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Painted Interior Doors Make a Statement

Step aside white. Interior doors painted in flashy and dramatic colors are where it's at today. See how transformative a quart of paint can be—not just for the door, but also for the entire room.

Start at the Front

So many doors, so little time. If you want to dabble in color without having to paint every door in the house, the front door is your place. (Technically, it's an exterior door, but the back is all interior!) Often, the front of the door gets all the love in order to give a home curb appeal. The interior side? Ho-hum. Carry that exterior color to the inside for an easy refresh without much commitment. In many homes, the entry is a standalone space, so you can get away with using an unexpected color. Who knows? It may inspire you to paint other parts of your entry or thread the new color to other rooms.

If You Want Classic...

Black-painted interior doors are a good in-between option—more interesting than standard white but not as bright as, say, yellow. They're color without being colorful. And they're classic and timeless. That said, they are dramatic, especially when set against white trim, which creates a high-contrast look. To soften the look, choose a grayish black or even gray or taupe. (The doors, above, are painted in Benjamin Moore's Mopboard Black CW-680.) Another option to lessen the contrast is to paint the trim that frames the door black, and then let the white pick back up with the baseboards.

If You Want Fun...

A pocket door—one that disappears into the space between walls—is perfect for a splash of now-you-see-it, now-you-don't color. It's a fun surprise every time you slide it out. To help determine how bold you're willing to go, factor in the amount of time the door is closed (and the color visible) versus when it's slid in and out of sight. Painting a pocket door involves some logistics. If you can't remove the door from its track, you'll need an angled brush to reach as far into the wall space as possible, with the door fully closed. Plan on letting the paint dry at least 24 hours before you slide it back into the wall.

Try Some Trickery

Closet doors sometimes overpower a bedroom. If you'd like them (or any door) to fade away, paint them and the trim the same color as walls. This black bedroom even goes a step further with a few pieces of art hung on one of the doors, furthering the illusion that it's wall space. This single-color streamlining idea is also a nifty option for double sliding doors that can take up almost an entire wall of a bedroom. You don't have to choose a daring color like black; you'll get a similar disappearing effect regardless of what the chosen color is.

Color Coordinate

If you opt for a color rather than a neutral, the door becomes part of the room design. Although you don't need to perfectly match larger elements in the room, such as a sofa, you do need to make sure the door color coordinates. The pale green door in this living room plays off the richer green sofa without competing with it. There's also design strategy involved: The color draws the eyes to the green door, thereby downplaying the shorter and awkward under-the-stairs door near it. Plus, it gives the room an extra bit of personality. (Try visualizing the space with two white doors, and you can almost see the difference.) For minimal cost, a painted door delivers big payback.