The Jewel of your exterior
As soon as I started thinking about writing this post, the craziest thing happened. All of a sudden, I started noticing everyone’s front door. I guess that’s not too strange, since it has been on my mind, but it has started to become a safety hazard! I have been catching myself almost veering off the road driving by homes with pretty front doors.
Researching front door colors has proven to be interesting. It is almost as if the personality of the home and the people living in it is exemplified by the color of their front door. It is the “jewelry” of the exterior, so to speak. Truthfully, it is the perfect way to add some interest and color to a home if the main body color is neutral or if you are looking to add just a small pop of color.
Rugh Design Pro tip
Keep in mind that while you don’t have to perfectly match your exterior with your interior, it is a good idea to coordinate colors. For example, if you are using a gray for the exterior color, then consider adding some gray (at least in some capacity) to your interior. This will help to tie in the whole design of your home.
Remember that your exterior is the first impression of your home in general and curb appeal matters! Front doors are the entrance to your nest, your retreat. It’s what you use everyday to usher in your littles and what you open up to your family and friends. Why not make it a special feature for your home that is a blessing to your family and all who enter!
That being said, I narrowed down my options for front door colors to the top 7 that I felt that I not only kept seeing as I was driving around (ha!), but that go with a variety of existing stone, brick and siding colors. So, without further ado, here they are!!
I wrote a post a few weeks ago featuring Drizzle SW 6479, a beautiful aqua (green-blue color) that not only works well for interior spaces, but on exteriors as well. Aqua has been a popular accent color and it’s not hard to see why. It works perfectly with the gray trend that has been ongoing for awhile. I personally love aqua/teal and have it scattered all throughout my home in places like drapery, my rug and pillows.
So, in the same way that aqua is amazing for interiors, it also transfers over to the outdoors. Front doors are a perfect place for Drizzle since it is a brighter, more saturated color that is best (in my opinion) for accents on exteriors.
I mentioned this in my post, but I did an Exterior Color Consultation for my daughter’s dance teacher and I chose Drizzle for her front door. She was very pleased with the results and it really helped to brighten up her exterior!
One more color that I love for a front door that falls in the aqua category, is Waterscape SW 6470. Waterscape is a tad lighter than Drizzle, but is still most definitely an aqua color! Since Waterscape (and Drizzle) are brighter, they pair well with a neutral all-over body color. This relates to what I mentioned before with the gray trend persisting and how aqua is a great accent color with gray.
A perfect example is the exterior pictured below. Waterscape is the front door color with Dovetail as the main body color and oh, my does it juxtapose nicely! I also love the bright white trim that frames out the gray and aqua for a flawless look. Honestly, I am just a huge fan of gray, aqua and white especially since it is the color scheme in my interior.
In keeping with the blue color theme, I wanted to highlight how striking navy is for a front door color. I especially appreciate how well navy pops out against a white or soft beige main body exterior color! The first color that works well for an exterior front door color is Anchors Aweigh SW 9179.
Anchors Aweigh is a darker blue (navy) color, but it still has a softness to it that makes is feel less saturated. This color contrasts beautifully next to brighter white trim and totally reminds me of a sailor suit with navy and white stripes.
Add a pop of red in the front door wreath and you’ve got a very patriotic exterior! Even if you don’t want to play up the “sailor stripes” look, Anchors Aweigh is perfect with a softer beige backdrop.
One more dark blue color that has actually always been my go-to navy, is Naval SW 6244. Are you catching a theme here with the “Naval” and “Anchors Aweigh” names? I used to use Naval all of the time when I was specifying accent colors for model homes that had a navy scheme.
Naval is a bit more saturated than Anchors Aweigh, but it has the perfect mix of blue and black that doesn’t make it feel like an electric bright blue. Trust me, I made some mistakes with navy a few times for interiors, and I won’t do that again! Naval is the one that has proven to work time and time again. My mom has this color as the accent wall in her master bedroom and I just can’t say enough about how great this color is for a navy.
Just as Naval rocks as an interior wall color, it knocks it out of the park for a front door color as well! I love how it looks on this exterior not only as a front door color, but on the shutters too. Notice that the main body color is a soft beige color, but Naval would also pair well with a soft gray-blue main body color to keep a more monochromatic feel.
