Painted Doors

Quite often, when I post an image on Instagram, I get questions about the paint colors used in our home.  Usually about the wall of the living room, master bed and bathroom, and our doors.  Everyone seems really comfortable painting walls any color, but doors feel like so much more of a commitment.  And I get it, sure you’re only choosing one color, but that one color has to play nicely with the colors of the rooms beyond.

From the get go, I knew I wanted to paint the orange toned wood doors in our home.

New-House-Dining-into-Living-Room April 13 2012

White feels like the easiest option, but I wanted to avoid the inevitable dirty fingerprints that two boys surely leave behind.  I gathered up any and all colors that got my attention.  Instantly, I was drawn to a warm gray with green undertones, Squirrel from Behr.  A quick paint sample on the door confirmed my love and I spent a couple of weeks painting every door.


The darker color feels like punctuation, a little accent.  We’ve had this unique color for nearly four years, and it adds so much character to our rooms.


Far and away more than white ever could-just look at this quickly Photoshopped picture.  It’s fine, but pretty boring comparatively.  Oddly enough, I feel like the white draws more attention to that side.


If you’re considering painting doors a color other than white, I’d suggest picking the door color first, if possible.  By painting our doors first, I’ve been able to choose wall colors for each room that compliment the door.  If I were reversing the selection process, it could have been tricky to pick a door color based on all the connecting room paint colors.

Install a modern ceiling fan, yes they do exist!:

These gray doors have a slightly green undertone, but still pairs well with cooler neutrals.

Our Humble Abode Blog Main Bathroom Vanity

As well as saturated or bolder colors.


Unlike the white trim, the color is incredibly forgiving, not showing the smudges from dirty hands.


Of course, black doors are also a lovely option, especially paired with simple trim.  I love the combination Lauren Liess created by adding brass plates and unique door handles.

Navy is another beautiful option, like this closet door from Yellow Brick Home.  It’s especially easy if you plan to use a lot of neutrals on the walls.  It’s a great way to add color, but an unexpected way to bring it in.


I also think a deep, nearly black green would be a lovely, unusual color on doors.  Something like our theater walls, painted Jasper from Sherwin Williams.


Do you have painted doors?  If so, what color and how do you go about pairing it with wall paint?

6 thoughts on “Painted Doors

  1. Love the door color! I noticed from your before photo that you are beefing up the trim around the doors/floors as well. When you are choosing the style are you considering the architectural style of the house or are you just choosing a style you like? Same goes for the other elements to your house like your shiplap wall (which I love)!! I am currently updating my 70’s ranch and I am having a hard time figuring out to just go any style with trim and door choices or keep with the style of the house.

    1. Hi Kates!

      We have changed out the baseboards, door/window trim, as well as the crown molding. As far as considering the style of the house, I do to a certain extent. Our is also a 70’s (raised) ranch, so it doesn’t have an inherent, notable style, unlike say a Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Colonial, etc. What I do keep in mind is the simplicity of the architecture. Lauren Liess has a really great way of simplifying it. Basically, if the house has a lot of ornate details and curves, stick with that. But if it’s pretty square/boxy/straight lined, that’s what you should use.

      We chose a simple, clean lined style we liked and have used it throughout. The owner we bought the house from was the second owner, and had replaced a lot of things with far more traditional, ornate items, trim and doors included. If this level had the same flat panel, hollow core doors as the basement, I would have chosen to replace the doors with something less traditional as well. These doors are solid and good quality, so we chose to keep them and modernize with paint. 🙂 I hope my rambling response helps you with your decisions, but I’m always happy to help.


  2. I have been thinking about this! We have a blue front door (exterior) which is great most of the year but not pleasant when I want to decorate with red for Christmas on the porch. I was thinking about doing our doors in Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams but I worry about it being too dark. We have cheap white doors, so I guess we just paint over if its not good right? Almost never hurts to try.

    1. Hi Domesticphilosophy!

      Your front door sounds lovely, even with the red! As for your other doors, I say try it, at least on one door. If you’re not sure about it, hang it up and live with it for a bit. It will help you decide how you feel, and it’s only paint. You could really love how it turns out. IF you go for it, please, please, please send me a picture. I love the idea of green interior doors-so unique!


  3. The house we’ve been in for about 1.5 years is completely different from anything I’ve lived in or decorated. It’s a cabin in north MS, and pretty rustic. The walls are all knotty pine which I’m in the process of painting warm white. My husband doesn’t usually chime in much on his preferences, but this time he said he wanted red doors. Yikes! Red??!! Well, it turns out I really like it!
    I also really like your choice for your doors. It goes well with everything!

    1. Hi Peggy!

      You know, I’m not usually a red person, so I understand your reservation. I’m so glad you went for it and love the results! You’d never know if you didn’t try, and I’m sure it looks great against the white walls.


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