How to Paint an Interior Door Black

You guys!! This weekend we finally tackled a project I’ve been wanting to do for SO long–we painted the French doors in our basement black! This has been on my to-do list for ages now, but it’s always been one of those projects that I felt intimidated by, so it just kept getting bumped down the list. Well I finally decided to get it done this weekend and I am so happy with how it turned out. It was much easier than I thought it would be, plus we figured out a snazzy little trick that saved us a lot of time. I can’t wait to show you guys and hopefully this helps if you’ve ever wondered how to paint an interior door black! Now before I hop into the tutorial, here’s an old photo of how the door looked before:

And here’s how it looks now:

How to Paint an Interior Door Black How to Paint an Interior Door Black How to Paint a Door Black

Quite the difference, right?! These doors before were dingy looking and now they just pop. I’m amazed at how much better it looks. The contrast of the black door with the white trim is such a classic look. I absolutely looooooove it. And now I’m wishing I had done this a long time ago when I first thought about it. But better late than never, right?! Ok, let’s get on to the tutorial.

How to Paint an Interior Door Black

How to paint an interior door black

Prep the Door:

  1. You can either remove the door or tape it off, which is what we did. Either works, but if you do tape it you’ll eventually have to open the doors to paint the inner edges.
  2. Clean the door and remove any dust.
  3. Determine if you need to prime the door first. We got lucky and didn’t need a primer. But here’s a few reasons why you might need it:
    1. If the door is bare wood or stained.
    2. If the door has previously been painted with oil based paint. You can test it to make sure and there’s info on how to do that here. If it is oil-based paint you will need to prime the surface with a bonding primer before applying latex paint.
    3. If the door has any bad stains or water damage.

Paint the Door:

  1. Now it’s time to actually paint the door! We used latex paint in the color Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore in a semi-gloss finish. (Home Depot was able to color match it for us.)
  2. We started on the other edges of the door and worked our way in. Remember to always paint with the grain of the door.
  3. Once it came time to paint around the window moldings, we figured out a cool trick that ended up saving us a lot of time. Instead of taping off all those pesky little squares, we simply used a large drywall taping knife to protect the glass from the paint.

How to Paint an Interior Door Black

We weren’t sure how this would work, but it ended up doing a great job. We decided not to use painters tape for this area because it doesn’t leave a very clean finish, plus as we all know painters tape is notorious for peeling off paint when it’s removed. Plus once it’s off you might find areas where the paint accidentally got onto the glass, which is a hassle to remove once it’s dry. Doing it with the taping knife allowed us to clean up any accidents while the paint was still wet, which was so much easier! We just wiped any mistakes off with a damp paper towel.

How to Paint an Interior Door Black

We used a smaller taping knife for the shorter edges of the molding and it worked perfectly. Push it tightly against the molding (or sometimes there was enough space to slide it under) and paint directly over it.  The taping knife protects the glass from the paint. But it’s important to slide it as you go, instead of picking it up and placing it back on the glass, because it will transfer paint to the glass if you do that. Just be sure to keep a damp paper towel nearby to wipe down the tool between sections and also clean up any paint that accidentally got on the glass! EASY PEASY.

How to Paint an Interior Door Black

 It took two coats of paint to get a smooth, full coverage look. And that’s it! Overall it was a very simple and straightforward process. It was much easier than I anticipated it being and the whole thing was done in just a few hours.

How to Paint an Interior Door Black How to Paint an Interior Door Black

I love how these drop cloth curtains look against the black doors. It all just blends together so nicely and the doors are much more of a focal point in the room now! (See how I made that HOME sign here and get the curtain rod here.)

How to Paint an Interior Door Black How to Paint an Interior Door Black

I’m so happy with how this turned out and I gotta say–the end result was even better than I thought it would be. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of painting a door black. Maybe because my natural instinct is to paint all the things white, but in this case I think black looks 1000% better. And it was pretty easy, especially with my little painting trick. I LOVE it and now I really want to paint all our interior doors black! Well, maybe not all of them but I can think of at least three that would look AMAZING in black. Anyway, this was the first step in a long list of things I want to do in our basement and I can’t wait to share it all with you guys. I have lots of fun ideas for that bar area, so stay tuned!

Please let me know if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help!

Here’s a few other posts you might like:

New and Improved Farmhouse Bathroom Vanities

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint vs Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint

Transitioning to Farmhouse Style: Complete Shopping Guide

Leave a Comment


  1. Shelly Troup wrote:

    I love the doors! What a difference from the plain Jane white, it really makes things pop!

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • I agree about the popping as this one person replied —- but my question is why is my cat in her post -:))
      She looks like my beloved Mandy that I had for 18 years. Brought tears to my eyes seeing that photo. I hope she is as wonderful as my Mandy.

