8 In DIY projects

the DIY files: painting a screen door

So remember this post back in May when I threw around some options for paint colours for our front door? And how I was trying to make it work with our uber-ugly brown screen door? The screen door that didn’t match with our house numbers, mailboxes, or shutters?

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Well, I couldn’t make a decision about the front door colour because I just felt like nothing would look good with that screen door. We didn’t want to take it down as we leave our front door open fairly often, and it provides an extra layer of insulation in the winter. And we didn’t want to replace it with a new one, since when we do our reno/second story addition, we are going to replace the whole front door area and will get all new doors at that point.

So what’s a DIY, budget girl to do? I took a bit of a risk and decided to try and paint it….with the lazy girl approach to painting – I didn’t want to take the door down and then have to re-install it, so I just taped it off in place and went for it. No priming or sanding or anything.

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I grabbed some of this matte black tremclad rust paint from the Home Depot.

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It’s the same paint that I used on our shutters and it holds up well in the outdoors. I wiped the door down with soap and water, patted it dry, and started brushing on the paint with trepidation. I’m not sure why I was so nervous. I envisioned the paint not sticking well to the metal, getting drips, or coverage being poor. Well, after just a few minutes I realized that things were looking pretty darn good.

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Oh, and if you’re wondering if I did this project recently with the baby in tow… nope! This was a days-before-delivering project. I think I was 39 weeks + 5 days pregnant? Hello, belly!

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It took about an hour to do the first coat, and then about half an hour to do the second (I let the door dry for about 4 hours in between coats). I didn’t paint the mesh screen part, but you really can’t tell that it’s brown next to the rest of the black door.

DSC_0551 (2)Peeling off the tape was a cinch, and the lines came out really crisply.

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The result? Love, love, love. I feel like it makes a huge difference to the curb appeal of our place. DSC_0558

And since I did this project about 7 weeks ago, I can happily report that the door still looks good as new. The paint has great coverage and there are no chips or peeling parts to be seen.


The door looks so much better from the inside too. It cleans up the space and plays off nicely with the black light fixture we have in the entry-way.



And now I feel like I have total freedom in terms of front door colour – pretty much everything going with black, white, and brick!! sa-weet!

Please don’t pay any attention to the garden and rest of the curb appeal, m’kay? We totally ignored the outside of the house this summer. Oh and that weird zig zag line in the brick? It’s due to some issues we are having with our foundation (that we will fix when we do the second storey). DSC_0555Now onto that front door… so many options!

Have you guys tried painting a screen door? What about your front door? Have a favourite colour? I’m totally kicking myself for not having done this sooner!

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  • I have been in the same predicament! I want to paint our front door…something. My house is a light grey siding with blue shutters (with I love) and we have a beautiful glass storm door that is…MAROON. Ugh. I am definitely interested in giving this a try!!

  • teri

    I’m thinking either a red or bright yellow front door will really pop for you!

    • gemma

      Thanks for the input, Teri! We’ll see…!! :)


  • jackie

    I have the same screen door and I think it is black on the outside, brown on the inside. But I hate it and recently found the original wood door in the basement and want to put it back on. Although I’m wondering if my predecessors replaced it for a good reason (rather than just buying into the newest thing) so I am stuck in indecision. I can’t believe what a difference it makes to your house. Wow!

  • Jazmyn

    Hi! I have been following your blog for awhile and this is my first comment! I have an off-white house (it’s called “Bone”) with white trimmed windows and copper finished lights on the exterior. I was so BORED of our white door.. it is now TOURQUOISE! I love it! We are going to put some Charcoal toned bricks on it yet :) Let’s say our door is the happiest on the block!

    • gemma

      Oooh Jazmyn – that sounds so gorgeous!!!! I’d love to see a photo! Thanks for taking the time to comment :)


  • amazing the difference small projects can make – yes total curb appeal! : )

  • We have since done a large reno and switched out the door, but it lasted a year without any kind of chipping at all. Not any indication of wear at all. I would make sure to use a high quality spray paint, and rough up the metal a bit before hand so that it adheres well.

    Good luck!