You can create this look too! The white “Hello” front door vinyl decal used in the picture below is sold by Word Factory Design and available on Amazon. Purchase the decal here. Please note, this is an affiliate link.
Since we have been focusing on the more saturated colors, the color red most definitely falls in that category! Red is one of those colors that can make a big statement for both interiors and exteriors. I love red as an accent color. Front doors are no exception as it’s an ideal place to add some interest as well as a pop of color. The red color, Stolen Kiss SW 7586, is almost a maroon color with some slight undertones of blue instead of a true bright “red” color.
Stolen Kiss is suited perfectly with an blue exterior for that reason. Red and blue have always paired well together because they are so close to being complimentary colors on the color wheel.
Rave Red SW 6608 is one more pick for a gorgeous red front door. Rave Red is more of a true primary red color and is great for a “look at me!” front door color. This color coordinates well with a gray or white trim to add some contrast and would also add a flawless finish to a light beige stucco home.
I love how a red front door is an optimal color to compliment the green landscape and foliage in a front yard. Red front doors are suitable for a brushed gold or nickel door hardware or even oil-rubbed bronze. Have fun with the accent of red as a front door color, the options are endless!
Now onto one of my personal favorite front door colors…black! If you have been wondering what the latest trend is for interiors (and exteriors), now that the gray trend is starting to wane a bit, well look no further. It’s black! Black is back, so to speak and is the “new gray.”
I noticed the black trend the most as I was observing the new build homes that have been popping up all over. Exteriors have been trending towards white as an overall main body color and black as a trim color for both shutters, window frames and front doors. So, if you are one that likes to stay in vogue with the latest and greatest colors, then consider black as a front door color.
My top fav black color is Caviar SW 6990. I actually did a feature post on Caviar and had so much fun playing around with some different paint ideas. One of my favored looks was using Caviar as a trim color with a soft lavender-gray color (Fashionable Gray SW 6275) as the wall color.
Greek Villa was a color that I profiled as I have been working through the Rugh Design Color Wheel. One of the exterior pictures of Greek Villa SW 7551 as a main body color, had Caviar as the black trim and front door color. I love it when my color posts accidentally overlap like that! My favorite thing about Caviar is that it is a softer black that isn’t too overpowering, which makes it one of the best blacks.
Another notable black color to use as a front door color is Tricorn Black SW 6258, which is another one of my top black colors that I spec’d when designing kids rooms for model homes that needed a black paint color for an accent wall.
I gravitate towards Tricorn Black because it is a true black color with no weird undertones. I love it on the front door pictured that has white painted siding and trim with a black outdoor lighting fixture and a grasscloth door mat that adds the perfect texture!
Seriously, I dare you to start paying attention to exteriors (and interiors) and I guarantee that you will start seeing black featured more and more. Stay posted (ha!) for a new post from me highlighting black soon!
So, if black is the most saturated color (by definition it is the absence of all color), we will now be slowly going lighter or brighter shade by shade. Sorry, color nerd alert! Dark gray is the natural step down from black.
Okay, so I know I keep mentioning past posts, but seriously this is all aligning and I’m not forcing it! Urbane Bronze SW 7048 (a dark gray) is another color that recently featured on a Color Wheel update. And, of course I love it for a front door color.
I love it so much, that I painted my own front door Urbane Bronze. I like that Urbane Bronze is a dark gray color that can almost, I mean almost, appear black. It almost comes off as a super soft black color in some lighting.
The slight brownish/bronze undertone in Urbane Bronze is what makes it more soft and in the category of a dark gray. It couples well with really almost any color exterior. I tend to like it with white for an extreme contrast and with a soft gray. I also love Urbane Bronze with a colorful exterior, like my own home, that has a green main body color with teal trim.
Iron Ore SW 7069 can also be an excellent choice as a darker gray front door color. Similar to Urbane Bronze, it looks almost like a soft black color. Used on an exterior, however, it really appears more like a dark gray.
I think I just really love bright white trim, but honestly it really does come across looking so pristine and clean next to almost any paint color. White contrasts superbly (yes, that is really a word) with a dark gray color.
I love how the pictured exterior used Iron Ore on their front door that was mainly all glass. It appears as a sort of “picture frame” look with the soft gray hardy plank and the white trim. I also like how the homeowner added texture in the wood address sign!
