How to repaint a worn wooden door

The Basics

A quick and easy way to revive a worn-down exterior door is by repainting it, and often this can be done with minimal preparation and without breaking the bank. Repainting your door can spruce it up and make the exterior of your house feel like home again. Improving and repainting your house’s front door can be finished in one day, with the bulk of the work completed in a single afternoon. In this blog article, we’ll show you the simple steps you should follow to get the perfect possible coating for your door, and how to do it quickly and efficiently.


Depending on your house’s location and style, the ideal colour for your bespoke front door can vary greatly, and it’s important to take some time to decide upon the perfect colour for you. While a bright, clean white can work with nearly every home and makes your house look beautiful and well-maintained, you might like a different tone or colour which matches the architecture and period of your house. Doing some basic research on door colours online can give you a good idea of a few great colour options for you!

Equipment and Preparing the Door

You’ll need some very basic and highly accessible equipment to get started with repainting your Victorian front door, and you might already have some of it at home if you’ve done something similar before. As well as wood paint for exterior surfaces in your chosen colour, and the crucial paint brush, you’ll need masking tape to protect areas you don’t want paint to touch, medium-grade sandpaper to prep the door, a roller and a tray, a cloth, and a flat-bladed scraper. To make removing the original coat easier, you can invest in chemical paint stripper.

Safety! Make sure to wear protective gloves, goggles and a mask if you’re dealing with dangerous paint.

When you’re preparing your door for repainting, you don’t have to remove all of the original coat right down to the timber. Instead, use medium grit sandpaper to scrape away a light amount of paint from the door. Be sure to rub in the direction of the wood grains. This will help the new layers of paint easily stick to the door and last longer. If you have chemical paint stripper, carefully but thoroughly cover the whole surface of the door with the stripper and ensure it seeps into any nooks and crannies. Again, this will ensure the old coat is removed effectively. When the stripper starts to bubble up, you know it is doing its job properly!

After leaving the door to rest for the recommended time on the package of the paint stripper, clean your flat-bladed scraper and cautiously scrape away layers of the original coat. Once the old paint has been removed fairly and equally across the door, neutralise the stripper by watering the door or using white spirit (this depends on the chemical stripper you used).

Use sandpaper held around a sanding block to erode away any thick areas of old paint and leave your door looking almost unpainted.

Applying the Paint

Painting your front door with your chosen colour is very simple, but getting the colour spread perfect across the entire surface can take just a little bit of time, so you should follow the steps closely to ensure you get the best coating.

Before applying any paint, give it a strong, thorough stir in order to mix up and fairly distribute the pigments in the paint, so that you won’t have any darker or lighter, or thicker or thinner, patches of coating on your door.

Once the paint has been all stirred up, don’t stall long before beginning the actual painting process. It’s recommended that you envision several imaginary “boundaries” on the surface of your door. Six or eight rectangular areas work best, and you should work on one at a top. Start from the top so that any tiny droplets of paint that run down don’t ruin any painting work you’ve already finished.

To get the blend right, paint carefully and lightly in the same direction as the wood grains and try to use an even coating on your brush each time. Go for equally lengthed strokes and try to blend each strip of paint into the one before it. Blend the patches into each other while the paint is wet so they have time to combine and cancel out any differences in pigmentation.

In simple terms, apply the paint cautiously and fairly across the door. You may need to do several coatings and we generally recommend this so that the paint is clearer, more resilient to weather and longer-lasting, so that you won’t have to apply a new coating any time soon. Depending on your type of paint, it could take anywhere from two to six hours for the paint to dry, but it’s usually okay to apply the next coating while the paint is only partially dry. Once you have applied enough coatings, leave the door to dry fully in a well ventilated space, and give it 24 hours just to be safe!


Well, there you go! Once the paint has dried, you can remove the masking tape, re-hinge the door and pack away your equipment. Grab a cup of tea and appreciate your handiwork! Ideally you should have a bold, clear and even coating of paint across your door’s surface with no blotches or scratches and none of the original coating of paint shaping through from behind. If anything looks off, it’s often fine just to take it off the hinges and give it another go over until it’s looking the way you envisioned.

