Door to Door Blog
How to Paint Your Exterior Door
Whether the exterior doors of your home need a new look or a simple refresh, a new paint job can help enhance the look of your house with minimal effort. But before you pick up your paintbrush and dive right in, we have a few tips to make this project as stress-free and successful as possible.
Choose your time of year wisely
Door painting is best done during the warmer months and, ideally, on a sunny day without rain in the forecast. This will help ensure your paint is able to fully dry without risks of moisture.
Choose your paint carefully
Since painting your exterior doors isn’t something you want to do frequently, think carefully about what color would suit your home best. It might even be a good idea to paint a small swatch of your door first to see how the light throughout the day affects the color.
Beyond choosing the right color, it’s also important to use exterior paint for best results over time. If you’re changing the color of your door, you’ll need to prime it first, so make sure the type of primer you use — oil-based or latex — matches the type of paint you use.
Prep your door before painting
Inspect your door for any imperfections and use a sander to smooth out any dented or scratch surfaces. Then, use a damp rag and gentle soap to clean your door. Make sure it is fully dry before you begin the painting process.
Decide your method
Some people elect to remove their doors from the hinges before painting to have a horizontal surface, but this isn’t necessary. If you don’t have a storm door to keep bugs at bay, you can simply paint your door as is, but you’ll need to keep it open throughout the painting and drying process. You’ll also need to remove the hardware before beginning to paint or cover any non-removable hardware with painter’s tape.
Once your primer is dry, it’s time to paint. If your door has panels, use a brush to paint these areas first, then a roller to paint the outer flat surfaces. Let each coat dry before adding a fresh layer. Keep your door open until it is completely dry. Finally, step back and admire your work.
Congratulations! Your exterior door is now looking fresh and good as new.
Ready for a total door upgrade? Shop our exterior door collection.
- Door Man
How to Establish a Maintenance Routine for Your Exterior Doors
More often than not, your front door provides the first impression of your home to visitors. However, despite this, many homeowners don’t have an established maintenance routine to keep their exterior doors in the best shape possible.
The exterior doors to your home face additional challenges that your interior doors don’t — like adverse weather, more traffic and fluctuating temperatures. All of these challenges can impact the long-term health of your door if you aren’t taking proper precautions.
So, how can you establish a maintenance routine that will help your exterior doors look better and last longer? We have a few ideas.
Don’t panic with weather changes
Wooden doors are susceptible to shrinkage in cold weather and swelling in hot weather, which can make for a frustrating open and shut experience. Some homeowners panic when doors swell and opt to shave down the sides. Unfortunately, this just leads to an ill filling door when the weather changes back to colder temperatures. Instead, ensuring your door is properly sealed with high quality exterior paint to combat moisture is the best course of action. If you aren’t sure about the paint on your door, it might be a good idea to sand the door down to bare wood and start fresh. You can also apply weather stripping to the doorframe to help with sealing.
Plan for bi-yearly cleaning
Cleaning your doors isn’t likely to be a high-priority task, so pair this twice annual to-do with another more common bi-yearly task, such as cleaning out your closet, changing the batteries on your smoke detectors or washing your windows.
For wooden doors, choose a gentle cleaning agent — like diluted dish soap or even baby shampoo — and use a soft tool, like a microfiber cloth or sponge. You should also take care to use minimal water and ensure your door is dried completely when you’re done.
Inspect for wear and tear
Along with regular cleaning, you should also check your doors for any damages or updating needs. Since sun damage can lead to peeling paint and a dulled finish, it’s a good idea to plan to repaint or refinish your exterior doors about once every five years, depending on exposure. You should also check for damages to the frame and any glass panels, both of which can be replaced in the event of moisture damage.
With these tips and a little extra care, you can extend the life of your exterior doors and ensure the entrances to your home are always looking their best.
Need a new look? Shop our exterior door collection here.
- Door Man
3 Tips for Maximizing Space in a Small Apartment
When you live in a small apartment, every inch of space is at a premium. By utilizing your space in the best way possible, even the smallest home can go from feeling cramped to cozy. With just a few simple tweaks, you can maximize your floor plan and live more comfortably.
Here are three tips to make your small apartment feel bigger:
Eliminate Clutter and Get Creative With Storage
Excess, unnecessary clutter will just make your apartment feel overcrowded and disorganized. Instead, take care to pare down your belongings and get creative with the ones you do choose to store. For instance, use clear tubs under your bed for extra clothes, purchase furniture that doubles as storage items — like a cedar chest for a coffee table — and install shelving to utilize wall space. And remember, de-cluttering likely won’t be something you can only do once. Aim to reassess and pare down unnecessary items with every changing season.
Purchase Bigger Furniture — But Less of It
It might seem counter-intuitive, but larger furniture can actually be a space saver. When you have a small apartment, it’s easy to gravitate toward small furniture pieces, but then you typically just end up needing more furniture to fulfill your needs. Several pieces of small furniture will take up space less efficiently, causing your apartment to feel cramped. Instead, choose larger pieces that suit your space and are multifunctional.
Use Sliding Barn Doors in Place of Swinging Doors
Doors that swing open need clearance, which can encroach on your already small space. By changing to a barn door on sliders, you can avoid needing extra space to accommodate door openings. Barn doors are an especially great choice for closets, bathrooms or kitchen pantries. While the door will need a little extra wall space, the sliding feature will help your apartment feel more open and less crowded.
