Entryway and Hallway Decorating & DIY

Interior Doors – Using A Color Other Than White

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

A couple of days ago, I posed the question on the A2D Facebook page, “Would you ever paint all of your interior doors a color other than black or white…or stained wood?

And of course, I’m not just talking about the inside of your front door, or a special door like a screen door you’re using on a pantry. I’m talking about all of your interior doors.

Black interior doors have long been a favorite of mine ever since I painted John & Alice’s doors black a little over three years ago.

Bedroom makeover with black interior doors and board and batten walls

I’ve been planning on painting all of the interior doors in the house black for quite some time now. I just love how classy black doors look.

But lately, I’ve been considering branching out a bit with a daring color rather than black or the ubiquitous white.

The first time other-than-white-or-black interior doors caught my eye was when I saw this hallway by Miles Redd, via House Beautiful.

Green leather hallway doors with nailhead trim accent by Miles Redd

Of course, those doors aren’t painted. They’re covered in leather and have a gorgeous nailhead trim. And I would imagine they cost a fortune.

I’ll opt for paint 🙂 , but seeing that picture got me thinking about the possibility of using an actual color on my interior doors. And I love green. It tends to make an appearance in every room of mine, so it would be the perfect color for my doors.

Then just the other day, I saw the before and after photos of this hallway with green doors from Peppermint Bliss.

Hallway with green interior doors from Peppermint Bliss

Of course, you could paint your interior doors any color your heart desires. Check out this hallway with turquoise doors, from DKOR Interiors (via Houzz).

Turquoise hallway doors with nailhead trim, from DKOR Interiors via Houzz

So I think I’m gonna go for it. Green interior doors. The worst that can happen is I end up hating it, and have to repaint the doors. But at least I will have tried something new (for me)! And it’s only paint.

What do you think? Could you do it? And if so, what color would you choose? To me, that’s the hardest part — finding a color that blends beautifully with every room in your home, or every room off the hallway. Now I just have to find the perfect green that fits that bill for my home.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

    If you want the look of leather, but don’t want to cover your doors with real leather, could you use the crumpled brown paper technique, then paint over it? Do you think that would work?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 11:08 am

    We’ve been gradually replacing all of our interior doors and painting all the new ones grey (Storm Cloud from SW). I love it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I think it’s a great idea…never thought of it, myself…there are painting techniques to make something look leather, if you want to go that route…but I think the turquoise doors are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
    (If you do the crumpled brown paper one to get the leather look, you will have to sand if you ever want to change, so consider that… )

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I love your “outside the box” thinking. We are in the process of remodeling and considered painting our interior doors black (my hubby really loved the idea), but our house is on the smaller side with three short hallways and I was afraid it would make it seem too “busy”. However, you’re causing me to revisit the idea now…….hmmmmm…..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I’ve always wanted to paint my interior doors black. Can’t wait to see how your doors turn out. It may inspire me to paint the doors in the new house!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I’m a white trim/white door purist, but I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I prefer to paint the doors the color of the room, that way they melt into the walls and are not large features that take your eye away from more interesting items in the room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I prefer to paint the doors the same color as the walls in the room – the doors melt into the walls, and they are not large features that take attention away from more interesting features in the room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I prefer that all my interior doors just disappear, rather than draw attention. it would just break up the space too much in my small home with its dark narrow hallway. I’ll be sticking with white doors and trim.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila F
    December 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I love the idea of color on the doors. What color green are you thinking? (there are so many ways to go with green!). I think most of your doors are in the hall with the bedrooms and bath, are they not? That could be beautiful to walk into the hall and see color from the doors. Hallways often do not have a great deal of wall space so doors are a great way to bring in color and or decor. (If you went with nail head or some other trim). I have the original 5 panel doors in my home and the finish is in great shape so no paint for me. (My house is 113 years old). But if I had plain doors I would paint in a heart beat. Can’t wait to see the doors now.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol @arewethereyet
    December 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    When we were remodeling our home in the mountains about eight years ago, I decided to paint all our interior doors and trim on the main floor chocolate brown (Swiss Mocha by Behr). I loved it! It was an open concept plan with the living room/dining room/kitchen all open to each other. All the walls were a beautiful shade of mossy green (Crocodile Tears by Behr) and the vaulted ceilings were a creamy white (I can’t remember what the color name was but it was also by Behr). Everything just blended together so well. I know that you will find the perfect green for your home and the doors will be beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I support your decision to paint the doors!! And you are right, paint them back if you hate them!!

