Since the rise of modern farmhouse design, black interior doors have become a popular trend in home decorating. The reason that it is so beloved is because it is a striking look that creates a more notable style than standard white doors.
Painting your doors black is a great way to transform interior builder grade doors into a door that looks more custom and expensive.
This article will take you through all the basics regarding the pros and cons of painting your doors, the most popular black paint colors, a lookbook of memorable black doors, and links to a few DIYers who take you though the basics of doing it yourself.
Black interior doors: The basics
Painting your interior doors black is a dramatic and eye-catching look, but it is not for everyone. Here are a couple of ideas that can help you decide before pulling out your paint brush.
- Highlight black room tones – Black interior doors are more unique in style and look wonderful in rooms that have other details with the color black. They also work well in areas where you need to balance out a black void like a large screen TV.
- Dress up a door – Black paint will disguise boring builder grade doors or other features on doors that you dislike. Also, black paint can make a door with distinctive molding more elegant in appearance.
- Create a focal point – Used in moderation, they can make a particular door stand out to create a centerpiece of a room.
- Cleaning – Black interior doors are better at hiding fine dirt and dust than white doors.
- Visible scratches – Black doors with a white foundation can scratch and show the marks. This can be mitigated by using the correct type of paint with a good primer.
- Fingerprints – Black doors show smudged fingerprints more than light colored doors.
- Trendy – This is a popular trend which may not be timeless in every situation.
Choosing the right finish and type of paint
The choice of the right paint finish is different in every situation. If you have an interior space with not much natural light, using a high-gloss or semi-gloss paint is recommended. These finishes will reflect more light and be easier to wipe clean. Most experts recommend semi gloss as the most durable and reliable paint finish for interior doors.
However, if your door is damaged, a satin paint finish, a matte, or an eggshell finish will cover imperfections in the door better as these finishes reflect less light. Some people prefer the more modern look of a matte finished door. However, these finishes are not as durable and not as easy to clean. If you live in a house with high activity or children, a matte or satin finish will not hold up well.
In the past, the prevailing wisdom about the type of paint to use was that oil-based paint was harder and more durable. However, paint manufacturers are producing better quality latex paint that stands up to wear and tear almost as well as oil-based paint. Further, latex paint is much easier to apply and less messy to clean up than oil paints.
Choosing the right color black
- Sherwin Williams’ Tricorn Black (SW 6258) is one of the most popular choices for interior doors as it is a neutral black with few undertones that might clash with other colors.
- Off-Black (No. 58) from Farrow & Ball is another popular choice. It is a softer and less-black paint color than deep black paints.
- Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty (2128-10) is a warm black option that can add richness and dramatic color to a room without looking too dark.
- Black Magic (SW 6991) from Sherwin Williams is a warm and dark black. It is considered another true neutral with no undertones.
- Graphite (1603) from Benjamin Moore is a dark gray rather than black. This is an option if you want to paint your interior doors a more dramatic color but black is too stark for you.
Black interior door design inspiration
We have chosen some of the best examples of black interior door design. Each has a specific reason why the black door style works in the room space. Consider each and see how you can incorporate these ideas into your home.
One door among many
There can be too much of a good thing when it comes to interior black doors. That is why this design stands out. The owners have chosen one door that is a natural focal point for the hallway.
They painted it black while leaving the others and the trim the same color as the walls. This is a gorgeous way to elevate the look of the hallway without overdoing it.
Complement distinctive trim
The style of these double black doors works with the design of the room in a seamless way. Notice how the black doors complement the black window trim around the front door and echo the black touches in the rug.
The wood textures of the furniture and front door provide an earthy contrast to the modern black color tones.
A dark floor foundation
This owner has chosen to paint all the doors in this upper hallway black. The black banister echoes the tones of the door for a cohesive look. However, notice that the walls and trim remain a stark white.
The wood floors and rustic wall trim provide a textural foundation for the design that balances the look of the dark doors.
Doors to remember
This foyer is simple in design but a beautiful example of how opposites like white and black attract. The double interior door is gorgeous in its own right, but painted black it will draw the attention of everyone in the room.
The brass door handles glow against the dark surface and provide just the right amount of subtle glam for the room.
Distinctive french doors
Here is another interior door that has a standout design These curved french doors with nine glass lights have a gorgeous shape. The black color is highlighted within the frame of the white paneled walls. The domed light fixture echoes the curve of the door to enhance the shape of the entry.
