Updated: Mar 30, 2020
If you know me at all, you know that I love paint. It’s transformational in more ways than one and paint played a pivotal role in my journey into home decorating. You can read that story here. But deciding when, what and how to paint can be a process, a chore or if we’re honest, a complete bore. But, YOU GUYS (picture me saying this the Goonies way!) paint can literally elevate a piece of furniture or a room in a way that is jaw dropping, eye popping and can leave you saying, “Why on earth did I wait so long?” This has happened to me so many times I’ve lost count and because I paint things so often I can now visualize the final product before I layer on an ounce of paint at all. So knowing this, I was shocked that I had this same reaction when I recently painted the interior of my front door black. I’d been contemplating it for a while – like, years, while. The vast void of white that the door was always seemed like an opportunity. It needed something. Interior wreathe – not for me. Words on the door – maybe. Paint – wish I would have done it years sooner.
So, why did I finally say yes, choose the black that I did, how long did it take and all the nitty gritty details in case you are contemplating painting your door too. Keep reading – you’ll find out. And spoiler alert…apparently we have three very silly boys who love the camera (and surprise, surprise – the boy who really loves the lime light didn’t make an appearance at all!). I caught it all on tape and am sharing it with you.
Every January I get an itch. It’s not the typical itch that comes with the new year – new exercise routine, trying a new smoothie a day, trying to curb a bad habit, etc. Instead, my itch comes in the form of home projects. My list is long. Like Santa unscrolling his naughty and nice list long. LOOOONNNNG. There are so many things to choose from. Here were some of mine: replacing the mantel, painting or replacing the floor trim, re-designing the family office space, updating bathroom countertops, repainting the laundry room, hanging a chandelier in my closet, changing out the hardware on my kitchen cabinets, painting the interior front door. Those are just a few and some I’ll be tackling in the near future. I chose the door project for four reasons: 1) I had an unexpected day off of coaching which left me with three hours of spare time during the day and nothing scheduled that evening (a rare wonderful combination for sure!). 2) I wanted the project to be something I could do completely independently of my right-hand man. 3) I wanted the project to be something I could start and complete that day, but most importantly I wanted the project I did to make a BIG IMPACT. A project that I could look at daily and see the transformation, love it and be inspired for more - one that I would walk away from not exhausted, but motivated for the next one on the list. Painting the front door seemed like just the thing!
My mind was made up and this project was going to happen! So, how did I choose a) black and b) the specific black that I did when there are so many choices to choose from. Black, in my home, is an anchor color. It’s not the main color or even an accent, but it anchors the space and plays an important role in making the overall space feel cohesive. A few of the black pieces you’ll see the first time you step into my home: a black bench by the door, a black rolling ladder on the bookcase, black stripes on the curtains and black curtain rods. I wanted the door to be a statement, but an anchoring, neutral statement. I could have chosen a more prominent color, but the colored door would have felt, in my space, jarring. Once I knew black was the color, I chose four black color samples that immediately caught my eye at the paint store. When I say immediate, I mean immediate. There was no time for thinking or overthinking. Stopping at four was important. I love choices, but know that too many aren’t always a good thing. Once I had those four choices, I ignored all others and focused only on the ones in my hand. I held each one independently and eliminated two right away. With a little scrutiny they seemed either too black or too grey. Neither was the look I was going for. The last two samples I had were: Black Magic and Tricorn Black. Both of these are from Sherwin Williams.
Yep. I see it now. Not a lot of difference on this screen, but trust me. The difference was jarring in person. Black Magic appears a little more matte with a flatter tone. Tricorn Black seems a little deeper with a bit more sheen. It was an easy choice. Black Magic would be perfect!
I bought a gallon of Black Magic in satin. The paint was Emerald: a Urethane Trim Enamel. I’ve used this paint before and love it. It’s self-leveling and very forgiving for projects like doors and cabinets. I used the same type of paint a few years ago for my kitchen cabinets. One day, it’ll be perfect for my floor trim. One day…that’s a big project! I also bought a quart of multi-purpose primer that I had them tint grey. Everything else I had on hand and was ready to start.
Any time I do a painting project, the prep work is always the longest. Or maybe most boring. I don’t know. Any way you put it, it makes it to the top of my ‘not fun’ list, but is essential for achieving an end product that I’m happy with. So, I suffered through it: lightly sanding then wiping down the door, taping the hinges, door handles and metal bits on the door, laying down the annoyingly sticky plastic paint tarp and moving anything out of the way that I didn’t want to turn black – including the dog.
It took me less than an hour to prep, paint my primer and clean my brush. Not bad. I let it dry while I picked up kiddos from school, made dinner, ate dinner, cleaned up after dinner - you get the picture. In total it dried at least four hours before I went back with my Black Magic. An hour of painting the black and another cleaning of the brush and I was done for the night. There were a few bits I needed to go over with a second coat the next morning, but it wasn’t necessary to do the entire door. It was a good thing because when I thought I had all the supplies on hand other than paint, it turns out that I had a sub-par system for rolling out the paint on the rolly parts, but like McGuyver I jerry-rigged a system that worked for me and saved me a trip to the hardware store. I just didn’t want to have to use it two days in a row.
Now for the fun part. The eye candy. The just hurry up and get to it bit.
Just for fun, if you'd like to see my boys' silly antics and how close Fergus really stays by my side, watch this!
If you are considering this project for yourself, here are the supplies and encouragement you need, in order of appearance and, in this case, importance:
* Confidence in yourself and a belief that your home is a reflection of you and your story. Tell it well, tell it bravely, and tell it with the idea that if you don’t like it in a year it can always be changed. What’s the worst that can happen?
* 1 paint tarp
* Fine sandpaper
* Damp cloth
* Painter’s tape
* Something to open the paint with
* 1 quart of all-purpose primer
* A little patience while the primer dries
* 1 quart of Urethane Trim Enamel (I like Sherwin Williams Emerald, but some people like other brands)
* A little more patience while the paint dries
* 1 high quality nylon paint brush (I use a 2 inch Purdy)
* 1 roller (4in would be ideal)
* Jazz hands, cause you’re going to love it!