after!

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And a before-and-after for good measure:

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Next up: Painting the shutters! Stay tuned.

 

 

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