Curb Appeal Starts at Your Front Door

By Wendy Manwarren Generes

There are lots of things you can do to add a bit of curb appeal to your home (learn lots of our favorite tricks in our Ultimate Guide to Curb Appeal!), but you'll find that one of the simplest and most impactful changes you can make is with a touch of color.

Jenni Radosevich, author of I Spy DIY, spotted this vivid gate and loved the unexpected pop of color. The sunny shade and bold contrasting rectangle design make this front gate way less forbidding than one constructed of wrought iron, and way more fun than the traditional white picket models. Plus, the colorfully painted gate spruces up the simple stucco exterior of the home without the owners having to spend a lot of money (read: it's less expensive than adding plants and trees).

I Spy DIY
I Spy DIY

Here's how to really make an entrance by painting your wooden front gate an unexpected color:

1. Remove the gate from the hinges, take off existing hardware, and clean the surface with warm soapy water. Let dry completely.

2. Repair any cracks or gashes in the gate using a quick-drying wood filler, let dry, then sand so the surface is smooth. Use an old paint brush or tack cloth to remove the dust from sanding.

3. Prime both sides of the gate and all edges. Priming the wood prevents the gate from absorbing moisture. Let dry completely, then sand away any drips with 180-grit sandpaper.

4. Roll on a high-quality, semi-gloss paint specifically made for exterior surfaces, pushing your roller with the grain of the wood. Let dry, then add at least one more coat of paint. You'll need several coats if you've chosen a dark color.

6. Replace the hardware, or add something more modern, such as the long handle on this gate, and rehang.

Don't miss 10 Top Outdoor Design Trends for 2014 from CountryLiving >>

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