Painting The Inside Of Our Front Door Black

4 Materials
2 Hours

This spring hubby and I have begun pulling up all of the carpet in our 1977 ranch home because we discovered hardwoods!

During the process, in magazines I have seen the interior side of front doors painted lovely colors, which was my inspiration for this project. Since we have a lot of colorful rugs and artwork in this hallway, I went neutral. How about your house? Is this an update you would make?

One consideration before you purchase paint is what type of paint is already on your door. Ours was painted with oil back in the 1970s (ugh). I could have painted it first with oil-based primer, then painted a water-based paint on top to convert it. But no, I was in a hurry.


Don’t guess whatever you do! If you paint water-based paint on top of oil, it will eventually peel right off. No fun. So, use some mineral spirits (paint thinner) on a rag and wipe the door. If paint comes off, it is oil. You can also use some denatured alcohol on a cloth to wipe the door. If nothing comes off, the paint is oil. The secret is – mineral spirits is the solvent for oil paint and denatured alcohol is the solvent for water-based paint.

Let’s paint!


1 quart of black paint. I used Sherwin-Williams in satin

A 2″ or 3″ paintbrush made for the type of paint you’re using

Painter’s tape

Drop cloth


STEP ONE – Remove the hardware or tape very carefully around it.

STEP TWO Put down a drop cloth. (I also put our rambunctious kitties in our guest room. Imagine black oil paint all over the house!)

STEP THREE Paint in the panel edges.

STEP FOUR Paint the horizontals.

STEP FIVE Paint the verticals.

Although the paint coverage was amazing for the first coat, I was painting black over white. So, I let this coat dry overnight, and painted another coat the next day. Once dry I removed the tape and cleaned up.

What do you think? To me, the black coordinates with the black African mud cloth, the kitchen chairs, and the picture frames.

You can see the other end of the hallway where we are still in mess mode and the floor has not been sanded. I know it will end, I keep telling myself.

I would love for you to join me on my blog for lots more projects at

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Debbie Dion Hayes Creative
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Frequently asked questions
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  • Cece Cece on Apr 21, 2021

    I see that you only used a brush for your door project. Would it be faster and better to use a small roller for flat areas around the panels?

  • Penny Penny on Apr 22, 2021

    Love the door. I painted all my interior doors black at my old house. Really like the look of the black hardware with it.

    Where did you find the Brooklyn Heights pharmacy cabinet? I like that it isn't as deep as most that you find.

  • Brenda Simpson Brenda Simpson on May 18, 2021

    Nice idea! It looks like you did some minor distressing? You only painted the actual door, not the frame, right?

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