Monday, April 13, 2015

Black-Painted Interior Doors

For several years, I've wanted to paint my interior doors black, but I couldn't commit. At one house, I painted a closet door and thought about it for weeks. The deep charcoal color was striking, but in the end, I couldn't go through with it.
Oh, what was the problem? When it comes to painting trim, I always play it safe and choose off-white paint. I mean, really. What if black doors are trendy? Am I hopping on the trend at the peak or the tail-end? No, black doors are classic, but they were seldom seen in suburban interiors until a few years ago--at least, that's when I became aware of the (dare I say it?) trend.

You may be like me, sitting on the fence, trying to decide. Black-painted doors have virtues and failings. A hollow-core, stock door can be transformed by a deep, rich, shiny color. Black works with just about anything, provided you add other black elements to your space. I suppose you could say black (or grey or charcoal) is a neutral. So why would a homeowner hesitate?

I tend to hesitate.
And hesitate. 

Same door, two different lighting conditions. 

Some people believe that dark-painted doors can resemble black holes. Others think that a deep color will stop the eye as it travels across a room--and why stop the eye on a stock, 6-panel door? Wouldn't it be better if the door were beautiful and you wished to draw attention to it?

Painting interior doors are expensive and time consuming. Working with semi-gloss paint requires experience or you'll end up with streaks. 

Many of us have a fear of pulling the trigger. What if the decorating gods declare that black doors are out, passe, over, kaput? Will you be like Tammy  Wynette and stand by your door? Or will you regret your decision?

I just have to wonder. . . who pays attention to those icky decorating gods, anyway? Do these rule makers know you and your house?  Each homeowner, and each house, is unique. Rules are too confining and arbitrary to apply to every house on the planet. One size doesn't fit all.

Speaking of rules, who says that you have to paint all of your doors the same color?

It's a tough decision, isn't it?

In this kitchen, the island is wood-toned. If it had been black, like the doors, it may have been too matchy.

Black-painted doors work with any style, any door, and any hardware. But it may not work in every house. Painting a test door may not yield sure fire answers, either. 

Me, I just can't bring myself to get away from white paint in the foyer. It's a narrow space.

A Simpson door and Marvin Integrity windows have been ordered for the sunroom, so the design will be consistent with the foyer doors (and they'll be energy efficient, too). For now, I think these doors should stay white--that's what my instincts are telling me, anyway. I'm not sure that I want the eye to stop at the doors; I would prefer it to keep going and look at the view.

I don't think black doors will work (for me) in the kitchen, either. You'd think black would be the perfect choice because this room feels like an iceberg right now; but this space is far from finished. I still have to decide about the counter tops, hardware, and everything else. (The marble slabs I'd chosen were damaged and had to be returned. So, it's back to the drawing board.)

However, I am painting the hall door black, along with two doors in this area (not pictured). And I am totally going with un-lacquered brass knobs for the doors...but not for the cabinets. Talk about inconsistency. Talk about craziness. But I feel very comfortable with that sort of "decorating."

Continuing with the decorating crazies, I probably will paint these doors off-white.

The French doors will probably stay white, too. As for the white-ness, I can't wait to hang my art--it's majorly colorful. 

In the last house, I tested SW Urbane Bronze on a hollow core door.

At the ranch, I tested BM Mophead Black, but it looked navy.

Next, we tried BM Onyx in semi-gloss.

It worked--a black color that suited my house and its lighting conditions.

The doors in this part of the house (bedroom/bathroom) will be painted Onyx.

My plan is not consistent and probably violates a ton of rules, but that's okay. I can have the best of both worlds--white doors and black doors in the same house. 
And different knobs with different finishes.
After all, the ranch is a lady of a certain age, and it makes sense that her hardware would be a touch of this, a touch of that. She isn't a brand spanking new house, and she's set in her ways, but she's also fun and quirky.

Thank you for stopping by the farm today.

Coming up;
More stone yard adventures
choosing tile for the master bath

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  1. Your new home is coming along so nicely! I hope you can get your kitchen counter top ideas resolved soon- too many options I fear! My hubby won't let me paint any of our wood trim but If I could I would go for the white trim and definitely consider the black idea. With the right paint the doors can look far more interesting. My home is small though so maybe white is the way to go. Have a great day! XX, Liz

    1. I agree--that's why I just can't pull the trigger on several doors. Black-painted doors would dominate my kitchen, rather than acting as a lovely accent. But I'm painting the hollow-core, 6-panel interior doors for sure. I'll keep you posted about the kitchen counters.

  2. I am on the fence...but may try blanc doors soon. Your examples make me want to paint. I do not have so many doors in our downsize. I will start with the glass entry door as a safe start. I want dard black. I thought I painted mt front door black...but in day light it looks greenish like a Charleston green. Neighbors like it...but it is not true black. Love this post with black and white. My heart goes potter patter when I see things I like...and it went litter patter over this post!

  3. I think you've made the right decision...hall doors black, beautiful doors with glass, not. Black absolutely stops the eye. It adds tons of interest but it's also heavy and 'deadening', if that even a word, and makes the space feel smaller. I would exercise great caution, which I know you're already doing. The onyx on the hall door is such a beautiful choice. I love the sheen.

  4. The house is progressing beautifully. The changes are so dramatic! I do hope when it's all said and done that you will post before and after pictures. And rules shmools. No one is going to live in your house but you and your family. It should suit you down to the ground no matter what others think. Besides, you have a great track record. BTW If I were you, I would be tempted to give a wooden topped island serious consideration. It would mix beautifully with different applications on the other counters and would contribute to the blurring of the lines between the inside and the outside, if that matters to you. If you have time, check out Oak Hill Architects Happy Hollow Project in Boston on Houzz. The kitchen has a huge wood topped island surrounded by white cabinetry. You might like it. This house is going to look extra wonderful at Christmas!

  5. Your house is really coming along. Call me chicken, but I don't think I could actually carry through with a black door (fear of husband's reaction too), but they do look spectacular.

  6. I think the black is very elegant. Remember, I have an ORANGE door!

  7. omg, I am DYING to do this, it's been simmering on the back burner of my mind!! So fabulous, i am going to do the inside of the master first, thanks for giving me the nudge~ a little gold too I think...

  8. Love the look of black doors however do wonder if they have become a trend. That said, the interior of my front door is a dark navy blue and in one room I have a series of closet doors in the same colour and I love them! (They are in a satin finish with a very slight sheen, done in an oil base paint.) In summary, I think dark doors can grow on you and I am sure whatever you decide will be the right choice. -Brenda-
    P.S: Recall it was a BM paint that I used but ended up adjusting the colorants/formula as the navy I had originally chosen had far too much of a purple undertone for my liking.

  9. I painted all of our interior doors Behr Black Suede and I am smitten every time I look at them! The funny thing is, no one really notices until I say something about it. It looks very natural, but somehow really enhances every room. It really wasn't too bad of a process. I didn't even take them off, just removed the door knobs. It took three coats per door, which I did with a brush. I highly recommend pulling the trigger to anyone that is wavering! Happy painting and your house looks amazing!

  10. I love the look of black doors. I wouldn't do it in my house though, because it would be odd, but mostly because in the middle of the night I would run right into them thinking the door was open LOL


  11. I love the space you have opened up in that main living area with the French doors! It is gorgeous!~ Thank you for joining HSH!

  12. thanks so much for that pictures.. ist inspirative..