Update Your Entryway
Your front entryway is the first thing guests see when they enter your home. With maintenance and a few simple decorating and staging ideas, updating your front door and foyer will add value to your home and give your guests a warm, impressive welcome.
Visit your local True Value hardware store for all the tools, products and expert advice you need to update your entryway right.
Front Door Maintenance
Step 1. Install New Door Lockset
If your front door looks worn or outdated, installing a new lockset can do wonders. Different locksets demand different assembly procedures, so always consult the manufacturer's instructions. This is a general guideline.
Remove the old lock by removing the screws holding your old lockset in place. If you don't see any screws upon examining the lock, the mechanism may have a faceplate over it. Look for a spring-mounted tab near the stem of the knob. Push this tab to release the doorknob and access the screws that support the lock.
Next, install the new lock. The knob hole should be 2-1/8" in diameter. If the new lock won't fit perfectly into the hole, use a file to increase the size. Trial fit the latch. If it doesn't fit, mark around the latch plate, remove the latch and recess the area inside the marks with a sharp chisel. Sometimes it may be necessary to enlarge the hole that the latch passes through using a drill bit. The latch plate should fit flush with the edge of the door when you're finished.
Reinsert the latch and tighten the screws. Replace the strike plate on the doorjamb. Use your chisel to fit the plate if necessary. Put the exterior knob in place and run it through the latch.
Step 2. Replace Door Threshold
A door threshold is a wood or aluminum piece that acts as a doorsill and reinforces the doorframe. It protects your home from bugs, rain and snow. If your door threshold is badly deteriorated, it may need to be completely removed and replaced.
First, check the clearance between the door and the trim pieces (e.g., the door stop) and remove all hardware. Swing the door open as far as it will go. If necessary, pry trim loose with a pry bar and a wooden wedge so you don't damage the trim or frame. Without harming the interior floor, use a circular saw or chisel to cut through the threshold and remove it from the doorway.
Use a tape measure and a handsaw to measure and cut the new threshold to the proper length. Notch the threshold to fit properly around the stops. Sweep up the old material and clean dirt out of the doorway with mild detergent and water. Spread caulk generously along the bottom to ensure an airtight seal in the joint between the floor and threshold. Position the new threshold and fit it into place by gently tapping with a hammer. Then nail the threshold into permanent position. Countersink the nails with a nail set and fill the holes with wood filler. Go over it lightly with sandpaper when it's dry. For extra protection, you can apply a wood stain or sealer to the surface.
- To replace part of an aluminum threshold, follow the same steps as the wooden threshold, except use a hacksaw with a fine-toothed blade to cut it to length. Use a metal file to smooth out roughness. Pre-drill the screw holes to avoid splitting the sill and to ease screw installation.
Step 3. Paint Front Door
A new coat of glossy bold, cheerful paint on your front door will add style and make your home look attractive and unique. First, remove the door from the frame and remove the doorknob from the door. Remove all hardware or protect it with painter's tape. Prime all door surfaces completely with True Value WeatherAll® Ultra Premium exterior primer/sealer, including the front, back and all four outside edges. Paint over the primer with True Value WeatherAll® Ultra Premium exterior paint. Using an angled sash brush, paint the corners of the raised panels first. Work from top to bottom and use at least two coats. Reinstall the door once the surface is dry. You can skip priming by painting with WeatherAll® Extreme Paint and Primer In-One.
- Install a doorknocker and kick plate for visual appeal and practicality. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions – all you need is a tape measure, screwdriver and drill.
- Replace a worn or nondescript doormat with a new doormat. Make sure it's made of weather-resistant material, such as heavy rubber, straw or wood. Choose something dark in color to hide dirt and wear. Consider replacing the doormat once a year to keep your entryway fresh and tidy.
- Updating address numbers at your front door will add a warm touch to your home and entryway. Look for a kit that includes adhesive (or nails) for simple installation. You will need a hammer, screwdriver and cloth to wipe down the area before and after installation.
- Be sure to install address numbers in a well-lit, visible area to make it easy for guests and emergency or delivery vehicles to find your home. Reflective address numbers can improve visibility as well.
A fresh coat of paint can completely redefine your entryway. Depending on the size and openness of your foyer, you can really create a welcoming atmosphere for guests and family members alike.
Step 1. Paint the Foyer
Choose a color that complements the rest of your home's décor. A warm neutral color can be welcoming and complementary. If your foyer is open to other rooms, pick a color that fits with your existing color scheme.
If your foyer is a separate space, you have more creative freedom to play with a color. A dark color can make a bold impression, and painting the ceiling can give the space more depth. Or, try painting an accent wall to highlight artwork, photographs or a special piece of furniture.
