It don’t matter if you’re black or white. In life and when choosing paint colors for doors.
But I had to come back and do another post about the painting doors because it was just too much to share at once. Sometimes, it hurts my brain to do too much in one post.
Choosing black or white
The last time I talked about doors, I was waffling about whether the doors should be black or white. Everyone pretty much told me something different –
- Black doors show dust.
- White doors show grime and hand prints.
- Black doors are too trendy and will get dated.
- White doors are just plain boring.
- Black doors are hard to paint over, so you are stuck with them.
In the end, I threw caution to the wind and painted some doors black and some doors white. I’m a wild and crazy woman. But in reality, there’s no reason you have to paint every door in the house the same color. There is no such rule. At least not in our house.
I ended up going black in the mudroom – which ended up being the perfect decision for this space.
The biggest reason I went black was because there are a lot of doors in a tiny space. And since it’s so small, there isn’t really room for a lot of furniture or decor. So I figured the doors could make a statement. The black really does make the space seem more put-together. Which is saying something for a room with nothing in it.
In contrast, I was afraid going with black doors in the bedroom would be really distracting. There are a lot of beautiful parts of the room and I didn’t want it to be all about the doors. There are four closets and eight doors. That’s a lot of a statement around closet doors. The white looks serene and peaceful in here – perfect for a bedroom.
And we ended up going white upstairs in all the other bedrooms and bathroom, for the same reason. There’s more going on and I didn’t want the doors to stick out too much. (I’ll share the other bedrooms at some point. But take my word for it, for now.)
I chose white for the basement door (which is the only door visible in our open living space).
This door was a toss-up. Because it was a single door, I think we could have gone dark for a little contrast. But it’s also right next to a dark built-in cubby (which will soon be open shelving). I didn’t want to have black right next to navy with nothing connecting them. It felt random. White seemed to fit better here and it also helps to show off that beautiful lockset.
Once I knew what we wanted, I went shopping. We chose the three-panel Shaker style door – solid for main doors and hollow for closets.
We ended up purchasing the doors primed from Lowe’s. (We compared prices and found their prices to be the best when they were 15 percent off. Delivery was a nightmare, but once we had them, we were happy.)
Ryan and his team of dads installed the doors – and there they stayed. For weeks, while we finished up other projects.
I really wanted to purchase the doors pre-painted to get a really perfect paint finish (and avoid all the work), but it was going to be more than $2,000 extra for 15 painted doors and that just didn’t work for the budget. Instead, we painted them ourselves.
We decided to use the same type of paint we used for trim and cabinetry – Behr Alkyd Paint in White and Molten Black (Semi-Gloss).
This paint has a lot of similarities to oil-based paint – it’s durable and self-leveling (which means minimal brush strokes). This makes is perfect for trim and doors. But it doesn’t have the odor of oil-based paints and it can be easily cleaned with soap and water. So, it’s kind of the best of both worlds.
The black doors were painted with rollers and brushes – since there were only a few to paint black, I just did it in place as we painted trim. Unfortunately, the alkyd paint was a bit too glossy once the black was applied. The white looks beautiful, but the black was just a bit too shiny for my taste. I ended up putting a final coat of Behr jet black paint in satin to tone it down and it looks great. (I used a mix of brushes and small foam rollers for the doors.)
The white doors were sprayed by Ryan. He had to take them all off and cut them down after carpeting (because the carpeting pile is too high for the doors to move). Since they were already off, it made sense to paint them all at once.
We have a Graco airless sprayer (like this one). We purchased it several years ago and it’s worth it’s weight in gold. We’ve used it a lot and the finish is excellent. The paint goes into a 5-gallon bucket and doesn’t need to be diluted with water.
Ryan debated the best strategy to paint and dry all the doors for a while and here’s what he eventually settled on …
Horizontal painting, Vertical drying
My dad and Ryan set up a door on saw horses (outside the garage to avoid overspray). They drilled a screw on each side of the door in the jamb (which allowed them to pick up the doors by the screws). I thought I had a picture of this, but I can’t find it.
Ryan sprayed the top and all four edges on the sawhorses with a fine spray nozzle. (He made sure to also spray the bottom, which must be painted for the warranty.) Then, they picked up the door by the two screws and brought it into the garage to dry vertically. The doors were propped on a narrow piece of wood at the bottom and then screwed into another narrow board on the top, which kept them vertical during the dry time.
Basically, this allowed the pair to work fast and keep all the doors drying. By the time all the doors had one coat, it was time to paint the back side (using the same system).
The advantages to spraying are huge – it’s much faster (only a few hours for all the doors) and the finish was perfect. A few areas of drips were sanded and touched up. But overall, it was a great finish with the sprayer.
We plan to spray our cabinet doors and drawer fronts using the same system, since it worked so well.
Do you prefer to use a sprayer or roller/brush when painting doors and trim?
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Behr provided the paint to complete this project. Check out our full disclosures.
Did you like this post?
We'd love to send you more inspiration and encouragement for your home. When you sign up below, we'll send you our free guide to save thousands on your next home project. Because your home shouldn't own you.