Picture the scene, if you will. You’re on the phone to a friend who’s coming over (we’re still in lockdown at time of writing, so maybe this is a weird concept?) and you’re trying to describe visual clues to them so they know which house is yours. Having tried lots of different options, you scramble to think about any other cues you might be able to offer. Then, it hits you – describe the front door. Except…that front door is looking a little bit shabby and in quite desperate need of a lick of paint, and you just decide to put on the nearest pair of shoes and physically flag your friend down instead.
Infomercial-esque dramatisations notwithstanding, the front door is the gateway to the home, and it can play a big part in setting the tone for the rest of the house. It’s the literal first impression, and having a well-painted and beautifully finished front door can do surprising wonders in uplifting the rest of your house with it.
There are a few specific things that a good front door paint requires. Given that it’s outside-facing, a fair degree of weather proofing is necessary to ensure that your door stays as bold as when you first paint it. Plus, it’s got to be tough enough to withstand a lot of regular bumps and scuffs, be it post through the letterbox or an excitable dog jumping at the door to get in. We’ve taken these things and more into account and summarised the best front door paints available for you to buy today.
|Ronseal Weatherproof Paint||10 years||8 m2 /l||1 hours||£££|
|Rainbow The One Paint||n/a years||12 m2 /l||2 hours||££££|
|Johnstone’s Weatherguard Exterior Gloss||6 years||10 m2 /l||8 hours||£|
|Fascinating Finishes Satin Front Door Paint||5 years||12 m2 /l||2 hours||££|
|Rustins Small Job Satin Paint||n/a years||12 m2 /l||0.5 hours||££|
Ronseal have built their brand around paint and paint-adjacent products that are no-frills, high quality and ultimately easy to use. This has been extended to their range of specific paints for applications including front doors. This particular offering is available in a wide range of colours, with 12 options ranging from traditional blacks and whites to more vibrant greens, blues and reds in both satin and gloss finishes, depending on how shiny and resplendent you want your front door.
A major selling point for Ronseal’s front door paint is the massive 10-year guarantee on both the colour quality and its protection levels. The consistency of the paint while you apply it ensures it won’t drip, and won’t need priming even onto bare wood, and the 10-year guarantee encompasses a resistance to cracking, peeling and blistering. being water-based, it’s quick to dry and needs just one hour to be weatherproofed, although it would likely need a few more hours if you decide a second coat is necessary.
- Lovely finish
- Colour options
- 10-year guarantee
- Easy to use
- Quite expensive
This water-based do-it-all paint from Rainbow earns its name The One on several levels. Firstly, it’s an all-in-one solution as it comprises both paint and primer, saving you time by allowing you to paint directly onto the bare wood of your front door. It also only requires a single coat of paint for full coverage, however you may decide to do a second coat if you want bolder colour.
That colour is also a big selling point, with Rainbow offering matt, satin and gloss finishes in 10 different colours (seller availability may vary). It’s very quick to dry and has minimal environmental impact by merit of the water base. This is a paltry 2 hours between coats, so even if more than one does end up being a necessity you’ll not be waiting long. It’s also pretty low in odour thanks to the base.
- One coat
- Colour options
- Quick drying
- Not outdoor specific
Johnstone’s Weatherguard series is notable for a high level of protection paired with lovely colours and finishes. Their exterior gloss paint, suitable for a wide range of outdoor applications on wood, metal and even plastic, continues in the same vein with a 6-year guarantee on protection and colour retention. This comes by way of a carefully designed formula that resists cracking, peeling and blistering by allowing a certain degree of flexibility for the paint to move with expansions and contractions on the surfaces it’s painted on to.
They offer the paint in 9 variations ranging through blacks, creams, greens, blues and reds which dry to a lovely high sheen gloss finish. The gloss is naturally tough, and is water resistant as well as crack-proof (as mentioned above). Drying time is around 8 hours, but with a nice thick consistency that’s easy to apply with minimal drips, one or two coats should be sufficient. It’s also a god value choice, offering a lot of paint for a reasonable investment.
