What colour do I paint my internal doors is a question that I am frequently asked. I can't give a definitive answer though as it will depend on a number of factors but I do have some ideas to show you here to help you make the right choice for your home.
Firstly you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I like my internal doors?
- Should I disguise them or make them a feature?
- How many of them do I have together – just one in a room or are there wardrobe doors that match?
- Should I even be painting them?
Should I paint my internal doors the same colour as my trim?
The whole process of which parts of your room to paint can be overwhelming if you don't do it that often. Sometimes questions are so obvious to me but I know that clients spend a lot of time considering their options.
If you do decide to paint your internal door a different colour to the trim then you need to ensure that you like the door. By treating it this way you are drawing attention to it. This is often a colour treatment if your door is natural timber and you don't want to paint it. The architraves (trim) can still be white or of course they can remain timber and it often depends on how much timber you want to bring into the scheme and also whether or not they are in good condition.
So, consider the door. Is it beautiful in its own right? If so, leave it as timber but if you feel that too much timber makes your scheme too classic, just leave the door and paint all the trim. By doing this you frame the timber door making it into a feature.
Another trend that is gaining traction is to paint the interior doors a feature colour – often black or grey. This is a good way to introduce some colour into your room without just selecting a random wall and painting it. Again, rather than also painting the feature colour on the architraves and skirting boards, if you just paint the door then it is not overwhelming.
Never forget the designer's mantra that less is more!
HOWEVER if you have a beautiful colour – perhaps a gorgeous grey – and you want to really provide an impact then you can paint the internal door, architrave and skirting board all in this colour. Just ensure you love it and that it suits the room. I also tend to confine this to well crafted architraves and skirting boards.
Should I paint my internal doors the same colour as the wall?
Looking at this from another point of view, you may prefer to disguise the internal doors. If they are of no architectural merit or if you are looking for a very streamlined and contemporary look, you may just want to paint them the same colour as the walls.
If you are opting for a clean crisp white throughout there is absolutely no reason to paint your skirting boards, architraves and internal doors another colour or different strength of white. Even if your walls are a soft grey, by painting your doors the same colour you maintain a calm, serene environment that has a good flow.
Even with a very classic look, you can paint everything in one colour. The soft green in the image below has been used on the door, trim and bookcase which is very effective when you are using colour as it maintains some simplicity to the look.
Sometimes though a slight contrast is desirable, particularly for a more classic scheme. In this case you can paint the trim and internal doors in a quarter or half strength of the white or neutral you are using on the walls. Or if you have opted for a soft grey or colour on the walls then a suitable white will work.
When you are emulating a Hamptons style you may also have wainscoting which should be the same as the trim and doors.
Consider how many doors are together in a space
This is very important because if you have wardrobe doors adjacent to the main room door you will find that there is a lot of repetition and this may help you to decide whether you keep the doors the same as the walls or make a feature of them. Clearly the more doors there are, the more they will impact on the space.
The designer in the image below has opted to paint the wardrobe doors in the same grey as the upholstered bedhead. This unifies the room and I think is a winner.
If you opt for a deep strong colour on the walls of a room you need to decide carefully on the trim and door colour. These doors in white would have given quite a different feel to the room. It would look great but it would become a very fresh and coastal look. The trim is still white here and probably the internal door to the room but rather than just replicate that white on the wardrobe doors, the designer has taken a more subtle approach.
This can often be a design question for hallways where you have the main entrance doors and then several doors in quick succession leading into rooms.
In this case, I often like to treat the entrance door differently. If you have a beautiful timber door then of course the inside of it should remain timber. But if you have painted your front door then you may like to consider painting both sides of the door in the same colour.
Always remember too when you are selecting a colour for your internal doors that it should relate to the overall colour palette for the home. By linking the door colour to an accent that is being used throughout the space, the look becomes more cohesive.
Don't forget to consider your internal doors in relation to the kitchen joinery. Often pantry doors will be close to internal doors throughout an open plan space so you need to think about this too when deciding on a colour.
I hope that this makes sense and has given you some ideas on how to treat your internal doors. Remember that wardrobe doors can be a different colour or tone and that you can link to the architraves or make a feature of the door. Sometimes you will have beautiful statement doors in one area – perhaps a really great barn door – and these can be treated differently to your other doors.
A mood board can help you to pull all of your ideas together. In fact, you really shouldn't embark on any renovation or decorating project without one. I have a FREE e-book for you to download to help you to put a mood board together here.
Don't forget that I love to hear from you to in the comments section below.