How to Replace an Old, Nasty Doorbell

If your doorbell has seen better days or you’d just like an updated version, it’s an easy fix. Perhaps you’ve gotten new door hardware and now your doorbell doesn’t match. Or maybe you’re putting your house on the market and want your home’s first impression to be a good one. Either way, it’s an easy process. Ladies, you can do this!!

Here’s what my old doorbell looked like. Besides the fact that it’s just worn out, I wanted one with a light. And I recently painted my front door, which made the bell-from-hell look even worse.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Like many builder-grade doorbells, mine was a non-recessed one–meaning it’s basically a box that sits on top of the siding, with the “guts” of the doorbell inside of it.

The new one I chose is a recessed one, that sits flat against the siding with the guts recessed into the wall. I picked this one up at Lowe’s.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

A couple of things to consider if you’re shopping for a replacement doorbell, are the location of your current screw holes, and the type of doorbell you currently have.

Lowe’s had a gorgeous, round, ornate doorbell that I fell in love with, but I knew by looking at it that it wouldn’t cover the screw holes I currently had. Chances are, new screw holes aren’t going to match up to old ones, and that’s ok as long as they’re covered by the doorbell itself. Since I didn’t want an empty screw hole on my vinyl siding next to my brand new doorbell, I had to go with my second choice. My point is, it’s a good idea to measure the distance between your current screw holes before you shop so that you can be sure the new doorbell will cover them.

As far as what type of doorbell to get, there are the two types I mentioned already. Most of the super-awesome, fancier ones seemed to have a recessed mount. Meaning that the “guts” of the doorbell sit back into the wall instead of on top of it. You can see through the packaging that this one is recessed. You can see the guts sticking out the back.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Either type of doorbell can be installed regardless of your current doorbell’s type. It just adds an extra step if you go from a non-recessed to a recessed one like I did. Here’s how.

Before you begin, find the breaker that goes to your doorbell and shut off the power. Next remove the screws that hold your doorbell onto your house. You should end up with something that looks like this.

 How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Loosen the screws that are holding the wires, and remove the wires from behind the screws. Now throw that nasty, old doorbell in the garbage.

Hold the new doorbell up to the hole in your house where the wire is coming out. The hole will probably be too small to accommodate your new guts (as is in my case in the next photo). If you already have a recessed doorbell, your new doorbell should fit into the existing hole. If it does, congratulations and skip this next step. Also, congrats if you chose a standard, non-recessed doorbell because that will work no matter what. If not, this is where the extra step comes in. Well worth it for the doorbell of your dreams in my opinion.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The hole has to be made bigger, so here’s what I used. My can’t-live-without-it Dremel moto-tool. If you don’t have one, buy one. I promise you’ll use it for all sorts of things.

Being very careful not to nick the wire, I whittled away the vinyl siding to a 5/8″ diameter hole. If you don’t have a moto-tool, you might be able to use a sharp utility knife to shave off some siding. However, when I replaced a doorbell at my last house, I also had to go through OSB that was underneath the siding. Not a big deal, as OSB was no match for my great and powerful Dremel, but you may have to resort to Swiss-cheesing the OSB with a small drill bit if you don’t have a moto-tool.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Once I felt the hole was big enough, I loosened the screws on the new doorbell.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I then placed the wires around the new screws and tightened them. It doesn’t matter on a doorbell which wire goes on which screw. Honestly, you can’t screw this up.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Then I pushed the wires and guts into the wall.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I turned the breaker back on so I could test the doorbell before I went any further, just in case…And it worked! A doorbell never sounded so good.

Of course, as I expected, the new holes didn’t match up with the old ones.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I drilled two new holes and screwed the doorbell to the siding. Soooo much better!

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And here she is at night.

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This is a simple thing to do to make your entry look nice. There were only three steps in the instructions, for heaven’s sake. You can do this!

How to Replace a Doorbell/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Changing out this doorbell took me between 15 and 20 minutes from start to finish, and was well worth the $15.00 it cost. The most time-consuming part was figuring out which breaker to shut off, which is a real treat if you’re doing this by yourself and have to go up and down a flight of stairs.

And just for kicks, here’s my freshly painted, sunny yellow front door with my new doorbell in tow. The door was white before and very, very dirty. Now my entry says, “Hello!”

