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How To Paint a front door to look like wood

When we added the upstairs addition to our home, we chose a neutral cream color for the new siding, so I knew I wanted to add a pop of color with the front door. I found the perfect shade of Robin's Egg Blue that I absolutely loved, and have continued to love every single day for the past 10 years since painting it.

A cream colored house with a blue front door

And while the front door still looked great after 10 years, we were now in desperate need of new garage doors. Because we have a 3-car garage that basically takes up the entire front of the house, it was important that we chose something we really loved. We knew we wanted insulated steel doors, but as we also wanted them to be beautiful, plain white was out of the question. My first choice was to get blue ones that would match the front door, but that was quickly vetoed by my husband and children. Instead we agreed on a mahogany wood look, and wound up purchasing insulated steel doors with a faux woodgrain finish from Clopay and we couldn't be happier with them.

A three-car garage with faux wood doors

Once the garage doors were installed, I knew I had to replace my beloved blue door with a wood one to match. I had been browsing online for a new door for about a month without finding one that I loved that was also in my budget, so I decided to see if I could DIY it, and paint the existing door to look like wood. I came across this Wood'n Finish Front Door Kit from Retique It which came with everything needed for the project, even a sponge to clean your door before you start.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to paint a front door to look like wood. After a thorough cleaning (yuck!), the first step is to apply the primer which gives the door a wood base so it will accept the stain. Using the flat brush, I did two coats, making sure the final strokes are long and in the direction that the grain will be going.

a woman painting a door with wood primer

Once the wood primer was try, the next step was to start staining. It gets applied with a brush, and then the special graining tool is used that you drag through the stain to make the wood design. We used painter's tape to create hard edges of each of the planks.

a front door with a woodgrain painting technique

a woman applying a woodgrain painting technique to a front door

Once the "planks" were done, another coat of stain was applied with the brush. For the plastic framing around the window, we used Rustoleum spray paint in Flat Chestnut.

a front door being painted

The final step was to apply the topcoat. I'm really happy with how it came out! Everyone who see's it says "That's not real wood?!" I love a good wreath, and you can see how I made this one here.

a front door that has been painted to look like wood and decorated with a wreath of white flowers

The finished door matches the new garage doors perfectly. Keep scrolling for the before & after. Keep in mind, the before picture is from 10 years ago when the remodel was just finished - you can see how big the laurels have gotten!

a cream colored house with a blue front door and white garage doors

a cream colored house with faux wood garage doors and front door

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