Front Door Drama

I have such a thing for front doors. I’ve always wanted to do a coffee table book of just photographs of gorgeous front doors from around the world. I don’t really know why I feel so inspired by them, but I do. Perhaps because it’s the first hint of what kind of decor and style is to be found inside the home? Your front door (and the surrounding area) can be a great place to express yourself. I tried doing a bold front door when we bought our house (also referred to as The McDonald’s Door Incident) and failed miserably. But as of late I’m tempted to try again with another color. So for inspiration, here are a slew of great door colors to consider and I’ll suggest some tips for picking a color at the bottom!
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So how do you pick a color? First you have to consider the color of your house and trim!  Here are some suggestions based on various exterior home colors:

WHITE: You really have free reign with a white house, unless you have shutters painted a color, then you need to take that color into consideration too. But if your house is like mine for example, white with black shutters, any color CAN work, just consider your surroundings and landscaping.  Particularly good colors: red, black, green, dark blue.

GREY: With grey houses I particularly love light blues/turquoise, yellow and coral pink.  Dark purple also will work as will a bolder red-orange. White trim will add to the great contrast!

BEIGE: For homes that are tan/beige/brown I would try bright red, mossy green, medium to dark blues.

BRICK: This is another “free reign” material for the most part, especially on older brick homes.  Grey, light blue, bold greens and black all look great.  With red brick or new construction brick I’d avoid red tones as it can look to matchy. Regardless, do a high gloss finish to contrast with the matte, rough brick.

STONE: I just love a good stone house- assuming the stone is in the grey family, I love black, blues (any shade), green (any shade) and an orangey-red.  Again, be sure to use a high gloss for contrast.

Do you have a colored front door you love? If so, please share the color!


  1. Love! I am a sucker for green doors. There is a white house with black shutters on our street in Belmont that changes door color with each season. They just went with a high-gloss navy and paired it with a wreath of shells for summer.

  2. LOVE! We just painted our front door PINK after much waiting and debate and it was the single best thing we’ve done yet to our house. It’s so fun and love it or hate it, it’s so me!

  3. We chose a BM yellow for our front door. I loved watching the neighbors notice it as they walked by with their pups. We changed it from a dark green and I love it. In the winter, it’s a reminder that spring is close and the rest of the year it makes me happy.

  4. We have a brick house with a Spanish tile roof. We recently painted the house In Farrow & Ball London Stone (copied by Ben Moore, since we aren’t lottery winners), which is a rich beige color. We did our front door in high gloss Farrow & Ball
    Pelt, a very dark purple. It actually looks much brighter on the door than it did on the color card because of the gloss and sunlight, so the lesson I learned with front doors is to go slightly darker than you imagine unless you live on a very shady street!

    1. I learned that lesson too when my cherry red paint looked hot pink once it got on the door. On our green and gray, mossy leafy shady street, that door was like a beacon!

      1. Yes! Door paint, unless under a shaded portico or something, always looks SO much brighter when applied!!! That’s what happened with my yellow door!

  5. We also live in a white house with black shutters. Our door is black also. We just moved in six months ago and I love our door. It’s a 90 year old house and the hardware is brass that has aged. I see all these other doors and like them, but could probably never choose anything but black. I tend to play it too safe. I think black is classic.

  6. I love Charleston Green – a dark, almost black green – on our front door. It contrasts so nicely with the white painted brick! It’s a bit less stark than black. The boston ferns look nice with it, too.

  7. Great post! We painted our door coral last year (grey house) and love love love it with all of our oil rubbed bronze hardware complete with squirrel door knocker. I only hate when people call the door color “salmon” because it gives me the creeps for some reason.

  8. Great post! What are some examples of bolder orange-red colors that you like for a grey house?

  9. Is it okay to have a gray house, black shutters, and a colorful door? or is that too much going on?
    we just painted our house BM coventry gray with black shutters. tried taking off the shutters but unless reframed it looked dusty.

      1. Stacey – I love a grey house with black shutters and a red door (I used to have one!). There is a picture on the left side, about in the middle of the post with a similar color scheme.

  10. I recently renovated a home on the coast in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The exterior is a mixture of of Maibec cedar shingles in ‘Seacoast Gray’ and white board and batten. All of the trim is in white. We did a custom front door with antique bullion glass – very pretty. The front door is BM ‘Bayard Blue’ – DC24. I tried quite a few colors on poster board including several Fine Paints of Europe and British Standard paint colors and the Ben Moore was my favorite. My designer agreed with my choice! Only word of warning is that if you choose to use antique glass – find a reproduction that is insulated given our New England weather!

  11. Our door was black when our bought our house. I finally painted it Tulip Red (Fine Paints of Europe) a few years ago and love it! It made our white brick colonial so much more interesting and inviting.

  12. I love doors too and have been stalking every door in town looking for inspiration to replace our original 1940 front door. It should be here soon so now it’s all about the color. White painted brick black shutters here, I have a feeling I’ll be painting it black with brass hardware…
    Loved watching you renovate your gorgeous home btw!

