Front door color ideas from a pro
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Whether you’re trying to sell a new home or pass your house on to the next generation, front door color carries outsized importance.
To help you start dreaming up the perfect color for your front door, we tapped Kiki Redhead, the color and trend lead for industrial coatings with Sherwin-Williams. Her job is to forecast color trends by predicting how industry, product, and consumer preferences, as well as consumer purchasing behavior will evolve.
What’s in a front door anyway?
“Curb appeal is a home’s first impression, much like the clothes we wear,” Redhead explained. “It’s the outside world’s view of the type of house we keep, and correlates to the thoughts and emotions someone will form prior to entering the home. If you put effort and care into the exterior, you most likely have done the same inside.”
In addition to adding personality to your home, certain front door colors may actually boost resale value. A Zillow analysis of 132,000 homes sold since 2010 found that painting a front door black or gray can help fetch up to $6,271 more. Even choosing navy blue — black’s fraternal twin — can increase a home’s sale by an average of more than $1,500.
Whether you’re interested in one of these sophisticated dark neutrals or prefer a mood-brightening yellow, you’ll want to start by coming up with a color scheme that matches your exterior.
How to create a front door color scheme
Redhead says fashionable colors for entry doors emerge to either blend in with or stand out against the popular neutral hues of a housing market. To help you figure out whether you want a color that blends in or stands out, let’s look at color theory.
Grab a color wheel and find the color that best matches your home’s exterior color. From there you can use one of the following approaches to home in on a front door color idea:
- High-contrast scheme: If you want your front door to pop, select a complementary color or a color that’s on the opposite side of the color wheel from your exterior color. For example, a red-hued door would provide bold contrast to a green exterior.
- Medium-contrast scheme: For a contrast that’s still pleasing but less dramatic, select a triadic color or one of the colors equidistant from your exterior color. Image laying a triangle on the color wheel with one corner on your exterior color. The other two corners will point toward its triads. For example, a door in the red or blue color family would provide a nice contrast to a green exterior.
- Harmonious scheme: If you want to use color in a way that’s subtle and calming, select a front door color that’s analogous or right next door to your exterior color on the color wheel. For example, a door in the green or yellow color family would be harmonious with a green exterior.
Once you’ve decided on a color family for your front door, it’s time to get into paint color recommendations.
Expert color recommendations
The trendiest hues for entry doors typically fall into one of four color categories below, and according to Redhead, each one says something different.
Red to pink
A red door commands and draws attention. It’s dynamic and engaging. Another member of the red color family, pink has a more youthful and carefree feel. Here are Redhead’s picks for warm vibrant paints in this color family:
- For a dignified oxblood red, try Crabby Apple SW 7592.
- For a cheery barn-red hue, she loves Heartthrob SW 6866.
- For a cheeky pink shade that doesn’t take itself too seriously, there's Eros Pink SW 6860.
Blue to green
- For a rich dark aqua shade, try Loch Blue SW 6502.
- For a fresh, cool light blue, choose Jetstream SW 6492.
- For a sage shade that leans slightly blue, try Waterscape SW 6470.
- For a minty fresh green, you can’t go wrong with Kiwi SW 6737.
- For a crisp, classic navy, choose Naval SW 6244.
Yellow is warm, welcoming, and optimistic — perfect for a front door! “A yellow like Sherwin-Williams’ Lemon Twist or Decisive Yellow makes the boldest design statement, plus they are the most fun and can create high contrast, depending on the other colors that surround,” Redhead said.
Here are two of Redhead’s recommendations for bright and cheerful yellow paint:
- For a rich saturated shade, try Decisive Yellow SW 6902.
- For a lighter, brighter yellow, there’s Lemon Twist SW 6909.
Gray to black
But bright isn’t always right. If it works for your home, don’t be afraid to turn to the dark side. “[Dark neutrals] represent sophistication, elegance, luxury, confidence, and certainty; all wonderful qualities you would want your home to exude [when it’s] on the market.”
Redhead has the following recommendations for dark, neutral paint colors:
- For a timeless, grounding color, go for Colonial Revival Gray SW 2832.
- For a sophisticated soft brown, there's Elephant Ear SW 9168.
- For a bold, elegant statement, look no further than Tricorn Black SW 6258.
Worried about front door color dating your home? According to Redhead, you shouldn’t be. “I see these color families as a long-term trend,” Redhead said. “The specific hues may shift slightly, but you can always rely on a classic red, navy, or black.”