I finally got around to painting the interior doors in the downstairs hallway (remember when I asked about painting them an entire year ago?).  All the doors and trim in the house need a fresh coat of paint and very slowly I am moving down the list.

For us, I’ve found that it makes sense to paint some doors white, as in the office and the master bath and bedroom, with it’s abundant white molding and trim.

But white doesn’t have to be the default best choice for every door.  In the living room, we have a lot of molding and trim but it’s all finished in a stain, not a paint. There’s no white trim to be found. Painting the french doors white would’ve caused them to stick out like a sore thumb.   So, instead, I painted them the same color as the (top) wall color.

In the kitchen, I painted the door to the laundry room black.  It ties in with the black window sash above the sink.

This small hallway is right off the kitchen, so I went ahead and painted this door black too.  The other two doors went black by association.  They were all in such close proximity, it just made sense for all three to be the same color.

These doors were painted with Behr’s Paint & Primer in Black (regular old black) in a satin finish. I like how darker paint colors seem to give a regular, old door a high end look.   I also like how darker doors don’t seem to look dirty.  Of course, the white trim also makes quite a difference.  You can really see the difference between the door trim and the crown molding above it that has yet to be painted.  Pardon the blue tape. Now that doors and door trim are done, baseboards and crown molding are next in the foyer.   I break it up into sections to make it easier to tackle.

Here’s that same door before:

Our house is stocked with basic, six panel doors and I’ve found a method that works well when painting them.  I don’t usually remove the handles (although I did remove one on one door to spray paint the handle to see how that stands up to usage).  I either tape around the handles or paint around it and scrape off any excess. Then, I clean the doors with a damp rag and a liquid deglosser. I used a deglosser because the old paint had a glossy finish.

1.  Paint the panels first, working in order from the top down.
2. Paint the middle vertical section.
3. Paint the middle horizontal section
4. Finish the two outer edges of the door
5. If necessary, paint the two side edges of the door.

As I progress across the sections, I try to check the last section for any drips and runs and brush them out before they dry. What do you think of the difference? Do you have a method for painting doors?   Have you veered from white with doors in your home?


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17 Responses to Painting Interior Doors

  1. angela says:

    I absolutely love the look of the dark doors!! What color did you use/brand/finish type? I had previously painted ours a fresh white, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look you achieved. Very rich looking, and certainly camouflages those stock doors that we all seem to have. Thanks for a lovely blog – I get so many wonderful ideas.

    • J. says:

      You’re so kind! Silly me, I should’ve included that so I’ve edited it to add: These doors were painted with Behr’s Paint & Primer in Black (regular old black) in a satin finish.

  2. Jae – the doors look amazing! This is on my to-do list for the fall. Unfortunately my list is growing longer by the day so this might be put off for a little while. I love seeing the before and after’s!

  3. Koliti says:

    What a great look! Comparing the “before and after” – the “before” is “BLAH” and the “after” is “VAVOOM!” The black doors add another layer and more depth to your space – plus they tie in nicely with your black frames on the wall. (I have a hallway with SEVEN doors I need to paint – so far I’ve started to paint the walls a nice sunflower yellow to brighten the space and I’m thinking white doors with white trim.)

  4. michelle says:

    Oh I love the look of black doors, I feel like it brings a certain kind odds elegance. I would love to do it but my house is on the small side and I don’t know how that would make the place feel. I may test one door and see. Question…do you wait a certain amount of time after say doing section 1 before you move to 2? Or do you do all the 1’s then start straight on the 2’s etc?

    • J. says:

      I do all the 1’s (the panels) and then start on the 2nd section. My doors needed two coats so by the time I finished all 5 sections it was dry enough to start the second coat on section 1. By the way, that little hallway is small! I ike the black doors there because it is not a place you hang out in, it’s just a pass through. I can definitely understand your concerns about dark doors in small spaces. Hope that helps!

  5. I love all your choices (you really thought them out!) but I love the black doors to best. I hope to do black doors one day – so fun and cool.

  6. Lama says:

    Hi-I found you today on HomeTalk. The black doors give your space a modern and elegant feel. I believe that the white trim, and light colored walls soften the black and enhance the dramatic effect. They look amazing!

  7. kristin says:

    So pretty! I painted our last door black on the inside and loved it!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I hate the brick on our home.I thought about painting it.I have seen several that were painted and they looked good.I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on it And maybe were to start.Thanks

  9. Megan says:

    Do you paint both sides of the door or only the outside?

    • J. says:

      Megan, I think it depends on if the color works for the room your door provides access to. For the bathroom door in my small hallway, I painted both sides of the door. The black door in my kitchen that leads to the laundry room is only painted black on one side. It is a stained solid wood door so I left the other side as is.

  10. Michele says:

    Love the black paint on the doors!!! Did you paint black both sides black? I am not sure if I would like the black on the other side that faces inside the bedrooms. But love the look.

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