front door update

front door paint

did you know i used to be a painter?  midway through college i interned as a faux finisher that eventually turned into a short-lived career (maybe 4 years total).  it was a really fun job, being creative and active everyday.  to keep busy, i’d often take on small jobs for friends.  a memorable one was the red powder room.  we chose a deep red, and i knew it would need a few coats of paint because reds can be tricky – they don’t get to their intended intensity until they’ve had really good coverage.  after 5 or 6 coats of paint and still not getting past the hot pink phase, i think we changed directions and went for a simple taupe!  sometimes red is just not the right choice!

IMG_4219 (1)

all that to say, using red paint can be tricky, and always needs several coats.  one of the first things i noticed about our house when we first saw it were the red front doors.  while i love a front door that stands out, this one stood out for all the wrong reasons.  despite the great shape and style of the doors, what i noticed most was the horrible paint job and hot pink/reddish color.  only one coat of red was added to previously white doors and, well, it definitely made an impression, just not necessarily the first impression that i think was intended.


when Decoart reached out to me with an offer to try out their new line of exterior home decor paint, Americana Decor Curb Appeal, it was just the motivation i needed to finally paint our front door.  as a renter, often the feeling is that my hands are tied as far as making changes goes.  but paint can make a huge difference for a very minor investment.  in fact, this project would cost less than $10!

black front doors

these are some of the pictures i drew inspiration from.

front door paint

i chose Colonial Black because i love a dark front door.  plus the house is a dark beige color and the black really stands out nicely against it.  not to mention my slight fear of color…

door colors

but if you aren’t afraid of color, there are 21 great colors to choose from!

front door paint

i used less than 1 bottle of paint for this project (both doors!), and only 2 coats in some areas.  the paint was so thick and gave really good coverage!  i had been telling my 11 year old daughter, lily, that i wanted to paint those front doors for the last year, so when we finally got the paint, she offered to help.  and by help, she did almost the entire project for me!  i walked her through the steps of painting and she did an amazing job, leaving me with just a few touch-ups and a few of the more difficult spots.  the paint dried really quickly, so we were able to do a second coat (really in just a couple spots) after an hour, and close our front door within just a couple hours.

front door paint
one of the more difficult parts of painting a door is doing the parts in the right order.  as you can see by our door’s previous paint job, painting with the direction of the grain of the wood is pretty important.

front door paint

start with painting the recessed areas first (1), then the flat panels (2).  i like to paint the shorter raised panels in the direction of the grain (3), then the longer ones (4).  for the window pane dividers (5), i almost never tape the glass off.  it takes so long and is really hard to get accurate and in the tight corners, plus its really easy to scrape any paint from the windows with a flat razor blade.  i finish with the longest flat panels (6), always keeping with the direction of the grain.

front door paint

also, using the right brush is important.  my favorite brushes are made by purdy, and i especially like the angled brushes.  we used a 2 inch angled brush for this whole project.  brush care is also really important.  as tempting as it is to dip the whole brush in paint to not have to reload as often, dipping just the bottom 1/2 inch or so is ideal to keep the bristles nice.  plus its much easier to clean when the project is done.  this paint cleans up easily with just water and a teeny drop of soap.

front door paint

i am so pleased with the finished product and how quick & easy it was!

diy front door makeover


  (click the image above for where to purchase)

this post was sponsored by Decoart, but all opinions are my own.  i have been a fan of Decoart paints for years and use them often in my home.  when you support my sponsors, it supports me – thank you!


spring living room


this really may be the prettiest spring here on the central coast, at least for the 14 years that we’ve been living here!  because of our massively wet winter, our hills are ALIVE and so very green.  i’m a big fan.


with the change of season, i thought it might be fun to share our main living space with you, and you can see a few small changes we’ve made here.  while we do have a playroom/game room/guest room/laundry/catch-all room downstairs that is huge, none of us really gravitate that direction because it feels really basement-y – dark and chilly.  and dark.  but this upstairs space with our living room, kitchen and dining room, this is where we do all our daily living.  we tend to do school mostly at the dining room table, but migrate to the couch and coffee table, too.  basically, at the end of a school day, you can’t see the top of any surface because its covered in books and paper.


