September 15, 2010

FRONT DOOR COLORS

FRONT DOOR COLORS MAKE A VIVID STATEMENT ABOUT HOW EXCITING THE PERSON IS WHO LIVES THERE!
Think about it..


Something I’m always attracted to is someone’s front door, the knocker, the hardware, the moulding and details. You’ve heard me bang on about urns and knobs, etc., but another wonderful thing to set your house apart is a fun and dashing colored door!
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When in Ireland, Britain, Holland and Morocco you see so many lovely colored, well-painted front doors. In England, the most common door color is black; not just any black but a black that’s so wonderful and shiny you could actually apply your makeup in it it’s so reflective.
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Europeans use other colors too; wonderful yellows, and brighter greens than we would. Royal and Cobalt Blue are some of my faves too. Years ago a friend in Washington lived above an antique shop in Georgetown which had the typical Georgetown side entrance with steps that went straight up to the apartment. The antique shop was painted in sober Georgetown colors, so he painted his door a wonderful Irish green…not any Irish green it was a limey-acid green. Truly, one of the most stunning colors I’ve ever seen (It’s still there too!) I always wanted to copy that somewhere, but it wont work just anywhere….
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We in America have a tendency to do what we see somewhere else, not trusting ourselves, so we see a lot of red doors with brass hardware (how very Protestant)
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Worse yet, Americans LOVE those damned stained wood doors…an odd, off target status symbol. There is nothing more gorgeous than a beautifully stained mahogany door with a nice high polish and sexy hardware. But what most people don’t realize is the door they saw and loved was probably an $8,000+ door with the finishing process! You just can’t take your off-the-shelf pine or fir door and stain it “Minwax Mahogany” and have it look great!
Oooohhhhhh Nooooooo...

First of all, it needs to be a good quality door, fabricated with a superior species of hardwood like oak, mahogany, teak, ipe, walnut, etc. Then you stain it, which will deepen and highlight the beautiful natural grain (it can be stained with two or three colors too) and then you apply a minimum of four coats of polyurethane. If you want a pee-in-your-pants door it should have ten coats with a sanding between. This will make your door the talk of the town and will look stunning for many years to come. Otherwise, in two years your door will look like a yellowed, peeling, plastic covered, piece of driftwood...
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WHAT KIND OF DOORS
YOU DON'T WANT...

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Nothing beats a flat, slab steel door with plastic appliques and mullions like the one on the left. Or those clumsily carved Indonesian ones with that ugly-ass leaded glass--yah that looks klassy with a K! But really now, the best are the faux woodgrain, foam-core PVC ones with the raised panels stamped into them "ready to stain or paint"....purrrteee

OK, HEAR THIS -- THE DOOR ITSELF NEEDS TO BE A NICE ONE! YOU DON'T WANT THE FIRST THING YOU SEE AT YOUR HOUSE TO BE HIDEOUSLY TACKY, GOT IT?If your door isn't one you can change and it's not a great door, then don't draw attention to it.


 OK LET'S DO THIS...
First, lets consider what else is going on. Is this door color going to be accentuated in any way by other peripheral influences?

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ABOVE: This charming entrance to Kathryn Ireland's home in California interprets the regional colors and tones and is accentuated by the wonderful pots flanking it! PERFECTION!

