How To Paint A Distressed Front Door
Recently a homeowner in Cardiff by the Sea asked me to paint her beautiful, old, oak front door green. When she showed me the sample color she wanted to use I was mortified. Normally I don’t give my opinion about my client’s color choices but this time I had to speak up. This home we were working on was a custom Tuscan style house over-looking the lagoon with stunning ocean views. This house deserved a grand entrance. Instead of a solid green, I recommended a distressed finish using colors similar to the one I had used when refinishing kitchen cabinets. I showed the homeowner this example and she agreed that a faux technique would be a better choice.
To achieve this look you will need
- Sand paper ~ 220 grit
- Primer ~ Zinsser Cover Stain
- 3 paint colors
- We used SW 6722 Cay, SW 7665 Wall Street and Valspar VR022D Glistening Aqua
- Sand entire door to remove old stain (always sand in the direction of the grain)
- Paint entire door with primer – Avoiding knots and gouges
I then did a test area on one of the panels to determine what color combinations looked best.
I used SW Cay as a base, SW Wall Street to mimic deterioration and Glistening Aqua to add a copper patina look.
Dry brush each color allowing each color to dry between coats. Applying sparse amounts of paint is key!
I dabbed my brush on a rag, removing most of the paint.
Now comes the fun, creative part ~ MESS IT UP!
The trick is to remove paint in areas that would naturally be worn off due to sun exposure, moisture and friction.
For an authentic appearance~
- Sand raised areas, edges, using a sand paper block. I wanted to achieve a heavily worn, aged look to this door. In some areas I sanded the paint all the way down to raw wood
- Leave deposits of paint in recessed areas, cracks and crevasses.
Because this home is located in North County San Diego it was imperative that the door was protected from the harsh salt air. I used a marine grade top coat. To insure the aged look of the door I used a top coat with a flat finish. If I had used a shiny top coat it would have ruined the illusion of antique wood.
There isn’t a precise way to achieve this look. Nothing in nature is perfect. The trick is to not over think the paint application and removal process. Have fun and be creative! Yet if you don’t have the time let your San Diego Painting Contractor Maverick Painting do the job for you!