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The most common color choice is white trim with a black door. There are many ways to make your entrance look attractive, but does it make sense to have the trim and door the same color?
An exterior door and trim shouldn’t necessarily be the same color. It’s common to paint the outer door and trim using contrasting colors. Contrasting colors can make a home more distinctive and aesthetically pleasing, highlight architectural features, and give the trim depth and dimension.
This blog post will discuss the benefits of having contrasting colors on an exterior door and trim. Read on for further information on the topic and the do’s and don’ts when painting your door.
Benefits of Color Contrast in an Exterior Door and Trim
There are several benefits to painting your exterior door and trim with contrasting colors, which I’ll discuss below.
Contrasting Colors Make Your Home More Distinctive
A home with a black door and white trim is likelier to stand out in a neighborhood than a house with matching colors.
If every single house has the same color trim and door, then your home will blend into the rest of the homes around it.
However, when houses have contrasting colors, you can make yours more noticeable. If you want people to notice your home when they drive by, it’s best to paint the trim and door in different colors.
Here’s a video that describes some of the colors you can paint your exterior door to increase curb appeal:
Your Home Will Look Aesthetically Pleasing
Having contrasting colors can give your home more appeal, especially if you have some interesting architectural features.
A dark door with light trim will highlight any ornamental details on your door or windows. You want to pick a color that compliments the color of the design on the door so that it stands out.
Different Colors Can Help Highlight Architectural Features
Painting an exterior door with different colors than your trim makes it stand out better and brings architectural details into focus. One good example is painting a black front door and painting the surrounding area white (including window frames, cornices, and sills).
This makes all of those little touches stand out because they contrast against the darker paint color on the doorway.
Contrasting Colors Give the Trim Depth and Dimension
Doors and trims of different colors create a great contrast and make the frame look more dramatic.
Also, if you paint your door a deeper hue than your surrounding white trim, the door will seem to recede into the house’s façade.
This can give it a unique appearance that matches its design features, such as solid lines or ornate carvings.
6 Ways To Make Your Door Look Attractive
Now that you know the benefits of painting an exterior door and trim different colors, here are some ideas you can use to make your door look more attractive:
Paint Door and Trim in Contrasting Colors
If you’re painting your doors, there are endless possibilities when deciding what color they should be. One idea is to paint your exterior door a contrasting color to your trim.
For example, if you have white window frames and off-white or cream-colored siding, painting your door black will make it stand out more.
Make the Door the Main Feature
One way of creating front door appeal is by focusing attention on it. If you want your door to be the centerpiece of your home, then paint it a unique color.
It doesn’t have to be bright or loud; you can use a darker color.
Suppose you paint your door a dark color, such as navy blue, black, grayish-green, or chocolate brown. In that case, the other bright-colored fixtures in your home won’t seem as prominent, and the focus will shift to the door.
Install a Fiberglass Door
A fiberglass door can give you the durability and sturdiness of steel doors without the extra weight. Also, it doesn’t rust or rot quickly.
Fiberglass is also easy to clean and maintain, so it’s affordable for most homes.
Pair Your Fiberglass Door With Transoms
An excellent way to make your fiberglass door look attractive is by pairing it with transoms on the top and bottom of the door. The transom acts as a decorative accent while making your house appear more spacious from the outside. If you don’t want to install transoms, you can buy door inserts that look like transoms.
Consider Glass Panels
While it’s rare to find glass panels in fiberglass doors, you don’t have to settle for clear doors.
If your neighborhood allows it, you can choose stained glass or frosted glass. These panels will make your house more attractive and let natural light into your home.
Add Hardware With Style
One of the easiest ways to make your door look attractive is by adding hardware that matches the overall design of your house.
These include metal accents on the door for a sleek modern look or antique bronze fixtures to give off an old-world charm.
You can also add decorative rivets to make your door stand out.
Do’s and Don’ts When Painting Your Exterior Doors
Painting exterior doors can be a bit tricky. You don’t want to make the wrong mistakes that’ll make your home look messy and unattractive. Here are some do’s and don’ts when painting exterior doors:
Do Use Quality Materials
The first thing you should do is make sure that you’re using high-quality exterior paint. It should be mold and mildew-resistant, fade-proof, non-toxic, lead-free, and dry quickly.
You can also get special finishes that are waterproof or rustproof.
In this regard, I highly recommend using this Rust-Oleum PermaWhite Exterior Paint (available on Amazon.com). It’s easy to apply and comes with a mildewcide. Also, it’s easy to clean and can last up to 5 years.
Don’t Paint Over Rust and Flaking Paint
If you have rusted bolts or peeling paint on your door, these must be fixed before painting.
You can buy galvanized steel screws and bolts at hardware stores to remove rust easily.
If the paint is flaking off, you’ll need to scrape it until there’s a smooth finish, then prime it before painting.
Do Make Sure That Your Door Is Clean
Before you paint your exterior doors, ensure they’re immaculate. Don’t paint if you have a brick house and there’s dirt on the bricks around your door.
It would help if you also looked for cobwebs and dust in the corners of the doorframe. You can use dish soap and water to clean your door like before.
Don’t Forget the Trim
Before you paint your door, clean and apply primer on the surrounding trim –this is especially important if it’s made of wood.
You may need to scrape it down occasionally to remove stubborn mold or dirt that won’t budge. Once the trim is clean, use high-quality exterior paint that’s mold-resistant.
Aesthetic appeal is one of the main reasons for painting your house. It’s nice to have a home that looks attractive, inviting, and interesting. One way to increase the interest in your exterior is by having contrasting colors on your door and trim.
You can also install a durable fiberglass door without sacrificing aesthetics. Pair it with transoms to make your home look more prominent from the outside. Also, consider glass panels for stained or frosted designs, add hardware with style, and ensure your door is clean before you paint it.
- U.S. News: 10 House-Painting Rules You Should Never Break
- Forbes: 13 Simple but Effective Ways To Boost a Home’s Curb Appeal
- Forbes: How To Paint a Front Door
- YouTube: 8 front door colors to instantly increase your curb appeal
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Giovanni Valle is an architect, designer, internet entrepreneur, and the managing editor of various digital publications including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place. He is the founder of BuilderSpace LLC.