Classic Green Glossy Front Door

Classic Green Glossy Front Door

Bottle Green Door Color from Fine Paints of Europe

When we decided to paint the house this Spring I did not have a plan for the front door color. The exterior color was an easy choice. My husband wanted to use a speciality paint called, Viking. It comes in 5 colors. Colors can be mixed to different shades but I had very limited color palette to choose from for the exterior.

With the house painted white the door can be any color. And changing out the door color is pretty easy if I tire of it. I wanted a color that was classic with a little zip. There is also the question if I want to put shutters on the house. I knew if I did do the shutters I wanted them to be green. My neighbor across the street palette is black and white so I wanted to be a little different.

I started with about six paint samples. Each one was beautiful and I had a really hard time deciding. The door was the talk of the neighborhood and every time I went out the front door I was greeted by passersby choosing a color. It was comical. I started to really stress with all the attention given to the door. A bunch of people suggested I keep it color blocked and just do a varnish over the top. I understand the appeal but for me it didn’t work for me as a front door. If it was a back door I might have left it colorful.

In the end, I chose a color not even a sample on the door. I picked Fine Paints of Europe, Bottle Green. Fine Paints of Europe was sweet enough to offer me their Dutch Door Kit to try. The kit includes all the materials needed to create one of their signature glossy doors.

House being painted by Tico Painters based in Marblehead, MA
First round of tests with a paint sample of Benjamin Essex Green as a shutter option
Round two tests
Round 3 when I started to lean more green

The Dutch Door Kit is meant for an average homeowner to complete. I will admit their is a learning curve. The door needs to be prepped properly. You can not paint the door on the hinges. The paint is meant to self level and if it’s stood up it will drip down. I suggest use a power hand sander and spending your time making sure the door is really free of bumps and roughness. A primer is applied and then sanded again. Mineral Spirits was used to remove any sanding dust and then the final paint applied. I then sanded and reapplied the top coat 4 times. Sanding between each layer and allowing to dry for 24 hours. Each time the door looked absolutely perfect then about 3 hours into drying tiny dots appeared all over the surface.

I was convinced it was air bubbles. I dried brush, I closed all the windows in fear it was dust and kept sanding over and over. I ended up calling the Fine Paints of Europe paint hotline and they tried to tell me it was dust. I wasn’t convinced. I had never had this problem before.

In the end I realized it was dust. And it’s near to impossible to not have some type of debris if your not painting the door in dustless paint room. Here are some tips I found on Fine Paints of Europe’s website.

One of the few disadvantages of working with great brilliant enamels like Hollandlac and ECO is that pigments in both of these coatings are extremely finely ground, very much like automobile paints and therefore these paints tend to reveal airborne contamination (the type of dust particles that float in the air of even the cleanest homes) to a much greater degree than coarsely ground, lower quality coatings. Interesting to discover a marketing advantage offered by low quality coatings which is not yet being extolled by the big boxes!

When painting furniture or cabinet components we recommend that the work be done in a garage or basement with a “wet floor”. The floor should be wet down with mop and bucket at least 24 hours prior to application of paint and kept wet throughout the process in order to serve as a magnet to airborne dust. Where it is not possible to move work to areas suitable for wet floor treatment, many of our best professional contractors utilize inexpensive “kiddie pools” in which they place a half inch of water at least a day or two before beginning paint application.

The use of a fan during this air-cleansing period is recommended as it is the circulation of air over water which effectively cleanses the air. The fan and heat/air conditioning system should be shut off immediately before beginning application of coatings and kept off for two hours after completion of paint application in order to prevent air movement before the paint sets up. (Exhaust fans required when working with solvent borne coatings should not be shut off.)

Fine Paints of Europe
Painting the door in our workshop

The gloss on the door is spectacular. You can literally see yourself in the reflection of the door. The bottle green pigment is gorgeous. It’s so vivid without being gaudy. The color is elegant and refined against the white house. I really love that my wreaths and flowers surrounding the door compliment each other rather then compete.

In terms of the debris on the door from dust. You have to look super close to see. It slightly bugs me. I might give it another coat this summer and try the kiddie pool technique above. If I did the project again I would probably get estimates for having a professional painter spray it in their shop. I just don’t have the kinda space that I can make dust free. I do think the hassle is worth it. It’s a truly an outstanding finish.

Below my door today with my DIY clam shell wreath and new rope knocker from Charleston Hardware.

My door Summer 2021

Gardens in ‘Sconset on Nantucket Island in the Off-Season

Gardens in ‘Sconset on Nantucket Island in the Off-Season

This is late April on Nantucket island. Before the leaves pop and the tourists return. The homes are bare against the blue sky and daffodils bloom in tiny corners and along roads. It feels as though the island is just waking up.

We flew to Nantucket with a friend for a day trip. Even though we live in Massachusetts making it to and from Nantucket in one day via ferry is tough. This week is spring break for my daughter and flying to Nantucket seemed like a doable island adventure. We have never been and I really wanted to see more historic homes and how they have been renovated. I was really interested to look at the exteriors and how they made good use of a small garden spaces.

‘Sconset was very inspiring and idyllic. Each house seems to offer a view of the ocean. I didn’t see any tall fences but lower picket and flat top styles which doesn’t block anyones views. Crushed oyster shell driveways and paths with grassed planted in between. I didn’t see any pea gravel. The homes are covered in trellises. It has to be quite the sight seeing the roses in bloom in the height of summer. If you want to see these houses with all the flowers in bloom search: Sconset Bluff Walk.

For me it was helpful to see what roses look like in the winter. I feel like I only see photos of them in full bloom.

How do the trellis look bare? Are they ugly? It’s easy to only think of the idealized view but I feel like I need to consider the components of a house year around. I tried to included photos of more domestic solutions for utility boxes and trash. I always struggle finding images online. I hope you are inspired and the images help with any renovation you may be considering this summer.



Classic White House Exteriors in New England

Classic White House Exteriors in New England

A beautiful classic home in the quaint town of Annisquam, Massachusetts

When I was brainstorming colors to paint our house I first thought, yellow, pink or maybe pumpkin? But the more I collected images (I’m a big believer in Pinterest) I realized I really like white houses. I think it’s because I am drawn to colorful cottage gardens bursting with color.

When a house is a bright color I feel like the flowers don’t POP. White is such a great base and can be manipulated by adding different door colors, shutters, flowers. The possibilities are endless. It’s a very flexible base and the color is not prone to fading like brighter yellows. Living near the ocean our houses are battered by the weather.

On a recent drive up the north shore of Boston I snapped a few photos and video of old houses painted white. Each one is a classic beauty. I tend to be drawn to houses with green shutters. The more common choice is to pair it with a green door too. Architect Patrick Ahearn is well known in New England for showcasing this color palette. You can read about his specific paint choices here.

I have started to see more houses with an accent color like the one below. So cheery and feels a bit more modern then just a matching green. It’s totally OK to pair dark green shutters with a lighter green, yellow, blue or red.

If a bold front door color feels too much for you I would suggest starting with your back door. A back door is informal and place to play. Draw on the colors from your garden. Have fun. There are no rules.

I am still completely undecided on the accent colors (besides the white base) for my house. Shutters or no? Window boxes? Bold front door? Eventually I will figured it out. Our painters are currently just booked to do the white base. We really wanted to do a big exterior clean up but there are many details to remain which will take time. I know my process is much more visual so expect a lot more inspiration coming your way….

Annisquam, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts
Beverly Farms, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts
Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts
Annisquam, Massachusetts



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