    I want to paint two doors in our house, but I dont know if that would be supported and it is a project at the bottom of the list

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan Clark
    December 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I love this idea! It’s exactly this kind of change, idea, experiment, that makes decorating so fun!! I’ve dusted my sewing machine off and been sewing an easy sew project for Christmas gifts ( http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2009/10/12-days-of-handmade-christmas-tutorials-day-1-dishmat/#iiCcML7Z0G3iP7E5.01 ) to warm up for tackling sewing drapes. Can’t wait for the tutorials. My drape sewing will happen after the new year when life gets back to normal. But I have fairly elaborate plans for my first curtain project. Hope you have time to check it out to see how mine may have extra steps compared to yours, but I seem to remember you may have done two-fabrics curtains before so gonna check your archives for instructions on that. My living room curtains I hope to make after you teach me how!– http://pinterest.com/pin/169377635959261682/
    I wonder if you’ve come to notice me as a regular commentor yet. Hoping you will get to know me well enough so that when I invite you and Matt to our lake house for a week this summer in NW Arkansas, you will come! And then after going boating and my hubby does all the great cooking, you won’t be able to stop yourself from suggesting we do this or that in this blank slate of a house I have!! Or just give me an extended list of what would look good, and then I’ll do it!! Lol jk (but not really!) 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Oh I just did this with all my downstairs doors this year! I love it. I painted them Yachtsman by Valspar. I first painted my outside front door with a beautiful turqoise and loved it. So the inside doors got painted turqoise but it was too much and it didn’t flow with the whole downstairs so I repainted them all with the beautiful color Yachtsman. It is a soft grey with blue undertones. I love it! & all the downstairs doors got painted and I doubt I’ll ever go white again!!! I haven’t posted them so I don’t know how to show you a pic but they look great!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I anxious to see what color green you choose since green is my favorite color. I think it will great interest to your home. Good luck with the hunt!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I like the idea of painting the doors, and green is a great neutral that goes with everything (just look outside in the spring)! What really caught my eye is the nailhead trim that makes the flat panel doors look like paneled doors. Now THAT’S a neat trick! Go for it, Kristi; as you said, if you don’t like it, you can always “re-paint, you thinner”! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Kristi, I always had a doubt: doors must to be the same color on both sides?? I mean, if you have rooms with different styles, Can you modify only one side of the door to match within.
    On my new house a have my “creation room” totaly white and the other side the door I have a room gray and rose. The dark door looks ABSOLUTELY DISPLACED within the white room but looks perfect to gray room…I don’t know what to do. =(

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Wow, that’s a hard decision. I do know that I’ve seen plenty of interior designers use different colors on each side of the door. In fact, if you look at more pictures of the Miles Redd hallway and the adjacent rooms, you’ll see that they’re a different color on the other side.

      So it’s completely a matter of personal style and taste. I personally prefer for all of my doors to match on both sides. So I plan to choose a color that will look good from the hallway, as well as inside each of the rooms. But I know that’s not always possible for other people, so I think it’s perfectly acceptable to paint a different color on each side.

      Just keep in mind that the outside door color is usually going to be completely visible in the room most of the time, as bedroom doors generally open in towards the room, so the outside color is visible.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Go for it. Just think about all of the paint colors in your house. Will the doors be open most of the time or will they be closed? If they are open into the room, then they should coordinate with the rooms that they open into also. If you rarely close the doors, who cares about the other side. Just make sure that the edge of the door is painted the same color as the door side that is seen the most. Fully open or fully closed, no one will see both sides at the same time. Also, if you have too many doorways in one hallway, think about how it will look. Coordinate the wall color to minimize the contrast.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    December 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    You have opened my mind. Anxious to see what you do.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Heres the pinterest link so you can check out the beautiful color…

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      That’s a beautiful color, Ginger! It’s very soft, yet offers very pretty contrast to the white trim. I like it!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        December 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        Thanks Kristi! And may I say I am thrilled that I got my first response from you! LOL.. Ok…I’ll calm down. Also, just wanted to mention that they were extremely easy to paint. 2 coats with no primer at all and a “weenie” brush. Done in 2 days! Love your blog Kristi, you are a great inspiration and motivator to me!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I am a big fan of the color green. Will be nice to see when you finish! We have beautiful tall oak paneled doors that are original to the house downstairs….will never paint them. The two front doors( we have a small vestibule that opens to our foyer) are the original oak also with beautiful original glass. I always wanted a red front door but I won’t paint them either! So it’s wall paint only for me downstairs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I want to paint some of mine black, but I do not know whether to paint both side or just the side in the room. Any suggestions?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      I’m personally not a fan of a door painted different colors on each side, unless it’s the front door to the house. For some reason, that door is an exception for me.

      But especially when using a neutral (and to me, black is neutral), I’d paint it all the same color on both sides of the door.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diana W.
    December 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Crazy woman! Love it because I’ve been planning this very thing! The white doors have been bugging me. I don’t want the doors to be a focal point even though they are gorgeous, solid wood 5 panel doors; so I’ve been thinking of a deep navy color. Most of the colors in my house are shades of blues and tans, creams and browns. I can’t wait to see what color green you pick.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips
    December 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    I love the idea. And I love green. The green doors in the photo with bikes on the call looks too institutional, like a middle school, rest home or prison in the 50’s! I could live with a pale greenish grey. Black shows dust that white wouldn’t show.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I agonized for almost a year what color to paint the outside of my front door…not yet ready to go through that again! AND I need to finish painting inside to determine what color would work best! You are the daring one! Love the green and turquoise, especially with the nailhead trim. That trim…so not ready to agonize yet!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I LOVE the idea! Green is my favorite color too, so I say go for it.
    I might do it too. I have been thinking about painting my interior doors
    black, but think green would be better as the hallway is small and too
    many black doors might look odd. Thanks for bringing this up.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Kristi, I’m not interested in painting my doors at this time but wanted to say how much I like what you did with John & Alice’s bedroom. Do you have instructions for how you made their platform bed as I would like to make a single one, without a headboard?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Look at how popular a colorful main entrance door is these days. Why not paint the interior doors? I haven’t done it but have thought about it. The leather doors were really pretty but they might be a bit pricey and am not sure how well they will wear with scuff marks.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I would go with black doors. The Kitchen is white cabinets, stainless steels handles and gray porcelain floors tiles. The bedroom is a shade of gray. I would even like to try the nailhead accent

