Best Paint Colors for Front Doors

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated June 16, 2021
Blue door
Photo: TriggerPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Picking the best front door paint color may seem like an afterthought, but the right hue can make all the difference

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When strolling down the sidewalk, what is the first thing that catches your eye on a neighbor's home? A front door can blend with a home's color palette, show off a door's natural design, or make a bold statement that says "come in!" Consider a few tips when deciding the best front door color for you and when to make the change.

1. Consider Your Home's Sense of Style

Start by taking a step back and looking at the exterior of your home. Are there accent colors in the shutters, roof, or stone siding that would pair well with a certain door color?

The architectural style of your home can also help you make the right choice. Classic colonials and ranch homes tend to work well with natural hues. Modern home styles—and homeowners looking to add a bit of flair to an older home—can opt for bolder paint.

Here are a few other basic door color tips before leaping into colors:

  • Stick with a monochromatic door.

  • Look at your door's accents and trim for complementary hues.

  • Choose a contrasting color compared to the color of your home's siding to pull the eye toward the door.

  • Consider your neighborhood's style. While it's fun to stand out, the general aesthetic of your block can help you borrow the best ideas.

  • Be sure to use exterior paint that can withstand the outdoor elements.

2. Turn to Classic Neutrals

Natural earth tones are always the best starting point for exterior paint colors. Tan, cream, brown, gray, slate blues, and brick reds are safe bets for most home sidings. If you're getting ready to sell your home, these are a good bet to avoid setting the wrong impression with potential buyers.

Since a door takes up so little space compared to the rest of your facade, you do have a bit more wiggle room. Neutral tones can still make a big statement when highly contrasting against your home paint. For example, a slate blue against white siding will pop with just as much drama as teal.

Here's a quick tip: White doors, while stylish, can fade or become chipped and scuffed easily and require you to occasionally touch up your exterior paint. If you have a high-energy golden retriever that likes to play in the mud, opt for a darker color.

3. Brighten It Up

Opt for a jewel tone or vibrant hue if you're looking to make more of a statement. Be sure that the colors pair well with your siding, roof, and outdoor accents. Always test the paint color outside in the natural sunlight that hits your door. Lime green looks different under the sun than it does in a paint store.

Front Blue Door
PHoto: TriggerPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

4. Greet Your Guests

If you look back through American history, a red door was often a sign of welcoming guests into your home. Reds can run the gamut from calming red merlot to a bright candy apple. Stick with the shade that balances with the other colors of your exterior.

Calming door colors can be just as welcoming. Think deep blue, cool gray, or even slate black. These rich shades create a warm and cozy energy before guests even step inside.

5. Get Dramatic

If you're truly looking to turn heads with a dramatic look, there are many ways to go about it that don’t involve super-bright hues. For example, a black door against black siding can look just as smart as a black door contrasting with white brick. 

On the other side of this, a cobalt blue door on an all-white house makes the door pop with energy without taking over the whole design.

6. Stick With Stain

Do you have a wooden front door? No need to cover up the natural markings with an opaque paint color. Opt for natural wood stains in a range of light or dark hues to highlight the wood's classic beauty. You can even choose a cherry wood stain to incorporate the popular red front door choice.

This stain pairs well with dark or light-colored homes but particularly stands out in classic countryside and farmhouse architecture.

7. Play With Pastels

Pastels create an instant sense of calm and ease as you and your guests approach your front door. Seaside blues, pale pinks, and mint greens pair well with natural white stone, gray siding, or a front door surrounded by windows.

Much like bright colors, be sure that the pastel color complements the rest of the exterior and stonework around your house. A warmer yellow can clash against cool-toned siding.

8. Screen Doors Stand Out Too

If you have a screen door on the outside of your main front door, don't forget to incorporate this color as well. Screen doors—especially those with a wooden trim—are a great opportunity to add a bold color on top of a neutral door behind it. 

If you're choosing a bolder color for your main front door, stick with the same hue for your screen door to avoid it getting too busy.

9. Don't Forget the Details

Front doors are rarely as simple as a blank slab of metal or wood. What type of metallic or wooden accents stands out on your door and frame? For example, if you have a brass or gold mail slot, consider pairing your paint color to blend with the metal sheen.

The trim around your door does not have to be the same color as your door either. It doesn't even have to be the same color as your siding. You'll notice that many front doors include one color on the door itself, and white, cream, or tan paint around the trim. This method can either help the door color blend naturally into the surrounding siding or allow it to pop further.

The best color to paint a front door truly comes down to your home's style and your desired effect. Pair this project when you're updating your home's exterior paint or updating the front door itself.

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