DIY Front Door Makeover

You know how the front door is the first real impression people have of your home? Well, the first impression of our new home was a frosted glass door with a scrolling floral pattern, complete with a shiny gold doorknob and kickplate. Straight 1980s! It wasn't the impression I hoped to create, so something had to be done. That "something" involved a new glass insert and some paint. All of the sudden we had a brand new look!
 Let's start at the beginning. Here's that gorgeous glass insert I mentioned above. Notice how I strategically covered it with wreaths on both sides!

When we first examined our options for this door, we started pricing around the cost of a brand new door. They start around  $750, but the ones we liked were closer to $1,000 or more. Ouch. We didn't want to spend that type of money!

Then we decided to visit some local glass shops to see if we could just order a new glass insert. I didn't want just plain glass– I wanted the glass to have an effect or something similar so that the view inside our home was slightly obscured when standing outside the door. We visited three glass shops, but I wasn't in love with any of the options for our door. The fact that it had to be tempered and double-paned glass (so that it doesn't shatter when you close the door) really narrowed our options at the glass shops. Plus it wasn't nearly as affordable as I thought it would be– the estimates were coming in around $150 for just some simple glass with no design.

We ended up finding an awesome Craftsman-style insert with a clean, classic pattern at Lowe's for about $170. We both loved the pattern and agreed that it added a lot more pizzazz than just a simple piece of glass. I couldn't find the insert online but here you can see it in the actual door, which is also available: ReliaBilt Half-Lite Entry Door (Craftsman). They had to order it, so we waited a few weeks for it to come in. Luckily it was worth the wait!

We decided to spruce up the rest of our door with some paint so that we could keep the budget under $200. That brown color did nothing for our house, considering our entire house is already brown! I didn't want to go with a crazy color, but I wanted something deeper to contrast with the brown. I ended up bringing one of my outdoor pillows (from Target, by the way) from the seating area in the front yard to Lowe's so I could find a color to match. After examining my options, I chose Valspar Hematite. We bought 1 quart, which was exactly enough to paint both sides of our door.

Now for the fun part. The husband removed the door so he could paint it, so for a little while we had this classy look going on:

The outside of the door was that milky brown color, and the inside was another strange brown color that almost looked like a stain instead of paint. Plus it had this ugly blemish on the inside that needed to go, stat!

Scott removed the existing glass insert and used his paint sprayer to apply the new color.

While that was drying, he spray painted the door hardware with oil rubbed bronze. I don't recommend spray painting a front entry handleset as a long-term solution, but we see this as a short term fix until we find a really nice handleset on sale. I don't like to be forced into paying too much for something like this and would rather wait for a deal, so the spray paint was a great way to get a better look while we hunt for the perfect door handle. It's hard to believe how expensive entry handlesets can be– at least $100 for something of decent quality. Ouch!

Once the door was back in its rightful spot, it was amazing how much better it looked! I absolutely love the new glass insert and think the color really improves our curb appeal.


This isn't the best picture, but it does help you see how the deep grey door color works on the inside of the front door. I absolutely love a painted interior door, and this one makes our home look so much more expensive! I wish I could say I planned for it to coordinate perfectly with the charcoal grey curtains in our dining room, but that was a happy accident. And if you're really critiquing this photo you'll notice a towel, some random tools and a trash can by the front door, plus a lovely exposed light switch. That's how we roll in the middle of a project around here!

This is only phase one of our front door project. Don't you think we need a cool pendant light hanging down from the outdoor entryway? I'm picturing a Moravian Star light fixture like so:

Olivia Star Pendant from Pottery Barn
Overall I'm thrilled with the progress on the curb appeal so far. One project down, many more to go!

* First Impressions *

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