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Love love love the idea. The turquoise with the nailhead was beautiful! When I am finally settled in one place I am going to try that!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Antionette Blake
    December 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Beautiful and yes I would – thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I love doors painted colors other than white. The black is lovely, but I’m loving “colors” – those turquoise doors are to die for (my favorite color), and I’m loving those green ones as well. I can totally see the green doors in your home, they’d look gorgeous.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Go for it, you’ll love it. My baseboards and door frames are white, it keeps colours clean and sharp looking. But all my interior doors are BenMoore Wilmington Tan, which is a harvest gold shade. It works everywhere, whether the door is open or closed, and gives a nice flow from room to room. Since some of my doors are original from 1920, those are painted medium brown first, waxed, painted the Tan and sanded back for distressed finish on the mouldings. Where ever possible I’ve tried to keep the 1920’s feel, but some doors were replaced with flat faced fire doors back in the 80’s before my time here, and their paint finish is the solid colour. Over the years I’ve repainted rooms but never needed to change the door colour. Green is a neutral, think leaves in a flower arrangement, so any natural shade will work for years to come.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    froot loop
    December 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    One of my interior doors is painted mustard and I love it. I plan on painting another door black and doing a primitive stencil on it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    December 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I would love to paint my doors a color, but I don’t know what would look good throughout my home. I have blues and greens and of course, purple. Blue is probably the most common color, though, so I suppose it would have to be a shade of blue. Not that I’ll ever have the nerve to actually do it…. I’ll live vicariously through you. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy G
    December 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I would never have thought to use “color” on my interior doors. When you first wrote about, it sounded a bit crazy to me, but I think after seeing this and reading about, I may be game to do so too!!! Adventurous is good, and, heck, it is just paint!!! Can’t wait to see what you do.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher
    December 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Ms. SpoolTeacher uses all surfaces for creative adventures. Her 1940’s house still has some solid wood paneled doors and she has been known to paint each “pane” a different color, the surround another, and sometimes murals in them as well. Gotta do what makes you feel wonderful. “Artist” in residence. Her house is small though, so she often paints them the color of the room so they blend and expand the space.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mark E Tisdale
    December 10, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Never have tried any cool colors on my doors! Curses! Plain white! But the examples are beautiful, and as you say, it’s just paint! Look forward to seeing the results of this adventure in color!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2013 at 1:00 am

    I’m struggling with this right now. Its been between black and emerald or kelly green. I haven’t figured it out yet. For now, one of them is getting painted black. I love that you are going with green!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sally B
    December 10, 2013 at 1:45 am

    I like that shade of green. Green is a classic (as long as it’s not avacado:)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I think this will totally work in your house. I think your biggest job will be the actual choosing of the green. I think I would paint my doors a muted fuscia. 😛

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I love the turquoise doors with the nailheads, they are goregous! I always loved the idea of painted doors… I was considering painting the doors black since we are renovating our house, but I have a very narrow hall with lots of doors and was not sure of how it would look. Maybe I will revisit the idea but in a different color.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Kristi, Once again you amaze! What a wonderful idea. Keep us posted on yours.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Who would have thought. I love the idea of a painted door other than white.
    Cheers from Brissie.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gilmer Gal
    December 10, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    What color will you paint the door trim and baseboards? I’ve seen some homes that have different compatable colors that flow from room to room. I’m really interested to see what you decide. I love the turquoise doors with the nailhead trim!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      I’m pretty sure I’d keep the trim all white. I like the combo of white trim with black doors, so I’m pretty sure I’d like it with green doors as well. And I’d like to do planked white walls in my hallway so that the doors really stand out.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 11, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Our hous is all shades of gray, so our dours have a similar color.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    December 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Awesome idea! I want turquoise doors now! =) Or some shade of blue. Maybe navy blue =)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angie P
    December 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I totally love the idea of a painted door, I thought of doing it for our apartment but just didn’t know how it would turn out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Angie P.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I love the look of painted doors and trim. But my husband is a purist. We live in the house that his grandparents built back in 1918; none of the trim has EVER been painted. The doors are all solid wood paneled doors and look pretty good, but the idea of painting them to brighten up the hall has me intrigued. I’m pretty sure his dad would come back to haunt me if i ever painted the trim and doors!!
    I love your blog and find myself checking it daily to see what you’ve been up to. I have unfinished cabinets sitting in my living room waiting to be painted that will soon become some much needed storage with some open shelving at the top. I’m so excited to get started on them; now if my family would give the time to get to the painting process. Thank you so much for your inspiration!