How to Paint White Interior Doors Black (2022)

Tips for painting your interior doors from white to black.

One of my favorite changes I made to our last house was painting the interior doors black. It makes SUCH a statement.

Black paint is one of the easiest ways to upgrade the look of plain or builder grade doors!

I got most of the doors in that house painted before we moved:

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You can see how I painted those interior doors here. It's not always as simple as just painting -- there are some things you'll need to check before starting.

Those doors were all painted in Graphite from Benjamin Moore, mixed in Sherwin-Williams paint. That one is a very dark, dark gray...almost black.

I went with a satin paint finish on those because they had so much texture.

Many of you have asked why we didn't go with black doors in this house. I did have them quoted when we built, but the price seemed high when I knew I could do it myself for the cost of a gallon of paint.

And I wasn't sure I'd want them here...I wanted to live with the doors as is first. We're still completely in love with our white doors. :)

But about a year after we moved in I got the itch to try out the black on one door -- I painted the back side of our garage door and LOVED it:

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I picked that door because it wasn't in the middle of the house where a lone painted door would stand out.

The black door paint I used here is Sherwin-Williams' Tricorn Black in a semi-gloss finish.

Even though I loved it, I haven't been in any rush to paint more doors, until recently.

Our pantry door is in a sea of light walls and white cabinets, so I figured some contrast would do this spot well:

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Check out the door painting post I mentioned above to get all of the tips and details you'll need!

I talked to our builder after I painted the door in the mud room and found out everything is painted in latex, not oil-based paint. So there was no need for me to prime like I always have.

(Although a tinted primer is helpful a when you're going from white to black!)

I never take my doors off the hinges when painting -- there's no need.

This is my trick for easily covering the hinges with painter's tape:

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Cover them and then use a razor to cut around the hinge. This green painter's tape is my absolute favorite!

Peel the tape off the door and leave it on the hinge so you can paint right over it:

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I usually leave the door knobs on, and tape around them. But it doesn't take long at all to remove the knobs beforehand.

I recommend taking a photo of how your knobs are installed before disassembling them!

To paint, you'll need a small angled brush and a foam roller(here's the handle you need for that roller).

I use the brush around the detail first, then paint with the roller immediately:

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Don't skimp on the paint with the roller! But don't push super hard when rolling it on (or the roller will leave paint marks along the sides).

I did three full coats and then some touch ups here and there.

I know the wet paint looks rough here, but give it some time to dry.

The result will give you a smooth, shiny finish that looks like it's been sprayed:

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By the way, you can spray doors with a sprayer as well! I just find it easier to leave it in place.

I am never disappointed by a black door. Ever. :) I absolutely love them:

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It really breaks up all of the white in this spot. I adore our five panel doors, and this really brings attention to them.

The most common questions I get when it comes to painting interior doors a dark color:

Should I paint the door trim and baseboards as well?

This iscompletely up to you, but as you can see, I choose not to most of the time. Even with a dark door, the white trim looks "right" with all of the other trim in the room.

I think the contrast is good!

I do love how painted trim looks in a room, but in that case I usually match it to the wallcolor, not the door.

Won't a dark door just show dirt more?

I have found the opposite to be true. I tend to notice dust build up, fingerprints and scuffs on our black doors less.

Overall a darker color will hide more, in my experience.

Both the satin and semi-gloss finishes clean up great!

What kind of paint should I use on interior doors?

There's no need to go with stinky oil-based paint anymore. Latex paints have come SO far -- they go on beautifully and hold up to wear and tear well.

I recommend a semi-gloss paint made specifically for doors and trim. A high gloss will give you a more contemporary/modern feel.

Be sure to check to see if the original paint is oil or latex-based first!

Will painting my doors a dark color hurt resale value of my home?

In my experience, NO.

Keep in mind though, the layout and amount of natural light in your home may matter.

If you have a long, dark hallway with tons of doors that are kept closed most of the time...it may be too much. (Try adding daylight bulbs to brighten up a space like that.)

A more open space where the doors are more spread out will look and feel much more natural.

Do I have to paint ALL of my doors black if I do one?

Nope. Do what you want!

We only have two painted in our home and if someone noticed that...I'd give them a cookie. :)

In our last home I painted all of the doors on the main level and basement, but not upstairs.

Do I have to paint both sides of the door?

No, especially when you are painting a door that stays open most of the time.

If you decide to paint just one side, paint the edge of the door from the direction it's traveled through most.

So, in our pantry, I painted the sides because it's usually open and we see them all the time.

But if I was painting the interiorside of a bedroom and leaving the main space side white, I would keep the sides white.

I hope that makes sense!

Bottom line: If you don't love your dark door, you can paint it back to the original color!

Yes, it's more work. But in the scheme of DIY projects, this one is an easy fix. :)

I especially love how our new black pantry door ties in with pendant lights and stools at the islandin our kitchen:

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I've told you before how much I love a touch of black in a room. I think it grounds a space in a way nothing else can.

The bit of contrast always looks great!

Now I may keep going in the house...I'm starting all over. ;)

Two down and a ton to go!:

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Have I convinced any of you to paint your doors black over the years? Black interior doors are a classic and add warmth and interest to a space!

I love other colors too -- a light gray is beautiful. Dark navy would be awesome!

And I almost went with a dark green for the doors in our home. All would be lovely!

If you're interested in any items you've seen in this post, click on the photos below to shop:


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