While the windows are the eyes of the house the front door is the soul of the house.
The front door is where you can make your biggest first impression to your guests and the front door paint color can make a difference.
Accenting a front door with a contrasting paint color can really look great but there are times when it would be best to keep it more simple.
Here I will show you some examples of when to and when not to paint your front door a contrasting color.
Although the choice is up to you, I will provide some criteria to assist you in your decision so your house may achieve the best curb appeal.
Of course you can’t forget the impact of
a storm door
and the correct
color placement on your front door
which is extremely important.
Stained Front Door
A natural wood stained front door looks the best. There is more maintenance however. A Spar Varnish is designed to protect a wood surface from ultra-violet rays. Even so, your door will require frequent applications especially if it gets a lot of sun – also the low sun during the winter. If the varnish is allowed to flake, it will pull the stain color out resulting in a light spot that is very difficult to fix (I learned the hard way).
Gloss or Satin – they all look great so you decide your preference. Satin can make the door look more antique like while a gloss makes the color and grain stand out more.
Painted Front Door
Most clients I work with expect to have a front door that contrasts the colors on the house. That is great for some houses but not on all.
The idea is to have paint colors balance out the house. You want to see a rhythm of color and not have an extra color thrown in causing confusion. Your mind would like to see a simple color pattern on a house.
The front door can be a bold color (red for example) for it is the only feature on the house that will stand out in a bold red color. Black shutters are also bold. If there are lots of windows with shutters the bold black shutters can stand on their own. If only two windows with shutters, the bold black shutters may be competing with the bold red front door.
Colonial Revival Houses
A typical Colonial Revival house has 5 bays on the top and bottom floors. The first floor center bay is the front door. Usually all windows have shutters. Many times you see a Colonial Revival house that is white with black shutters and a bright red door. This works great. If the front door matched the black shutters the house would feel static. In other words there are two rows of black shutters. There are a lot of windows with shutters. A contrasting front door color in the customary red or bright yellow etc. will break up the static pattern.
Of course the storm door really cheapens the look of such a grand house.
I do not recommend a contrasting front door on the house above. Here the window sash is painted an accent color. The window sash is very narrow and does not stand out as strong as shutters do. To keep the balance of the window sash color, this color is reused on the front entrance.
If the front door was painted yellow for example, the window sash color would go un-noticed. The front door color brings out the color of the windows.
The house above has more and slightly heavier windows filling up the facade of the house. Here is the front door is black to match the window sashes. Since the windows have a heavier feel I would say that his house can have either a matching or contrasting door.
A good option for a door color would be rust, dark green, or bright blue etc. Of course the storm door has a negative impact on curb appeal.
Front Door Color on Victorians and Other Style Homes.
With Victorian, Cape Cod, Cottages, and some smaller homes I do NOT recommend a contrasting front door. Either the house is too small or the fenestration of the windows and door are such that keeping them the same color makes the house seem more grounded.
The front door in this Cape Cod could be painted a contrasting color but that would be four colors for a small house. The extra color could create a confused appearance and possibly compete with the shutter color.
Keep it simple. There are at least several color in the brick, the mortar color, stucco color, trim color and two roof colors. You need something that does not compete with the other colors. The neutral look of the black shutters and black door act to tie in everything else on the house to make all the colors work together.
It’s not a sin to have a contrasting door for this house but I wouldn’t recommend it. I feel you will lose some of the elegance. Shutters, sash, and door is Benjamin Moore Essex Green.
It is good to repeat colors on a house to provide balance and harmony.
The front door can be painted either way for this style house. See the different looks with a matching and contrasting front door.
What Are Some Good Front Door Colors?
If not stained wood, the front door must be a contrasting color to the other colors on the house. Do NOT use a similar color. If your house is light green then the door can be a dark green or another contrasting color such as yellow, red, orange, maybe some blues. The color can be saturated meaning that the color can be strong and rich. You may be surprised but it is pretty easy to find a door color.
Remember that if your window sash is a dark color, the shutters must be the same color. Next comes the front door and if you paint it the same color or contrasting depends on the variables you read above.