An Easy Guide To Painting A Front Door With M&L Paints


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AD - This post was very kindly sponsored by M&L Paints, yet all colour choices and DIY advice are my own.

My house needed a facelift. Lots of bad British weather, a leaky gutter and rotting windows were just not doing this beautiful Georgian building any justice. A priority was sorting out the front door. Placed perfectly in the centre of the symmetrical exterior, the front door is the focal point when you look at my house from the street. Having not been touched in well over 5 years, the door was faded and cracked. The conservative, Oxford blue that it once was also didn’t give me any pangs of excitement when I looked at it. I love blue, blue is absolutely my favourite colour to decorate with, but this blue was not my kind of blue. Give me all the teal blues, the green or the grey-based blues instead.

blue paint colours
When it came to choosing a new blue colour for the door, I headed straight to the colour chart of M&L Paints, who I worked with on my hallway revamp earlier in the year. M&L blues are inspired by nature, and I knew from road-testing a few blues when deciding on some new colours for my hallway that they had some exciting tones that would really suit the exterior of my house. This time, rather than an emulsion or an eggshell, I was going to try out M&L’s Full Gloss, which is suitable for use both inside and out. This water-based paint is quick-drying (perfect for a door that can’t be left open overnight to dry!) and has an 80% sheen level. I really wanted my front door to look clean, fresh and new, so I chose this shiny gloss over an exterior eggshell.

Having painted the inside of my front door in ‘Niblock’, an intense teal, I knew I wanted to keep to a teal shade on the exterior, but tone it down to something that was less vibrant and more in-keeping with the traditional look of the building. I chose six shades from the colour chart and set about making up my mind to just what colour would work best.

M&L Blues, left to right: Peacock Blue, Saxe Blue, Teal, Mansion Pond, Stow Blue, Deep Teal.

M&L Blues, left to right: Peacock Blue, Saxe Blue, Teal, Mansion Pond, Stow Blue, Deep Teal.

When I painted the six blue colour choices on white card, I could tell they fell into three categories. There were the bold, modern blues (‘Peacock Blue’), classic blues (‘Saxe Blue’, ‘Mansion Pond’, ‘Stow Blue’) and the greeny-teal blues (‘Teal’, ‘Deep Teal’). Even though I loved ‘Peacock Blue’ and in a general line-up of blues would select it as a favourite, I knew it was just too modern and vivid for my Georgian house. The classic blues my husband favoured as they felt more traditional, but I was already in love with the on-trend green-based blues, so it was a toss-up between ‘Teal’ and ‘Deep Teal’ for me. While being contemporary colours, I also felt they were sympathetic to the period of the house. In the end, I put the vote to my Instagram followers between ‘Teal’, ‘Deep Teal’ and ‘Saxe Blue’, promising to paint the door the most popular choice, and the final poll came in for ‘Teal’.

So, this was my front door in its ‘before’ stage, pictured below. You can see there were a lot of cracks and the colour was faded and flat. The brass hardware was also looking matt and brown rather than gold and shiny, so that also needed addressing.

And here is what it looks like now! Such a difference!

m and l paints full gloss front door

I love the sheen that the door now has, which complements the repolished brassware:

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Painting an external door is actually really easy to do. As long as you use an easy-to-apply, quick drying paint like M&L Full Gloss, it’s also a DIY that can be done in a day that will transform your home. To successfully paint an external door you will need to use the right tools and follow a few simple steps to get it looking its best without chipping. So, here is my simple guide to perfectly painting your front door…

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YOU WILL NEED:

Screwdriver / Paint scraper / Wood Filler or Multi-Purpose Exterior Filler / Sandpaper / Microfibre Cloth / Large Protective Sheet (to protect your floor from any drips) / Decorators Tape / Pointy or Angled Paintbrush / Good Quality Mini-Roller for Eggshell or Gloss Paint / M&L Paint Full Gloss or Exterior Eggshell in your chosen shade.

teal front door
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If your door has any hardware on it, try and remove as much of it as possible. For locks and other items you cannot remove (or would prefer not to remove), cover it in decorators tape so that it doesn’t get any paint on it. My brass hardware was in a bad way, it was tarnished and speckled so I used a brass restorer to bring it back to life.

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To get a perfect finish and have your external door looking like new, it is so important to prep the surface before you paint it. Use a paint scraper to remove any areas of flaky paint, and smooth over any cracks with a wood filler or a multi-purpose exterior filler.

Once the filler has had time to dry, sand the whole door back with sandpaper. This is probably not the ‘correct’ answer in regards to the right sandpaper grit to use (which would vary to what state your door is in), but I always use a medium grit. By going for medium, I can be confident in the knowledge that the sand won’t be too fine, or too harsh. Make sure you get rid of all of the sheen of the previous coat of paint, as your new paint will not adhere to the surface well if it is applied over a previously glossy surface.

Once you have sanded back your door, clean the whole door with warm water and a microfibre cloth. A microfibre cloth will pick up all the left over sanding residue, so it doesn’t get mixed in with the new paint.

If your door is sanded back to bare wood, is in a really bad way or is painted an intense colour like yellow, you may want to use M&L Paints Primer on your door first, before you use your final colour.
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When I painted by back door this time around (I decided to give both my front and back door a paint in ‘Teal’, as they both needed work) I learnt from previous gloss-painting mistakes. You can see from the picture on the left, below, the finish of the door last time I painted it - I used a cheap paintbrush and look how it came out! Now I know that you should use a good-quality angled brush to get in any detailed areas of the door, before using a mini-roller suitable for gloss paint on the larger surface areas. Give your door two coats of M&L Paints Full Gloss, leaving 4 hours between coats.

If your door has glass in it like my back door, you can either tape the edges of the glass up to not get paint on it, or use a glass scraper to remove any paint once it is dry.

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M&L Full Gloss is available in all of M&L’s 120 paint shades and is a low-odour and low-VOC product. It's durable, weather-resisting finish can also be used on primed metalwork, if you fancy painting your railings blue as well as your door!