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How to paint interior doors?

How to paint interior doors?

When it comes to painting the interior door there is the choice of detaching it from the hinges or simply leaving it there. There are both good and bad aspects to this.

How to Paint Interior Doors

You can paint the doors both when detached from the doorframe or attached to hinges and the first step is preparation.

Preparation: First remove doorknobs along with door hardware as this simplifies the application of paint. You can choose a semi or durable gloss sheen so that cleaning this is easier. Paint in the well-ventilated areas and use a fan for circulating air.

 Clean with degreasing cleaner before painting, fill any holes, and use spackle or sandable filler to repair imperfection. Sand door to create smooth surface a this absorbs the primer and paint easily. After sanding, clean the area before the subsequent processes.

Attached is door painting: This works well for a difficult to remove or heavy interior door like the panel door. Keep this on the hinges to paint but cover with tape to prevent getting paint on the hinges.

Use a paintbrush and start from the interior part of the top panels and smooth out before working with grains. First coat recessed areas followed by the panel faces, central vertical stile, and rails or horizontal frames and the remaining tiles from the left. Keep the door open to let it dry completely.

Unattached door painting: For this flat the door on sawhorses for a uniform coat minus runs or drips. This way, painting the edges becomes easier. Start with recessed panels, followed by horizontal rails and then vertical styles. Dry off the door completely one aside and flip this over to paint the opposite side. Once fully dry remount this door.

Flat door painting: Use strokes from vertical rollers or smooth and long brush strokes. Use a small brush to finish the edges present around hinges.

You may require priming before painting but this is unnecessary with original latex paint. Interior door painting is an effective and simple way to refresh the indoor appearance.

Also read: What type of interior doors are best?

Pro Tips for Painting Interior Doors

Determine existing paint: Before a fresh coat, application priming is necessary to determine the existing paint type. Use rubbing alcohol to dampen the rag and rub this on the door. Transfer of paint on the rag signifies latex products so you do not need priming. Otherwise, this is an oil-based paint so prime first. 

Use quality materials and tools: Paint the trim and door with a sash brush of two to two and a half inches. Those using the roller should find the one with a microfiber sleeve to provide a smooth finish and hold extra paint amounts and use an adequate paint tray, sandpaper, and drop cloths.

Apply surprising colors: Traditionally it is common to do the doors in just the shade as the surrounding walls. These days designers may use unique accent colors to the interior doors and add impact. This works well for doors with interesting molding and paneling. You can update this with bright color pops or black and slate gray for industrial neutral effects.

Choice of the best finishes: Grime and fingerprints are part of the door in areas with high traffic. Choose paint with semi-gloss or gloss finish instead of eggshell or flat for surfaces easier to clean with wiping. Glossy paints make trim and doors stand beautifully against flat wall surfaces.

Choice of the right trim shade: For white or light neutral paint to the doors, the trim surrounding it should be of a similar color. Choice of darker shade requires pairing with neutral or off-white tone trim that complements. Choice of darker color involves painting the trim first and letting it dry for a day at least protected with painter’s tape.

Accurate detaching: For the best paint results, removing the door from its frame is necessary. Sand and fill up the imperfections and cracks to paint on a flat surface.

Doorknob removal: The moisture present in paint affects the door hardware adversely and clogs the locking mechanism. The use of cleaning and sanding agents damages the hardware. Remove the doorknob to avoid such issues.


These tips from designers and painters help you to breeze through the project of painting the interior door. Choose the right tools, products, and colors for the best result.

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