What should you paint on the inside of your front door?

What should you paint on the inside of your front door?

I am regularly asked about how you should treat the inside of your front door.  I have talked a lot about making an entrance, exterior colours and fun front door colours which is all very grand and exciting but then people panic and feel that this impacts their interior scheme.  There really is no right or wrong answer here but I am going to show you some ideas and tips to follow:

What should you paint on the inside of your front door?

1)      If you have a beautiful natural timber feature door I would really just leave it as it is.  Don’t read any further – just let this be a feature inside as it is for your exterior.

What should you paint on the inside of your front door
Image – Grey & Scout

2)      If however you have a painted door, you need to remember that once the door is closed, the back of it may just look like any other door in the house.  If your entrance hallway has lots of other doors leading from it, you may like to consider just painting it in the same white/off white that you have used for those doors.  This keeps the look simple and is an elegant solution.

What should you paint on the inside of your front door?

3)      But what if you love that front door colour that you chose.  It’s your favourite and it took ages to select.  Being your favourite colour, you are also using this palette inside, in which case, it is absolutely fine to paint the interior of your front door, the same as the outside colour.  It doesn’t matter that the rest of the doors throughout your house are white.  As this is a feature in a neutral setting outside, so it is for inside.

What should you paint on the inside of your front door?
Image – HoneyandFitz

4)      However you may have selected a classic gloss black for your front door which of course is a great option and one that never goes out of style but somehow the seriousness of this doesn’t translate into your interior scheme.  In this case you can consider your interior colour palette and add a splash of your chosen accent to the inside of your front door.  This can make a great statement in a hallway scheme when you often don’t have many other design elements and opportunities to bring in colour.

What should you paint the inside of your front door?
Image – House of Turquoise

5)      In smaller homes, the front door will often open directly into the living area.  You may want to disguise this, in which case you can paint the door an off white or in the same colour that you have painted your walls.  Or you may like to treat the door as an opportunity to bring in colour.  Feature walls have had their day so if you want to introduce a splash of colour, the inside of your front door can be a great surface to paint.

What should you paint on the inside of your front door?
Image – West Elm

If you are painting the inside of your front door a different colour then just paint the actual door.  Leave the architrave the same as the rest of the house.

I hope from this article that you can see that there isn’t a right or wrong answer.  Just consider whether you want to make it a statement, bring in some colour or keep the look simple – it’s really up to you!

My Pinterest boards called Entrance ideas and Welcoming Hallways have heaps of inspiration and I would love you to give me your feedback or questions in the comments section below.

What should you paint on the inside of your front door?

If you would like further reading and inspiration on this subject you might like the following posts:

Related: 7 tips for the Perfect Welcoming Hallway

Related: Making an Entrance – 5 tips to follow

32 thoughts on “What should you paint on the inside of your front door?

  1. Avatar
    Katie Dunn says:

    I recently redid the interior design of my home and have been wondering whether or not it would be okay to paint the inside of the entry door a different color than the outside. I really like your point about this being okay if the exterior color doesn’t translate into the interior scheme. My front door is currently blue, but I think that I’ll paint the inside yellow to help brighten up the living room that it opens up to.

      • Avatar
        Allison White says:

        If you paint the inside and outside different colors – which color do you paint the part that closes — the inside or outside color?

          • Avatar
            Allison White says:

            I almost thought about painting the hinge side the exterior color because the door swings to the inside and paint the lock side interior color. Thoughts?

  2. Avatar
    Wiktor Johnson says:

    I am greatful to have find your page about home door designs. Thanks for sharing such a good article on the Internet. I did got good knowledge about what type of doors should I get designed for my new home. Oak Land View has helped me in constructing beautiful windows and doors until now which will get more coolness after seeing this designs. They are specialist in windoes and doors installation. Thank you.

  3. Avatar
    paul says:

    Having my hall stairs and landing painted along with all the door casings,(light gray on walls and satin white on casings) but my old wooden front door (stained a dark reddy brown) stands out like a sore thumb, looks ok from the outside as an stained solid wood door would do, but does not match on the inside.
    Never really thought about painting the inside until today! as I now look down my newly painted hall and the door stands out and looks out of place. In truth I never thought it was something people bid, thought doors where all the same inside and out, but the more you take note! there actually painted to match in modern times, must be me getting old.

    Q – Could I get away with painting the inside front door and inner showing casing satin white? just like all my other doors and casing, and as its wood-stained so do I need a special primer/sealer before painting.

    Hope that makes sense to you ?

