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I paintied all my interior doors dark gray and I LOVE them! I got a lot of feedback on Instagram, Instagram Stories, and Facebook about sharing some tips/how-tos so I put together a door painting tutorial and some tips and tricks on painting your interior doors. I have painted doors at 3 different homes now so I have a few mistakes and lessons learned to pass along.

How to paint your interior doors dark greyHow to paint your interior doors dark grey

First, you’ll want to gather supplies. Here are some of my favorites for painting doors:

How to Paint Interior Doors

Before you start, decide if you want to take the doors off or leave them on. If you’re doing it completely by yourself and don’t want to mess with taking them off, it’s definitely doable – it just takes a bit longer and is more tedious. I switched all my hinges out for black Schlage hinges so I opted to take my doors off.

 

Once your doors are off or you’re ready to start, you’ll need to figure out what type of paint is currently on your doors. If it is an oil based paint you’ll want to sand them down with 220 grit sandpaper if you’re using latex paint.

You can find out if it’s oil or not by using a rubbing alcohol soaked cotton ball and rubbing it on the door. If the paint comes off it’s latex based, if it doesn’t it’s oil. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. If you THINK you know and your doors end up being oil and you paint over it with any type of latex, you WILL regret it. You can still use latex but you need to prep the doors first with the sandpaper.

If your door currently has a latex based paint you can just prep it by cleaning it and wiping it with a liquid deglosser.

Take all the hardware off the door. You can also choose to paint around the hardware, but it’s super simple to take off the hardware and makes painting go much faster.

Now you’re ready to paint!

*Tip: If you took the doors off and are painting them on a sawhorse, try protecting the door with a soft smooth cloth on the sawhorses. It takes a while for the paint to fully cure and there’s a good chance it will stick when you turn them over taking off some of your new paint. This is one of the downsides of taking them off. You can wait a while for the paint to fully cure (cure time is different than dry time) or you can just touch up the paint after you hang them (this is what I did since I was painting in winter when it was super cold inside).

How to paint your interior doors dark grey

Start by painting the inset areas of the doors with your brush, then paint the raised/flat areas and sides with your mini roller. Check for paint buildup especially in the recessed areas and smooth out before it dries. You may need to do this more often if your door is still hanging. Allow to fully dry and then repeat for the second coat.

Hang your doors back up and touch up any areas that need it. Be gentle with the doors for a few days or until the paint is FULLY cured.

I didn’t take a good before picture but you get the idea here.

How to paint your interior doors dark grey How to paint your interior doors dark grey How to paint your interior doors dark grey

And here are the doors in different rooms with some different lighting.

How to paint your interior doors dark grey How to paint your interior doors dark grey

I changed all the knobs to Schalge Latitude Lever with Century Trim in Matte Black. I also switched out all the hinges to matte black hinges from Schlage.

How to paint your interior doors dark grey

I am in love with this Schlage Custom doorknob we added to the bathroom door. Since our hallway is all doors we thought making the bathroom a unique knob would be an easy way for guests to know which room was the bathroom.

How to paint your interior doors dark grey

General Tips for Painting Interior Doors

  • When choosing paint, try getting a sample and painting a foam board that you can bring in different rooms different times of day. My house has very different lighting throughout the day as well as a hall and bathroom with zero natural light so I made sure to test the color in all the rooms of the house against the different paint colors in the rooms. At first I had a lighter gray but it was too close to one of the wall colors and I didn’t like it.
  • Wherever you buy your paint ask which ones are good for doors. Some paint formulas are better for high traffic areas than others.  I love how Benjamin Moore Advance paint cures super hard (we used it on our kitchen cabinets) and levels out beautifully (doesn’t show brush strokes) but it’s pricey. We used acrylic latex for these doors.
  • When taking doors off, if doing more than one make sure you are ok with not having a door up for a day. For example, I made sure not to take off both bathroom doors at the same time.
  • If you leave your doors on when painting, you might consider protecting the trim with painters tape. Especially on the side with the hinges.

Did I miss anything? Let me know if you have any questions!

How to paint your interior doors dark grey

Author

Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

4 Comments

    • Allison Waken Reply

      It’s listed in the supplies! Benjamin Moore Gray 2121-10

  1. Curious if you still like the color you chose and how it does with dust (shows more or camouflage)?

    • Allison Waken Reply

      Yes! I do still love it! We live in the desert so the house gets very dusty. The doors don’t show up any more dust than they did when they were original! Any darker may have been a different story though.

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