Painting your front door can be a process but if done effectively with the right tools and the correct instructions, you can have it done within a day or two without facing any issues, and be left with a pristine, beautiful and good-as-new front door for your home sweet home!

The Fusion of Old and New

Victorian Front Doors

Grandiosity was the theme of the 19th century, with the Victorian era making history in the innovation of British architecture. It’s safe to say that a statement was made in terms of style, layout and practical features of Victorian properties, all being instantly recognisable today. And, still celebrated of course – even by modern homeowners with the most contemporary of styles.

Technically, a property is only recognised as Victorian if it was built between the late 1830s to the early 1900s. Despite this, you still the classic and timeless design of Victorian-inspired homes up and down the country. From rich Victorian brickwork, gables, bay windows and most of all, Victorian front doors. In fact, it’s still one of the most common front door styles used today.

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Typically, a Victorian door features ornate two-by-two panelling, elaborately carved with an imposing architrave. They also feature brass work and brightly coloured glass panels. This allowed plenty of light into those long narrow hallways but also offered a sense of privacy too.

It’s easy to see that not only are Victorian-era doors beautiful, but they also carry the bonus of modern security and stability, having been constructed from solid hardwood. This makes for a long-lasting and cost-effective choice in the long run, suggesting Victorian doors are the perfect ratio of style and price.

You’ll often find interior designers and general home-owners similarly turning to Edwardian style doors as opposed to Victorian. Although inspired by characteristics of panels and glasswork, Edwardian style doors made their debut a little later, flaunting six panels in total with an extra two at the top, usually with glass installed. Although slightly different in style, both eras are robust and sturdy in appearance, best suited for those looking to give their homes a timeless impression.

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Today, you find homeowners turning to Victorian or Edwardian doors to maintain their property’s traditional aesthetic, but you also find modern homeowners jumping on the bandwagon too. You may not think it but the style looks just as wonderful complementing contemporary homes, especially for homeowners looking to add a touch of classic style and elegance to their home exterior. It’s a stunning trend in which the old is fused with new.

With antique and vintage styles being very much in vogue, it’s an easy and popular choice to take on such a classic and timeless look, whether you’re looking to restore your period property or update the overall style of your home.

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Although the style remains very much the same, modern-day trends are paving the way for a more bright and bold era. Did you know the 19th century looks amazing in colour? Popular choices include vibrant primary colours of red, blue and yellow.

It’s mind-blowing to see how a coat of paint can give a piece of history a new lease on life. And, when you think of the little effort involved, it really is a no-brainer.

Shop our range of bespoke doors, inspired by the Victorian/Edwardian era.

The Top 5 Front Door Colour Trends of 2019

It’s usually encouraged to look beyond the external; it’s what inside that really counts, right? Yet, when it comes to home aesthetics, experts say it’s all about first impressions.

A stylish bespoke front door has the power to transform the overall look and feel of the front of your house, whilst immediately putting you in a good mood as soon as you get home.

One of the biggest factors in this is colour, and with the end of the year quickly approaching, we thought we’d revisit some of the most popular trending colours for front doors in 2019, and take a look at possible trends to expect in 2020.

1. Bright Yellow

Bright and bold colours on the London front doors were a major player over the summer months, adding pizzazz and vibrancy to your home’s exterior. Yellow, in particular, was a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why. The colour creates a warm and sunny look, greeting guests in a cheery fashion. And even though a bold yellow may not be a go-to choice for most, it can create a truly elegant look when used well. Think vivid pastel yellows to accompany white trims, or muted down tones to complement darker trims.

victorian front doors

2. Sky Blue

From rich cobalt blues to more pastel tones, blue has always been a popular colour for homeowners trying to move away from traditional blacks, whites and greys. Whilst vivid royal blues have a tendency to be a timeless colour choice throughout any season, we have come to love this sky blue tone, creating a brand new form of livelihood whilst maintaining a calm and collected vibe.