    Thx Paul

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Paul – yes the inside of front doors is not something that we generally give a lot of thought to in life! You certainly can paint it white to match your other doors but you’re right in thinking you will need a primer first so that the timber doesn’t bleed through – your local hardware store will be able to give you some advice. Do make sure though that it is the right decision as it is hard to come back from. Perhaps your door might just need a sand back and re-stain on the inside and then it becomes a lovely feature in your hallway? It really depends on the look of the door and what else you have in the hallway but consider it before you slap on the white paint! Good luck Samantha

  4. Avatar
    Rose says:

    Our new home is almost completed but I am having a hard time deciding what to do with the inside of the front and back doors that are currently painted white.
    All of our interior doors are stained walnut . The trim is bright white and walls are alabaster. We would like to paint the outside of the front and back doors coordinating colors. What should we do with the inside ??? This seems to be the 64,000.00 question. What would you suggest??
    Thanks
    Rose

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rose I think that the bright white will definitely be wrong for the doors as it will be too much at odds with the stained walnut. My recommendation would be to treat the doors as a feature colour and work with the depth of the walnut – so for example if you think a blue will suit your scheme, select a blue that is a similar tonal level to the walnut. You can of course paint the inside of the door to match the exterior colour as long as this also suits your interior colour scheme and works with the tonal level of the walnut. I hope this helps you with your decision. Samantha

  5. Avatar
    A&E says:

    Hi Samantha, we’re having trouble deciding on a front door color (inside and out). We have a classic red brick colonial with white trim and black shutters. The door is currently white but we want to spruce it up with some satin brass hardware and a color pop. We’re debating between red, black, or a shade of blue (all high gloss/brilliant). It seems like painting the front and back two different colors would add a lot of complexity to the project (more taping, etc.). If we selected red (Fine Paints of Europe Tulip Red – Brilliant) do you think that would be too colorful for the inside of the door? Our walls are all BM white dove and the floors stained dark ebony. Thanks!

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Andrew I am sure the red will look great, particularly as you have white trim to separate it from the red bricks and as you want a colour pop this is probably the way to go. If you just wanted a contrast I would opt for black for the front door as it will tie it in really well with the shutters and the contrast will give you a striking look but of course no pop of colour. If you want to avoid the cutting in then you have to go with the choice inside so this may help you to decide between the black and red. Remember red is very striking in an interior – it is the first colour the eye sees and therefore it must work with everything else in the area. It will certainly work with the dark ebony floors though. Difficult for me to say either way – if you’re really stuck then it might be worth taping up the door! Good luck Samantha

  6. Avatar
    Randi says:

    Hi There,
    Is it acceptable to use interior paint on the inside of the exterior steel door, or should the inside also be painted with exterior type of paint? I have a side entrance door leading from the garage into a mudroom and would love to paint it the same accent colors that I used in the mudroom – but that is interior paint. I know I CAN use it, but would it be okay?

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Randy It is quite OK to use exterior paint inside – it is much tougher than interior paint so can be really useful to use for areas that you think will get a lot of traffic and knocked about a lot. So really consider how hardy you need the finish to be – if the door is from an internal garage into an internal mudroom there is no reason not to use interior paint. Samantha

  7. Avatar
    Leah says:

    Hi – I have a house with a BM Grape Juice living room and a BM dark teal dining room flanking a foyer with a dark gray area rug, and dark Emerald green accents in the photo matting. The floor is a walnut stained hardwood. Here’s my issue. I need to choose a color for the walls and trim and ceiling in this fairly large foyer and was leaning toward a Greige like BM Abalone for walls and BM White Dove for the trim/doors/ceiling. The trim in adjacent rooms is BM White Dove. Should I paint the trim BM White Dove including the 2 interior doors to the foyer (there is a small airlock area) front and back of one, and just the back of the main front door, as well as 2 closet doors front and back? And the ceiling? The outside of the main front door is a brick orange-red. The interior of my 2 front doors have no visual architectural interest. They are flat! Maybe everything in the foyer even trim ceiling and doors should be the Greige? I’m stuck! Maybe Abalone isn’t even right. Thanks, Leah

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leah I really like the idea of Benjamin Moore Abalone for the hallway as it provide a nice neutral link between the two more colourful reception rooms and will go well with the walnut flooring. Partnering with BM White Dove for trim and ceiling makes sense as you have this in other rooms. You just have to consider the two doors (both sides of the second and inside of the first). If they are flat and hold no appeal, is there any way you can have a carpenter add some moulding to the doors to make them more visually appealing? I fear that if you just paint everything in Abalone then it will all look too bland – these greige colours really do come alive with a white trim so I think you just have to paint the doors in the White Dove. You could possibly use a darker greige for the back of the front door just to break it up a little if you felt there was too much white? Hope this helps! Samantha

  8. Avatar
    Paula says:

    Hi,
    I’m trying to create a coastal/ rustic feel in my 1st bought home. I saw the black doors and love the look. My home is only 1200sqft so my doors are pretty close to one another. I also have a small laundry area in the hall way with the bending type doors if that makes sense. My fear is if I go through painting this bold look throughout I’m going to create a look that makes the home look smaller. Should I leave them the white so they blend and visually there is more room and no breaks in the space? Also would you include the laundry doors if so or let them continue to blend into the space? It gets a bit blurred trying to do the correct thing and then I tend to not do it. Help. Thank you!

