how to transform a builder's door

Sometimes I send my husband sweet e-mails at work.

Full of encouragement and hearts and hands clapping a smiley faces.

And sometimes I get a conversation that starts like this:

Him:  “Why did you send me an e-mail that ended with a chin?”

Me:  (dumbfounded) “What?  A chin? I sent you a smiley face.”

Him:  “I know.  I saw that.  But the smiley face had a chin.”

Me:  (starting blankly)

Him:  (helpfully drawing it out on a piece of paper) “It looked like this.”

I laughed out loud.

I couldn’t help it.

Me:  (after I finally stopped laughing) “That’s a heart.”

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

And now….here’s how my heart and I transformed a builder’s door from ordinary to extraordinary.


Step 1:  Tape off the door

Using a smaller width FrogTape painters tape.

The tape I used was almost an inch wide.

Start at the edge of the panel and adhere the tape to the door.  Press the tape around the rest of the panel until the entire panel is surrounded as shown.


Step 2:  Repeat step 1 for the remaining five panels.


Step 3:  Cover hardware

Tape off hardware with frog tape.

Tape hardware next to the door and cover the handle.


Step 4:  Cover hinges

Tape off hinges with frog tape.

Tape hardware next to the door and cover the hinges.


Step 5:  Paint door

Using semi-gloss paint, paint the door including the panels.

Let dry.

Paint a second coat if necessary.


Step 6:  Remove tape

Remove painter’s tape from the door.

When you are finished the door should look just like this.

My heart and I think it turned out perfectly. 🙂

frog tape

winter farmhouse n snow with a red door

PS  I loved the comments on the last post.

I read the post so many times I decided that I needed a red door.

I think I love it.

If it wasn’t -9 degrees I might paint it today.

What do you think?  🙂

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  1. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    Love, love, love the red door idea! And that is a lot of snow for that area of Kentucky! Wow! Have a great day from my chinny, chin, chin <3<3<3!!!!!!!

  2. Image for Terri Terri

    yes ... yes... yes... on the red door!! AND thanks for the tip on painting ... I have an idea now for my front door!!! :) ..... Stay warm!!!

    1. Image for MaryS MaryS

      Got a RED door... Love it! More of a blue/red and not screaming red. Still don't get the <3 I'll have to stare at it a little more 7 degrees in St. Louis. Yuck.

  3. Image for Sue B. Sue B.

    I saw a blog where a pinecone wreath had been spray painted white with a faux cardinal attached and it just looked awesome. That same wreath came to mind when I saw your picture of the front of your house with the red door!

  4. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Go for it! I painted my front door purple last Spring and EVERYONE LOVES IT! I have had so many positive comments.

  5. Image for Arleen Arleen

    Red is my least favorite color for me. But on our home, just beautiful! Its 4 degrees here in East Tn. Snuggle time!

  6. Image for david david

    A red door would look terrific! Also, that "heart" graphic totally puzzled me too the first time I got it in an email. My first thought was "are those sideways boobs?" And my second, and more alarming thought was, "why did my niece send me sideways boobs!?"

  7. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    I have a not-so-positive opinion of the red door.... Though it looks amazing amidst the snow-covered land... I'm thinking in the springtime...summer....even fall...the red may clash with its surroundings and any other decor you may choose to use on it...on the porch...etc. But, it's definitely beautifully amazing right now... I've often wondered why "we" don't paint our front door more often.... Seems like such a quick, easy way to change a home's look...

  8. Image for Kitty Kitty

    The red door is eye catching and attractive, but I would play around with other colors too. One of the most impressive painted doors I've seen was a bright, buttery yellow (NOT egg yolk). My own door is currently a French blue. Just thinking you could do something a little more individual than red.

  9. Image for Julia Julia

    Thank you for clarifying the smiley face with a chin/heart. I never understood what all those less than 3's were all about! Now I know!. Love the red door! And the interior door makeover <3

  10. Image for Rosalie Rosalie

    I love the red door. But any color would be good that stood out and gave your beautiful home a splash of Zing! I would love a hot, southwest color on my door. But I live in a gated community and the HOA has a specific color: Renaissance Green. Our local Sherwin Williams store even has the color on file! In my wild opinion it's dull and flat and has no pizzazz! But I suppose it keeps crazies like me from getting out of control. Did I miss a day? What was the decision on those beautiful chairs? Have a great day and stay warm everyone!