  13. I love all these beautiful old doors with sidelights and panelling, but I can’t seem to find any new doors that have such character. They all seem too flat. Anyone know where I can purchase new insulated versions of these richly panelled doors with windows?

  14. We live in a neighboring town to you, and there is a house where they repaint the front door almost weekly. They often paint around the holidays- deep red for Christmas, pink around Easter, navy blue for the 4th of July. When we drove by the other day it was a pool blue. It’s become a become a game for my 8 year old to guess the color before we drive by. I’m impressed with the time, energy and effort it takes to keep with with such an endeavor!

  15. my door is white. stark white. because i live in a high-rise with very strict HOA rules. womp-womp!

  16. We JUST bought a new place and I’m ecstatic because the door is already a beautiful , glossy black which will be perfect for the lions head door knocker that we bought while we were in London. It’ll look so fab when we can paint the entire townhouse white (like they do in Hyde Park) and add a few British touches. Now I just have to wait a few more weeks…


  17. Is there a rule for matching your front door to your garage door? I have a ranch-style house with two double doors and a two-car garage door. They are only about two feet from each other.

  18. Love this post — wish I could pin the entire post all together! So we live by the water in a shingle house. We just painted our front door Hale Navy. Picked up some cedar boxes and painted those Hale Navy as well and threw some large boxwoods in them. Love how it looks!

  19. What are your thoughts on a colored front door for a traditional dark brown/off-white Tudor? Our door is currently a dark wood stain and it just kind of disappears but I think a colored door on this house is difficult to pull off.

  20. Orange, of course! It took us about 10 tries to get the color right. Orange is a tough one since it can have a “construction cone” look if you aren’t careful! We worked with a basic high gloss orange and added red to it until we got the perfect persimmon color and we love it.

    That navy striped door is killing me! What a great way to make a statement, especially if you aren’t blessed with an architecturally interesting entry!

    1. I agree – it is so difficult finding the right orange. I have 5 cans in my garage now that were fails. Great idea to add a little red!

  21. Your post is incredibly timely! We’ve just painted our Colonial white coupled with rich, dark charcoal shutters and garage door. Saved the front door for last. I knew I wanted a bright, fun color and I’ve narrowed it to green (at least for this season… love the idea of changing it up for the holidays, etc) but struggling to find the perfect shade! Very much welcome any suggestions… what would work well? PS We are in Newton too :)

  22. Timely post…I am about to put on the second coat on my front door. I asked the paint store to mix a quart of FPE’s HollandLac Brilliant to match Benjamin Moore’s Bermuda Turquoise. Love it after the first coat…needs more sanding and less humidity before I put on the second coat. Love, love, love it. Your post gave me ideas for exterior entry lighting and house number placement- I don’t think I can bear to mar up the glossy surface with house numbers. Have fun choosing!

  23. On Sutton Place’s front door is painted Sherwin Williams’ Naval. A family member used this color in her home, and it is a great color!!

  24. Love today’s blog and love front doors too…so much I too have written about them on my blog,! Please do the book…I would for sure buy it!

  25. The Second door is the more commonly found style in the UK, but I really like some of the bold colours on the other styles.

  26. Let’s hear more about unique doors!! We live in a cape cod gray log cabin. People thought “I’d lost it” when I said the doors were going to be “Vintage Metallic Copper.” They’re 11 pane full view doors and by each intersection I pounded in antiqued fleur de les brass pins. Honestly, the doors get so many compliments. I put copper metallic gazing balls in two urns by the front steps with Heuchera HEUREKA SWEET PRINCESS flowers coral bells around them that change to a beautiful bronze, wine mixture. franki

  27. We live in a traditional center-hall brick colonial with a portico. We just had our portico painted, and are very happy with the results from a company here in Washington, DC called Easy Paint. However, I’m putting off the front door for the moment in order to save up for the Fine Paints of Europe, which is more a lacquering process. Of course, choosing which color from their line is something my husband and I go back and forth with on a daily basis!

  28. Our front door (and back) have storm doors on them so in order to see the front doors color you either have to paint the storm door or take it off. Beings that I live in the Midwest and love to open my front door and open the screens on the storm door to let the light/air in its hard to give it up. So do you suggest having the storm door painted the same color? Also what do you do when they are made of different materials? I don’t think regular paint would adhere to it without looking terrible.

  29. I took a ton of photos of front doors while in France a few years ago. I have a front door obsession too!! I’d be happy to share the photos ….for your coffee table book ;-)

  30. What a fantastic roundup and super timely for me. Just last week I was Photoshopping the front door of our new house to test out the look of a bold color. I think I’m going to take the plunge with Benjamin Moore Yellow Marigold or something similar for fall when it’s a bit less sticky outside. Our house is light blue/gray with black shutters so I think it meets your criteria. There’s a coral door on a gray stucco house in my husband’s hometown and it always gets my heart aflutter.

  31. I have a beautiful antique door similar to the red one above from House Beautiful. We remodeled our house a couple of years ago and painted the brick Ben Moore Clarksville Gray with trim in Carrington beige and shutters in Gargoyle. We have a large front porch with Craftsman style columns, a good bit of stonework. I just left the door stained wood but have always wanted to paint it an interesting color. Any suggestions?

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