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Paula a coastal scheme really lends itself to fresh white and as you have a small home, I would paint most of the doors this colour. Also as the doors are close to each other you get a more even look. However, elements of black as an accent really work in this look so perhaps just paint the inside of the front door as a feature – depending on the outside scheme you could do both sides so that in Summer if the door is open you still get the black accent. Perhaps some black door hardware could give your white doors a lift and add to more of the rustic look? Hope this helps Samantha

  9. Avatar
    Mary says:

    Hi Samantha,
    My mudroom has 3 doors: the entry door from outside, the door to the garage, (on the adjacent wall to its left) and the dutch door to the rest of the main house (on the adjacent wall to its right). The mudroom is white with gray stone/tiles. The interior side of the garage door and the entry door are painted white, but the dutch door to the rest of the house is unfinished on the mudroom side, white on the side that is in the main house. Should I paint the mudroom side of the dutch door white (or another color) or leave it unpainted? All the trim and doors on the interior of the house are white with oak flooring.

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mary although I love the idea of introducing a splash of colour here I think I would add the colour on both sides or leave it all white. I think you can get away with it on an entry door but an internal door – even though it is a Dutch one – between two interior rooms probably should be the same colour both sides and unless you want to introduce a splash of colour in the next room it is probably safer to keep it white. I hope I have understood the layout and your question correctly? Samantha

  10. Avatar
    Jolene says:

    Hi,

    I am panting my front door queen of the night blue, both inside and out. I was wondering if I should paint the sidelights in the same color or paint them white to make the door pop? My exterior of the house is currently painted white but we will be changing it to very pale grey in the spring.

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jolene When you are painting a front door a strong colour I advise that you just simply paint the door rather than the sidelights or architraves etc. Hope you love the new colour Samantha

  11. Avatar
    Lucelli says:

    Lovely article!

    We are renovating our hall entrance… adding an open stairs, and one of the walls we are making a panelled wall going up the stairs , which I am painting it in dark blue (nearly navy ) . The rest of the wall are a very light grey and the rest of the doors are now white!

    The front door I wanted to have in the same blue as the panelled wall but I am just wondering if is going to be too much! Maybe I should keep it in white just like the rest of the doors, maybe in black as the steel in the stairs are black…

    I would appreciate an input!
    Thanks,
    Lucelli

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lucelli the stair panelling sounds fabulous and I tend to agree that you may overdo it and spoil the look if you also use it on the front door. If the outside of the door is black then you might get away with painting the inside black too – this is a nice neutral option. Perhaps paint everything else first and then assess it to see what you think. It will depend on the placement of the door etc. and you might even get away with the blue but I think it will be easier for you to see if you leave it until last. Good luck Samantha

  12. Avatar
    Tony says:

    Having my house painted a tan/brown with light tan trim. Dark brown/grey garage and eved darker grey bron almost balck fornt door. Question interior doors and trim is all white and walls are yellow/tan in entry. Was wondering if I should go with the dark color on the interior of the front door or stick with the white on the interior. It is a smaller house and entrance and do have new dark oiled bronzed hardware on front door. Just don’t know if I should leave white interior or go with the dark same as exterior? Thanks in advance

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tony you have to consider whether you have any other colour accents in your hallway. Being a small house it is tempting to keep things simple but sometimes it is nice to see a flash of colour and contrast in the depth. I feel too that the dark brown could look really great against the yellow/tan walls. You also need to consider if you like the door hardware on the white or on the dark brown and remember that colours are lighter outside so this may appear just almost black inside. So consider if you have other highlights in the entry, how dark the colour looks inside and whether you like the hardware on it inside. Hope this helps Samantha

  13. Avatar
    Shari Lee says:

    We recently purchased a ranch style house. It is creamy tan with a light brown trim. I really always wanted a red door. We went with a barn-wood red color to compliment the browns. Question the interior has a feature wall closest to the door, almost same color as the trim outside. Would you paint door on both sides red?

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Shari Yes, it sounds as though this is a good decision. Remember though that the colours will read differently inside – perhaps paint a sample board and tack it to the door inside to see if you like the effect. Good luck Samantha

  14. Avatar
    Penny says:

    We recently had overlay concrete put down in all areas (except bedrooms) in our house. It is a light gray swirl like pattern. I am considering painting all my interior doors a light to medium gray(they are all white now) . My house has blue/gray tones. Since my baseboards are white, would I leave the door frames white?What are your thoughts?

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Penny internal doors can really pop if you just paint the door rather than all the trim so this will certainly work well – either way will work you just get a different effect. Good luck Samantha

  15. Avatar
    Rachel says:

    Hi Samantha, great article! I am looking for inspiration for the interior side of the front door of my apartment. My hallway has a total of 7 doors (6 internal doors, and my front door). All 7 doors are painted in white satinwood, but I was thinking of making a statement of the inside of my front door, in what’s a rather bland hallway. Is this a no go in a flat/apartment? I like the idea of painting it grey, but I’m worried it will look daft! I would be very grateful for your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

    • Samantha Bacon
      Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rachel I don’t think it is daft at all! I think it really can work well and in fact is probably more relevant in an apartment where you have lots of doors. It’s a great way to bring in some contrast. Think about the type of grey and ensure it works with carpet/rugs etc. Good luck Samantha

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