London doors

3. Classic Hardwood

It would be wrong to overlook the classics, that being traditional hardwood finishes. A hardwood door brings natural warmth to your home’s exterior, creating that much-loved feeling of home-sweet-home. Not to mention, it suits any exterior paints and can’t be mismatched throughout the changing seasons.

front door in London

4. Natural Tones

The love for more natural and subtle colour choices hasn’t got anywhere. Browns, blacks, greys and soft washed-out whites are still a massive trend after this year, especially when complemented with some greenery on the doorstep to really bring them alive. It’s the perfect choice if you’re opting for a more sophisticated and elegant look, and of course an easy choice for any colour palette.

Victrorian door

5. Christmas Red

As you’d imagine, a red Victorian front door is a massive hit if you’re looking to celebrate the festivities in style, especially when decorated with Christmas essentials like holly leaves or a wreath. But don’t be fooled, this colour makes any door a real show-stopper no matter the time of year, symbolising hospitality and a warm welcome!

period front door

It’s easy to see that 2019 oversaw a mixture of style and character when it came to enhancing that curb appeal, and apparently, it’s expected to be no different in 2020.

As we venture into next year, many creative homeowners are turning to natural shades of sage greens, olive and coral tones to complement their home exteriors – and with the unique and quirky results, it’s easy to see why.

edwardian front door

The Parts of Your House You Definitely Want to Check After This Winter

The winters and snow are not fans of your house. Both of them can do some serious damage to your house. Harsh winters can affect all kinds of buildings apart from humans and animals. The cold wind is a source of precipitation which can cause water sources to freeze, and put a strain on your house. As unforgiving as winters are, they can bring a world of trouble for you when they finally end.

There are several problems caused by winters, mainly to the foundation of the house, roofs, etc.

Here are some parts of your house that may be potentially damaged by the cold and should definitely be checked out.

The Foundation

Bespoke front door

The foundation of the house is the most important part of the house because it is what your house rests on. A strong foundation means a strong house. However, the cold breeze of winter can cause some serious damage to foundations which could ultimately turn your house into a hazard.

Winters can freeze the soil under your house, making it extremely hard instead of soft and supportive. This freezing of soil can cause irreparable damage to the foundation of your house if left unattended. Hairline fractures in the concrete can develop into cracks, causing structural issues which could next affect the walls of the house

Therefore, it is best to hire a professional to check for frost heave, and if found, attend to it timely.

The Pipes

period front door

The piping of your house is also an integral part that needs to be regularly checked, especially during and after winters.

Low temperatures can cause water to freeze quickly, especially drainage systems. When this happens, the incoming flow of water increases in pressure and puts a strain on the pipes. This additional pressure and force significantly increase the chances of the bursting of pipes. What’s more, the pipes themselves can freeze up or break due to the cold. Hence, it is a must to check the whole discharge system for any damage at the hands of winter.

Front doors

Bespoke Front Doors

All kinds of doors, be it interior or exterior, are damaged by winter. However, the front doors bear the brunt of the harsh winters, especially in London.

London front doors bear the brunt of nature’s harshest breeze and cold. If not protected, the cold winds or moisture-laden fog can cause period front doors to contract as well as crack. What’s more, Victorian front doors can absorb rain and precipitation and be damaged internally which is why your front doors need the proper protection to handle everything nature throws at you.

The Roof

Roofs face a greater threat than front doors during the winter season. They face the harshest challenges in the form of wind, rain and the cold. The harsh winters can do a lot of damage, cause cracks as well as weaken the structure of the house as well as absorb drizzle and precipitation. Hence, it is important to protect your ceilings to the utmost.

Aspects of Front Door Security: Part 1

The security of a home is highly dependent on the front door. After all, it is the front door that acts as the point of entry and exit. Someone looking to break into your property is initially going to take the front door into consideration. If they find it to be weak, they are bound to take advantage of its weakness and make sure that they get what they want. Hence, your front door is a measure of security that you have to consider at all times. Your front door needs to be as secure as possible. To understand its importance, the security of a front door can be considered to be just as good as the weakest link in the door.

victorian door
A mortice deadlock should be fitted at knee-height

You might have a brand new bespoke front door developed by the sturdiest material protecting your home, but having a break-in is still quite possible. A bespoke front door that’s fitted with weak or flimsy locks is just as good as a door without them. No matter how hard the wood or how well-fitted the front door may be, all it is going to take is a little force. A single big kick and the lock’s fixing screws will very well give in to the force and break, leaving your entire house unprotected.