Even just simple changes like these three can transform your space and help you feel more at home. The secret isn’t to have more space — but to use the space you have more efficiently.
- Door Man
How to Choose the Right Wood Species for Your Interior Door
When shopping for a new interior door, you might have a clear idea of the look you want, but have you considered how to choose the best species of wood? The type of wood you select can affect the price, weight and maintenance, so it’s important to consider the specific needs of your home.
To help with your decision, we’ve rounded up the pros, cons and unique characteristics of seven species of wood.
Know for its red or reddish brown color, cherry is a fine-grained wood with a smooth texture. This texture makes it easy to stain, if necessary. While it does react to sunlight and darken over time, cherry is an upscale wood that can elevate any room of your home.
Any knotted wood is going to have tons of personality thanks to the variety in the grain. Knotty alder is light brown in color, but sturdy — making it a good choice for an informal area of your home that receives substantial traffic.
The light color and tight knots of knotty pine give a rustic, casual feel to your home. Pine is a lightweight wood, which makes it ideal for homes with small children opening doors; however, it does scratch or dent more easily than some other, heavier woods.
Rich in color and extremely durable, mahogany is a great, classic choice for an interior door. The thickness and stability of the wood also makes it very energy efficient.
This wood has a smooth texture and is often characterized by a warm color with dark streaks. It is dense and durable, with a nearly universal appeal in a variety of home styles.
Similar to the knotty pine, but without the inconsistencies of the knots, pine doors are ideal for the person who wants the lightweight benefits of pine, but with a more uniform appearance.
With a timeless look and open grain, red oak is a classic choice with a dense stability. It best suits craftsman or midcentury-style homes, and the red breed stains more easily than white oak.
Each species of wood has its own unique properties. Take the time to consider the benefits and qualities of each type to determine the best door for your needs.
Ready to start shopping? View our selection of interior doors.
- Door Man
What’s the Difference? A Close Look at 5 Types of Interior Doors
When choosing doors for the interior rooms of your home, you might be surprised by how many options you suddenly have. After all, a door’s a door, right? Wrong! Whether differing in style or function, not all interior doors are created equal.
Since it can help your search to know some of the different options and what sets them apart, we’re taking the time today to detail five unique types of interior doors:
Many think of raised panel doors as the most “traditional” design of interior doors. While the construction of the frame and panel was originally designed to aid in moisture damage, these doors now offer a timeless choice. Typically found in either six or four panel interior doors, this classic option can have a single or double hip (the concave detail at the raised portion of the panel) for extra style.
The glass panes of French doors (also know as “lites”) easily add elegance to any room by creating more of an open concept and increasing natural light. From a single lite to a 15 lite, interior French doors are the perfect way to add sophistication and brightness between adjoining rooms of your home.
It doesn’t take much to add intrigue, but the subtle curve of an arch top interior door does exactly that. The softer lines create just the right amount of interest without going over the top.
Known for simplicity and high-quality craftsmanship, Shaker style doors are popular for good reason. These doors are ideal for anyone who appreciates minimalist design and wants to join in the tradition of well-made Shaker furniture.
Far from traditional, interior barn doors are trendy and functional, while often becoming the focal piece of a room. A popular choice for closet doors or pantries, barn doors hang from a track and slide into place. If you’re looking for a unique option with a rustic, cottage-like feel, a sliding barn door might be your perfect fit.
Each type of interior door offers different visual appeal and style. Think about the purpose and feel of your home and consider how each option would enhance your particular space. However, once you narrow it down to a style, the decision making process isn’t over just yet: next it’s time to pick a species. Stay tuned for our next blog post comparing wood choices.
Discover the Door to Door difference: view our interior door selection today.
- Door Man
5 Easy Ways to DIY Interior Door Holiday Decorations
With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to get your family in the spirit — and that starts with your home décor. However, if decking the halls feels overwhelming and you aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Rather than stressing over how to give your house a floor-to-ceiling makeover, focus on one simple part of your home that is easy to dress up: your doors!
These five DIY interior door holiday decorations are quick, easy and, best of all, you probably already have most of the necessary supplies on hand.
Wrapped and Ready
With a little wrapping paper and tape, you can transform your child’s bedroom door or the kitchen pantry door into a larger than life present. You can even add ribbon going across and a big bow in the center to really sell the visual. Look for an extra long wrapping paper roll so you won’t have to do two layers, and opt for painter’s tape to protect the finish on your door. Check out this tutorial for more tips.
Display the Joy
The interior doors of your home are the perfect place to display the dozens of holiday cards you receive from loved ones throughout the month of December. Tape a ribbon (or two) to the top and bottom of your door, then use clothespins to attach the cards as they come in. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can create a display with a seasonal message like this one.
A Worthy Tradition
Sometimes, traditions are what they are for a reason — and wreaths and doors go together like peanut butter and jelly. This holiday season, you can always keep it simple and classy with a seasonal wreath hung on any of your interior doors with a wreath holder.
For the Kids
What better way to discourage your children from playing with the actual Christmas tree than by creating a felt doorway tree of their very own. Follow this tutorial for easy instructions and give one of your interior doors a playful makeover.
String It Up
Of course, one of the simplest DIY interior door holiday transformations only requires a strand of lights or garland around the frame. You can subtly secure either option with a few small pushpins and minimal effort.
Give one of the above suggestions a try and your home will be feeling more festive in no time.
Need a new interior door to dress up? Check out our selection.
- Door Man