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adore your door

From habitat magazine - issue 35, entrance ideas

It’s easy to open the door to colour.

Nothing says welcome home quite like a brightly coloured front door. In fact, of all the areas in your home, your front door has the maximum impact per square centimetre and – best of all – you can paint it in an afternoon.

Tegan Williams, the National Association of Women in Construction’s Tradeswoman of the Year 2021, finds painting doors extremely satisfying. “I love the classic high-gloss look painted with a brush. When I get to paint a door, I always walk away happy,” she says.

It’s a job you can complete in a few hours, but she says the trick to adorable doors is to take it slow and steady and “use a brush”.

Doors take a lot of knocking, both intentionally and accidentally. That’s why the paints Resene recommends for doors are waterborne enamels Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) and Resene Enamacryl (gloss), or you can use Resene Super Gloss enamel. These hardwearing paints give your door added durability and make it easier to clean off fingerprints, dirt and dust.

What's your door personality? What does your door colour say about you? Read more at

Use a high gloss finish, such as Resene Enamacryl, to make your front door colour pop. 

Dark Knight rises

Fiona and Dane, Wellington

When Fiona and Dane’s 1940s ex-state house needed an upgrade, Fiona chose to go brave and bold using Resene Dark Knight CoolColour on the weatherboards and Resene Big Bang on the door. “We knew the door had to be bright, but there are so many awesome colours to choose from. We used the Resene palette generator to get complementary colours to Resene Dark Knight and went with Resene Big Bang,” says Fiona. The steps and house foundation are Resene Copyrite, the trims and soffits are Resene White and the stencil detail is painted in Resene Walk-on in Resene Eternity.

Bold home entryway

Dark knight rises

Hello sunshine

Adrenalin shot

Glam is my jamb

Going coastal

Berry nice

Gossy and glossy

Ginene and Jamie, Matakana

Inspired by their daughter Jasmine's Resene Glamour Puss door (see above), Ginene and Jamie painted the front door of their black board-and-batten home in Matakana in Resene Irresistible, using Resene Super Gloss. "I managed to twist their arm and convince them they needed to paint their front door hot pink too. Maybe I'm a bad influence," says Jasmine.

A glossy pink home entryway

Eight easy steps to painting a panelled door

  1. Using 220 grit zinc stearate sandpaper, lightly sand to remove any imperfections and wipe clean. If painting a new door, prep with Resene Quick Dry primer or Resene Enamel Undercoat.

  2. Wedge the door open to paint the door jamb, the side-post or lining of the doorway. Jambs are usually painted the same colour as the door or as the architraves/trims.

  3. Paint the edges of the door. Use a wet cloth to wipe any excess paint from the edge.

  4. Paint the internal grooves and the panels.

  5. Paint the face of the panels, laying off (redistributing) the paint to minimise brush marks.

  6. Paint the inside sections of the panels (called mullions), starting at the panel joins.

  7. Paint the outer part of the door (called rails). If painting around a doorknob, mask it up and use a smaller brush to cut in. Or remove if you can and replace after the paint is dry.

  8. Repeat to apply a second coat.


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Want to get your own free copy of future issues of habitat magazine?

Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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