Your front door is the first thing your visitors will notice. That’s why it’s important to always maintain it and keep it in good condition.

Adverse weather and outdoor elements can easily damage the structure of the door. Inadequate paint can also peel or crack, leaving an unflattering result. Two important features to look for when choosing your front door paint product are suitability for exterior use and weather protection.

To help you choose the right product for the job, our expert team has tested and rated some of the most popular exterior wood and metal paints on the market. Check out our top picks below.

green front door


Our #1 Best Pick

Rust-Oleum Universal

Rust-Oleum Universal Paint

Two-in-one primer and paint formula for interior and exterior use on woodwork, doors, skirting and more.

Low Cost Option

Dulux Woodsheen

Dulux Woodsheen

Quick drying, tough and durable formulation available in a range of natural colours. A cost-effective solution.

Best Of The Rest

Dulux Weather Shield Quick Dry

Exterior wood and metal paint developed to give long-lasting protection to surfaces.

Johnstone’s Paint For Wood & Metal

A speciality paint for interior and exterior woodwork, metal and other primed surfaces.

Ronseal 10 Year Weatherproof

A flexible paint ideal for bare and previously painted interior and exterior woodwork.

Rust-Oleum Universal

Our #1 pick – a superb all-surface paint for interior and exterior applications.

Boasting a two-in-one primer and paint formulation and designed to resist adverse weather and daily wear and tear, Rust-Oleum Universal is an advanced product to use directly on bare or previously painted surfaces.

Compatible with a range of materials, this universal paint can be applied to interior and exterior wood and metal, masonry, plastic, ceramic, brickwork and more.

A solvent-based composition ensures durability and a superb shine that is easy to clean with a damp cloth. Thanks to an assortment of contemporary choices, it is easy to choose the paint in your desired colour and finish, with availability in 17 hues and matt, satin or gloss finishes.

We tested the Matt Black paint and were satisfied with the long-term performance of this paint; what we liked less is the rather long drying time. It takes approximately 8 hours for the product to touch dry and you’ll have to wait for at least 16 hours before applying a second coat.

Also keep in mind the product is toxic and shouldn’t be handled in poorly ventilated environments.


• Rust-Oleum Universal covers up to 9m²/litre, which is great for a solvent-based product. We recommend applying a minimum of two coats on exterior surfaces.
• Easy to apply with a brush or roller, depending on the size and texture of the surface. The thin consistency is very manageable.
• Great covering power on either bare or previously painted surfaces. Priming is only needed on non-ferrous or galvanised metal.
• Versatile to use either as a self-priming topcoat or an undercoat on bare surfaces if diluted with 10% white spirit.
• The product is supplied in 250ml and 750ml tins.


• Despite the thin and drippy consistency it is hard to achieve a uniform coat; brush strokes are a frequent occurrence.
• The colours are inconsistent and dry to shades different than expected, typically lighter and brighter.

Dulux Woodsheen

An affordable two-in-one stain and varnish for interior and exterior wood.

Dulux Woodsheen is an affordable yet high-quality wood paint formulated for interior and exterior applications. Acting as a two-in-one wood stain and varnish, this water-based product comes in 8 attractive colours selected to highlight the natural beauty of wood.

An elegant and brilliant satin finish ensures wear and tear protection, providing a durable barrier that armours the material and locks in colour – preventing peeling, flaking and discolouration.

A superb consistency makes Dulux Woodsheen very easy to apply with a brush without leaving unwanted strokes behind. On large surfaces, application with a roller or sprayer is recommended.

Besides the features mentioned above, we also like that the varnish is water-based. Its non-toxic formulation makes it safe to use in enclosed environments and eco-friendly; the paint also dries quicker than its oil-based counterparts, which is a great advantage when painting exterior surfaces.


• Dulux Woodsheen has a superb coverage. A litre of paint covers up to 20m²/litre and the product is supplied in 250ml and 750ml tins.
• Formulated for interior and exterior use, the wood sheen forms a protective, water-repellent film that will become showerproof in about 2 hours.
• Two coats are usually sufficient to protect most surfaces but we recommend a minimum of three coats on surfaces exposed to extreme weather.
• Quick drying formula touch dries in approximately two hours and can be re-coated after 4 hours.


• Translucent colours highlight the natural beauty of wood but are often not true to the colour chip.

Dulux Weathershield

Quick drying paint for exterior wood and metal with 10-year guaranteed protection.

