• Michelle Gowdy

Painting Interior Doors: A How To Guide

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

The idea of painting my interior doors came on a whim, simply by browsing through the usual Instagram and Pinterest home decor pics and I saw a few images of entryway spaces similar to mine with colored doors. Hmmm. Should I? But I just added more white board and batten to brighten up our entryway, so wouldn't any dark colored door colors contradict my efforts? Nope!

Of course, the classic white is always a win. The colored doors, particularly black, to me, added a little polished touch of elegance, modernness, and it's very striking. After I did my usual Instagram decor vote with my followers, the decision was made easy to move forward and paint them black. No regrets!

I love a grand entrance into a home. The two pictures below were the springboard inspiration images that launched the idea in my head because their interior style and layout is similar to mine, especially this first one. I had already did a DIY stain job on our entire staircase and although it's espresso color, it's dark enough to pass for black. The black is a beautiful contrast with our entryway white walls and hardwood floors. Plus, I figured why not, it's just paint. If we don't like it or if it doesn't come out great as planned, I could always paint it back white. Nothing to lose here.

I started with painting my interior front door first. I wanted to at least go ahead and complete the design look in this area after finishing up a few other new projects in the space.

The first thing I did was to wipe the door clean. You can use dish soap and water with a rag, but wanted to ensure I would be painting on a smooth and clean surface. Next step was to begin prepping the area. That to me is the part I always dread, but it's a vital step. I taped all around the outer edges of the door and made sure to tape around the door knob and lock. It'd be ideal, and I'd recommend to actually remove all the hardware, but I did this on a cold winter weekend evening and since we don't currently have a front storm door, I chose not to. Paint sheets were also laid down to catch any drips.

To begin painting, I started at the top left recessed panel of the door. You always, always want to brush in the same direction as the grain/texture on the door. Below is my painting door illustration of the order in which I painted and the direction of brush strokes that should be applied. I used the smaller angled brush to get in any tight crevices and corners as needed, especially around the lock and door handle. I used a hand brush for the entire coverage, however, you can also use a roller brush and then use the handheld smaller brush for smaller or tight areas.

Make sure to lay an even coat of paint and catch any drips while wet. I let the first coat dry overnight. Honestly, the first coat of painting high-gloss black over white gloss, my hopes were looking a little dim at first. However, once it was completely dry and I applied the second coat, the black was really starting to come through. Again, I let dry for several hours and even applied a third coat. If you did remove the hardware, then once completely dry and all touch-ups are complete, then proceed with installing the hardware.

This was completed as one of my weekend projects, stretching over a period of two days from start to finish. Once I completed that door, I moved my way into our kitchen to paint the interior back patio door black as well. I applied the same steps as mentioned above. I had less door area to cover since the entire middle section is a window, however, it was still important to apply all brush strokes according to the grain pattern.

Lastly, both interior doors were painted with a high-gloss. High-gloss is great for a higher sheen look and durability. The higher the sheen, the more durable it is. Considering these are our most common access points entering and exiting our home, I needed something to be strong and withstand the traffic. Plus, it's easier to clean. If you prefer not using the high-gloss, then I'd recommend using semi-gloss. Still provides a sheen and protective coat over your doors.


  • Paint Stirrer (free)

  • FrogTape Multi-Surface Painter's Tape: $6.09 (qty 1)

  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black High-gloss Interior Paint: $23.15 (qty 1; quart size)

  • 2" ProVal Thin Angle Sash Brush: $8.99 (qty 1)

  • 3" ProVal Trim Brush: $11.09 (qty 1)



Kitchen Back Patio Door Painted Black

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