How to Paint Your Front Door

As I mentioned in my last post, I painted my front door using Dixie Belle chalk paint:

It came out beautiful! I've still got a lot more to do for enhancing the curb appeal, but my newly painted front door is a great start.

I asked Cheryl Tocci, owner of JJ Bean Designs and seller of Dixie Belle paints, to piece together an easy tutorial, not only so I could get a great result, but so you can do the same with your own front door. Take it away, Cheryl!

Here's what you'll need:

- White Lightning

- 0000 Steel wool or scrubby pad

- BOSS or Slick Stick (see below)

- Dixie Belle Premium Chip Brush or your softer brush of choice

- 8oz of your choice of color paint

- Gator Hide (Dixie Belle’s Waterproof top coat)

- Blue Gator Hide Sponge

- Sanding sponge

- A Fine Mist Spray Bottle - A Disposable Bowl - Clean rags


Your first step in painting your exterior door is to clean it extremely well. I suggest White Lightning from Dixie Belle.

It is amazing not only for cleaning any grease, grime or dirt on it, but helps degloss the door to apply paint or primer (that we will go over in the next step).

When prepping with White Lightning, use a 0000 steel wool to work the white lightening through the piece, as well as remove any stuck-on dirt. After scrubbed well, wipe down to remove White Lightening and then rinse with hot water to make sure all is off of the door.


The next step you take depends on the type of door you have.

Wood Door - If it is a "red tone" door and you are doing a lighter color, you will want to prime with 2 coats of BOSS from Dixie Belle.

BOSS is a great primer that blocks stains, odors and more. Specifically for your door, it will stop any wood tannins from coming through. Let BOSS dry thoroughly before painting. If you are doing a darker color, you can move onto the next step.

Metal Door - In order for the paint to adhere, you will need to use an adhesion primer like Dixie Belle’s Slick Stick.

This ensures your paint adheres correctly to the metal and does not peel or scrape off. You will need 2 coats of slick stick. Let the door dry approximately 1 hour between coats and at least 2 hours after the last coat.

When applying the primer, if you feel you have made heavier brush strokes, lightly sand with your sanding sponge before applying paint. Then wipe any dust off with a damp rag.


You are ready to paint! When painting with any chalk or mineral style paint, it is best to remember that two lighter coats are better than heavy ones.

Start with your first coat. Lightly spray your brush to dampen the bristles as this will help your paint to spread as well as to load the brush with paint. Then, dip in paint and start your transformation!

I paint using long strokes to help minimize any possible brush strokes. However, Dixie Belle paints are self leveling. That means very little brush strokes☺! If you notice it seems like the paint is drying on your brush as you are putting it on, lightly mist your brush and keep going.

After your first coat is on, let it fully dry for at least hour. Then, lightly sand with your sanding sponge. This will help take the “chalk feeling" away and leave your surface smooth. Lightly wipe down with dry cloth and get ready for your second coat!

For your second coat, you will spray your brush AND lightly mist your door. For this coat, you are using the thinned out paint to get that full coverage and smooth finish. Complete your coat, let it fully dry, and lightly sand again.


Time for the Top Coat! For this, you will need your Blue Gator Hide Sponge.

Dip your sponge flat side down into the Gator Hide top coat and “brush” on with your sponge.

This is in long strokes and in one direction is best. You will want to do even strokes and coat for this. If you choose, you can do a second coat as well.

After your Gator Hide dries, your door is complete!

There you have it. Thank you so much Cheryl for sharing your knowledge with us! For more information on Cheryl and her business, JJ Bean Designs, check her out here.

Until next time... Happy Designing! - Angela :)

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