I’ve been contemplating a way to describe my current house and the changes I’m making. It’s not outdated, it’s not ugly, it’s not run-down, it’s not in poor taste… In fact, it’s a beautiful home. So, how do I explain why I view this perfectly nice suburban home as one that is ripe for a makeover?
Then, it hit me. It’s not customized. That’s one of the reasons why it appealed to me, but it’s also why I view it as a home that’s perfect for a makeover. It’s a great foundation that could use some color, texture, and choices that reflect some personality!
One simple way to customize a blank-slate home is to paint the interior doors. I didn’t think this was that crazy of an idea, but my mom made me think it’s a bit more unusual than I thought. She was opening the (painted) door to my laundry room and said, “I can’t believe you had the guts to paint your interior doors!”
In a knee-jerk reaction, I smiled and looked sideways at her. “Really? I don’t think it’s a gutsy thing. It’s just paint!”
I suppose that I have a comfort level with paint that some people don’t possess and painting something other than a beige wall seems daring.
But, if you can increase your comfort level, painting an interior door is a relatively inexpensive way to make a stock door look less like a stock door.
In the first picture, the trim, walls, and door were all painted a cream with a pinkish hue (Seinfeld, anyone?). In the second one, the walls are painted in Pearly White by Sherwin Williams, the trim is in a custom white, and the door is Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. It’s all still soft and neutral, but each feature is defined, adding interest and giving the space a custom look.
I think sometimes we think of customization as using bold colors and dramatically adapting spaces to accommodate specific needs. It can be much more subtle than that and still have a big impact.
When I painted the master bedroom walls (Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore) and trim (custom white), the doors stuck out like a sore thumb! I couldn’t paint them fast enough.
Since I used Stonington Gray on the walls, I opted for Coventry Gray (a slighter darker gray) on the doors. I haven’t decided if I’m going to repaint the kitchen doors this color or just leave them be, since they aren’t near any other doors and I doubt anyone will notice they are slightly different grays. Well, YOU’LL know, but let’s just keep it between us.
I’m painting my doors a blue/gray, because they’ll work throughout the house, but really anything is game. I would stay away from caution cone orange, but black is nice, as is charcoal and navy. It would even be fun to go bold with a red or strong green. I would suggest keeping the paint color consistent through the house (in most cases). If you get too many colors going on, it can look cartoonish instead of custom.
Use a quality paint and remember that it will take about 30 days for the paint to fully cure, so the paint will be more susceptible to scratches and dings during that time. Just ask your family to be gentle and keep some paint on hand for touch-ups, if needed.
Oh, and I would use satin or semi-gloss paint for doors and trim. (I used satin in my house, with matte and eggshell walls.) If you’re space is more modern and bold, you can go full gloss, but just know that the surface will be more reflective and brush stokes/roller marks will be more visible, especially with dark colors. You don’t want to use a matte paint, though, because it can be grippy with dirt and get “smudgy” from greasy fingerprints. A satin or semi-gloss dries harder and is easier to wipe down, which is important for doors.
So, have I convinced you?
PS – Many of our Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailers are participating in our very first MMS Milk Paint Demo Day! They are offering FREE demonstrations in their shops to show you how to use milk paint and give you a chance to see/feel/smell (not taste) it for yourself. Many are offering giveaways, special events, wine tastings, etc. as well, so it’s worth seeing if there is one in your area. You can see a list of retailers participating HERE and HERE.