I have to be honest, DIY has never been my strong point but a friend of mine had recently bought a new oak front-door from Todd Doors and fancied painting it herself. So me, and a few others, descended on her house last weekend armed with paint samples, brushes and a few bottle of wine. All the essentials, you understand. It was a hilarious day spent debating over bold colour choices and what actually does your front-door stay about you. Not only was it a great get-together with friends but at the end my friend was left with a beautiful, customised door that perfectly represented her vibrant personality. So, I thought to help those of you who are thinking of embarking on such a venture, I would summarise our friendly paint committees weekend activities.
The previous week, another friend had kindly zoomed around her local B&Q and collected a staggering amount of paint samples. She came, bags bulging with small test-cans, and proceeded to line them up along the wall of the front-garden. Here is where the first debate began. My friend, who had purchased the door, wanted a vibrant popping colour that would really stand out against the white exterior of her home. However, a section of those presents were convinced that these kind of statement doors often turned out more garish then grand. Moreover, there were voiced concerns about how quickly these bright colours faded and did our friend really want to spend repeated days topping up her postbox red or royal purple door after every batch of stereotypically wet British weather. The decision-making process was also slightly delayed by my friend becoming unsure if she wanted to have her shiny new door splattered with test strokes for days before she made her decision.
image by CJ Isherwood
This new debate raged on until someone had the bright idea of getting a spare bit of plywood from the shed and using it as a test canvas. Once this test canvas had been presented to us, we got to work. One team, the splashier decorators, got to work exhibiting some of the more bright and brash paint colours. The other, the more reserved painters, got on with creating a serene template of muted, subtle shades. Certain colours, namely a hideous burnt orange and a mind-numbingly dull beige, were quickly and universally discounted. Once these obvious disasters were avoided, we then began a prolonged discussion that slowly and steadily ruled-out various choices. The previously mentioned royal purple was sidelined when someone, rightly, pointed out that it hardly complimented the soft yellow of the hallway. The light grey option suffered a similar fate when we decided that, when combined with the white outer walls, it made everything a bit to monochrome.
Eventually, after an hour or two, we finally settled upon a beautiful midnight blue that was reserved enough to keep with the house’s Victorian aesthetic but still had a certain unique pop to it. Moreover, it perfectly complimented the lovely silver handle and number plate that my friend had also bought. We got to work and soon we were standing back as the late-afternoon sun made the paint glisten. My friend was thrilled, not least because of a few appreciative comments thrown her way by passing neighbours, and we were already deciding who will be the next person to transform their front-door.
Now just to decide on this weekend's project .......
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