My first painted door!

July 26, 2018

Well if you've read this blog for awhile you probably saw this one coming! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I figured it would happen...I just wanted make sure I really wanted it before I pulled the trigger. 

I got a quote to have all of the doors in the house painted black when we were building, but it was towards the end of things and any additional spending was making my eyes cross. And I just hated to add it to the bottom line when I knew I could do it myself. Beyond that, I wanted to make sure I really wanted to have black doors in this house. 

I really enjoy the simpler look/decor of this home and for about eight months I was totally fine with the white doors. Then...the need for that dark contrast started creeping in. I figured I'd start with an entry door -- that way if I didn't want to do more it wouldn't look off. 

By the way, it took me around six, seven? years to paint the doors in our old house. And not one time did someone walk in and say, why haven't you painted this one or this one or this one? If you want to try it out, I promise it won't look weird to have one painted. (Unless you're talking of a hallway or somewhere there's a cluster of doors together.) 

So...this is my first one! And shocker -- I love it! I always knew our five panel doors would look SO good in black, but it's nice to see it come to life. If you want to tackle this easy project, I cover all the details you'll need in this painting doors post. Check that out first!

As I mention in that post, you'll need to determine if they are painted in oil or water-based paint first. If the former, you HAVE to prime if you're using water-based paint. I tell you how to figure that out in the post above. 

If you don't want to mess with that, you can assume they are oil-based and go ahead and prime. If you  paint water-based over oil-based and don't prime the paint will most likely peel off. Just a warning! That's a good few hours of work down the drain.  

I LOVE love love BIN primer (affiliate). It's so thin, goes on so easily and dries super fast. I have it tinted gray so I can do one less coat in the black:
Steps for painting doors in a house

I use cheap throwaway brushes for this part cause once this stuff is on, it's not going anywhere. Keep that in mind as well -- protect your surfaces. 

Here's what the can looks like: 
BIN primer for painting over oil-based paint

Make sure you have good ventilation too -- this stuff is stinky. Thankfully it goes on super fast. 

No matter what the style of door, I do the crevices first with a brush: 
Priming interior doors before paint

Two things -- yes you can take the door down to paint it but it is not necessary. Our hollow core doors at the old house were heavy enough -- these are solid wood so there was no way I was trying that by myself. (Hubby was out of town.) The only thing is you'll want to tape off the hinges and the sides where the door meets the trim. 

Also, it's best to just take the door knob off when painting, but this is our garage door and we were using it constantly during the painting process. Again, either works but it's easier to remove it. 

After you get the detailed areas done (making sure to do a light, even coat), I use a foam roller to do the flat parts: 
One thing you must door before painting your doors

I have a specific method I use that I drew out for you in this post. It works well for me. 

When that has had time to dry you can start with your first coat of black. In our old house I used the Benjamin Moore color Granite for all our doors. It was a very dark gray. Since this is right next to the DIY chalkboard I wanted to go with a true black. 

This is Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black in semi-gloss. I did eggshell in the old house because I liked the more matte look, but again, do what you prefer!

This brush is my favorite! It's actually a square shape -- I found it years ago and use it ALL the time. It makes painting detailed areas so easy, plus it holds a good amount of paint: 
Tips for painting doors

Even with the tinted primer it takes three coats to get the right amount of coverage. It's a few hours of work total, spread out over a couple days usually. 

Of course I love it!! DUH:
How to paint interior doors black

It struck me how great it looks with the faux marble tile. It picks up the veining beautifully: 
Black interior door with light marble tile

I'm sold. I'm going to keep going with it in the house...just gotta decide which door is next! 

I knew this would be a good starting point because entry doors are sometimes a different color anyway. If I didn't love it (yeah right), this would still stand on it's own perfectly well:
Marble tile black door

I've told you before how much I love black touches in a room. They make such a difference in my opinion. 

I love how the sconce, chalkboard and the good to be home sign work together here: 
Mud room with huge chalkboard

I think black doors are a classic and stand the test of time. Of course dark navy or gray always look great! I love a pink door too. ;) 

Have you painted any of your doors? Is there a color you love? A dark green would be another beautiful pick! Painted doors add a little unexpected something to your home for very little money.

P.S. I assumed our doors were painted with oil-based since our last ones were. I found out after I was done they are water-based. Without the primer I'd have to do any additional coat anyway to cover well, so it doesn't save me too much time. 

*Affiliate links included for your convenience!

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  1. Did you do both sides or only one? We have a rather old house and the front door has a security door too. I would love to do the outside black and the inside something totally different, like orange!

    1. I only did this side for time’s sake but plan to paint the other side black too. :) But you can absolutely do two different colors.

  2. I just wanted to finally comment (after YEARS of reading) and tell you that YOU ARE SO COOL- SO AMAZING!thanks so much for all the hard work you do here- it is appreciated so much. I love your new house & your enthusiasm for it. I pin nearly everything you do- :)

  3. What kind of semi-gloss paint did you use? It looks so good!!!

  4. Beautiful! I love the black. I notice that you painted the sensor for you security. How does that hold up?

    1. They’re paintable so hopefully well! It’s never touched so I think it will be OK. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Love, love, love the black colour! Like I've said a million times before, I usually shy away from darker, bolder paint colours myself but you pull it off so flawlessly! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  6. Bravo,Looks like you did a nice job

  7. Sarah...I have used a foam roller when painting...and ended up, with many tiny bubbles!...How do you prevent bubbles, when you paint with a foam roller?

    1. I’d try going over the surface more maybe? A few more strokes? I notice it at first sometimes but after a few swipes they go away.

  8. I noticed the hinges on this door are dark. Did you have the builder install dark hinges on all of your doors or just on the doors to the outside?

  9. The black color on the door looks great! The door knob which is black totally disappears on the black door whereas it popped beautifully on the white door. Do you plan to change the door knobs too?

    1. Nope! You can see them in person just fine. Not worth spending on new ones.

  10. We just bought a 1991 walkout ranch and had every room repainted (walls, trim and doors) because let's just say, it was a huge job and would have taken us months to finish. We got early possession of the house so we got a jump start while it was still empty. I finally got my black doors! I choose "Wrought Iron" by BM and they look so good! I love them so much. Even the painting company we hired couldn't believe how good it looked with the trim (Simply White by BM) and the walls (Revere Pewter by BM). Thanks for the inspiration when you blogged about this years ago! :)

  11. When we got new hardwoods a couple of years ago, I had to repaint all the baseboards...and doors and windows...because they installed new 3/4 round and then I changed the color slightly. I've decided that painting those things with oil-based paint is so much easier! It goes on more smoothly and brush strokes disappear. Fingerprints and smudges also cleanup more easily. I hate painting doors with latex because it dries so quickly that I end up with rough spots where I've touched the other sections again. In short, I find it super-difficult to use latex on doors and trim and IDK why you would if you have to use a stinky primer. Most people seem to use latex to avoid the stink. That said, I do love your beautiful doors and the black!

    1. I’ve used latex for 14 years and never had an issue. :) If drying time is a problem for you I’d recommend a bit of Floetrol. Oil based covers great but the smell, dry time and clean up just isn’t worth it for me.

  12. Perfect timing! I've been planning to paint our garage entry door too. I'm thinking a bright coral! Thanks for the tutorial!

  13. I actually like the way the light gray of the primer looks too. I may go that way in our house. It's pretty dark inside our hobbit hole so lighter might be better but still gives contrast.

  14. Sarah! They look SO SLICK!! Love how it turned out!!


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