Onyx and the Front Door

October 22, 2013

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

On our pre-party to-do list was the task of painting our front door.  Ideally, we could replace the entire thing.  It’s terribly dented and it’s not necessarily our favorite design. We have actually been pricing out a dutch door. I can’t stop dreaming about the functionality of a dutch door–where I can open the top and Greta (and soon to be sibling) and Charly wouldn’t escape out or I wouldn’t have to have one hand on a collar and one signing for and accepting packages.  I dream about these things. Aw well, for now–paint will tide us over. Our front door was an incredibly glossy maroon.  I am pretty sure they brought it into a car shop to get sprayed the same color as my dad’s Crown Victoria back in the day.
I was nervous about painting over such a glossy paint.  More about the prep than the project itself.  I did a lot of research about sanding vs. deglossing vs. priming and discovered Benjamin Moore’s Interior/Exterior Fresh Start Superior Primer.  It says right on the can how it is perfect for high gloss surfaces and no additional prep was needed.
I cleaned the door well and started cutting in the primer (that I had tinted a dark gray since I was painting the door black).  Even though this wasn’t the final color, it was so nice to see that glossy maroon start to disappear. Greta really likes to roll paint on, so when it was time for that, I let her help me “go nice and slow.”
This was after my first and only coat of primer.  Even though you can still see several of the door’s dents, it was entirely less obvious with a flatter sheen.  I put two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Onyx color matched to Clark + Kensington’s Exterior Satin enamel over the door and sidelight and stepped back.
It’s an improvement!  It looks so much better than the glossy maroon, and perfect for a temporary solution until we replace the door entirely.  Looking at this picture I am wondering if I should paint the white molding around the door and sidelight black, too.  Thoughts?
Update:  Thanks for all the encouragement!  I went ahead and painted the trim the same color as the door and actually removed the kick plate, too.  Loving it so much more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Lara says:

    I just found your blog and am loving what you guys do to your places. I know this post is old, but I had to comment because I’m so impressed with you letting your little one (who’s probably not so little anymore) help with paint! Very brave, and it probably means so much to her to be part of the team. Nice mom-work! :)

  2. I painted my door and trim a plum color last year and I loved the color on the door, but hated it on the trim. I repainted the trim white and it made the door and side lights stand out so much more. And side note- my house is exactly like your old house. Same layout. Whenever I tried to get my husband to do the things you guys were doing, I would say, “look at what our twin-housers did!”

  3. Vanessa B. says:

    I guess I’m in the minority – I like the white trim. From the street I bet it makes the door pop more. Every time I see a house that has the door and trim painted the same color I want to grab a paint brush and take that trim back to white. Absolutely a personal preference, though! Based on every thing else you do (which I LOVE), I know it will look great either way! Maybe you will make me see the light??

  4. I vote for painting the trim too! Also, I loved the door more before you added back the kickplate/toe kick? Is that a possibility?

  5. Love it! We painted our front door black a few months ago, too. Such an improvement until we can afford to replace it! :)

  6. Kristen says:

    Glad you decided to paint the trim (I saw a peek on instagram!). The door looks fabulous!

  7. i vote with everyone else…paint the trim. it will look more cohesive, instead of the white molding breaking up the black. more sleek… but, already a HUGE improvement!

  8. Looks so much better than that shiny maroon! I really love the dark door!

  9. doreenbrit says:

    I vote paint the trim! What a difference paint can make!

  10. I can’t believe how ugly and shiny that “before” door is. Painting was sooo necessary. And for sure, paint the trim!

  11. What an improvement! It does make such a difference regarding the dents. I cant wait for a dutch door! Brilliant!!

  12. Love it! I do think you should paint the trim. Funny, we painted our doors and trim throughout our house the same color as your primer. :)

  13. I LOVE it! It makes a huge difference!

  14. Sara says:

    Any tips for preggo painting? I don’t know what is safe and what isn’t!

  15. Yes. Paint out the trim!

  16. You can totally spackle the dents to smooth them out, then paint over it! We did that on our basement door, and it makes all the difference in the world.

    LOVE the new color, and I vote for painting the trim Onyx, too!

    • I tried spackling the dents and it would not stick for the life of me! Maybe I’ll try again now that the surface isn’t as slick. And thanks for the boost on painting the trim.

  17. WHOA–that red was gloooooossy! Eeks. The new color is such an improvement. I don’t mind the trim, but what color would you paint it? The same color as the siding? I love that you have brick. It’s my dream to have a brick house, but down here….its all stucco. Ugh.

  18. Alisia says:

    Wow! That is incredibly glossy! Until I read your comment stating how glossy it was I thought I was look at light reflecting off a storm door. The onyx is much better to me :)

  19. Looks great. Rather then black what about a colour? I have a similar colour door with a bright teal on the moulding. The pop of colour makes the door quite cheery and this way when I get sick of the colour I can replace it with another.

  20. Wow, what a difference! It looks great. The satin definitely hides the dents much better too.

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

It’s been over a year since we started designing our bathroom. We were working with Unique Kitchens and Baths for the cabinetry, and they came up with two different layouts. We selected one, tweaked it a bit and chose a lot of the finishes…annnnnd honestly we could never quite give the final “go ahead.” This […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations