The Deal on the Gloss: Painting a Wooden Storm Door

This is the peak hour for stoned teenagers buying shiny things!

– Apu

When we found our new storm door, I started looking for the right paint. I knew the color we were using, but I wanted to find a true high-gloss door paint that would give the finish you find on many British doors.


Perhaps most famously on this particular door.

“Gloss” paint (US: seriously, no real well-known equivalent. High gloss? But that’s not as shiny as British gloss) comes in any color you can imagine, and graces all sorts of exterior doors, grand and otherwise.

The internet kept referring me to Fine Paints of Europe, but there’s only one retailer in the state, and it’s not conveniently located. Then I happened upon Grand Entrance, a new product from Benjamin Moore designed to achieve “European” standards of shininess on doors and trim.

Grand Entrance

It only comes in quarts, which is fine for door use. It runs about $40/quart, which seems steep, but (a) it’s $40 and (b) it does the job. Plus, I’ll paint the back door this color in the spring, so it’s $20/door. I had it tinted to match Valspar CI83, Beehive, a color I’d tried out on the old vinyl door.

The Kev painted the storm door while I was out of town. With the paint, I picked up a brush that promised an “ultra smooth” finish. I’m a sucker for ultra-anything.

Purdy brush

Ultra Kev applied two primer coats, using a high-grade exterior primer. The wood really sucked up these coats, so he sanded all the overlaps and laid down another primer coat. He also painted the inside face and the edges with a standard white exterior paint that matches the inside of the porch and let that set up completely before starting on the fancy paint.

Grand Entrance is a “waterborne alkyd enamel paint” — I don’t know much about paint technology, but the practical upshot is that it takes a long dry time. The incredibly tiny print on the can specified 16 to 24 hours between coats (at least, that’s what I think it said). Kev gave it two coats, and then we let it cure for three extra days after it seemed to be bone dry to install it.

We installed it on a cloudy day, and most of the photos did not show the high gloss.

shiny storm door

Yellow but not glossy


Shiny door 2

Ooh, there’s a bit of gloss!

I waited until a sunny morning to run out and take some more detail shots to show off the shininess.

Shiny door 3

Shiny door 5

It’s not a British door, but it looks super-shiny! Way to go, Benjamin Moore (and Kev)!

For more on our wooden storm door saga, check out how we found it, how we prepped it, how we picked the hardware and how we installed it. Our main piece of advice: start earlier in the year!

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