Brightly Painted Doors

We had two plain, primer-color steel doors I had my eye on since we moved in; they are right there in the middle of our main living area, and in fairly bad shape when we moved in. One connects the former porch (now turned into an actual room) and the living room/dining room area so is technically interior to the house, but is an exterior-style door. The other is our side door form the dining room area to the side of the house near the garage. We've already updated our built-in shelves and re-painted the walls in this area, so while we wait for the $$$ to replace the carpet these doors seemed like a little mini-project we could fit in that would make a big impact.

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
 

In this area, we stuck with neutral walls (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, one of the most common paint colors in the western hemisphere it seems) so painting the doors was a way to add some bold color without it being a major commitment. It's also a delicate balance to add character to your home, but to consider resale value too. Doors are quick enough to re-paint.

I won't do a big tutorial for you, since there are already so many door-painting tutorials out there that are just so well done. I referenced this one from the Idea Room and this one from Driven by Decor - they were great!

Materials Used:

  • Valspar Duramax exterior paint in Rolling Glen by Valspar
  • Valspar Duramax exterior paint in Fragrant Lilac by Valspar
  • KILZ 2 Primer (I had some leftover from earlier projects)
  • A good short-handled paint brush (I like this one)
  • A mini-roller for painting smooth surfaces such as cabinets (we used these)
  • Spackle - I used DAP DryDex (but I also like Fast 'N Final for bigger patch jobs. It's a pretty pink color before it dries!)

BTW, this is not a sponsored post. This is just the stuff I used. I did, however, link to some affiliate links for products I've personally used and recommend).

We chose to use exterior paint, even though we were only painting sides of doors that were interior (and one door is interior on both sides). They are doors we go through every single day, one of which we bang through probably 50 times a day while carrying stuff. They both take a beating, so I wanted to be sure they could stand up to it.

Let's talk about our now-purple main door! Here it is when we closed on the house, and then shortly after we painted the walls and moved in:

Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com

We left our little paint chips stuck to the side of the door for a few weeks, getting used to them and seeing how they did in different lights. Ultimately, we agreed that Fragrant Lilac was the best fit for the space. It was bright and fun, but didn't feel too crazy. The name is weird, though.

Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com

There was rust all over the door in spots, most notably the bottom of the inside. No idea why it rusted so bad in the one area. Before painting, I used a very fine sandpaper to gently remove as much rust as possible.

Priming was important in any case, but especially when dealing with the rust spots. I wasn't sure if KILZ 2 would work well with the exterior paint, but the paint guy at Lowe's was very reassuring and hadn't steered me wrong in the past - and it turned out just fine!

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
 

Next up, I used a TSP cleaner to get every bit of grime and dust off of it, so it was all ready for painting.

Then, it was primer and paint and keeping the children from touching them for a couple of hours. That is the hardest part.

One of the doors had this glass panel built into it. We tried removing it to paint separately, but it didn't work out. So, I spackled the screw holes on it and painted it; below was before spackling, and when the other side had one coat on it (you can peek the over-painted edges through the glass). For this door, we painted both sides.

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
 

(We've since moved the giant ruler height measuring thing to near the staircase)

We chose this line of doorknobs, and I picked them up at our local Home Depot. The oil-rubbed bronze finish matches the large hooks on our porch/three-season room very well, and they are just SUCH an improvement over the old banged-up brass ones. I adore them, and plan to use ones from the same line when we replace the rest of our old doorknobs in the future.

Here it is all painted up a brighter and prettier purple hue:

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
 

And yes, we have cheesy paintings made with our kids feet hanging there on the way. They are just too sweet not to have in a prime location, at least for now. Not everything has to be fancy, right?

Okay, let's talk about that green side door! Here it is after we painted the walls and wood trim, and had the paint chips up. While we looked at quite a few (and pretty varied) paint colors, we chose Rolling Glen and in person it is a really great fit for the space.

Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com

On Instagram, I got a picture that shows the true color better! Exhibit A:

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
 

The doors already looked much better, just after having such a thorough cleaning. This door had much easier trim to paint around the glass panel. Below is after removing the doorknob and cleaning, and then after starting the primer process. I painted these totally out of order form the tutorials - oops. It worked out though.

Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com

One last shot of the room, with the door all bright and shiny and pretty and new! It looks a lighter/brighter green here than it is in real life; in person, it's much less "minty" looking.

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com
 

If you're looking for some inspiration, here are some beautifully bright interior doors at Four Generations One Roof, and a bit more... umm, bold?... inspiration at Apartment Therapy. A little something for everyone between those two links.

Living in the Northeast, winter can be tough and finding ways to add cheerfulness to your home really helps. Would you go bright with an interior door? How far would you go?

 
Brightly painted interior doors, via danielleandco.com.