When we bought this house I thought nothing of the bright red composite front door. Dare I say I even quite liked it? Well, then I started paying more attention to the other houses in our street, many still with their beautiful Victorian front doors, complete with two stained glass panels and a matching stained glass side window. I grew to hate and resent the door! But it is just out of budget to replace at the moment.
We have totally overhauled the front ‘yarden’. When we moved in there was a large camellia bush, it wasn’t planted in the best position and the flowers, when they did come, would get scorched and turn brown. As much as I’m an advocate for keeping trees wherever possible (they are so important for the environment) the camellia has to go. So we were left with a sad looking space, filled with pebbles and wheelie bins.
I decided I would make a container garden outside and gradually brought a few pots out the front. But the front garden really started to take shape when we put down paving and our bin sheds. I have planted a climbing rose next to the front door and now there’s more pot plants added and it’s really starting to look pretty out there now.
However. The door. Still the red door remained and it just doesn’t go. The house is painted a light grey, the bin shed is also a warm grey shade and all the plants follow a theme of whites, purples and the occasional pink (though I plan to phase out the pinks and replace with blues).
So how does one paint a composite front door I wondered? I spent HOURS googling but could find hardly any blogs or guides and those I did find basically warned against it. The consensus seemingly being that a composite door is not meant to be changed. Well I think this is daft. I didn’t put the door in, but even if I had, over time, you get bored, make changes, redecorate! Of course you might want to paint a composite door. It’s surely not that unreasonable?!
So I looked into colours. I decided I would go for a pale lavender to fit with the colour theme (and indeed all the pots of lavender). I tested a few pots and settled on Parma Violet from Frenchic Paint – specifically the Al Fresco range which is the one you need for outdoor projects and has some dreamy colours (I love Victory Lane, Serendipity and Apple of my Eye). Parma Violet is definitely more blue than my initially intended lavender but I went for it because it was the closest option they had to my dream colour. It is still more or less what I was after. Another option that had been suggested was Zinsser All Coat with a satin finish. This paint can be colour matched so lots of choice available. I didn’t use this though, so I can’t tell you how good it is, but if you’re after a colour not in the Frenchic range, then this could be a good option for you. I went for Frenchic Paint because I liked how smooth it was to apply and the minimal prep required.
Firstly, I gave the door a thorough scrub with sugar soap. It was seriously grubby! Once it was more or less clean (save some seriously ingrained dust) I sanded it down lightly with fine grade sandpaper and gave it a good dusting off so it was free of dust, grime and lint before painting. I also removed the door furniture (except the lock which is very fiddly – I would suggest protecting that with masking tape instead).
No primer is required with this paint which was a real bonus and it went on a dream. The first coat took about 45 mins to apply. Here are the results:
After about an hour the door was touch dry so I began the second coat. I did two full coats with just one tester pot!
I haven’t yet applied a third coat, but I will, just to really finish it nicely. I think three coats is necessary so you’ll either want two tester pots or one 500ml pot.
I’ve applied the fingernail test – basically I had a go at scratching the paint off! – and it has stayed put. So far so good. It’s totally transformed the door and I’m so glad we took the plunge! So don’t be scared – paint your old composite door. Nothing bad will happen! 🙂
Next up…. cleaning that uPVC and I think I need some stained glass window film…..
If you have a go, I’d love to see the results!
Update: here’s our door after three coats and a polish with beeswax in Spring 2020, having survived winter! No chips or fading to be seen.