Back in the day, the exterior front door was the main point of entry for most homes. Now we rarely use the front door. We have resorted to funneling through the garage so we can conveniently unload our stuff.
When choosing door finishes, a number of my clients opt to go with a stained wood front door to enjoy the beauty of the wood. They sometimes find out in a year or two that it can require some extra maintenance to protect the wood from our intense sun exposure. The best way to protect these stained doors is to use a high-grade marine varnish clear coat over the stained wood. This should be done every two years to keep give it the most protection.
If you prefer less maintenance, going with a painted door is your answer. An opaque paint coating will provide good coverage and give you many color choices that can provide that finishing touch to your home’s exterior facade.
Most of my clients have a flat six-panel door made of metal or fiberglass that will paint out well and hold up in our climate and resist fading if using a high quality paint.
Darker colors have been traditionally used for front doors, but the last few years, there has been a trend to use brighter and lighter colors. Pinterest is a great source for fresh ideas in paint colors to provide some interest. I have seen this done well, but bright yellows and orange are a bit hard to pull off in a higher-end gated community.
A higher gloss finish can definitely make a statement and will add to the durability. There are a few steps that need to be followed to achieve the best results in the way of sanding and smoothing the surface to minimize imperfections.
More often than not I specify the same color on the shutters as on the front door, but depending on the style of house we can explore an accent color. This can be tricky, when in doubt always do the same color. (Yellow Door Via Amy Skylar Designs) http://sklardesign.com/