Traditional Front Door Paint Color Ideas Recommended by Designers

The new front door is in! And you know what that means; let the great paint color debate begin.

In reality though, after lots of analysis paralysis, I already landed on my front door color decision. But I figured why not pull together all of my favorite traditional front door paint colors in one place?

Chances are you might have a front door you’ll have to paint one day. So this guide I whipped up might come in handy for anyone else who faces analysis paralysis in the future.

new front door replacement

Related: 6 Small Front Porch Ideas on a Budget to Add Curb Appeal

While our family was in Paris for a summer trip last week, Robert and I walked around photographing some of the gorgeous doors that inspired us there. So it seems only fitting to share some of them here for color inspiration.

The color of your front door is a pretty big deal. It’s your home’s first impression. And it’s a major factor in the importance of curb appeal; just ask any realtor and they’ll tell you the same.

We really hoped to keep our vintage Richmond storm door from our old front door, but the dimensions just didn’t fit, sadly. But I’m so glad our front entryway now has so much gorgeous natural light!

Seeing the raw, unpainted wood door was helpful in helping us decide whether to stain it or paint it. But a few other factors helped us decide too.

traditional front door paint color ideas

Related: How to Paint Doors and Best Ways to Make Them Durable

wood front door replacement with sidelights and transom

Related: How to Paint French Doors + DIY Door Replacement Cost

Should you stain or paint your front door?

Not only was debating the paint color challenging for us, but we seriously considered staining our new wood front door instead. I went all Rory Gilmore with a pros/cons list to decide that painting was the right answer for us.

These are some things to consider before you decide whether to stain or paint a door.

Benefits of Staining a Front Door

  • highlights craftsmanship
  • adds warmth and character to a home’s exterior
  • adds an organic element
  • creates a feeling of luxury to the facade of a house

Benefits of Painting a Front Door

  • cheaper than staining
  • requires less maintenance than staining
  • better surface protection than wood stain long term
  • endless color options
  • requires less specialized skill to paint than stain (painting is easy to DIY)

In the end, we really didn’t want to deal with the maintenance of resealing it every 2-3 years, so we decided on the easier, cheaper paint route.

wood door in paris

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I did a lot of digging to find the most used classic paint colors recommended by designers for front doors. This post serves as the list of the ultimate paint color winners.

As always, before deciding on a paint color, I highly recommend that you sample the colors on the exterior of your door first. You don’t have to paint the samples directly on your door. You can simply paint samples on white cardstock to tape to your door or use swatches from Samplize.

Look at the samples in different lighting throughout the day from dawn to dusk and in cloudy and sunny conditions to find the best results.

Related: How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Like a Pro

black front door paint color

Dark Gray and Black Front Door Colors

There’s nothing more classic than black and white. The best part about choosing a dark neutral is it usually hides dirt and scuffs really well. According to a study done by Zillow, a black door can even boost your home’s resale value.

Related: Making a Case for Black Paint

navy blue front door paint color

Navy Blue Front Door Colors

I have a theory that navy blue is the best neutral paint color. It adds a pop yet it still acts like a neutral, like your favorite pair of jeans that goes with any color shirt.

If you’re afraid to commit to color, but you want something more interesting than a neutral, navy blue is the best way to go.

Related: Best Navy Blue Paint Colors Recommended By Designers

blue front door paint color

Light Blue Front Door Colors

A soft, sky blue is gorgeous alongside light or white color exteriors, especially if you want to achieve a traditional coastal style look on your home.

These light blue shades are by far the most widely used for front doors.

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Related: Most Recommended Blue Grey Paint Colors for a Calm Home

red front door paint color

Red Front Door Colors

Did you know, traditionally, red front doors have multiple deep meanings?

In Scotland, a red front door can mean a homeowner has paid off their mortgage. In Ireland, red doors are meant to ward off evil spirits. In the United States, around the time of the Civil War, red doors marked safe houses for runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. In China, red is a symbol of luck and means “welcome” in Feng Shui.

Whatever it means to you, it’s a gorgeous way to make a bold first impression on a house.

Related: 12 Trending Burgundy Paint Colors Recommended by Designers

green front door paint color

Green Front Door Colors

There is something invigorating about a green front door. It’s a beautiful way to incorporate a pop of color in your curb appeal while harmonizing it with nature.