Yellow Front Door/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Journeyman Painter and Certified Home Stager /Redesigner. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

DIY Window Box Substitute–No Mounting Required

If you’ve always wanted beautiful window boxes but were afraid of the installation, planter boxes are a DIY-friendly alternative. They’re easy to build, and can be decorated seasonally with non-plant items if you live in a planting zone that doesn’t allow for live plants in the winter. You don’t have to leave them stark and empty in the off-season!

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I moved into this house this past winter, and it was in desperate need of some curb appeal. I had all of the half-dead, overgrown trees and bushes removed, and decided to start from scratch. How sad and lonely she looks. Window boxes will cheer this house (and me) right on up!

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Unfortunately, I did have a problem with my window box idea. The actual construction of the window boxes wasn’t an issue, but my fear of drilling into my bricks to install them certainly was. And to be honest,  I wouldn’t have been all that excited to drill into vinyl siding, wood siding or any other siding for that matter. Thinking about mounting a window box securely enough to handle the weight of the wood, the dirt and the plants made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

So I decided that instead of window boxes, I would make free-standing planter boxes. And when I say free-standing, I mean “$free$”-standing.  I recently had a screened porch added to my house (click here to view) and wrestled some of the wood scraps away from my builder. Wood scraps = free planter boxes.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I decided to build the planter boxes so that pots that my son, Ross, gave me a few years ago would fit inside of them. You don’t necessarily have to have pots inside of planter boxes, and if I hadn’t had these already, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to buy some. I would have just lined the boxes with a weed fabric so that dirt wouldn’t seep out of the cracks, and filled them with dirt. These pots have seen better days, but I love them, and they were perfect for putting inside the planters.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I wanted to use treated 4 x 4’s for the legs, but I only had four that were long enough, and I needed eight. I did, however, have some treated 2 x 4’s left from the porch that I decided to double up and use instead. I knew if I ran a bead of caulk where the two boards met, and then painted them out, they would look just like the 4 x 4’s. My goal here was to not buy anything in order to make these planter boxes, so I had to be creative.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The actual sides of the boxes were built using leftover shiplap that was also left over from the screened porch. It was already primed and painted, but I still had to give it another quick coat after I finished assembling the boxes.

Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I don’t know how long this shiplap will last out in the weather since it’s pine. The primer and exterior paint should protect it for a while, but if it rots after a few years, I can replace it. I’m also hoping that by using pots inside of the boxes, the shiplap will last a little longer since there won’t be wet dirt resting up against it.

Here are my first two sections I put together after measuring how tall and wide I wanted the planters to be. You can see that the section on the right is made up of the sandwiched 2 x 4’s, so I used that section for the back side of the planter.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here I’ve added a second piece of shiplap.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Since I was too lazy to go to the basement to get my super-duper saw horses that my son, Brandon, got me for Christmas, I just used my cute little Honda Fit (Love that car!) to steady my two sides while I screwed in the end pieces. And yes, I was careful not to scratch the car.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

In this photo, you can see that I cut the legs a couple of inches shorter than the finished height because I wanted to be able to rest pieces of wood on top of them. I wanted to be able to decorate these boxes for fall and Christmas using non-plant items like pumpkins, ornaments, birdhouses and such. Wood laid across the tops of the legs would give me a hidden platform to set items on.  The pots with the dirt will only be used in the spring and summer for live plants.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, I took 2 x 8’s (because that’s what I had on hand–a curb score) and notched out spaces with a jig saw in order to accommodate the legs, and toe-nailed them in from underneath. I chose to leave a space down the center so the water from the drainage holes in my pots would run through onto the ground rather than sit on the wood. If I decide at some point to fill the planters with dirt without the pots, I’ll add another board to complete the bottom.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And it fits! My plan for when my square pots go to pot heaven some day, is to buy pre-potted arrangements and just set the pots inside the planter boxes.

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The planters looked a little blah-zay to me so I decided to jazz them up a bit. I had these scraps that were already cut at a 45 degree angle on one end. The 45 inspired me to cut another 45 on the other end, and I tacked them on the front of the boxes to add a little interest. In addition to the 45 degree angle adding some interest, it also helps the rain run off rather than sit on top of the boards.

Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Can you tell it was getting dark outside? Well, it was, so I did the painting the the next day. I primed the raw wood first, then I painted the primed wood, then painted the whole thing one more time.

Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I caulked around the decorative pieces and some other areas that I didn’t want water to get into. Some of the 4 x 4 legs had splits in them, so I caulked those, as well as the cracks where I joined the 2 x 4’s for the back legs. Then, a fresh coat of paint. It always amazes me what a fresh coat of paint can do.

Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I looked through my stash of goodies, and found some white, decorative iron pieces I’d bought a few years ago at Hobby Lobby, and added them to the fronts after rubbing some watered down gray paint on them. And wha-la! Here are my 100% free window box planters!

Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

See what a difference these make for my once sad little house! Before–

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After–

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And here they are all decorated for fall. I put these together after I realized mums were not happy living in my planter boxes due to lack of sunlight. I had my heart set on mums, but these will do just fine!

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And yes, I painted my shutters and gave them some jewelry. Now, for your viewing pleasure, another set of before and after photos!

Before–
 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After–

 Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s the second planter box. Even the fall pretties I used to decorate with were budget-friendly. I grew the pumpkins myself, the hydrangea were given to me by a friend, and everything else you see in the planter boxes was from my stash or from garage sales.

Window Box Substitute/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I like the planters better than window boxes because I can move them to the back yard and fill them with flowers or veggies if I want to. I was also able to make them bigger than most window boxes would have been–a window box this large would have been very heavy. If I get tired of them (fat chance), I can remove them and there’s no damage to the house underneath. And God forbid, if I ever move again, I can take them with me!

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Journeyman Painter and Certified Home Stager /Redesigner. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint

Are you a spray-painter? If you are, and your home’s exterior could use some sprucing up, this post is for you. If you aren’t a spray-painter, guess what? This post is still for you.

I recently painted a front door for my son, Ross, and now his light fixture looks a little “off”. This is where the spray paint comes in.

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The fixture is a nice shape, and I actually like the green—Statue-of-Liberty green as Ross calls it. But with his freshly painted black door, not only would a black light fixture look better, but it would just be more “Ross”.

First things first. We shut off the power at the electrical box. Then to remove the light fixture from the house we unscrew the little brass spheres. You can see the little brass ball in the photo.

  Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After we remove the brass balls, this is what we have.

  Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After removing the red electrical caps, I untwist the wires to separate them from each other, being sure to put the caps back on the wires coming from the house. We don’t want anyone getting electrocuted when Ross turns the breaker back on so he can watch TV.

  Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The light fixture needs to be clean before I begin, so I give it a good scrubbing. Once it dries, I give it a light sanding, and wipe off any sanding dust. Then everything that shouldn’t get painted, needs to be taped off.

I’ve spray painted outdoor fixtures before where the glass could be removed, but I’m not so lucky this time. I tape around everything, being careful not to leave even the tiniest piece of tape overlapping onto the metal because if that happens, the green is going to show like crazy against the black. (A black Sharpie will become my very best friend if that happens.)

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

  Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I’m careful to completely seal off the interior of the light so no paint gets into the socket or onto the inside of the glass. This photo is of the underside of the light fixture.

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I put the wires in a plastic bag and tape it to the back so I don’t get paint on the wires.

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I’m using a black semi-gloss paint and primer in one from Krylon. It’s good stuff!

The most important tips for spray painting are to apply a few thin coats, allowing plenty of drying time in between. And to always, always keep the can moving when spraying. Even if you’re spraying a tiny spot, move the can when you press the button to spray!!

I spray very thin coats, and I bring the light fixture into my house to dry in between coats since it’s a little chilly outside. I’m wanting the paint to dry quickly so I can re-install the light fixture by the end of the day.

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Once it’s dry, I gently score the tape where it meets the metal before I peel it off so I don’t peel the dried paint off the fixture along with my tape. That would be highly disappointing.

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

  Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I re-install the fixture, connecting the black wire to the black wire, and the white wire to the white wire. It doesn’t get any simpler than that, folks.

So Ross got a “new” light fixture for the price of a can of spray paint. And we saved one more item from the landfill. And it gave me something to blog about.

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

  Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Update Exterior Lights With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

For more photos and details about Ross’s simple porch update, click here…https://homestagingbloomingtonil.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/easy-front-porch-updates/.

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Easy Front Porch Updates

If the front exterior entry area of your home is looking a little tired, it’s one of the easiest and least expensive areas to revamp. It’s especially crucial to have a nice-looking entry if you’re planning to put your house on the market, and need to make a welcoming first impression.