Your local True Value hardware store's Certified Color Experts can answer questions you have about have about paint color, and point you in the right direction. While you're there, you can pick up a Custom Mixed Color Sample to try a few colors on your walls at home. Color samples allow you to paint a small space and live with different options for a while before making your decision. You can also pick up Idea Cards, which have pre-determined palettes ready for you, Trend Cards for the latest colors or Stripe Cards which show shades of the same color.
You can also experiment online with True Value's interactive Mood Quiz, where you can change paint colors and furniture in six moods to preview how colors will look before you paint. Our Color Selection Tool features a color wheel with every color in the True Value® paint palette and can be found at TrueValuePaint.com.
Cover furniture and floors with tarps or drop cloths. Using a damp cloth, wash the wall surface with mild detergent and water. If any walls are damaged, patch holes with spackling compound. Scrape off flaky areas of old paint using a putty knife. Remove outlets and switch covers and cover edges with painter's tape.
Even though it's not necessary to apply a coat of primer before you paint, it's a good idea. Doing so will improve the coverage and help the paint wear better. If your walls are stained or you're using a light color over existing dark walls, you will have to prime them first.
With a brush or roller, apply True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex Primer/Sealer widthwise in 6' sections, using a zigzag pattern of overlapping "W" strokes. Move from right to left, then left to right, spreading evenly with vertical strokes. You can also skip priming by painting with True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Paint and Primer In-One.
Once the primer dries, apply EasyCare® Ultra Premium paint and primer in-one using the same technique. If necessary, apply a second coat. You don't have to let the paint completely dry between coats, but the longer you wait the better your results will be.
Thoroughly rinse your roller covers and brushes until the water runs clear. Store in plastic bags or hang them on nails or hooks to dry. Remove the drop cloths and pull off the painter's tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any fresh paint. Reattach outlets and switch covers.
Step 2. Add Accessories
Adding a few personal touches to your foyer will give guests an impression of what the rest of your home is like. Keep your accessories to scale with the size of your foyer; too many can overpower a small space while too few can make your entryway feel sparse and underwhelming.
The foyer is a great place for hanging photographs, artwork and other interesting accessories. Add a clock for decorative and practical purposes. Display artwork on the wall or hang a mirror to open up the space. If you don't have the space or desire to install a coat closet, a coat tree or rack can add a nice decorative but functional touch.
Before hanging mirrors or large pieces of art, be sure to find the studs in your wall. Use a stud finder to locate the studs and screw directly into them.
If there isn't a stud where you want your large frame to hang – or if you're hanging something that's not quite as heavy as a mirror or large piece of art – you can use wall fasteners. Check with the experts at your local True Value hardware store before you hang anything. Given the size, weight and type of item you want to hang in your foyer, they can help you find the right fasteners, wall anchors and/or bolts for the job.
- When incorporating more than one framed object into your entryway, make sure the frames complement each other – too many styles can make the foyer feel cluttered.
Adding potted plants or fresh flowers to your foyer will add some life, too. Your guests will find the sight and smell of fresh flowers and live plants inviting and you'll find yourself enjoying them as well. True Value's gardening experts can help you find the proper size pots, the right soil and give you any green thumb tips you may need.
Step 3. Update or Add Lighting
There are several ways to approach foyer lighting. None of them are right or wrong; some just work well together or better than others.
When deciding on a main light fixture, take into account the size of your foyer. Small entryways or those with low ceilings are paired well with flush-mount fixtures. Ceiling pendant lights, such as chandeliers, work well in larger entryways with ceilings of more than 10 feet. These lights are available in many sizes and styles to match your décor; just make sure the style and size is appropriate for your space. Globe pendant lights take up little space and add tons of style. Antique-style fixtures work well with most home styles, while sleek, contemporary lights work well in newer homes or homes with a sleek, minimalist décor. Glass styles can come in a variety of designs and textures, and in clear, solid color, stained glass, frosted, etc.
Spot lighting and accent lighting, such as strategically placed lamps, sconces, and recessed lights can complement light from your overhead fixture. Decorative lamps add to the style of the room and can be used to add warm, welcoming light when the overhead fixture is turned off. Sconces provide an elegant look and like lamps provide an intimate, warm touch. Recessed fixtures make for a cozy entranceway and can be used to accentuate art or photos while not taking up valuable wall space and distract from the overall feel of the room.
- Install a dimmer switch on the main light fixture so you can adjust the light accordingly.
- Control the light to change the feel of the entranceway from a bright, well-lit area to a warm, inviting one with a slide of the controls.
Congrats! Your entryway is now ready to welcome visitors. For the rest of your projects, stop by your local True Value hardware store for all the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.
For more project ideas, visit the Project Library >