Forget the metaphors about open-door policies, closed-door politics or shutting the door emotionally. At home, a door is less about the poetry and more about the practical. Here are our top five tips to dress up your door.

1) Inspect for savings and safety. If your door is warped, splintered or drafty, or if you’ve developed a bruised hip from shoving against the door just to enter your home, consider buying a new one altogether. You’ll improve your home’s security and probably save on utility bills.

2) Clean the door and surrounding area. Cobwebs, dust and dirt make a sad statement. Spend an hour cleaning your door, the porch and the windows around the entry. Add a pretty potted plant. For under just $10, your door is ready for company.

3) Check with your homeowners association. If you live in a community governed by a homeowners association, check the rules. It’s no fun to find a note pinned to your newly-decorated door saying that all doors must conform to community standards.

4) Freshen the paint. A fresh coat of paint does wonders. Buy good quality, outdoor paint. To add a dazzling new “do” to an otherwise dull doorway, select paint with a high-gloss finish. For the typical door, a quart of paint is plenty.

5) Add new hardware. A new lock, door handle or engraved knocker can make a plain door look stylish. Be certain the lock is secure, that the deadbolt goes deep into the jam and that the strike plate is secured by extra-long, three-inch screws. Many locks are graded by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA). Grade one is the highest for function and material integrity.

The following local businesses may be able to help you get started.

Belmont Hardware
982 S De Anza Blvd
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 770-4844

There is nary a nail nor a hammer in these five Bay Area stores, but there are thousands of knobs, handles, pulls and faucets. Vintage, retro, contemporary; if you can image it, it’s probably here. Still want more? Belmont also creates custom-made pieces.

Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Annual Holiday Wreath Workshop
438 Coleman Ave
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 298-7657

The absolute “must-do” event for South Bay homeowners who want to deck their halls and homes, this annual workshop provides how-to design advice and guidance for making wreaths. They provide all the supplies, plus bushels of encouragement. Register early. This is a sell-out.

Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge
37 N Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95030
(408) 395-4278

This small chain of studios provides everything you need to create a custom plate for your door including the blank plates, paints and guidance. Warning: the studios get very busy around the holidays. Call first and make a reservation.

Related9 Steps To Get Your Gas Grill Ready For The Season
Related: Clean Up Your Spring Cleaning Plan In San Francisco

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit

Marketing communications professional Amy Rabinovitz is a Bay Area writer who has lived in Marin County, San Francisco and now resides in Silicon Valley where, for 15 years, she has been a digital and social media marketer. Her work can be found at


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