  11. Image for Patty Patty

    Well it is unanimous my husband and I are going to paint our interior doors like this, can you share the paint color? It looks great!

  12. Image for Colleen Colleen

    I love the red door...I have one too! Mine is more of a rusty red and I'm thinking about painting it black or blue, but I've loved it for about 6-7 years. The red door really pops on your b/w house!

  13. Image for Kris Kris

    Honestly, no, I'm not diggin' the red door. I like red doors--just not on your house. But ... it would be easy and cheap to try it for awhile and see what you think and then change it out again (in warmer temps!!!) ...

  14. Image for Candice Candice

    Having painted a bright turquoise door on my grey & yellow house I would encourage you to go RED!!! It will be fabulous, like the perfect shade of lipstick for your house. And who couldn't use that, right?

  15. Image for Becky Becky

    We have a red door and love it. We have black wrought furniture with white and black paisley cushions. I painted two little end tables red and one has a white metal lantern on it. Our porch swing is painted red too. We get many compliments on how welcoming it is. Besides its only paint you can always repaint it if you tire of it. I love the chin/heart story. Years ago when my husband was new to texting he kept sending our daughter messages ending in lol. That is fine, but they weren't always funny messages. After awhile she ask him why he ended his messages with laugh out loud when they weren't necessarily funny. He replied, that's what that means, I thought it meant lots of love. It's still one of her favorite stories.

  16. Image for Janna Janna

    Definitely! The red door is a must! Your home is absolutely beautiful. I really like the contrast of the red against all the white. It screams, "Several rockstars live here!'

  17. Image for betsy c betsy c

    Love the red door! My front door is red. Yours will be a great pop of color against the white. And so cheery <3<3<3

  18. Image for Nannette Wadkins Nannette Wadkins

    I love the red!! I have been wanting to paint my own front door red, but I don't think it would work with the brick on by house. All of the wood,including the doors, in my house are American Colonial......I am so tired of it!!

  19. Image for Ter'e Ter'e

    I love red doors!!!! Red is supposed to bring wealth into your home. We painted our door "Millionaire Red" - gave it two coats and it is just gorgeous. People always comment. One of the things I love is holiday decorating. The red is always a happy backdrop for my wreath. Go for it!!!!

  20. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Hmmm...Did you read my mind or what??!! I have this door. It is white. Too much white. It needs a touch of paint. Now I'm doing it with help. I am sick of my front door color. I was thinking red family. Not your red as my stucco is off white and trim is gold beige and Olive greenish brown but more like the red ps my accents. Maybe a bit deep red coral. I'm doing it. With some help. Oh you inspire

  21. Image for Toni Toni

    Funny to me that your post was about painting interior doors but the majority of the comments was about the red door on your house picture at the end.....which by the way, I LOVE! is how to do a heart that your husband won't mistake. On your keyboard, press ALT and the number 3 to the right where the numbers them at the same time and you get this........♥♥♥ ! You're welcome! ☺ (ALT and #1) or ☻ (ALT and #2)

  22. Image for sammijo sammijo

    The red door looks amazing! What other color would YOU choose, your always talking about your red lipstick so it seems like a no brainer. LOL Love your house and you!!

  23. Image for Mary Alice Kenley Mary Alice Kenley

    Since my husband was in the ministry until he retired, we moved A LOT! Every exterior door on every house we had (except the one time we had to live in a church-owned house) was painted the same shade of red. It's weird, but somehow, it gave our guys a sense of belonging, like, "The doors have been painted; we must be at home!"

  24. Image for Lorraine Lorraine

    first I love your blog and an happy I found you ~ hmm not loving the red door ......its a winter thing and in the spring .....I think I would be rid of it......leave it white and add red geraniums .....xo Lorraine

  25. Image for Diana Walters Diana Walters

    I believe your front door should match your favorite shade of lipstick!! Not really......but still I do adore very, very red and true navy front doors.

  26. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    Your house would look beautiful with a red door. Go for it! As soon as it warms up, I'm painting mine "Morning Glory Blue".

  27. Image for Melissa Morehouse Melissa Morehouse

    Love this story! My husband started putting the <3 on messages he sent me and I asked him "what is less than 3?" He politely said "tilt your head to the right to see the heart" - I love you. Yes, I'm blonde....

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