{renovate} high gloss doors

Happy Monday, my friends! Did you all have a great weekend? We went on a completely lovely adventure ... more on that later this week. Today, I'm going to follow up my post a couple weeks ago about what color to paint our back doors (you can read the original post here).

When we last left off, I'd brought home the above paint samples to try on the two doors in our screened back porch. Even when I painted samples, though, I couldn't decide. So I opened up the vote to all you! And, you didn't disappoint. When all was said and done, the votes came down to a near tie between black and navy. I was still stuck. Black seemed just a little too harsh, but navy didn't seem quite right either.

It was with that attitude that I found myself at Ace Hardware looking at Benjamin Moore paint. While looking through the paints, I had a brilliant idea to with black, but go one shade down the color chart from the blackest-black so it didn't feel too harsh. I decided this was the perfect compromise for my indecisiveness, and chose Benjamin Moore's Black Ink. I ignored by better sense and didn't get a paint sampler, but instead ordered a quart in high gloss. The room is so rustic that I wanted the doors to really make a bold, glossy, sleek statement. 

When I started painting I discovered two things I was NOT anticipating: Black Ink reads as NAVY, and high gloss paint is REALLY hard to work with.

There's a reason people *sample* paint before committing. It saves you from discoveries such as this! But I surprised myself in that I actually kind of liked it. Chris likes it. My mom (who is awesome at this type of thing) came over and LOVES it. I sat with it for a couple days and I think it'll work well. So for now, we have navy doors! :)

But that wasn't the end of the drama. As I mentioned, high gloss is really hard to paint with. No matter how thin my coats were and how long I waited in between for them to dry, I still had runners (above, GRRRR), and the sheen was just off, see below. I couldn't get it to be a true gloss, it was dull and full of brush marks in a lot of places.

This weekend I set out to fix this problem. I've read about Floetrol, the paint additive, in a number of places and have been wanting to try it for awhile. Basically Floetrol is a paint additive that lengthens the drying time, and decreases paint strokes. You guys, this stuff is magical! First, I sanded the doors down, then I added Floetrol to my quart of black navy paint and painted two additional coats on the doors. It made such a huge difference. The doors are glossy and sleek, and a great contrast to the rustic walls of the room.

I learned a lot from this little experience, and I thought I'd pass my new-found high-gloss paint *wisdom*.

Painting with high gloss paint:
  1. Make sure your surface is incredibly clean, your holes are filled and the surface is as flat as can be. Gloss paint will amplify and highlight any marks on the surface.
  2. Add Floetrol to your chosen paint. Make sure you read the directions on the back to determine how much you'll need.
  3. Use a really awesome brush. Actually, this is a good tip for anytime you're painting. Good brushes make all the difference. We use Purdy.
  4. Paint in thin, even coats. Even if you have to paint a lot of coats. These doors took FIVE coats.
  5. Lightly sand between coats. This will eliminate any remaining brush stroke lines.
  6. Let each coat dry really well before painting the next coat.
These tips would really work for painting any surface, with any type of paint. But they're especially important for high gloss because of its finicky nature.

Want to see the other fun addition to the space?

On our weekend adventure we found lights! They are PERFECT for the porch, and they really make the room come together.

I am so excited for this room to be finished. We have one more major undertaking - the FLOOR! -, which we're hoping to complete this weekend (fingers crossed).

Have you guys ever tried high gloss paint? What were your results? And, more importantly, what do you think of my navy doors? :)


  1. Jenn I love the color! Of course, I'm pretty biased when it comes to navy doors since that's what our last house had!!

    And those lights are to. die. for. :)

  2. I'm a sucker for navy these days. It's the color we're planning on painting our bedroom (well, an accent wall)! I love the doors and the light fixtures are great!

    Lauren | Myers Maison

  3. I love the color too! I've recently used high gloss paint for the first time as well and experienced some of the same things you did - mainly the brush strokes, and the drips. Overall though, I love the look of high gloss.

  4. We've been working on painting our new front door and have been seriously taking our time with painting because of what you've outlined. We're using oil paint to hopefully promote the highest gloss possible while maintaining even coats with minimal brush marks. You can see our progress here http://www.oldtownhome.com/2011/8/22/While-the-Cats-Away-the-Mice-Will-Play/index.aspx

    So far so good and I just did the last coat tonight. I've been wet sanding with 1500 grit paper between coats and that does really well to reduce the imperfections.

  5. Jenn, the color is fantastic! SInce I am still trying to figure out the color for my front door and get it painted, I am intrigued by the Floetrol additive.
    Also, CRAZY about your lights! Do tell about them...

  6. I'm a new follower to your blog! I love it! That color looks wonderful and I love the lights!

  7. Thanks for the additive tip! I was going to say, otherwise, try just doing a clear shiny coat over the top. It tends to fix that issue as well. So... if you are painting your front door and it takes five coats and you have to let each one dry well before doing the next... how long are you without a front door?!

  8. The color looks great - we found out the hard way about paint additives, too. Makes a huge difference!


Your comments make my day! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! :)