On a recent whirlwind trip through Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, and Brussels, I couldn't stop taking photographs of the house numbers and letterings that mark the doorways. Here are a few favorites (and ideas for recreating the look).
If you've got a steady hand and a good reference for fonts and numbers, it might be time to add a classic and considered accessory to your own door. I love My Fonts for typefaces. The site has thousands of fonts and lets you type in your own text and numbers to test how they look.
Achieving the high-gloss finish lies in the preparation and paint application. The higher the surface sheen, the more obvious the imperfections become. Sanding, filling, and careful priming contribute to a successful glossy surface. Dust is another factor–especially if you are painting a door outside. Consider making an enclosed tent over your work area to block wind and prevent debris from sticking to your freshly painted surface. Take your time, don't under-prep, sand in between coats, and use a good brush and high quality paint. Fine Paints of Europe makes the Dutch Door Kit ($110) that is very helpful.
Above: Get the look of this bright blue door with Benjamin Moore's #2067-20 Starry Night Blue paint in Advance Satin Finish.
Above: For a similar glossy black door, consider Benjamin Moore's #2131-10 Black Satin in Advance High-Gloss Finish.
Above: This entryway features a QR barcode, which functions as a door key.
Above: White lettering stands out against a jet black door.
N.B. This post is an update; the original ran on April 6, 2012.