Oct 9, 2015 DIY Home

The Tradition of Painting a Front Door Red | What Does it Mean?

A brightly colored front door adds a fun pop of color to any home and immediately gives it an extra dose of personality. If you’re like me, you just assumed that those confident homeowners happen to love that certain color, but didn’t feel comfortable committing to painting their entire home bright blue, green, or my favorite in this context — red. I never once wondered what this brilliant paint move meant or what message is trying to be conveyed.

But like most things, there actually is a deeper meaning to this mini makeover. Although there may be more meanings beyond these mentioned, here are a few of the most common reasons why people might paint their front door red. It’s also possible that they may have just had an extra can of red paint lying around and got bored one afternoon!

1.) The Feng Shui Tradition

In Feng Shui, a red front door simply means “welcome.” How appropriate for the very first touchpoint with visitors! I can’t think of a better message to broadcast, which has the potential to speak louder than an actual “welcome” mat. One of the best qualities that a house can possess is to be welcoming — to make guests feel at home and like there is no deadline for their departure. Just looking at the color red emits those very feelings; it is warm, comfortable and inviting.

2.) The Early American Tradition

Following this same train of hospitality, in an early American tradition, a door painted red was a sign to weary travelers that the home was a safe and welcoming place to rest. It would cut out the guessing game and knocking marathon because they knew they could potentially stay the night there. They could park their horse and buggy in the driveway (or maybe it was called a rideway then) and enjoy a safe and warm night of rest.

3.) The Scottish Tradition

More recently, some homeowners — particularly in Scotland — paint their front door red in order to signify that they have paid off their mortgage. This mortgage-free announcement is of course exciting to homeowners and we think it’s worth proclaiming! Even if the public doesn’t know about this hidden meaning, at least it will make the homeowners smile whenever they see their front door.


Apparently the decision to paint a door any sort of color out of the ordinary has a deliberate meaning. What color door is your favorite?

Better yet, do you consider your home a welcoming place? Are you mortgage-free? Maybe painting your front door red should be your next weekend project. All that’s required is a paint brush, a can of bright red paint and a brave soul.

Here are some of our favorite red doors. Each door tells a story that extends deeper than the surface of the paint.


Red door on brick wall
Double red door
red door on white house
Red door surrounded by greenery

Oct 9, 2015 DIY Home
comments powered by Disqus