The back door of our home is our main entryway. The aluminum storm door was dented and the color of the main door was washed out and unappealing. I painted both doors a warm, inviting brown to create a cohesive and appealing look. Now I’m proud of our entryway and I can greet my guests with a smile!

By Kathy Owen

| Petticoat Junktion

before and after of painted storm door

Featured Colors

Our house was built in 1965 and it’s been our home for 27 years. Our kids grew up here and now the grandkids visit often. It will always be our home.

As homeowners, we discovered there is always something that needs repairs or maybe just updating. We’ve made minor and major improvements to the house over the years. Next on our home improvement list is our carport door. It’s the door our family uses because we park in the carport and it’s convenient to our family room and kitchen. It’s also the door our friends enter when they come to visit. The door opens into our family room. The room is big and comfy and is where we spend our time.

I looked at color chips in different light throughout the day

The carport door is protected by an ugly aluminum storm door that is probably original to the house. The door is dinged and dented, and well…just ugly! The wood door is a pale tan color and the vinyl wrap around the door doesn’t match anything.


This project has been on the backburner for a couple of years. I couldn't put it off any longer! Painting both doors and the vinyl trim the same color would create a cohesive look and the dents and dings in the aluminum door would be less noticeable.


paint cans tape brush and color chips on floorI went to my local Home Depot® and looked through the BEHR paint color chips. I love this part of the project! There are brochures on color combinations, finishes, room ideas, etc. I looked at several of the brochures for inspiration.

I wanted a paint color that would blend in and compliment the multi-color brick. The wood door was painted pale tan years ago and it looked washed out against the bricks. I thought a richer, deeper color would look great. I ended up with three color chips to take home. The colors ranged from medium to dark brown.

I taped the paint chips to the brick and to the door. Paint colors look different in the store than they do in natural light. The difference in color between the three chips was much more obvious. One of the color chips had a tan/yellowy undertone, one had a hint of gray, and the other had green undertones. I looked at the color chips in different light throughout the day since colors tend to look different in morning light versus late afternoon light.

 I decided Havanna Coffee was the perfect color. Don’t you just love that name?

The color is warm, rich, and deep brown with a slight gray undertone.


Selecting the proper paint sheen is as important as selecting the perfect color. The satin enamel finish is easy to clean, and imperfections are less noticeable. A semi-gloss or gloss finish would only highlight any dents in the door.

I wasn’t concerned about the paint adhering to the aluminum door. I knew a good primer and high-quality paint would do the trick.

To prep for painting, I cleaned both doors with an all-purpose cleaner and removed a little oily residue with a mixture of baking soda and water. My husband goes crazy oiling hinges. I think it’s a man thing. Next, I used painter’s tape and taped around the glass, brick, and anything else I didn’t want painted.

Ready to prime! I selected KILZ® Premium Primer and I asked the Home Depot paint technician to tint the primer to match my paint. Tinting the primer helps with coverage of the top coat.

I primed the wood door first. The primer went on like butter. I loved it! Next I primed the casing between the wood door and the storm door. I saved the storm door and the vinyl trim for last. One coat of primer did the trick.

The primer dried in 2 hours then I brushed on the first coat of Havana Coffee using the same process I used to apply the primer. My first coat of Havana Coffee was a thin coat. This keeps the paint from running and gives the second coat something to grab on to. I let the paint dry overnight.

My son who studied auto body painting in school thought I used a spray gun to paint the doors. That’s how smooth the paint is!


The next day I applied a second coat of paint and let it dry for 4 hours. I inspected the doors after the second coat of paint was dry and found a few small areas that needed touching up. As soon as I did the touch up, I removed the painter’s tape and the door was done!

When I look at the carport entry area now, I smile. The overall look is warm and inviting. I’m ready for guests!

Tahitian sky
Small Behr logoS480-5
What sheen do I need?
8 Oz. Sample
1 Gallon
1 Quart
5 Gallon
The following product(s) is required to properly prep and pre-treat wood prior to any stain project.
Required product
The following product(s) is required to properly prep and pre-treat wood prior to any stain project. Only available in store at Home Depot.
Required 3rd party product
The 9 in. x 1/4 in. Polyester Adhesive Roller Cover has a hard texture, making it ideal for applying all types of adhesives to smooth surfaces. It can be used for stippling and applying sand paints.
The following product(s) is recommended when stripping is needed.
The Home Depot logoSold Exclusively at The Home Depot