The Front Door

This has been my favorite technique that I have tried so far.  I can't believe how much of an impact it makes on the overall look of my house! And it's so simple too, primer, paint, glaze, VOILA!
So this is what my front door looked like before I started this process
Not too exciting hey? Just a boring metal door with a weird looking window. Being in interior decorator I know how important first impressions can be, and right now our house did not stand out, it just kind of blended in. I love the look of real wood front doors, but not the price tag of a couple thousand dollars! So I googled, and I youtubed, and in pinterested the heck out of this technique because I wanted it to be just right.  I'm sure you DIY'ers can relate to this obsession. So here's what you need:
I picked up my wood graining tool from the local Home Hardware, most hardware stores have it (i had to order mine in). A foam roller and tray, I like to use foam rollers because they leave a smoother finish than the fuzzy ones. You're going to want a good primer if your door has been painted before too.  And lastly your base color, glaze, and black paint for darkening. I also picked up some bronze spray paint, you will see what its for as we go along. For choosing a base coat color I new I wanted a walnut color so I went with a nice neutral medium brown.
Here it is after sanding and a coat of primer. Don't worry if you don't get even looking coverage, that's not what primer is designed for. As long as its all sealed you're good to go.
And that's 2 coats of the base color! Doesn't matter what finish of paint you buy since it will be clearcoated at the end.  I used an exterior flat.
That silly white window was still bothering me though. I knew I would be putting bronze hardware on the door when it was done so I spray painted out the ugly white plastic.
So once your base coat is dry you want to mix up your glaze. I use behr faux finish glaze, this stuff seems to be getting harder to find! Mix your leftover basecoat 1 to 1 with your glaze.  I tried a few different ratios and this one worked best for me.  Then I added some black paint to darken it up a bit, this is up to your discretion for how much you want the wood grain to stand out.  I started with the panels first, you want to work in sections to make it look like the door is actually made out of wood. I rolled on a thicker layer of the glaze mixture onto a panel and then used my wood graining tool in a dragging/rocking type motion. The more you rock as you drag, the more knots you get. Took a little trying but I am happy with my results! Make sure to let this step dry  a while, the glaze slows down the drying process that makes it easier to do the faux finish without rushing.
The next day I went ahead and rubbed the whole door down with a dark walnut stain, this step is so important.  It gives the whole thing that depth of real wood.  After it dried I sealed it up with an exterior satin finish clear coat.  LOVE how this turned out!!
Here is a great visual of the transformation, now it's the first thing you see from the sidewalk! Talk about curb appeal.