We all know that the gray trend has been going strong for awhile and even though the black trend is slowly taking over, don’t expect the gray trend to go away overnight. Gray, in particular soft lighter grays, are the go-to for many interiors. So, it makes perfect sense that it carries over to exteriors as well.
Dorian Gray SW 7017 is a top contender in my book for a light gray front door color. If you have white (or off-white) as a main color on your home, consider Dorian Gray.
Not only do I love Dorian Gray for front doors, but it also works well as a main body color for an exterior. Although I’ve seen it the most with a brighter white overall exterior color for a more subtle feel, Dorian Gray is also fitting for overall exteriors colors that are darker such as a navy or dark gray. My favorite look for Dorian Gray is right next to bright white hardy plank to really give some contrast!
Colonial Revival Gray SW 2832 is one more light gray to consider for your front door. It’s a gray that has a hint of a blue undertone to it that of course also matches up ideally with a bright white or slight off-white for a crisp and clean feel.
Colonial Revival Gray is another color that could easily transfer over to the interiors. I see it as a wall color for a sophisticated dining room look or as a kitchen color contrasted against white subway tile, marble countertops and white cabinets.
Last, but certainly not least, is white for a fresh and fabulous front door. Try saying that three times fast! We have now worked our way across the spectrum from black, to dark gray, to light gray and now to white (the presence of all of the colors). Well, I actually had a harder time finding inspiration for a white front door. I’m not sure why, but I was wondering if it had anything to do with maintenance. Our front door used to be white and I’ll be totally honest that it did not hold up well. It got super dirty and it was really hard to maintain the bright white look.
I do love how clean and fresh a bright white looks on an exterior, but the white front doors that I found were mostly on coastal or farmhouse homes that also had an all-white exterior for the main body color. Don’t let this discourage you from painting your front door white! Try Extra White SW 7006 for a true bright white look.
Extra White is the Sherwin-Williams “true white” color that doesn’t have any strange undertones that is also my go-to white for interior trim and cabinets. I didn’t find any front doors in Extra White, but found a good representation in the inspirational picture below.
Alabaster SW 7008 is another one of my top favorites for a white in both interiors and exteriors. It is an off-white that has a slight greige/beige undertone. Particularly on exteriors, it shows up as a bright white and would be a top-notch choice for a white front door and as a white trim and siding color too!
Again, the inspirational picture is a great model for how Alabaster looks as a front door color. One thing that I kept noticing was how impeccable the white color looked with bright green topiaries flanking each side of the door.
Rustic Wood Front Doors
Well, surprise, you are getting one more option for your front door! It’s not a color, so I didn’t count it in my “top 7 colors.” A rustic wood front door is however, quickly becoming one of my favorite and top specified front door options in my Exterior Color Consultations (more on my consultations in a minute).
I am loving rustic wood front doors and I am seeing them everywhere. If you are going for the ever popular “farmhouse” look (thank you, Chip & Jo!), then paint your house white and slap on a rustic front door and voila! Not that easy, I know, but the impact is undeniable!
It’s time to pick your jewel
To wrap up the post, I sincerely hope that this is helpful as you consider what color to paint your front door. After highlighting my top 7 colors choices (with the added door idea!), you are now armed with plenty of resources and information to make the best choice for your exterior.
If you are still struggling and need help, I offer Exterior Color Consultations specifically for front doors. After viewing the existing colors on your exterior (siding paint color, trim, brick, stone, etc.), I can make the best choice for your front door color. There is a method to selecting the best color and it all depends on what your current exterior looks like and what colors will compliment it best.
If you have pictures of your exterior that you would like to share, I would love to see them! It’s my current obsession as I’m driving around town. 🙂
Great post! My front door, interior doors, and fireplace are Iron Ore. I absolutely love this shade of dark cool gray and the contrast it provides with our neutral gray, beige, and soft white color scheme.
Laura Rugh says
Thank you for chiming in, Kathleen! I would love to see a picture of your front door. 🙂
Gina Rowan says
SW dovetail grey is very nice on front doors too. I have seen it as a preferred grey front door color in the SE.
Laura Rugh says
Dovetail would be a perfect front door color since it is a few shades darker than Dorian Gray. Thank you for chiming in! 🙂
What color would you suggest painting shutters with a rustic front door and white siding? Currently we have a brick red color but I’m ready for a change. I love your posts. Your advice on choosing the perfect shade of gray was a lifesaver!
