DIY Painting: Interior Doors

Want an easy way to boost your interior doors with a custom look?  Paint them!  A quick search of Pinterest will confirm that choosing a dark paint color (black or gray) is a popular and inexpensive way to glam up otherwise boring hallways and entry points.  Traditional builder-grade white doors just do not do much for a space style-wise.  If you are like me and replacing your interior doors with an updated style is just not in the budget, a fresh coat of paint can be an inexpensive option for a modern update.

I decided to give my interior doors a makeover during the start of our 30 day stay-at-home order in Arizona.  Thinking about spending an entire month in the house, I had to find a project to work on!  This upstairs bedroom hallway (see picture on left) is narrow and felt very boring with no style whatsoever.  I chose a dark gray paint (SW Grizzle Gray in a semi-gloss finish) that blended with the rest of the paint scheme already in my home.

Side note: We also updated the carpet and added taller baseboards throughout the upstairs since this picture was taken as you'll see in the finished photo.

Prep Work

To start, my husband took the doors off the hinges and removed the handles for me.  We put a paint tarp down on our back patio and used two sawhorses to prop each door up on.  We added a towel over each sawhorse so it didn't scrape the paint.  I cleaned each door with a damp rag.  Then, I sanded any uneven edges with a sanding block.  The doors had recently been painted by the previous owner a bright white, so there was no need to prime first.


To paint, I used a 4-inch roller for the flat surfaces and a 2 ½” angled brush to get into the crevices of all the raised panels.  It took 2 coats to fully cover the white.  I let each door fully dry, then flipped them over and repeated the previous steps on the other side.  I made sure to cover front and back sides of the doors as well as the top, bottom, and side edges.

Final Steps

Once they were completely dry, we reinstalled them on to new nickel hinges and put the handles back on.  “Tah-Dah”! Brand new custom doors!  No longer a boring white hallway!  If you are looking for an inexpensive update in your home, try it out!  You won't believe the difference a little paint can make. 🙂

Details: Trim color (DE Igloo), Wall color (SW Passive), Doors (SW Grizzle Gray)

To Note: I was able to finish painting the upstairs bedroom doors as shown before the record breaking AZ heat set in (thank you 2020!). I plan to continue this painting project with the 1st floor interior doors this fall when its cools off enough to paint outside again.  So, stay tuned for fall updates! Until then, off to find more inside projects to do!

If you are wanting to make a statement style in your home and need help with paint color selection, choosing finishes, or any other decor/styling questions, please visit my Interior Styling Services page for more details!