First impressionsPublished on May 29, 2016

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There is nothing more beautiful than Ottawa in springtime. The stunning pageantry of colours at the annual Tulip Festival, the opening of the waterways, and the greening of Parliament Hill all make Ottawa truly irresistible. Busloads of students and tens of thousands of visitors from abroad are yearly testimonials that springtime in Ottawa is special!

If you’re like me, springtime means a renewed focus on all things outside. I start with the annual spring clean-up, then inevitably turn my attention to exterior painting projects. I don’t like to tackle anything crazy like painting the whole house, but opt for smaller projects that can be completed in the least amount of time with the maximum impact. My favourite is a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

Front doors around the world serve as a reflection of the homeowner and they can send a very powerful message to guests before they even step inside. So, be sure to create a good first impression by not only offering up a door colour that sets the right tone for your welcoming message, but also shows you take pride in your home. For those of you who subscribe to the feng shui approach to home décor, your front door should be painted red to honour the idea of creating a welcome energy.

Painting your front door a vivid colour also means using the right kind of paint and application to ensure that the colour can withstand our harsh Canadian winters. Your first step is to choose a colour that is right for you and your home. I love a classic black finish, but also find vibrant colours create a great deal of interest and personality. I also recommend that an oil finish in either a semi or gloss finish be used. 

The application of the paint is extremely important. Before you start, make sure you have a warm day, at least 15 C, to complete your project. If you are really committed to do the best job possible, plan on removing the door so that you can paint it lying flat. Oil paint will settle with gravity so having the door flat will allow the paint to settle perfectly. If you can’t stomach taking off your door, at the very least, remove all the hardware, (door handle and lock), before you paint. This will allow for even horizontal strokes. 

Sand and remove all imperfections in the door prior to applying paint. Then, using a small sponge roller, apply paint thinly and evenly over the entire door. Let the first coat dry, lightly sand then apply the final coat. Replace the door hardware when paint is completely dry and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Andrew Downward

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