This Colorful Front Door DIY Is The Inspo You Need to Upgrade Your Curb Appeal

Our prettiest pink, Subrosa was the perfect pick.

This Colorful Front Door DIY Is The Inspo You Need to Upgrade Your Curb Appeal

Painting your front door is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to update the exterior of your home, and despite the status of your other exterior projects—ahem, the landscaping that still needs some TLC?—a fresh coat of paint on the front door can instantly brighten up any home. Take it from Clare Collective ambassador and interior stylist, Ashley Whiteside, who recently gave her new Raleigh, NC home a low-maintenance facelift with a few coats of Subrosa (a rich, dusty pink that coordinates well with earth tones and warms up anything it touches).

The ultimate color lover, Ashley’s previous home exterior was painted entirely with Clare, using a combo of Grayish, Daily Greens, Timeless and No Filter. But with a newly purchased home that she wants to reflect her colorful sense of style, it  was time to tackle another exterior refresh so she started with an approachable DIY that she could tackle in a weekend: a colorful front door paint project. Ahead, get the scoop on her process from start to finish, from researching authentic craftsman colors to achieving the best result.

How to Paint a Colorful Front Door for Maximum Impact

When thinking through ways to bring personality to her new home, Ashley knew she’d need to focus on simple, cost-effective solutions. “The home had builder-basic everything,” she explains, “and felt ‘blah,’ but like it was on the cusp of being charming.” While she eventually wants to paint the whole house, for now, Ashley has chosen to elevate the curb appeal of the home with a colorful front door.



“Decorating is such a huge part of my life and what I most love to do,” Ashley adds, “so even the little moments, especially first impressions, need consideration.” The original front door was painted a dingy black that had faded after 10+ years of use, and was flanked by rusted, peeling hardware and other details—like house numbers and lighting—that just weren’t her style.

The entry to the home “didn’t say anything other than ‘overlooked,’” Ashley says, but a fresh new color on the door brought so much charm to a forgotten space. “It feels like its own house instead of just another in a row,” she reflects, and “it upgraded the door itself just to have a fresh, rich finish. The novelty is real and I catch myself wide-eyed every time I notice it.”

Tips for Choosing a Front Door Color

Do Some Research

Before ordering samples and testing out swatches, Ashley studied the color combos of traditional craftsman bungalows from the 1920s–1940s, taking inspiration from the colors that were actually used in the period homes her own house is modeled after. This research is what led her to trying out Subrosa, since it felt authentic to the home.


Factor in Existing Colors

Ashley has grand plans to paint her entire house one day (Like Buttah and Timeless are on the shortlist for siding and Cloud Watching for the doors), but for now, she decided to work with the existing colors of the house. She points out that beige and white trim have blue undertones, so it can be difficult to find complementary colors.

That’s why she swatched tons of colors before committing to Subrosa, noting that there were some other colors that worked with the current ones (Field Trip, Nearly Navy, and Vintage), but they were a bit too dark and she wanted to do something even more unexpected. “The abundance of greenery in front of the house is also complementary to this shade,” she adds, “as well as the brick and concrete. It felt like a way to dabble in throwing joy on a house.”

Observe Swatches in All Lighting Situations

Swatching is also crucial for finding what really works in different lighting situations. “I really wanted Meet Cute here,” she says, “but in direct sunlight it was just too light, while Pink Sky seemed too saturated. When Subrosa came out, I gasped—it was a perfect middle ground between the two.” 

She then used Subrosa to color-drench her bedroom, so she thought she knew what to expect, but the result was a happy surprise. “My bedroom is upstairs on the west side of the house, while the door faces east and gets very direct sun. It almost looks like Meet Cute does inside. Lighting can be such a game-changer!” Whiteside says the color is lighter in the morning sun, deeper like a desert rose in the afternoon, and by evening, it reads almost as a terra cotta.

Check Your HOA Requirements

If you live in a neighborhood with homeowner association rules, you’re definitely going to want to run a funky or colorful front door update by them. In order to get Subrosa approved, Ashley says she made a mood board, filled out a request form, and got signatures from her neighbors with shared property lines.

”I had to wait a few months before hearing anything back,” she laments, and “they were reluctant with a choice so relatively wild.” She was sure to point out that she actually painted a whole house in the neighborhood they were skeptical about and ended up loving, and she promised to paint the door black again if they didn’t agree with the color choice. Luckily, they haven’t said anything to her yet, and the very neighbors she thought would be opposed to pink have liked it the most. “People walking by comment on it almost daily now, where they’d said nothing ever before. It’s the only door in the neighborhood that is pinkish.”

Ashley’s Tips for Painting A Colorful Front Door

Once you’ve decided on a color for the front door (phew!) it’s time to paint. After painting a whole house, Ashley had some useful insight going into this project, and for you as well. “Pay special attention to where you’re stopping and starting,” she advises, and be sure to focus on the details. For example, the sides of the door can be seen when it’s opened—do you want it to match the interior or exterior color?

Ashley also points out that removing the hardware before painting always makes for a cleaner, more professional finish (as opposed to taping them off), no matter how cumbersome it feels at the moment. “Lastly,” she says, “I use a brush to fill the inset parts, then use a small roller to roll the rest. Smooth, less drip and great coverage.”


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