To help understand the importance of a strong lock, let’s consider another scenario. Rather than going for a sturdy Accoya wood door, you might like something more antique, but a big, strong lock will provide you with the protection you crave. Similarly, you could have a modern sturdy door fitted inside a Victorian door frame, but your door still will not go with a strong lock. Hence, no matter what kind of door you get and how you fit it, the lock makes a huge difference, one that you cannot ignore.

Victorian four panel door
Nothing lasts forever! A Victorian front door in St. Leonards- on- Sea

However, you can’t ignore the quality of the door you get either. You might have the best lock in the business, but an old and dilapidated door will simply fall to pieces if struck with great force. Therefore, your door needs to be developed with the right material and the correct amount of care. If you go for something old, or something that has weakened, you will end up having your property’s security breached and its integrity compromised. Hence, when it comes to your home’s protection, each aspect needs to be given the right amount of care it deserves.

Each part of your front door needs to be robust, strong, and trustworthy for you to get the very best out of it. If there’s a single weak link in the chain, it will be your security that is compromised. Hence, making sure that each part does its job well is what you need to take care of when having your front door designed and built. If you relax in any single part, what you will get is a compromised door that can cause you problems.

Determining the cost of a new front door

Are you looking to get a new front door and want an estimate? Unfortunately, there is no set rule to determine how much it will cost until you have determined the model, project, and mode of installation. Everyone has a budget, and it isn’t exactly peachy that you will have to mould the idea in your head according to said budget.

Though it is difficult to estimate the exact cost of the installation of a new door, certain factors will help you get to determine the cost of your door.

Victorian front doors

Factors contributing to calculating

an estimate

In this article, we will break down the ways that will allow you to make an estimate.

1. Installation

If you want your London front door to be installed perfectly, and professionally, hiring a professional service is the best way to go about it. Irrespective of how much the door itself costs itself, getting it professionally installed is integral, as it ensures the safety and performance of your door. The alternative means that you’re just burning money. However, professional installation doesn’t come cheap, and the specifics of your door also count towards the final price. The fancier your door is, that is the more arched tops, unusual shapes, and elaborate designs adorning your door, the more it is going to cost.

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2. Aesthetic appeal

Aesthetic appeal factor also helps in estimating the cost of your front door. The more aesthetic appeal you strive for, by that we mean glass and ornate hardware, the more it is going to cost you. The size and the extent of how elaborate the design is, for example, a double door, arched tops, or unusual shapes, all contribute to the ultimate cost.

If you are working on a tight budget, we advise you to tone down the elaborate designs because they play a significant determining factor.

3. Security and Hardware Features

There is paraphernalia of additional hardware and security features you can choose from to inundate your front door with. It is important to remember that these additional features are optional and don’t necessarily have to be embodied by your front door. However, they do play a significant part in the application of your front door.

You can choose highly advanced security systems, for example, motion sensors, a multi-point lock system, and a variety of others. These features ensure your safety from several points. However, they cost a pretty penny, depending on how advanced they are technologically and the installation costs. If you want top-notch security, these features are integral.

period doorLondon front door

4. Material

It is a fact that the material making up the door plays a significant part in the final cost. It won’t be wrong to say that it is the most important determining factor. You have a variety to choose from, fiberglass, wood, glass, steel, Accoya timber, wood and a multitude of others, each having its value. The more ornate the door is, the more it is going to cost you.

The Importance of Doors

Research states that a decision as big as which house to buy takes just eight seconds. Yes, the human mind processes the request and acts on it in just a few seconds. Whether it’s common people, or celebrities, the decision time remains the same. However, more often than not, the decision is based on how the front door looks. “People look at the front door before they look at anything else,” says Melton designer, Cecilia Neal. “Your front door reflects what you think about the house. A door can sell a property.”