      And Sarah where did you learn to do all of these creative projects — did you have a father that was in construction? Or just naturally talented?

      Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Right?! I never thought I’d say it, but the white paint didn’t look good!

      Posted 3.14.18 Reply
  2. Sally Brown wrote:

    It is beautiful, wish I had your energy, or maybe youth! At 76 just can’t seem to get those extra things that make such a difference! Love watching what you are up to! Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aw thank you so much Sally!! xo

      Posted 3.14.18 Reply
  3. Pat wrote:

    I’ve been wanting to paint some of my interior doors black also. Yours looks amazing!! I do have one question. Did you buy a new door knob and dead bolt or did you paint them?

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Good question! I spray painted it black. Didn’t want to spend the money on a new one!

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  4. Linda wrote:

    Love those doors..the black fits perfectly with your decor. However I’m struggling with the color on my lower level sliding doors. The room is all natural wood ‘carsiding’ and I don’t know if black would be a good color. How does one decide without ending up with a BIG MISTAKE..Lol

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I think black is classic. You really can’t go wrong with it. I say go for it!

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  5. Leigh Manis wrote:

    Are your doors wood? Ours are metal french doors with the plastic ‘trim’ around the glass. I am thinking of spray painting using an enamel paint on the metal but wondering about the ‘trim’ part. Did you run into anything like that? Black looks amazing!

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Since they’re exterior doors they are metal, but I believe the little moldings are wood. I’m not sure how spray paint would work but it might be worth a shot!

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  6. Carrie Brynjulfson wrote:

    I was thinking of painting my steel doors on the exterior. Do you know if I would have to use a different kind of paint since it is steel and exterior?

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hmmm that’s a great question! I’d say you might want to ask a paint professional for that. I don’t want to tell you wrong!

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  7. Donna Bergthold wrote:

    Looks fantastic! I wasn’t sure about black doors but when I saw yours I love and want to paint my doors! Also on your stories yesterday you talked about painting your bar stools black, I seriously thought that you should paint them black before you even mentioned it! I think it would love great!

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Haha that’s awesome!! Great minds think alike Donna! xo

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  8. Dianne Gingrich wrote:

    Looks fabulous!

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      thanks Dianne!

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  9. Jill Miglin wrote:

    Hi Sarah. The doors look great! Just a little correction though. You can paint latex over oil, but you cannot paint oil over latex.

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
  10. Rhonda S. wrote:

    That is one gorgeous door Sarah! Glad you took the project on because it sure pops there and looks exactly like it fits in with your decor. Love it with your drop cloth curtains. 🙂

    Posted 3.12.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thanks Rhonda, I am SO happy we did it! I love the change.

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  11. Minnie wrote:

    😮 This Is Beautiful!
    Wow! Now it just pops out and says, Hey, look at me! I’m Beautiful!
    Great job…..but that ain’t nothing new, you always do that.
    Blessings to you!

    Posted 3.13.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aw thank you so much Minnie!! xo

      Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  12. Kimberly wrote:

    Wow….looks gorgeous! Couldn’t picture it until I saw the finished photo. Love the colo so much. It really POPS! Now I want to do that with our sliding door, but ours is vinyl I believe..??? Do you have to use something special to “paint” that..? Thnx! Also, I want to make those drop cloth curtains. Where do you find the time AND the energy to do all that you do?? I’m i awe….

    Posted 3.13.18 Reply
  13. Tara, blooming_acre wrote:

    What a difference it makes!! And you didn’t go with WHITE!?! haha I love it!

    Posted 3.14.18 Reply
  14. Stephanie Williams wrote:

    Love the black door! I have a painting question for you, do you offer advice? I haven’t done much DIY so I’m a newbie.

    Posted 3.14.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      You can always send me an email and I’ll try to respond if I have time!

      Posted 3.15.18 Reply
  15. Ivory wrote:

    Your door turned out fanstatic! I love the color you selected also.

    Posted 4.5.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you so much Ivory, I am loving it!!

      Posted 4.6.18 Reply
  16. Teren wrote:

    Love it!! I’m going to use your tutorial for my doors! Thank you!

    Posted 4.23.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Oh yay!! Good luck Teren!

      Posted 4.24.18 Reply
  17. Betty wrote:

    I was just wondering if you just painted the one door black? I have three doors that go to the outside that I was thinking about painting black but I wasn’t sure I wanted all the interior doors black. What is your thought on that?

    Posted 8.31.18 Reply
  18. Hey Sarah,

    Your door looks awesome! I agree and also opt a colored interior door at my home which gives new life to the door and also gives astonishing look, as compared to white or plain color doors.

    Posted 9.28.18 Reply
  19. Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours these days.
    I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Posted 11.16.18 Reply

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