Spring Entry Spruce Up: Painting an Unfinished Wood Door

When we moved here back in October, one of the first eyesores we tackled was this door to our breezeway.  This door is the door we use regularly when coming and going so we knew that the ugly dated awning had to go.  We then decided to change out the old weathered door — and then winter came, which stalled any and all outdoor projects.

Spring Entry Way Update

Now that it’s warming up and spring is officially here (Happy dance) we decided it was time to make this entry feel a bit more welcoming.  So I challenged myself to beautify our little breezeway door in a weekend.

This post is sponsored by Purdy, as always, all opinions are 100 % my own.

How to paint an unfinished wood door
New unfinished wood door, exposed to the elements

Before I tackled the door, though, I asked my husband to remove the old metal flashing that covered the original wood trim.  It was pretty plain, it didn’t properly fit the trim and if anything it was taking away from the entry, rather than making it better.

Once he removed the metal flashing,  it was time for me to get to work, the wood underneath was quite damaged. I began by scraping any loose paint with a Purdy Premium 10-in-1 Painter’s Tool, and then I grabbed some wood filler and plastic wood (I tried a little of both) and began applying it to the rough areas and smoothed it out with a small plastic putty knife, and allowed it to dry overnight.

While I waited for the trim to dry I began tackling the door. Because the door is unfinished wood, I knew there was some special prep that I had  to take to ensure that the door was protected from the elements. Scroll Down for steps to take to paint an unfinished door.

I have to be transparent and admit that painting is not one of my favorite DIY activities, but one thing I have realized is that investing in the right Purdy Painting Tools, and taking good care of them so they last, makes all the difference.  For this project I used two Purdy paint brushes and a roller.  Using a Purdy Contractor Brush & Roller Cleaner, helps to extend the life of my painting tools and protects my investment.  Want to purchase some Purdy tools of your own?  Check out where to buy HERE.

How to Paint an Unfinished Door:


How to paint an unfinished wood door
Paint an unfinished wood door

1) Assess and Prep

Is your door new, or has it been exposed to the elements as mine has? Remove hardware or tape around it, you can also tape around windows (I skipped this step–my door was new so the glass comes with plastic covering it).

2) Prep your Door

Clean your door to ensure it is free from dust and debris, lightly sand if necessary.

3) Prime

Apply Sherwin Williams Exterior Latex Wood Primer . If you’re using a Purdy CLEARCUT brush, and you have a steady hand you can skip the painter’s tape as this paintbrush has excellent cut-in ability.  This brush is super versatile and is great for use with latex paints and provides an ultra smooth finish. Allow it to dry.

4 & 5) Sand & Wipe

Lightly sand your door to get rid of any streaks or brush marks. I used a 100 grit sanding sponge. Wipe it down to remove the excess dust.

6.) Cut in and Trim

Using your Clearcut brush again, begin trimming the door around the window(s) (if applicable), and around any dents, crevices or recesses. This will allow you to do an easy pass across the flat areas of the door when ready.

7.)  Let’s Roll

Use either a Purdy Nylox brush or a Purdy Jumbo Mini Roller Frame and a Jumbo Mini Roller Cover for ultra smooth surfaces, to paint the top, middle and bottom rail, as well as the panels and stiles.  I used a combo of both the Nylox paint brush and the Purdy Jumbo Mini Roller to accomplish this job.

8.)  Hardware:

Cut in around your door hardware using your Clearcut brush to ensure a nice crisp finish.

9) Enjoy your new pretty view!

 Before I tackled the door, I tackled the trim:

I also cut and installed some PVC cove molding to fill the gap that was left after removing the flashing.

I also sanded down the trim until it was nice and smooth.

I sanded the trim with 100 grit sanding block until smooth.  Rather than go crazy dusting it with a rag, my husband pulled out his blower and blew off all of the excess dust. Worked like a charm!

I then began painting my trim with Sherwin Williams Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint, its ultra-durable exterior coating with Self-Cleaning Technology, washes dirt away with rain or water, keeping my entryway looking so fresh and so clean πŸ™‚

I used my Clearcut brush and cut in the trim nice and easily and didn’t even have to pull out my painter’s tape! So bright and crisp!

Next was the fun part, deciding on a paint color to use! I have to laugh because every time I am choosing between door colors, I always choose similar colors to choose between.  This time I chose the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Obsidian Glass (very popular from our Victorian) and Rock Bottom, a deep dark color that has a hint of green undertone.

Ultimately I chose Obsidian Glass,  as it’s a very close match to our front door color.  Obsidian glass is very much a chameleon-like color. It sometimes looks gray, and sometimes looks green, and for some reason I’m always so drawn to it.  The color is so pretty and I think it compliments the not so beautiful yellow siding.

I installed a solar powered sconce to add some light and character to this entrance.  Also, to save a few bucks, I gave my planters a quick paint job, and added a door plaque to make the entrance more inviting.

What do you think friends?  Isn’t that Obsidian Glass paint color swoon worthy?


After-I kept the plastic on the windows on the backside of the door, because I’ll be painting the interior soon

There’s still a bunch of things to do out here, but this is a great step in the right direction.  Next up, I’m going to attempt to build a little awning/roof for the door to cover up those old holes from the previous awning, paint the trim around the windows, and then paint or tile the floor going into the breezeway,  always something to do friends!

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  1. Laurielulu
    April 6, 2021 / 7:42 pm

    Hi Carli! I have to agree, the paint color is fantastic ❣️

    • madebycarli
      April 7, 2021 / 5:23 am

      Thank you!! It’s definitely one of my faves!! πŸ’•

  2. Ella Hosea
    May 4, 2021 / 5:14 pm

    Love it!

    • madebycarli
      May 4, 2021 / 8:24 pm

      Thank you!

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