Victorian door
a Victorian front door

A Victorian front door with stained and etched-glass panels and side windows, coloured Oxford blue, was behind the sale of a house in Putney. Susie King, the person who bought the house stated, “After being shown round by the agent, I drove back there that night, parked outside and just stared at the door. I wanted to live behind it so badly.” A repainting of the house a decade onwards required a dozen attempts to find the right shade of blue.

Conversely, the front door can also lead to the downfall of a sale. Buyers are more specific about front doors than they normally think. According to the director of John D Wood, Chelsea, Andy Buchanan, “We have had a buyer who refused to complete until we repainted the front door as it was green, which they felt was unlucky.”

The front door must match itself to the house according to Jeremy Musson, the Architecture Editor of Country Life. The door has to meet architectural requirements and the desires of the buyer. For example, planked doors do work well on barns, warehouse conversions, and new-builds, and might be preferred by many buyers.

However, the universal charm of a Georgian front door is still on a level of its own. Its “solid, well constructed, but at the same time curiously domestic and welcoming,” much like the iconic blue London door that Hugh Grant owns in Notting Hill, is far too iconic and comfy. “The classic Georgian combination of solid, panelled door with a glazed fanlight over the top, as in London and Dublin, and Bath and Liverpool terraces, is just magic,” says Mr Musson.

period front doors
One of our Edwardian front doors

However, while they possess a charm of times gone by, it does not mean that period doors, whether Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian, cannot be used for new house. Many new installments, such as properties on the Wentworth and St George’s Hill estates in Surrey, are dependent upon classical styles and use them on a larger scare. The homeowners are happy to experiment with the size of their establishment, as compared to the colour, tone, or style. “Double doors are vital for new-builds over £2 million,” says Simon Ashwell, of Savills. “They give an impression of a much wider frontage. I will always tell a developer to put in a double door.”

Why is Your Front Door Important?

If you have asked this question to yourself many times, here’s the answer offered by some people who make it their business to know the perfect answer.

“So many people neglect the importance of their front door. Painting your door in an attractive dark shade, and either polishing or replacing your door furniture can make a huge difference to a buyer’s first impressions. Dark colours are said to work best, but take a look at your neighbours’ doors and if light colours are a theme consider a more muted grey or pale green, neither of which colours are likely to alienate potential buyers.”

Says Phile Spencer in this extract from a guest blog that he did for

Often times the very first impression that a property makes on a buyer dictates how the rest of the visit and dealing will go. Buyers find all kinds of irregular things to be a major turn off. This includes front gardens that are unkempt and full of cars or derelict fencing and gates.

The same thoughts are echoed by a certain Leeds sales agent, ‘If they’re not smiling as they step over the threshold then the rest of the viewing is generally a waste of time. If the vendor doesn’t sort it out then you can end up reducing the price. For every eager buyer put off by the surface appearance there’s a shrewd old pro waiting for the price to tumble. It’s the vendor who loses out.”

Period front door

When looking at it from face value, the condition of your front door (Victorian, Georgian, or modern) might not seem to be important or significant to the overall value of your property. However, experts suggest that you would be wise to reconsider that thought.

Here’s a reason why: “The period front door is a very important part of a home’s curb appeal and contributes greatly to the home’s overall value,” says Lipford.

“It’s usually the first opportunity to influence a guest to your home, or a potential buyer of your home, because they’re going to see that from the road,” explains Lipford. “It’s the nose on the face of the house, and it’s important to showcase it in the best light that you possibly can.”

This extract comes from an interview with Danny Lipford. He’s the executive producer and the host of the Home Improvement show on television: Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.

Don’t just take what we say to heart. Have some insight from the experts instead.

If you have asked this question to yourself many times, here’s the answer offered by some people who make it their business to know the perfect answer.

What Does the Colour of Your Door Say About You?

“Your door is a portal to your personality, not just your house.” – Brie Dyas, House Beautiful, 24th July 2015.

Taking this into account, just what might front door colour suggest about you and the way you feel about your home? After a lengthy discussion with a colour psychologist, we found out that what some of the most common front door colours might suggest about regard for your home:


Quite easily the most popular colours in various studies, a blue front door suggests that the homeowner might view their home as something that can find peace in. A place of refuge that brings calm, serenity, and relaxation. For the homeowner, it’s the perfect retreat from the harsh and oft highly demanding world.

period front doors


This is another colour with a lot of popularity when it comes to front doors – and there’s a lot of good reasons behind that. In psychological terms, green has connotations with harmony, health, and tranquility. These are attributes all homeowners desire from their home.