Laura Rugh says
Thanks so much! I’m so glad that the shades of gray post was helpful. 🙂 I really like the aqua and teal colors with white siding and rustic front doors. I would love to help you nail down the perfect aqua color through an Interior Color Consultation if you would like! Thanks again for reaching out!
What about yellow??? I looking for the perfect yellow for my iron grey exterior.
Laura Rugh says
I actually have been thinking about yellow for front doors lately! I saw a couple while I was out driving around the other day. I would love to help you find the right shade of yellow to go with your exterior! Here is the link for my Front Door Consult:
Let me know if I can help!
Thanks so much for reaching out,
Cathy Hussung says
I am wondering what your recommendations are for red brick houses with white trim and columns? I didn’t see any brick homes in your suggestions.
Laura Rugh says
That is a great question! It really depends on the color of your brick. If it is the traditional red-brown brick color, I really like navy, black or white for a classic and traditional look (especially with white columns)! For more of a beige or creamy brick, I like red, blue or white. For white painted brick, the options are endless!
Let me know if you need further help deciding on an exterior color through a consult:
Thanks so much for reaching out!
I would almost want to say the color depends on where you live and which direction your house is facing. We are in florida and I see people with black front doors facing West. It gets so hot here to the point that you can barely touch the front door. Anything black down here feels and looks hotter. Not sure if you have experienced that or not
Laura Rugh says
Thank you for your feedback! You are quite right that your location and home direction is something to consider and think through. I have not personally experienced a negative paint color for my front door, but I also have an overhang on my front porch that shades my door.
I appreciate your comment and perspective! Thanks so much,
Sadly none of these were on dark red brick.
Thought I might get a new door color.
Laura Rugh says
Although I didn’t directly show a picture of dark red brick, there are definitely colors posted here that can work! I really like the navy and charcoal blue colors paired with red brick. Let me know if I can help you nail down the right color for your front door through an Exterior Color Consult:
Thank you for chiming in!
Barb Jasper says
Any thoughts about a Doir color with SW Mountain Road? I am wondering about Navy. I have white trim
Laura Rugh says
Navy would be very nice with Mountain Road! If you still need help finding a color, please feel free to reach out for an Exterior Color Consultation. I have a front door package that would be perfect for what you need!
Thanks so much for reaching out,
Cari Eyler says
I love all of these colors and they look stunning with exterior wood/ siding. My house is brick and I am having a hard time finding the right color besides red. I would love to see your suggestions on front door paint colors that look great with all brick homes!
Laura Rugh says
I’m so glad that you left a comment! There are so many people that have brick homes and are looking for a front door color to go with their exterior. If you have red brick, the complement is a green. There are some really pretty shades of green that have some gray to the undertone so that it doesn’t look like a Christmas scheme! Attitude Gray or Night Owl are darker grays that have a green undertone. Sage is a lovely soft green and Rookwood Jade is a brighter green for something different.
These are just some ideas. If you need more help, please feel free to contact me for a Front Door Exterior Color Consultation !
Thanks so much for reaching out, Laura
Angela M DeVincentis says
Hi…beige house, black board and batten shutters…need front door color…can you use navy with black shutteres….or also was leaning toward sw unusual gray…thanks
Laura Rugh says
Please check out my Exterior Color Consultation packages in my shop and select the front door color package.
I would love to be your color consultant!
We just painted our exterior Urbane Bronze (LOVE) with Dovetail Gray trim. We added horizontal stained cedar tongue and groove around the door and also have two fairly large frosted glass sidelights. Now I’m trying to figure out a door color. I’ve considered white, but agree it may be hard to keep up. My husband isn’t thrilled about aqua. It’s currently Iron Ore, which he likes, but I think we need more contrast with the new exterior color. My other thought is to sand it down and stain it but it has a lot of detail and that sounds like a nightmare. Any suggestions?
Laura Rugh says
I love Urbane Bronze too! My old house had an Urbane Bronze front door as well as the trim. What if you did a light gray front door? Worldly Gray would be a good color to pair with Urbane Bronze and Dovetail and will keep the scheme monochromatic. One other option is a medium blue color like Steely Gray. It has a gray undertone to it so it’s not super bright and it will still give you some contrast against the Urbane Bronze. If you need further assistance, I would love to help through a front door consultation !
Thank you for reaching out, Laura