Want to learn how to paint interior doors for a custom look? Over the last few months I have been repainting the doors on our mail level, including our pantry doors, closet doors, and the door to our basement. I still have more to do–but wow, what a difference! This easy DIY has elevated our space and makes our builder grade home look custom. I’ll be sharing the perfect greige paint color, the products I used, and tips for painting interior doors. Let’s get started!
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The Perfect Greige for Painting Interior Doors
The door color I chose is Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. It is a beautiful greige paint color that is not too gray or too beige. I actually had the color matched at Home Depot because I always use the Behr Marquee line. My Home Depot has Ben Moore formulas on file–not sure if this is true of every store, but it makes the process very simple. Just ask at the paint counter!
If you would like to compare a similar color, I have also heard good things about Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. The colors appear very close online, with Revere Pewter being the cooler tone and Accessible Beige being a bit warmer.
Supplies Needed for Painting a Door
These are the products I used!
- Paint: Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore color matched in Behr Marquee paint (satin finish). Since it is not a Marquee color, it is not guaranteed to be one coat, but it still covers very well and the durability is great. I needed 1.5 coats with my roller, and 2 with my paint brush.
- Paint can necessities: Make sure you have a stir stick and the appropriate opener so you aren’t stuck when you get home! These are provided for free at the paint counter.
- Dish sponge or soft microfiber cloth and a little dish soap to clean door.
- 220 sandpaper block
- Tack cloth
- Painters tape
- 1-1/2 in paint brush
- Mini paint roller frame and paint roller
- Metal paint tray and plastic liners
- Plastic drop cloth or canvas drop cloth
How to Paint Interior Doors (Step By Step)
Now I will share the method I have used to paint interior doors! I am by no means a professional or an expert, but hope you find it helpful.
Step 1: Determine the Existing Paint Type
Your doors may be painted with either oil or latex based paint. Use a cotton ball or cloth and a little rubbing alcohol and rub it on the door. If the paint rubs off, that means you are dealing with latex paint, which makes things easier. If the paint does not come off, that means it is oil-based and you will need to follow additional steps. Our home is only a few years old and the existing paint is latex.
Paint Interior Doors Safely
If your interior doors were painted before the 80s, the existing paint may contain lead. If this is a possibility, be sure to contact a professional to ensure your safety.
Step 2: Prep the Door
Use a clean dish sponge or microfiber cloth with a little dish soap to wash the door, then wipe down again with water. This will remove dirt and oils and help the new paint adhere.
Next, lightly sand the door. I skipped this step with my front door, and it hasn’t held up as well as the pantry doors despite the fact that we rarely use it. So, I highly recommend sanding! I used a 220 sandpaper block.
Finally, use the tack cloth to remove all dust from the door, and use a damp cloth to wipe off the floor if necessary.
Step 3: Tape Around Door Trim and Hardware
The photos above show how I covered the door hinges. You can carefully use a utility knife to cut around the hinges. In this case I taped around the doorknob, but you can remove the doorknobs if you prefer.
If you are only painting one side the the door, you should tape off the piece of trim that stops the door when it closes. This is where you want the new color to stop.
Step 4: Prep the Paint and Floor
Put down a drop cloth to protect your floor. Use a stir stick to mix the paint. If your paint is older (mine was from a few months prior) you will need to mix very well, being sure the scrape the bottom of the can. Place one of the plastic liners into the metal paint tray, and pour in some paint.
Step 5: Time to Paint Interior Doors!
If you are painting the door trim, begin there with the paintbrush. Carefully paint around the hinges, taking care not to let paint drip while doing this detail work. We will do a second coat later if necessary.
Next, use the paintbrush on the recessed cutouts around the panels on the door, and the sides of the door.
Finally, use the small roller on the panels and the rest of the door (rails, stiles, and mullions). Basically you are using the roller on all of the raised, flat parts of the door!
Step 6: Lightly Sand and Repeat
After allowing the paint to dry, lightly sand with a fine grit sanding block (I used 220) and paint a second coat. If you are using Behr’s Marquee line like me, you probably won’t need a full second coat since the paint covers so well.
Step 7: Final Steps
Remove tape while the paint is still damp to prevent peeling. And enjoy your transformed space!
You may be able to tell that I need to do a few touch ups! It was a challenge to tape and paint the trim right next to the wall, and I wasn’t as careful as I should have been. Oh well! Another day I will get out my wall paint (Polar Bear by Behr) and fix it up. That is the beauty of painting DIYs–mistakes are usually easy to fix 🙂
I am so happy with the beautiful greige doors and how they have warmed up our space and elevated the look. I’m working on a new gallery wall around the Nest thermostat to share soon. (Update: here is how I decorated around our thermostat.)
Have you painted your interior doors? Do you think you will try it? Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you follow this tutorial, and feel free to leave any questions below! XO,