Victorian front doors


People who have their front door painted black actually communicate something that’s quite different and unique about their homes. The colour black for a front door exhibits power, strength, sophistication, and authority. It indicates to everyone who looks at the door while walking by that the home is under the ownership of someone with substance and assuredness.

London front door


Red is considered to be a powerful colour with some ‘punch’. It is actually known as the colour of passion. Painting the front door red means that the homeowner wants people to know that the house is full of life, energy, and excitement.


Brown is the natural door colour. Whether the door is painted or stained brown, the feel it gives off is natural and organic. However, the message in colour psychology is mixed and can vary. While typical shades of brown convey warmth, stability, and reliability, some darker shades are not so positive. They give off a vibe that suggests privacy and even isolation.

front door London

It’s quite likely that the colour you have selected for your front door exhibits the way you want people to look at your house. It’s a way of making them understand just what the place is all about. If you purchased the house and wish to say something different than the previous owner, the best thing to do is to have a new front door made and painted in a colour that you desire.

1666 and all that …

The diarist John Evelyn lamented in 1666 that “London was but is no more” in regards to the Great Fire that consumed the city with its towering flames. It burned down the mostly timber-built buildings of the City, with many of them medieval. The 1667 Act for the rebuilding of London was not actually the first attempt ever made to control building construction, with thatched roofs having been banned far back in 1212 by the Mayor. However, it was still just the start towards getting a greater grip on the standards of building, with materials, fire safety, and sanitation all being looked after.

Furthermore, the rebuilding was also the first Act to appoint surveyors to ensure all requirements were followed. From the thickness of the walls to the number of storeys, each single aspect was specified for the buildings which would now be built in stone or brick, with the streets needing to be wide enough to fulfill their purpose as fire-breaks. The ‘jetties’ (projecting upper floors) were a common fixture in houses from the old city and caused the fire to spread from house to house rapidly. They were now banned.

Victorian front doors
Wren & Hooke’s colossal antique Doric Column

London front door
A sliding sash window recessed behind 4 inches

More Building Acts came forth in 1707 and 1709. They implemented some more lessons that came from The Great Fire. Wooden eaves that projected out were banned while roofs were now non-existent behind the propped up parapet walls. The terraced houses had party walls that had to be continued through the roof, creating a barrier that would block the spread of fires. Following this, a comprehensive legislation was passed to encompass the entire constructed area of London rather than just Westminster and the City.

This particular Act was passed to prevent poor quality construction along with reducing the spread of fire from building to building. Before 1709, you would find London front doors and the window frames flush with the brickwork’s outside face. However, after 1709, the timber doors as well as the window frames had to be set back by 4 inches, which was the thickness of a brick, while windows needed to have a projecting sill. After the Act of 1774, the window frames now had to be recessed into the brickwork in order to keep most of the sash box hidden.

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Raised parapet-wall, Georgian Terrace, Canonbury, N1

Now, for the very first time, houses started to be rated according to their floor area and their value. The rates were four in nature, each with its own specific rules for foundations, external walls, and party walls. The largest houses were awarded the ‘First Rate’, with four stories and over 900 sq ft of floor space sprawling over a basement. The ‘Third Rate’ houses would face principal streets, while the ‘Fourth Rate’ ones were less than 350 sq ft of floor area and faced minor streets. The Georgian street widths had a system of regulation based around the height of the building adjacent to them.

This rating system and the measures against fires led to entire neighbourhoods consisting of flat-fronted brick terraces. The 1774 Act was thus called ‘The Black Act’ due to its prescriptive nature. Its criticisms mainly lied around the fact that it led to repetitive terrace structures which were condemned by the Victorian critics for their uniformity. Nowadays, this act is looked upon favourably since it provided a rich legacy of harmonious and gently urban architecture from the Georgian era.

period front doors
Bedford Square, WC1