April 9, 2017



You want your peeps to remember your house?
Then make it memorable!


When in Ireland, Britain, Holland and Morocco you see so many beautifully colored 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...

They use other colors too; wonderful yellows, and brighter greens than we ever would.
Royal and Cobalt Blue are some of my faves.
Years ago a friend lived above an antique shop in Georgetown in D.C., the antique shop was painted in sober Georgetown colors, and my friend painted his door a wonderful lime-acid green. Truly, one of the most outrageous - and kick-ass colors!

Americans have a tendency to do what we see somewhere else, therefore, we see a lot of red doors with brass hardware
(how very Protestant)
The tradition of a red door started in 18th century America which indicated that the owners took in travelers as there were no Holiday Inns between Richmond and Boston.

Worse yet, Americans love a freekin' stained wood door… an odd, off-target, status symbol..
There is nothing more gorgeous than a beautifully stained mahogany door with a nice high-polish, but you just can’t take a cheap pine or fir door and stain it mahogany and have it look great...

It needs to be a good quality door, fabricated with a superior species of hardwood like oak, mahogany, teak, ipe, walnut, etc.  Then when stained it 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. 



Serious up: A flat steel door with plastic appliqu├ęs, fake leaded-glass, or a PVC one with raised panels stamped into them are pure skank!


First, lets consider what else is going on.
Is this door color going to be accentuated in any way by other peripheral items?

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: A former home of mine in 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.

If you live in a funky neighborhood or have a wonderful older home that needs a B-12 shot these doors below are fun

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. The soft sage green is perfect on everything.

Schmansion's with double doors usually need to be painted more subtle, elegant colors, the house is a statement enough, you don't need to draw more attention to the doors. 

ROW HOUSES: Most people want them all to be homogeneous. Try moving against tradition! I love where everyone is house-proud and works together to make their block nicer. Here are row-houses with different palette's which work well together.

HISTORIC HOMES: 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.

BLACK:  Black doors are always so elegant and a perennial winner! A bit mysterious and rich looking too.

ROYAL AND COBALT BLUE: Stunners! You don't see enough of it, too bad as it's just sooo smart looking.

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 green doors.

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

YELLOW:  Also an unexpected fresh surprise!
They make the energy of the house positive. If you live in a northern climate, they imply sunshine and happiness all year round. Just don't get a smiley-face doorknocker!

PINK! Now there's 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 period Georgian 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 crack!

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.

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. 

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's not!  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 "Hollandlac" exterior paint from FINE PAINTS OF EUROPE brand offers a complete color chart, directions and kit for a minimum fee. Dutch Door Kit

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.
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.


You Can Do It, I'm Here To Help!

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