Privilege Blog

How Long Does It Take To Choose A Front Door Color? For Some Of Us, A Very Long Time Indeed

You may remember that ~11 months ago I wanted to repaint my front door. You may also remember that I thought I wanted a red.


I didn’t. Why not? I tried. I really tried. But the green-gray of my house didn’t like blue-reds and I don’t like orange-reds and there you have it.

The experience convinced me I needed a whole new door. Mid-century modern like my house. Light wood, small windows.


The price of said door convinced me otherwise.

And then, in a flash of inspiration, quite different from the logical processes I usually follow, I knew. Janet lit the fires. Then Amy Beth Cup Dragoo did her barn, and Daniel his garage. Perhaps that means I’m trending but I don’t mind.

As of two weeks ago my front door is no longer a patchworked love child of intransigence and desire.


It’s black.

All black. A blue-green black satin, to be specific, known by its creators at Benjamin Moore as “Blacktop.” Makes me think of Jack Kerouac. The front door as road to somewhere. And ready for Hallowe’en, once I found a dark red planter with black speckles to keep my puny pumpkin company.

Door with empty planter

Looked nice and spooky with the traditional jack o’lantern hack.

Pumpking Hack

Monday, I planted hot pink cyclamen, in the mood for a little pink v. red dust-up.


Now we’re ready for guests.


Even if we are simply hosting ourselves.

Why did it take me so long? All the things I didn’t know; light plays funny tricks on surfaces, paint, in brief, is not fabric.

Why do I like it? The black door is classic, modernized by a non-glossy finish. The red and pink together, just ornery enough. And the utilitarian hardware store doormat? Even when you spend a year figuring something out, it’s nice to have it look easy when you’re done.

81 Responses

  1. I love a black door. The black paint colour you selected looks great with the style of your door.
    If I may ask, did you also paint the interior facing black?
    I cannot paint the outer side of my door black (shared duplex) but painting the inside black has been on my to do (future) list for several years…..
    Thank you so much for sharing. Love your blog!

    1. @Suz, Thank you! And yes, I did paint the inside black too. Then I immediately had to hang some light art on one of the interior walls;).

  2. There must be something in the air. This week we are having a new door put on our little old cottage. It will be a bit of a shock at first, to go from the all-glass French door to an all-wood with a square of beveled glass. I will live with it through the seasons before I decide on a colour. I like your black door – classic.

    1. @Mrs. Blandings, I cherish this endorsement. I’ve been reading your blog since forever, so, if you wrote about your doors, quite possibly I had them in the back of my mind somewhere.

  3. Love it! The black you chose is beautiful, complements your house, and your doormat is simple and classic.

  4. I love it – black is classic and elegant. I also think it works better than red with your architecture.

  5. As a red door owner, I was disappointed you didn’t choose red, until I saw THIS! I love it. Reminds me of my vintage Chanel purse (that my daughter now uses). It is gorgeous,

  6. Our front door is black! And the barn doors on our garage. And our shutters. And our foundation….sensing a theme?

    It looks fabulous. You were right to wait for inspiration to strike!

  7. I love your black door and the whole composition. Some things are worth waiting for……… you did it well. It is serious invitation to be wellcome
    My doors are steel grey (windows,too. House is white)

  8. Your front door, the pot, & the cyclamen look beautiful!

    I have been toying with the idea of a red front door, but I’m not sure. Plus, we live in a townhouse community and have to go through a lengthy permission process, so I better be sure! I’ll have to consider black!

  9. Bravo! Clean and classic and it makes a beautiful punctuation mark to your house. It took me many years dithering about trying to decide which paint color would suit my door, which had been painted white. I settled on a deep purpley bluey black (same color as my garage door and side door as shown here which makes more of a feature than a boring white door did (at least on my lightly-colored stucco house that is).

    I’m also a fan of the old-fashioned coir mat you’ve opted for. Another timeless classic. Oh, and they wear pretty well too.

  10. “And then, in a flash of inspiration, quite different from the logical processes I usually follow, I knew.”

    #EmotionsMatter #EmotionRevolution

  11. Well worth the wait for such a stylish result. It fits so well, it is as though it has always been this colour.

  12. Perfect. And I like the way the pattern in the pot echoes the front door’s pattern. It does look like it’s always been this way, which is the best.

  13. You totally nailed it! The black color on that particular door is the essence of sophisticated simplicity, but the fact that you kept the existing escutcheon plate adds such a zany touch!

    1. @Diane, Thank you! And I didn’t know that was called an escutcheon plate;). I kept it because whenever I see modern interpretations of mid-century modern designs I always want to say, “You should see my doorknob!” It’s the 1953 original, and I just get a kick out of how dreadful it is and yet how wonderful.

  14. Perfect! The black door, the planter, the pink. All look like they were intended to be there all along, with style and humor as well. I think this is how things happen, gradually, through iteration. Creativity is in sticking with the process and being open to the evolution of the idea.

    1. @Mardel, :Creativity is in sticking with the process and being open to the evolution of the idea.” Well said. I’m learning a lot.

  15. Black looks very nice. Sadly, we can’t have a black door because it faces due west, and people would get burned by it in summer.

  16. I love the black door! All color flowers look great with it and you’ll never tire of it. Hoping you can deliver posts as they happen! Great seeing you yesterday.

  17. I have a black door that faces towards the setting sun and haven’t had a problem with the door heating up, it’s not under an outer storm door, which definitely traps heat and can cause problems, but I am curious about how your color will weather.

    Does your door face a strong sun? If so, how about an update in a year?

  18. My door is currently red (it’s been white, royal blue and apple green at various times). I never thought of black and love it. What a splendid choice. I see another painting project in my future!

    1. @Kathy, Oh no! I’ve never dusted that door in all the ~30 years I’ve lived here! What happens if I carry on my wayward path?

  19. It looks great! Reminds me of charcoal which Val Easton, my favorite Seattle garden writer, said is a great neutral and looks spectacular with everything.

  20. Black doors are the best -they add such ‘architecture’ (for lack of a better word) to a space or the house. Always makes the hardware look fantastic. No more boring white doors!
    PS -I have the same doorbell cover as you -the shield. It’s so charming!

    1. You have the shield too? Where did you get it, can I ask? I mean, where does one find these things nowadays?

  21. Perfection! I just painted the front door of my mountain home a Sherwin Williams Salute….red. Love yours and loving mine! PS…the pot and door mat are great choices!

  22. I love a black door too! After years of agonizing, I can’t even tell you HOW MUCH MONEY we spent to replace our east coast front door with something that looks like wood (including an authentic hardwood grain pattern) but is finished with the equivalent of an automobile painting process, which should last a lifetime (if you’re already middle-aged). I so, so LOVE it … and YOURS. :)

  23. I totally agree with you. Choosing the right color for your door really will make all the difference in your home’s aesthetic! I really like the black! So sleek and clean. Very nice! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

Comments are closed.