- Good value
- Lots of colours
- 6-year guarantee
Don’t let the unassuming and fairly plain packaging fool you. The plain exterior belies a high quality paint that would make a great choice to paint your front door with. This particular paint has a lovely mid sheen satin finish, perfect for balancing understated matt with a bolder shine. However, Fascinating Finishes do have gloss alternatives in different colours, although seller availability may vary.
The carefully designed formula includes weather protection, making it a firm choice for all sorts of outdoor applications but vitally giving it the sort of weatherproofing that a front door requires. It’s fairly quick to dry with around 2 hours needed for shower-proof dryness, which comes thanks to a water base. Fascinating Finishes also guarantee this to protect your front door for 5 years, which makes it a good peace of mind choice.
- Good finish
- Dries quickly
- 5-year guarantee
- Middling value
However you want to express yourself through the medium of the front door, you can count on Rustins’ Small Job satin finish paint. Available in 6 bold and vivid shades (for the satin finish, other finishes available), this is an excellent value choice for bringing a vibrant colour burst to your front door. The versatile paint is good for both indoor and outdoor use, so you could quite easily paint your interior doors to match. However, as the name suggests, it might be a stretch to paint all your doors with one tin.
Being water-based, it’s very quick drying which is ideal for projects like the front door. Additionally, it’s low-odour, and is ultimately very hard-wearing, making it an ideal choice for the weather-facing needs of an exterior door. Rustins also highlight that it meets safety standards for use with toys – if it can stand up to the rigours of children, then it can surely stand up to the elements as well.
- Colour choices
- Quick drying
- Possibly over-bold colours
Which Front Door Paint To Go For?
The front door is the first impression many will get to your house, so it’s important to have something strong that sets the right tone for the rest of the place. A run-down front door will communicate a run-down interior, so getting the right paint is vital. Here are our picks for the best overall front door paint, as well as the best value option.
Best Front Door Paint – The Ronseal Weatherproof Paint stands tall as the best overall front door paint. The 10-year protection Ronseal offer is unbeaten by any other product, and such exceptional weatherproofing would be enough by itself. However, it’s added features, including the wide range of lovely colours, that help this sail clear as the best choice. Well worth the investment.
Best Value – for value, Johnstone’s Weatherguard Exterior Gloss is the best choice. This comes by way of the long life and elemental protection you’d want from an exterior paint, paired with a great selection of colours to allow you to express yourself more than capably. This comes in at a price point that’s much lower than the competition.
Front Door Paint FAQ
How to paint a front door
If possible/feasible, the first step is to remove the door from its hinges and work in a garage or workshop. As most front doors will already be painted, you’ll need to PPE up and apply some paint stripper to every little nook and cranny of the door. Once that starts to bubble up, use a metal scraper to carefully remove all the paint you can, reapplying stripper if necessary. You may also need a more specialist shave hook (a smaller type of shaped scraper) for any mouldings. Once the door is free of paint, clean and neutralise the stripper with water/white spirit (check the instructions for the stripper), sand the door with medium grit sandpaper, then begin painting! Depending on the type of door you have, paint any recessed areas and mouldings first, and also paint horizontally/vertically depending on the orientation of any panels. Also be sure to use masking tape to protect any glass or other fixtures on the door.
What kind of paint to use on a front door
For front doors, the key part is weather proofing. They’re outward-facing and exposed to the elements, so you need something that’s got good protection against rain, moisture, mould and so on. Getting the right level of protection should be your first priority in choosing a front door paint.
What colour should i paint my front door?
This is entirely down to your preference, but also depends on your home’s style and the statement you want to make. For classic looks, a crisp white; for modern, minimalist styles greys can work wonders; period homes often suit shades of blue; oranges, reds and yellows are good for more cheerful looks; while greens tend to communicate a more chilled atmosphere.
How to paint a front door without brush marks
The easiest way to minimise brush marks is to use as few strokes as possible when painting. Part of this is down to preparation; a door that’s properly cleaned and sanded creates a better surface to paint upon, which makes longer more careful strokes more effective. Of course the obvious answer to avoiding brush marks is to use a roller, but even they can leave marks and the same logic applies to minimising it. Long, careful and even strokes on a well-prepared door.