How to Paint Interior Doors


Even small changes can make your entire home look and feel different. One such change is painting interior doors to add colour or freshness where design personality seems lacking. Yes, simply by picking up some paint and brushes at your local hardware store, you can give your hallways and other spaces a quick facelift. But you should invest enough time and energy to ensure your changes are worthwhile. Below, we provide some pointers for how to paint your doors.

Paint According to the Type of Door

Before starting your door painting project, take some time at your hardware store to choose a suitable colour. Then purchase a four-inch paint roller, two- to three-inch paintbrush for the door edges and sanding blocks.

In this article, we look at how to best paint solid wood and hollow core doors. This differs from the methods used for vinyl-covered or plastic doors. For the latter, you should sand the door and apply a coat of primer before painting. Use semi-gloss or glossy sheen paint for these doors, as well.

How to Paint Flat Interior Doors

Below are the steps for painting your flat inside doors:

Sand the Surface

First, remove your door’s hardware. Then start sanding the door’s surface until it is smooth and even. This removes old paint and enables the new coat to go on cleanly and for longer-lasting appeal. You can use a simple sanding block or an electric sander. When finished with this step, use a tack cloth to wipe away all of the dust.

Paint the Edges

Start your painting on the door’s edges, starting with the hinge edge that aligns with the door frame. It is generally best to start at the inside bottom, beneath the bottom hinge. Then progress upward to the top edge and down the door handle side, called the striker side. It is important to use a brush on the edges to ensure better control of your paint and prevent drips and splattering. You should also avoid loading too much paint on the brush because it will drip.

Paint the Door’s Flat Surfaces

To paint the door’s flat panels, use a four-inch foam roller with a closed-end. Run the roller up and down the full height of the door, then across. It is important to work quickly and apply the paint evenly to the surface for a smooth finish. Allow the paint to dry, then reattach the hardware and hang your door.

Painting Paneled Doors


Painting panelled doors involves only a slightly different process than painting flat ones.

Sand the Door

As with a flat door, start your painting project by removing all hardware and then sanding the door using a sanding block. Using a block instead of an electric sander enables better control and for you to work along the detailed corners and edges in the panels. Use a tack cloth to wipe away all sanding residue before painting.

Paint the Door Panels

With a panel door, you should start your painting from the upper left of the panel. Then proceed down the door face. It is best to start by painting the panel edges with a brush. Then use a four-inch roller to finish the flat face of each panel and the door’s perimeter.

Paint the Stiles

After painting the door panels, use a roller to paint the stiles. On a panelled door, the stiles are the long and flat vertical edges to which the hinges and doorknob attach. After finishing these, move on to the horizontal panels at the top and bottom of the door, sometimes called the rails.

Paint the Edges

Finally, paint the side, top and bottom edges of your door. Use a brush to avoid dripping and splattering the paint. Allow this first coat to dry. Then lightly sand the painted edges to apply a second coat. Reattach your hardware and hang your door.

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