clock menu more-arrow no yes

Take a stroll down a London street and the glint of a front-door paint job is bound to catch your eye. You can spot copycats on rows of brownstones in the streets of New York's West Village and other cities stateside. This time-tested look isn't limited to urbanites. A high-gloss front door will boost your curb appeal, no matter what ZIP code you're in.

We turned to United Kingdom-based paint and wallpaper brand Farrow & Ball for details on copying the covetable look. Charlotte Cosby, the company's head of creative, clued us in on why the style is popular. "Full-gloss doors in classic colors like Pitch Black, Rectory Red, and Hague Blue are synonymous with London's Victorian town houses," she says. "These high-shine doors have a smart, elegant feel that captures London style." Follow her steps for a water-based high-gloss paint job for a project you can complete on this side of the pond:

  • Step 1 Cosby says that an essential starter is sanding back any old paint so that you have a clean, smooth surface. She recommends using fine- or medium-grade sandpaper.
  • Step 2 Use a damp cloth to remove any sanding residue.
  • Step 3 Coat your door in a primer for a foundation to make your glossy paint job pop. Cosby recommends Farrow & Ball's Exterior Wood Primer & Undercoat.
  • Step 4 With a spray gun or a well-loaded 1-inch or 2-inch synthetic paintbrush, apply your chosen high-gloss paint from top to bottom. (Note that Farrow & Ball's is water-based.) Take care to paint the beads of the door panels first. Avoid overworking the paint or re-working drying paint; both can create marks.