Why you should paint interior doors black

April 10, 2020

One of my favorite changes I made to our last house was painting the interior doors black. It makes SUCH a statement. Black doors are classic and the contrast adds so much to a space. 

I got most of the doors in that house painted: 
black interior doors white room

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. 

So 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 in this house...I wanted to live with them first. And after two and a half years, I'm still completely in love with our white doors. 

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: 
interior black doors

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

Even though I loved it, I haven't been in any rush to paint more doors, until recently. Maybe it's because I'm trying to use what we have right now, but I realized this would be a great time to tackle another one! 

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

five panel solid wood door

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 a great idea 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: 
easy way to paint around hinges

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Cover them and then use a razor to cut around the hinge. 

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

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:
how to get super smooth finish on doors

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. 

The result will give you a smooth, shiny finish that looks like it's been sprayed: 
get sprayed finish with paint roller on doors

By the way, you can spray doors with a sprayer as well! I just find it easier to leave it in place. (Check out this post for my favorite paint sprayer and how to use it.)

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

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

I used a semi-gloss sheen in the color Tricorn Black by Sherwin-Williams. We had a lot more texture on our doors in the last house so I used an eggshell. Both will clean up really well. 

I especially love how the black door ties in with pendant lights and stools at the island
black five panel pantry door

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 plan to keep going in the house...I'm starting all over. ;) Two down and around 20 to go!: 
white kitchen gray island black doors

Have I convinced any of you to paint your doors black over the years? 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 anything you've seen in this post, click on the photos below to shop: 

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  1. I love the black door and how clean it still makes your kitchen look. What color are the walls btw?

  2. You convinced me awhile ago...we just have to replace our 6 panel doors with 5 panel first.

  3. YES! I love your black doors and you definitely inspired me. I had seen one of your blog posts before about black doors and mentioned it to my husband. He was not convinced. Then a few months ago, we went to model homes for inspiration for our master bath, which we are redoing. We saw a model with all black doors and he said "I love that...I thought you were going to do that to our house." I painted them all a few weeks later. You can see a before and after on my Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B97qJhGg9_6/

  4. I am sooooo tempted to do this to my pantry door as well. Will you post a picture with the door closed possibly?? I love all your ideas!

  5. Just stunning!!! I love the contrast against the white.

  6. Love your posts on black doors. You encouraged me to try it in our new house build. I went with BM Kendall Charcoal. Love it! https://pin.it/5uGTVhD

  7. I started changing my doors over only did three so far and did them in a matte black Tricot which shows everything I noticed you did your in a semi Gloss is that a easier clean? Matte has not been an easy clean

    1. I've found both to be easy to clean, but we had more of a textured door with the eggshell finish so maybe that helped?

  8. I don't know about black because the color scheme through out my house is grey lavender and cream except for the kitchen. However, a deep grey is on my mind now. That black looks so rich and beautiful and keeping these white doors clean is driving me nuts!

  9. Are you exterior doors metal? I used black paint on the inside of our exterior doors (door paint from sherwin williams) and it is chipping like crazy. The doors were supposedly pre-primed but I am starting to wonder.

    1. I'm guessing the doors were painted in oil-based paint. Check out this post to see how to find out if they were and what to do...https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2011/10/how-to-paint-door.html

  10. Hello TDC, I love your blog and have learned a lot. I noticed that you have Kitchen Aid appliances and wanted to ask how you like your ovens. I am thinking of replacing my double wall ovens to the micro/oven as in your kitchen from my straight double ovens. I rarely have used the lower oven and would like not to have a separate microwave in the island where it is now. I would love your comments on the oven preheat time and if the microwave works as well as a separate microwave. I love the look of it and have all Kitchen Aid in my kitchen now. If you have time I would love your opinion or if you can direct me to a past blog you may have posted on them I would greatly appreciate it.

    I have a second question about refrigerator door handles. My KA French Door Refrigerator has the older style handles and my new dishwasher and future ovens have the new round handle type. My fridge is only about 5 years old but it has the old style handle but otherwise looks exactly like the new ones. I wanted to change out the handles on the refrigerator and bought the new handles that match the new appliances but the holes are different and now I am stuck with the handles that were $300 and cannot see a way to make it work. The old handles have a different type of mount which I easily removed but the new ones would entail taking the complete inside of the fridge door off so the screw can go in from the back. I tried to return them but it seems impossible to do. They said they would send a return auth. and FedEx for them but they never did and it's nearly impossible to get through to KA for help. I have to make these work somehow. I looked on youtube but none of them address how to attach a different type of mounting that holds the handle on. So sorry to post this in comments. I plan on painting a few black doors too! Thanks so much.

    1. Hello Donna! I love our KA appliances! I talked about our fridge here, but I'm not sure they make this specific one anymore...https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2018/07/my-sexy-fridge.html

      Overall we are very happy with them and would recommend them. I'm sorry I can't be of any help with the handles! Have you called to ask if there's an easier way to install them?

  11. You were my inspiration and my guide. I painted all 17 doors last year and love them. I was on the Christmas housewalk after I did it and they were the talk of the town. Your tutorial helped me know how to do it. I did take each one down and it took me about a month to get them all done. I had an assembly line going and worked on 2 or 3 at a time. Thanks again for your ideas. I've used a few more of your ideas over the years.

  12. I have several of my doors painted black in my home and love them! Scrolling through Pinterest I came across your powder room door. Can you tell me where you purchased the men and women brass plates for your door? I am getting ready to paint more doors black!!!

    1. At a local shop, but you can find links to them online here! https://www.thriftydecorchick.com/2018/04/diy-rusticindustrial-bathroom-sign.html

  13. I really want to paint our interior doors black, but the hinges are white, should I paint those black as well?

  14. Hi! I looove the black doors! I’ve been trying to convince my husband to let me paint our doors but he’s not convinced. I do have a few questions. Do you paint both sides of the door black? I have 2 bedrooms that I’m not sure a black door would look right on the inside.

    Would it be weird to paint all our doors with the exception of our pantry and laundry room doors? We have darkish brown kitchen cabinets and I’m worried black doors right next to brown cabinets would be too much.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. You don't have to paint both sides! :) If those doors aren't right next to the other ones that are painted I think it will be fine!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!