This front porch happens to belong to my son, Ross. It’s a cute little space, but it’s just not living up to its true potential. We’re gonna change all that.

Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I can’t figure out why it looks like a number “8” was hand painted on his door at one time, because his house number isn’t eight. Nor does it have an eight in it. Nor is it only one digit. Hmmm. And besides the mystery number, there are a lot of marks and scratches and brush strokes that we need to say farewell to.

(For an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to paint a door, see my previous post, “Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal“.)

Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

So what we did was paint the door black (And when I say “we” I mean me). Then the freshly painted door made his door knob and dead bolt look a little rough, so Ross decided to buy new door hardware. Then, of course with the new paint color and new hardware, the light fixture didn’t look quite right, so “we” spray painted that. (See how here.)

 Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

A quart of paint for the door, a can of spray paint for the light fixture, and some new door hardware made this entry area much more inviting for not a lot of money.

Ross isn’t a take-care-of-flower-pots sort of guy, and he doesn’t have much room for clutter on his porch. But you can see what an improvement these simple changes made to his home, even without the addition of decorative elements. It’s a simple, no-fuss, sophisticated space now, and he loves it. (So does Mom.)

Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

We even decided to paint the inside of his door while we were at it, and it looks much more interesting than the boring white that was there before.

 Easy Front Porch Updates / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal

Whether you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, or you’re just bored with your home’s exterior, a simple solution for a cheap, quick, DIY spruce-up is to paint your front door. Adding a punch of color through paint can make a significant improvement if you choose an interesting color.

Here’s a before picture of my front door. Boring, dirty and scratched with some dings thrown in for good measure. Unsightly at best. But we’re gonna fix that.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

My house is a neutral color with white trim. Just makes me sleepy looking at it. On the other hand, I’m a bit leery about using too crazy of a color since it’s on the outside of my house for the world to see. I narrow my choices to these three. Unfortunately, the colors aren’t true in this photo, and are a little more vibrant in actuality. If you have a neutral colored house, these three are all great color choices because they stray from the ho-hum white, black and red. They’re unique colors for a front door, but are a little on the muted side so they aren’t too gaudy. These colors are from Sherwin Williams, and the three runners up are–Underseas, Moody Blue and Exclusive Plum. Sort of green, sort of blue and sort of purple.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And the winner is…..Exclusive Plum! (Applause, whistles.) Honestly, the hardest part of the whole process is picking the color. Just remember the beauty of paint is if you don’t like it, you can just repaint. No biggy.

First things first. The key to a professional-looking paint job is always in the preparation. If you don’t take the necessary steps to prep your door, your neighbors may take one look, and wonder why you turned your kindergartener loose with a paintbrush.

This door has some dings and scratches that need to be fixed before painting. If they aren’t repaired, it would be like repainting a wrecked car without fixing the dents first. Yes. Just like that. Not very professional to be sure. Here’s some of what needs to be fixed on this door.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The appropriate product to fix dings in a metal door is Bondo, but I don’t want to invest in that when I have my handy, dandy cure all on hand. Durabond. For more information on Durabond, refer to my post, “Yes You Can Paint Your Oak Kitchen Cabinets“. I’m guessing you could use spackle as well, since it will be coated with exterior primer and exterior paint to protect it. Also, this particular door is under a covered porch, and is protected by a storm door, so Durabond or spackle will certainly do the trick.

Here’s how the imperfections look with a coat of Durabond on them. After it dries, I sand and am ready to go.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now the door hardware needs to be removed. It’s difficult to get a good result with brush strokes around the door knob or with paint globed all over your deadbolt. Take a few extra minutes, and just remove the hardware to keep that blood pressure under control. Trust me on this one. It’s generally just two screws. I’m sure you can handle that!

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, use an old brush to remove any loose particles that are inside the now-vacant holes. This eliminates picking up particles with the paint roller, and bringing them into the fresh paint on your door. (Another blood-pressure-raiser.)

