Should I Paint My Interior Doors?

Gone are those days when doors were considered a dull, static element in homes. Their potential as a statement piece is nowadays largely celebrated by focusing on their architectural properties and beautiful colors. 

But you may be wondering, should you paint your interior doors? The answer is you should definitely paint your interior doors. It could add a pop of color or make your room appear more spacious. 

In this article, you’ll find answers to:

  • Should I Paint My Interior Doors?
  • What color should I paint my interior doors?
    • Should I paint my interior doors black?
  • Do you paint the door frame the same color as the door?

Should I Paint My Interior Doors?

Yes, you should paint the interior doors. The front door tends to get the most attention when it comes to enhancing the decor. Interior doors have typically remained muted but they are finally getting their day in the sun!

More people are coming to the realization that a fresh coat on the interior door could easily turn it into an object of much admiration. Painting interior doors could lend so much character to the surrounding space, it’d be a complete waste of potential not to do it. 

So, let’s discover how to do it the right way!

  1. Prepping:

Prepping includes cleaning, sanding, applying putty, so the paint layer adheres to the door properly. It may take longer than painting the door, but it pays off in the long run, in addition to giving your doors a premium finish.  

  • If you are uncertain about the source of the existing paint on your doors, it’d be best to invest in a lead testing kit. Years ago, until the 80s, paints were manufactured with lead in them, and exposure to it through the air or direct contact is highly toxic. It must be handled with extreme caution. If you find any traces of lead in the old paint, don’t hesitate to seek professional help or contact your municipality for further information. 

Let’s move on with the prepping! 

  • Clean your door with a cloth and mild soap to get rid of dust, grime, and other accumulated dirt. 
  • Protect the knobs, hinges, and lock apparatus with painter’s tape. Use a cloth or canvas to protect the floor from the paint. 
  • If your door has seen better days and contains minor imperfections like tiny holes or cracks, seal them with wood filler or putty and gently sand it with fine-grit sandpaper until it’s smooth. Give a thorough wiping to get rid of the sanding dust. 
  1. Priming:

It won’t be wise to skip this step especially if it’s a brand new unpainted door. On the other hand, if there’s an existing layer of paint, it’s necessary to find out its nature. Dab a piece of cloth in rubbing alcohol and rub it on the door. 

If the paint comes off, it’s latex-based and you will not have to use a primer. If it doesn’t, it’s oil-based paint and it’ll require priming. 

Give the primer a few hours to dry completely.

  1. Painting:

Once your primer dries, it’s time to get your paint sets ready and get down to business. Invest in a high-quality, microfiber roller for painting the flat surfaces, and an angled brush for the edges and recessed areas. 

Satin or semi-gloss finish paints are preferred since they are easy to clean and hide imperfections quite well. The trick to getting an excellent, smooth finish is to apply multiple(2-3) thin layers. 

Follow this door paint sequence to get the best finish with the least hassle:

  • Start with the casing/frame of the door. 
  • Then move on to the panels and sticking, if any. 
  • Next, the vertical strips in the center of the door, otherwise called mullion, then the top, bottom, and horizontal rails between panels. 
  • Lastly, the vertical strips on the sides called stiles. 
  • Finish the job by painting the top, bottom and outer edges of the door.

Let the paint dry for a few hours, lightly sand, then go for another layer. Once it’s dry, take off the painter’s tape, and Voila! your door would be good as new or even better!

What color should I paint my interior doors?

The colors you decide for painting your interior door should depend on your end goal.

  • To make your rooms seem more spacious, color the interior door the same shade as the walls of the room. This creates an illusion of a space that’s not chopped up into different elements and makes the walls seem one with the door(s).
  • To break the homogeneity of space, go for a radiant color that would compartmentalize the space, comparable to what accent walls do.
    • Choose a bold color like shades of yellow, teal, blue if you want to make a statement. Go for deep grays, browns, greens, if you want to accentuate the room without the burst of color.

Needless to say, choose a shade that will complement the surrounding walls and look cohesive with the rest of the house. 

Should I paint my interior doors black?

Black interior doors are in vogue right now. Far from being considered a typical dark shade, black doors are nothing short of statement pieces in homes nowadays. 

You should paint your interior doors black if you got the contrasting or complementary shades on the walls and trim to go with it. 

Paired with light wood floors and warm shades of white, beige, pale colors in the decor, black doors look breathtaking. Go for a satin finish instead of glossy as shiny surfaces tend to show imperfections in darker colors. They don’t show signs of wear and tear easily and prove to be pretty low maintenance in the long run. 

It’s important not to overdo it though. If you’ve got the walls and decor in dark shades or have multiple doors in one room, it’d be best to rethink your decision to paint your interior doors shades of black. Black walls, trim and doors would absorb any entering light, making the atmosphere feel heavy and glum. 

In the end, your decision to paint your doors black should be based as much on design as on its practicality. Don’t shy away from experimenting with darker, neutral tones of black with hints of green, navy blue to achieve that expensive, sophisticated look. 

Do you paint the door frame the same color as the door?

There are certain colors that would look majestic when painted both on the door and frame. But as design and decor rules go, it all comes down to your current home setting and the elevated look you want to achieve.

When you want to paint the doors into standout pieces without being too eclectic, you should paint both the same color. Painting the door frame the same color as the door is the safest option. It hardly ever looks unappealing or out of place.

Warm, light colors for the frame like white, beige, cream, and the likes tend to pair well with both light and dark-toned doors. Use dark, neutral colors such as black, gray on both the door and trim to draw the focus to it in any room.

In case you wish to be a bit more experimental but not go all out, choosing a complementary color scheme would give a well-defined look. Different color pastels, blues, and teals with pinks are some of the many color combinations you could try.


A painted door could do wonders for your house. It is an inexpensive way to add to your home decor without burning a hole in your wallet. A splash of bold or dainty paint colors, be it on one or both sides of the door, could spruce up your entire home.

White walls paired with an eye-catching door are a match made in decor heaven.  So why not try your hand at experimenting with them? Mixing neutral, classic hues with bold pastels and earthy shades sounds like a fun DIY project! Just a few bucks in investment could bring out the best your house has to offer. Painting your interior door with rich colors should be on your near future to-do list.

NOTE FROM the author

It's a pleasure to have you here! We've written helpful information on all things that make your home so very special.

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- Tiffany B.