Whether you have a wood or a metal front door, Dulux Weather Shield Quick Dry is built to impress. This quality product is formulated for exterior wood and metal but it is also compatible with other primed surfaces, including plastic.

Developed to provide long-lasting protection, the paint is guaranteed for 10 years if correctly applied as instructed. Priming is not always necessary on previously painted woodwork, but metal and plastic surfaces should be primed beforehand.

Thanks to its water-based formula, the product is eco-friendly and safe to use even in poorly ventilated environments. Another advantage is the quick drying time.

Weather Shield Quick Dry touch dries and becomes showerproof in two hours. A second coat can be applied after approximately 4 hours if needed. Lastly, we liked the satin finish which gives a stylish mid-sheen brilliance to surfaces, while requiring little to no maintenance.


• Weather Shield contains a fungicide that inhibits mould growth and helps the film stay cleaner for longer.
• Paint comes in 12 contemporary colours, including the popular Gallant Grey; most colours dry to their expected shades.
• A litre of product covers up to 18m²/litre; two coats ensure satisfactory results on most surfaces.
• Easy to apply with a brush or roller. The product doesn’t drip and brush strokes are a rare occurrence.


• This product is incompatible with some substrates and won’t adhere to oil-based films. Check product compatibility on a small area before painting the whole surface.
• Satin finish is less hardwearing than gloss; some users complained about the paint chipping after a few days of moderate wear and tear.

Johnstone's For Wood & Metal

Contemporary black paint for interior and exterior wood and metal surfaces.

Johnstone’s is renowned as one of the most reliable paint manufacturers in the UK and its Speciality range includes its black paint for wood and metal. Coming in two different versions, the product is suitable to use on either interior or exterior surfaces, ideal for use on wood and metal.

Due to its contemporary finish, we decided to test the matt black paint which is advertised as a product for interior substrates. Less hardwearing than its satin counterpart, their matt paint still provided satisfactory results on exterior surfaces.

Suitable to use on doors, decorative woodwork, ironwork, beams, blackboards and dark rooms – Johnstone’s Matt Black Paint boasts an excellent covering power and a great coverage, with a litre of paint covering up to 16m².

As mentioned above, Johnstone’s recommends their matt product for interior use and recommends their satin finish product for exterior wood and metal.

As part of the same collection, these paints share similar traits, but the satin product does have a lower coverage.


• Attractive high opacity matt finish or mid-sheen satin finish ensure suitability for a wide range of projects and surfaces.
• Paint has a low odour for a solvent-based product; however, the product still has a high concentration of volatile organic compounds and must be used with caution.
• Fast drying time for a solvent-based paint. Matt black touch dries in about 6 hours and can be re-coated after approximately 16 hours.
• Both the matt and the satin black paints are wipeable and washable. Clean the dry film with a damp cloth or soapy water.
• It is supplied in 250ml and 750ml tins. Coverage depends on surface porosity and chosen finish.


• It is hard to apply the product without leaving brush strokes. Fortunately, the matt finish disguises minor surface imperfections, including any brush marks.
• Some users complained about the film peeling off immediately after application. Check substrate compatibility to avoid surprises.

Ronseal 10 Year Weatherproof

Primer and topcoat in one – weatherproof guaranteed for 10 years.

Another superb paint for your front door comes from Ronseal. Their 10 Year Weatherproof exterior wood paint acts as a primer and topcoat in one, and the manufacturer claims it doesn’t even need priming on bare wood.

In our tests the product provided good results, even when applied on bare wood. Adherence is great but the covering power drops quite significantly on unprimed bare material.

That said, we were happy with the paint’s performance. The product comes in 15 contemporary colours and in gloss and satin finishes.

Developed to withstand adverse weather, the paint film flexes with the movement of the wood and resists precocious peeling or cracking. Ronseal Weatherproof touch dries and becomes showerproof in only one hour, so your paintwork won’t be spoiled by an unexpected change in weather conditions.


• Ronseal Weatherproof covers up to 12m²/litre and is supplied in 750ml tins.
• Non-drip formula ensures an easy application with either a brush or roller.
• Water-based paint that is formulated for interior and exterior woodwork. It has a low content of VOCs and is safe to use in most environments.


• Some colours dry to slightly different shades and the sheen finish is a little duller than expected.
• Despite being advertised as self-levelling, the product is tricky to apply without leaving brush strokes due to a thicker consistency.
• The covering power is not exceptional; we achieved good results with three coats but porous surfaces may require more.