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The final step before painting is to lightly sand the door to remove any lumps or bumps, and then wipe off the sanding dust with a brush or wet rag, paying close attention to the panels. The door needs to be clean and dust-free in order for the paint to adhere.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s the product from Sherwin Williams that I’m using for my project. A quart is more than enough.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s what you don’t want to do. You don’t want to paint weather stripping as you can see here that the previous painter did. Paint won’t stick to it since it’s flexible, and then you’ll have ugly, flaking weather stripping on your beautiful door like I do. All you have to do to prevent such a nasty problem is run a piece of masking tape over it to keep your paint off of it. Unfortunately, since there’s already paint on this one, I now either have to paint over the old paint or replace the weather stripping. I opt for painting over it for now, and may replace it at a later date.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

A mini roller cover that is made of a knit rather than a nylon is what I like to use because it leaves very little texture. This one was purchased at Sherwin Williams. I also use a 2 inch angled brush for cutting in areas that can’t be reached with a roller, like the corners of the inset panels on the face of the door.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now we can finally begin to paint! You’ll need to use primer for your first coat, and you’ll want to do your door edge first. (I’m using a gray tinted primer that I had on hand since my door’s going to be a darker color.) The only edge you paint is the hinge side. The other edge stays the inside door color. That’s just proper door etiquette.

My tip for painting the hinge side is keep the paint off the hinges, for goodness sakes. If you know your agility with a paintbrush is, let’s say, a one on a scale of one to ten, do your door (and the people who purchase your house after you) a favor and cover the hinges with masking tape first so you’re sure not to get paint on them. Simply remove the tape when you’re all finished. Paint on door hinges is a no-no. (More etiquette.)

So to paint the edge of the door, very carefully cut in around the hinges with a brush, and quickly roll through any paint that makes its way onto the front of the door. If you don’t roll through it, you’ll have a line of dried paint that you won’t be able to get rid of. Let me stress this point—I paint only about six inches of the edge of the door, and then quickly roll through the paint that laps over onto the front of the door. If you wait until you’ve painted the whole edge of the door and then go back and roll through the paint on the front of the door afterwards, it’ll be too late to get rid of the lumps and bumps. After you’ve finished the hinge side, check the inside of the door to be sure paint doesn’t seep around the corner onto the other side. If it does, a wet rag will take it right off.

Here’s my door with the edge primed. Excitement is building.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next come the panels. The key here is to work very quickly so you don’t have globs and brush strokes. You gotta paint like a Ninja now. First you quickly brush just one panel so you can get into the corners where you can’t get with the mini roller. Don’t worry what it looks like because you’re going to roll over it right away. Here’s what it will look like right after you brush it. I know. It’s ugly.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now I quickly roll over it so it looks like this. Much better now.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Same thing here.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Ditto for the area around the peep hole. Don’t paint over your peep hole, or you won’t be able to see those nasty solicitors. Side note: Peep holes are simple to install. I’ve put one in every door to every house I’ve ever owned. They’re a life saver. Sort of like having caller ID on your front door.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After the panels have been primed, you’ll want to cut in with a brush at the top of the door on the hinge side if your door won’t open all the way flat because there’s a wall behind it. If you don’t, you’ll end up hitting the trim around your door with your roller trying to get that corner.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, brush the bottom of the door (then quickly roll through it as well) just because it’ll make your life easier when rolling the main part of the door.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s what the door looks like now.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now the rest of the door is ready to be rolled out. If you see chunks in your wet primer or paint, don’t leave them on the door thinking no one will notice them!! They will be noticed. Pick them off, and quickly re-roll that spot. This little guy was promptly removed.

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After the primer dries completely, follow the same steps with the paint as with the primer. I add some water to my latex paint, so it doesn’t leave a heavy texture. Do not add water to your paint if it’s oil/alkyd or you’ll have quite the mess on your hands. If you use oil, you’ll want to thin it down with mineral spirits. Important tip: You should be able to see through your first coat, and if you can’t, you’re probably putting your paint on too heavy. If you put it on too heavy, you’ll have a sticky door for a very long time. A very long time. Note the difference here between one coat, and two coats.

First coat–

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Second coat–

 Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

So here we go again. To be clear, I use one coat of primer, and then two coats of finish paint. You’ll especially need primer if you have patches. Without it, your patches will show through your two coats of paint.

Also, it’s a huge plus if you can paint on a day when the weather’s nice, and the humidity isn’t like that of a rain forest. I also left my door open all day to dry since I have a storm door to keep the bugs out. The longer you can go without closing the door, the better.

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Before and after pics. What a difference a day (and quart of paint) makes!

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Paint Your Front Door to Boost Curb Appeal / HomeStagingBloomingtionIL

I painted my front door on July 4th because the weather was fantastic that day. A very special thank you to all of our devoted men and women who serve in the military. Thank you Veterans!

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.