The more saturated the green you choose, the more of a statement it will make. Traditionally, green front doors are on the muted, desaturated side. So if you want your home to have a modern pop, lean into the kelly green / chartreuse family.

Related: 12 Best Sage Green Paint Colors for a Relaxing Room

blue / gray front door paint color

Gray Front Door Colors

(Side note: Olivia and Regan wanted a “photoshoot” in front of this soft bluish gray front door, and I don’t think I’ve ever loved a photo more in my entire life.)

Gray might sound boring, but there’s something elegant about a soft gray door. Not all gray colors are created the same as some can lean warm with yellow undertones or cool with blue undertones.

Place gray color swatches on a piece of white printer paper so you can see the undertones more easily. Always make sure to test them on your door’s specific lighting beside your home’s other exterior colors.

yellow front door paint color

Yellow Front Door Colors

Yellow is on the edge of daring for a front door, but it can be a gorgeous choice when you find the perfect shade. These 5 yellow paint colors work beautifully on a traditional style home.

There’s a fine line between bright school bus yellow and soft butterscotch, so make sure you sample colors on your own door before making your final decision. Yellow is just plain fickle that way.

What sheen to paint a front door?

The most popular sheen designers use for a front door is satin. However, high gloss sheen will make a big statement, if you love drama.

Just keep in mind that the higher the sheen, the more flaws it will show. If you have an old door that you don’t have the patience to patch and sand smooth, satin will give you a more clean looking finish while hiding the flaws.

Avoid flat and eggshell sheens on exteriors as they’re nearly impossible to keep clean from the elements.

wood front door with glass panes

I’ll share our new front door painted with the color we chose soon! (Spoiler alert: It’s probably no surprise to you if you’ve been following along for a while.)

This door replacement has been on our updates to-do list since the day we moved in. So it’s a huge relief now that it’s finally done!

Do you have a favorite front door paint color you’d add to the list? What color is your front door? Drop your own paint color recommendations in the comments so we can all keep on gathering ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular front door colors?

Black, red, and blue are the most popular paint colors for front doors.

What front door color adds the most value?

According to a study conducted by Zillow, a black front door is more likely to be revisited by potential buyers and can boost your resale price by $6,450.

Should my front door match my siding?

Nope! A little contrast goes a long way. Whether you choose a gentle contrast or a drastic contrast, it’s best that your front door be painted a different color than your siding.

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  1. The new door looks amazing! Y’all did exactly what we’ve been wanting to do with our front door. We want to replace our front door and add sidelight windows as well as a window above. Did you use a contractor for this? I honestly don’t even know who to reach out to for this type of thing. Thank you!

    1. Yes! We used a contractor to install ours. It’s not a job we could have finished in a day, and we really didn’t want a huge hole in the front of our house overnight. Not sure where you’re located, but our contractor was Mike Bates

  2. That front door looks stained and I thought you decided on paint. Or, did I read too fast? My front door is SW Evergreen Fog and I love it.

  3. I love Paris and have been going almost every year since I was 15, there is always so much to see and do and walking around aimlessly is one of the best things to do! Love all of the door photos, especially the one with your daughters. So sweet.
    This is a timely post as I am getting ready to choose a new paint color for the door. Ideally I would get a new door but with the other projects in the work that is not in the budget so a coat of paint it is.
    Thank you for sharing all of your hard work and knowledge as well as your Paris photos!

  4. Wait, what happened to your front door?!? And did you hire someone to install it or did you do it yourself? I love the new look! Replacing my front door is NUMBER ONE on my home to-do list because our house gets very little natural light. Opening up that front door area with a transom and side windows is a must. Friends tell me just to go to a home improvement store and pay them to install it, but I haven’t found anything I loved. Also, we will need electrical work done as well. thank you for insight into your thought process and the brand of your front door!

    1. We hired a contractor to install a new one. (It could possibly be DIYable, but timing was a factor, and we didn’t think we could have the old ripped out and the new one installed by ourselves in just one day.) We found it was cheaper to have ours made at a local building supply store. Here in Charlotte, we used Pops Building Materials. Everywhere else would have cost more, especially at the big box home improvement stores.