BELOW: My own former house in Sarasota Florida was a modern Paul Rudolph house, built in 1964. I freshened it up by painting some different sections bright colors, leaving the body of the house and most fencing white. The entrance doors were painted a bright Lime Green, signaling this is the entrance.
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If you live in a funky neighborhood or have a wonderful older home that needs a B-12 shot these doors below are fun, and make passersby wonder how much fun is this occupant?!?
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BELOW: Maybe you have a serious, well-designed home and want something sophisticated and subtle. The door(s) can always be the same color as the other accents, shutters, etc. This home below is decorative enough with its architecture and landscaping, it doesn't need additional focal points, hence, then soft sage green is perfect on everything.
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ABOVE: Or, maybe you live in a Beverly Hillbillies schmancy-ass mansion with double doors? If so, those doors usually need to be painted more elegant colors, the house is a statement enough, you don't need to draw more attention to the doors alone. Usually double doors aren't successful when painted bright colors, it's too too much. However, you can paint them a sober color and them pin stripe them with a fun color as shown below
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ROW HOUSES: Most people want them to all to be homogeneous. Try moving against tradition! I love Europe where everyone is house-proud and works together to make their block nicer. Here are row-houses with different palates which work well together.
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HISTORIC HOMES: Do you have a historic home? (you poor things, I know what that costs!) In George Washington's day color was a sign of prosperity as the paint pigments were actually ground from semi-precious stones or extracted from plants and very expensive to produce. Turquoise, chrome yellow and bright reds were immensely popular indoors, but outside subtler colors were used as the expensive colorful paints didn't fair well in the elements. The subtle and elegant colors as shown below are lovely and time tested.
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BLACK:  Black doors are always so elegant and a perennial winner! A bit mysterious and rich looking too.
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ROYAL AND COBALT BLUE: Stunners! You don't see enough of it, too bad as it's just sooo smart looking.
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GREEN:  Always a favorite...as it should be! Whether it's Litchfield, Williamsburg, Essex, Georgetown, or Chelsea Green ... greens are 'honest' and attractive, there's a certain coziness to deep green doors.
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TURQUOISE:  So much fun, and chic as shit. They're cool, unexpected and happy. Love Miles Redd's pale turquoise door with the nickel hardware. Looks like a fabulous piece of American Indian jewelry
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YELLOW:  Also an unexpected fresh surprise, they too make the energy of the house positive. If you live in a northern climate, they imply sunshine and happiness all year round. You can always get a smiley-face doorknocker too!
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PINK! Now there's a door with a statement! I think the magenta door at the bottom right is the hottest door in this missive, it's so out-of-the-box and yet it's on a stunning Georgian period door. The white surround tempers the color beautifully. This shocking color can only be used on one thing on the house; if you painted the porch rockers, the cement jocky holding the lantern or the shutters it would totally look like ass!
Takes some serious cajones to paint ur door magenta! But then again, it's only paint...easy to change.
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CORAL:  Coral is such a wonderful, modern color; everyone loves it and its great with any style from an American Colonial to a Moroccan Riyad.
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PUTTY OR GREIGE:  Soft, elegant colors, not a statement but simple and architectural. Sometimes a home with beautiful details and fine mouldings doesn't need a pop of color, just letting the details speak for themselves quietly is enough. If you're a boring person (you know who you are, too!) don't use putty, at least brighten up one friggin' moment in your day when coming and going...
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PAINTING YOUR DOOR!
I recommend a specific type of paint, its from Europe, but sold in America. All the American paint companies say theirs is as good...but it just aint!!!  This shit rocks!!!!! It's absolutely amazing; it costs a little more and takes a little more time, but the investment is recompensed through the pleasure of seeing it done well (and lasting four times longer).
The FINE PAINTS OF EUROPE brand offers a complete color chart, directions and kit for a minimum fee. Dutch Door Kit

TECHNIQUE
Panelled doors can be complicated to paint as it's easy for the paint to begin to dry as you paint each section. Painting over partially dried paint can leave the finish spotty and uneven looking.
Try these tips for a more uniform result. Evaluate the entrance beginning with the casing. If the casing needs to be painted, paint the casing first, then the door. This allows you to paint the casing without having to deal with a wet door in the way. A panel door has many sections and each one is painted individually. Though it seems like a lot of steps, you want to work your way down the door, maintaining a "wet edge." This will help prevent lap marks caused by painting over partially dried paint. Going in the order marked gives you the best chance at achieving a uniform finish. Should you want a two-tone look, paint the panels first, then the rails and stiles. On exterior doors, for weather protection, it is a good idea to paint the top and bottom edges.
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PREPARATION
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Don't take off the hardware unless you know what you're doing, there are a lot of bits and parts to locks and door handles.
Buy FrogTape Painter’s Tape and tape up the hardware and begin your painting.


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You Can Do It, I'm Here To Help!