so while the kids were away at school (they go 2 days a week), i scrambled to clean and straighten the living room and snap some pics to share what i’d love for the house to look like if no one ever lived here.  but we do and we’re a messy bunch, so these pictures are all lies, LIES!  just kidding, we just can’t keep it clear of clutter for long because we really do spend our time living here, not so much cleaning. (blanket above from nine space and pillow from target {similar})


our couches are from ikea and for the price are holding up great.  we’ve had them for years and i’m kind of done with them.  i still love the brightness they lend to any room, but i am on the hunt for something new for our new house.  i’m leaning towards a caramel leather but am not willing to make such a huge decision until we live in the space for a bit and see how much space i need to fill.

we’ve only had white slipcovered couches and they are so easy to maintain.  i won’t say they always look amazing, but i love that i can take them off and bleach them clean.  yes, we even had them through babies and toddlers.  they survived just fine.


the pink pillow is from target and i want to find a couple more in that color.  lily has currently stolen that one for her bed, so i’m missing that soft springy color in here.  the sequin pillow was made from a tank top.


i’ve now got 3 fiddle leaf figs under my supervision (i’m long-term plant sitting the big one for my mom until their loft is built with our new house).  they aren’t dying or dead, so i’ll call that a win!  i found that round basket (what are they called again?) at a local shop called letter & grain, and it fit the plant’s pot perfectly.  the vintage fruit crate was a gift from a friend years ago.  it has served many purposes over the years, mostly as some sort of a book shelf.


i splurged on this little stool from serena & lily, and its just so pretty!  its perfect for a plant stand, but i’d love to use it in a bathroom next to a tub or shower (our current bathrooms are way too tight for that).


my dad and i made that coffee table from reclaimed wood and facia board from the deck of my childhood home (with the pretty green flakey paint).  its on casters so it rolls easily out of the way for vacuuming or wrestling sessions.  i’m thinking it might look great on our next front porch, next to the outdoor fireplace (you heard that right.  eek!).  the stump side table was from my parents’ house as well (thousands of trees have been cut down due to the drought & pine beetles).  we’ve got several of these throughout our house, like in our bedroom and on our porch.


such a weird fireplace.  why off centered?  i totally get it if it went with the style of the house to be off kilter, or if there was wood storage on one side, but no.    oh well, i try to ignore it and pretend the fireplace is usable and that sean and i snuggle up in front of it every winter night.  but again, no.  but, i am super thankful for a mantle and centerpiece for the room.


the mirror was a christmas present to myself from urban outfitters.  it is exactly what i’ve been wanting and it has a designated home in the new house already.  in my mind, my entryway will look like this and the mirror will live there.  i’m trying to only buy new things that i know will work in the new house.

the gold and glass container is actually from target’s outdoor section.  when i was looking at other vases and lanterns in the home decor area, they were so much more expensive.  but this one was pretty affordable and so i justified it.


i have a really hard time walking away from a vintage blue glass mason jar when i see one, but my collection is pretty much done, i think.



this galvanized tub is another item that has lived many lives in our homes, from a drink container at parties to a blanket container here.


that big oversized pillow (from target) against the fireplace is perfect for sitting on around the coffee table when we have our growth group over or are playing games.


this giant slice of wood was from a tree by my parents’ house.


the strand of wooden beads were from leftovers from gracie’s craft camp party.  i would love to have a strand of varying sizes or really big ones.


rocks from my kiddos


the succulents are doing better than i expected inside.  i can keep them alive outside, but not as well inside.  they are covered with beach glass from our trip last summer to seaglass beach.


here’s a pulled back shot to give you a better idea of the layout of the room.  we never put the shades down on those windows – i should just tae them down and tuck them away until we move…


this is one of my favorite new pieces of art from minted.  its so simple and i love the colors!  i haven’t decided what to do for framing any of the pieces i got, so for now this giant bulldog clip works!


this shot gives you an even better idea of the split level layout, with the front door halfway down the stairs (behind the chairs in the upper left of the pic).


speaking of those chairs… gah i love them!  i spotted them at anthropologie awhile back on sale then had to wait for a few months on them since they were backordered.


they are really pretty comfortable and their price was better than most of the other rattan chairs i found.


the view from the dining room, with a blanket we got in greece draped over the back of the couch.


there you have it!  if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section!