Black trim and molding
If you want to create a look that is memorable, paint all of the trim around the door and floors, black or dark gray. This room has lovely trim and doors with a traditional style.
The black paint modernizes the door but doesn’t hide the traditional lines. This gives the room an old meets new vibe that is the cornerstone of modern traditional design.
Modern black interior doors
Black interior doors look wonderful with textural details like wood, but they also look amazing with sleek foundations like concrete. Notice the straight paneled doors. These and spare lines of the trim and light fixtures work well with the modern styling of the house.
Black interior door knobs
We love how brass door knobs can decorate the door like a bright touch of jewelry. Brass looks wonderful with a black background, and silver fixtures stand out as well. If you want a more monochromatic look, try matte black hardware with a black door.
Black interior door handles
Distinctive door handles like these look right at home on black doors. This weathered brass handle works well for special doors that guests use like a powder room. The vacant sign is another wonderful touch.
Black interior door DIY ideas
There are many helpful blogs featuring people who have painted their own interior doors black. Some walk you through the process step-by-step, and others give you valuable advice about why black interior doors work well for them.
Thrifty decor chick
This is a helpful post from the Thrifty Decor Chick if you are thinking about painting your interior doors black. She takes you through the whole process from why she chose to paint her doors to taping the hardware like the hinges and knob and the painting process.
Woman in real life
This is another great blog post from Woman in Real Life that goes through the process of painting your interior doors black. This blogger and her husband document the entire process with pictures from start to finish from the way to clean the doors before you paint to her thoughts about the black door over time.
This blog post from Sarah Joy is wonderful because it takes you through the process of painting a french door black. This is a different process than for a paneled door, so we appreciate the photo documentation with a description of the entire process.
If you are still on the fence about painting your interior doors black, this blog from Maria Killam will help. She takes her readers through some helpful tips about the way to achieve the best look when painting your doors black. There are wonderful benefits to following her helpful advice.
Here is a blog post from Southern Hospitality with stunning pictures of black doors in interior spaces. You will see a variety of homes with black doors showing just how versatile this design choice can be.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Are black interior doors in style?
Yes, black interior doors are a popular trend right now. Black is considered neutral and is more distinctive and dressy than white doors.
Do black interior doors look good?
Black interior doors look good with many interior design styles. You can find modern interior black doors, farmhouse interior black doors, and traditional interior black doors. Black doors are quite versatile. Painting interior doors black can be overdone, so it is important to think about which doors to select to paint. Find one door that is an important focal point and paint it black to emphasize it.
Do black interior doors make the room look smaller?
Black doors add depth and texture to any room which can make it look larger than it is. This is most effective when the surrounding walls are painted a lighter tone like white or cream. This contrast between the walls and the black door will make the ceiling appear higher.
Are black interior doors timeless?
Black, as with any neutral, is a timeless color for a door. That said, no popular trend will keep its popularity forever. Therefore, the interior black door trend will give way to another trend at some time in the future. However, black on interior doors will remain a classic look and remain loved by many people if not by everyone.
When painting interior doors black do you paint both sides?
When painting interior doors black you don’t have to paint both sides of the door the same color. However, it does help to keep a consistent color and theme throughout your house. Also, if they are doors that you leave open all the time like pantry doors, painting both sides is a good idea. On the other hand, if the color tones and decor do not work with black, it is not a necessity to paint both sides.
What is the best color for interior doors?
Neutrals are all good options for interior doors. If you are looking for something bright, try white, ivory, gray, or greige for an interior door. However, if you want to go in the opposite direction, try dark neutrals like black or dark gray which are also distinctive. For another color that is a bit different than the average, try a dark green or blue which can both be fabulous in the right location.
Does my trim need to match the interior door?
If you are painting interior doors black, the trim can either be painted to match or to contrast. Black interior doors with white trim make the door stand out more. Black trim with a black door looks amazing too. This creates a cohesive style that looks custom.
Black Interior Doors: Conclusion
The interior black door trend is a popular look that will remain beloved for many years to come. It is a distinctive and gorgeous style that can elevate even the most common spaces to something unique and elegant. Further, while this is a task that can be accomplished with just a few hours of time and at a low cost, it will have an impressive impact that will last for years to come.