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How to Dress Up a Door From Drab to Upscale

With Some Design Creativity, Upscale Doors Need not be Expensive

© 2013 by Michelle Rebecca; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without webmaster's written permission

An entry door with brass kick plate, photo courtesy Michelle Rebecca

An entry door with brass kick plate

This article was updated on 06/16/21.

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Your doors are the gateways into and within your home. The door is the first thing your guests see when visiting. Too often however, doors are neglected for the more pressing matters facing homeowners like new windows, roof repair and new appliances.

Still, if you want to make a good first impression, your door needs to look as good as the other parts of your house. Here are some simple ways to dress up a drab door.

A Lick of Paint

Low VOC paint is a decorator’s best tool because it’s the most green, sustainable, and frugal way to change the look of a wall, a room, or an entire home.

Here’s the chance to give your door some personality. Sure, you can paint it white or black to look just like your neighbors’ homes, but why not make it stand out? Red or green doors offer a pop of color but still look good on even the most traditional homes.

Here I recently painted our entry door "Tomato Red." I rather like it. What do you think?
An entry door painted tomato red
An entry door painted tomato red; photo ©2021 Kelly R. Smith

Wooden hollow-core doors will often require some light sanding work to smooth the surface and prepare the door for paint. While hollow-core doors are economical and just fine for interior applications, entry doors should be Energy Star rated.

Clean Things Up

When was the last time you polished the brass fittings on your door? Is your brass mail slot sparkling? Take an hour to clean things from step to lintel and your door could look much more welcoming and inviting.

Some Modern Moldings

Have you ever seen a fancy, ornate door that you’d love to have if it weren’t for the huge price tag? You can get the same look with a little creativity and elbow grease.

Find a picture of a style you like, and head to your local home improvement store. Go the section where moldings are stocked to get the individual pieces to recreate that look. If you’re not sure which materials to use, get some advice from the employees.

This method is particularly effective for interior doors where raised panel doors are popular and easy to recreate. If you're the proud owner of a home wood shop, whether it be in your garage, basement, or shed, you are in a good position to create a custom design, especially if you have a router table.

Acquire Some Accessories

Sometimes, the small touches are what catch the eye. For doors, an ornate door knocker or doorknob can change the look of a door. They can range in style from fun to functional.

Create a traditional look, or go for whimsy. Interior doors benefit from a coat hook that not only dresses up the door, but provides a functional place to hang wreathes, jewelry, a robe, or anything else applicable to the adjoining room. Use your imagination.

For modern spaces, accessories and hardware look best in chrome, rubbed bronze, or polished nickel are currently in style.

About the Author:

Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience. This post on dressing up a door from drab to upscale illustrates her ability to shine the spotlight on details that are all too often taken for granted.

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