I see a white door and I want it painted black.

Guess what I’ve been up to lately. If you said, “painting?” then you are absolutely right. Yup, another painting post. I told y’all I was going to paint this house top to bottom before I did anything else to it. It needs new everything and paint is the first step.

I’m already pretty tired of painting trim and walls and ceilings (oh my!), so I might break my promise and skip to something a little more fun. I’m not sure how much more of this monotonous work I can take. I need some windows moulded or a holiday craft or something. But for today? It’s all about paint.

So, ya, I’ve been painting. And I am going to throw about twenty different topics at you tonight (okay, maybe 3) but I felt like it wasn’t quite enough info to break into three posts. Let’s just start with the afters. It’s more fun that way. (I was going to say, “that’s what she said” right here, but I kinda feel like that joke is so 2012 now, so I’ll pass.)

And before I get into the post, let me just state before you make any assumptions, I am NOT affiliated with Sherwin Williams in any way, shape, or form. I just love their paint and have decided that I will use their brand exclusively for the new house. It just makes buying it so much easier if it always comes from the same place. It’s always a perfect match in color and finish. So when I mention SW like 25 thousand times in this post, I am not doing it as a promotional post. M-kay? Great.

Today on the agenda? The hallway. We have one hallway in this house. It connects the family room to all the bedrooms (minus the master) and the game room. There are 7 doors in this hallway. So, here is an “after”.


Black doors! Eek! I am so excited about them. I know what you are thinking though. I already tried black doors in the last house, and this is where it got me:

I still haven’t recovered from that trauma. It scarred me for life. So, basically, I decided in the old house to paint my doors black, but I painted a latex (water-based) paint on top of an oil-based paint, so the latex paint (the black coat) peeled right off. Of 10 doors. After a week of peeling and scraping, I finally had all 20 door sides peeled and ready to paint again. I surprised a lot of you by painting them all white again (oil-based primer followed by the latex white paint). Everyone loved the black doors. So did I. I was smitten with them. However, I didn’t say at the time, but in the midst of this fiasco we decided we were going to move. We didn’t know how long it would take to find a house and sell ours, so we opted to stay quiet about it. Hence the reason I painted them back to white. Black doors are very polarizing, you either love or hate them, so I just put the doors white again to appeal to a larger audience when selling the house.

But I never stopped loving the black doors! And I couldn’t wait to move so I could do it again (this time with the correct paint).

The black color I went with this go-round is called “Graphite” from Benjamin Moore, except, I got it color-matched at Sherwin Williams. SW has all the Benjamin Moore colors in their system, so I just told them the color and brand and they were able to mix it right up. I got it in their Emerald line because the usual Pro Classic couldn’t go that dark.

I found the color via Thrifty Decor Chick. She has been painting her basement doors this color and I thought it looked like a perfect black so I just went with it. She said she bought the paint in a Satin finish to keep them from looking too shiny, so that’s what I did as well. However, I have had them satin finish for about a week now, and the scuffs and hand prints all over them look terrible. I am hands-down going to go back over them with a semi-gloss in the same color, just to give them a tougher finish. FYI.

Before I painted them I primed all the doors with an oil based primer (Kilz brand).

And here’s a little tip you might already know, but just in case I’ll throw it in there. When I paint doors I refuse to take them off the hinges. Too much of a pain. If I had to paint that way I would never paint a single door ever! So instead, I just slide a piece of cardboard or posterboard under the door while I paint along the bottom of the door. It protects the carpet from drips and allows you to get your paint brush right up along the edge.

Did you notice I also painted the hallway? I painted all the trim, the walls, and the ceiling.

You probably didn’t notice considering I never showed you any “before” photos. Dur. My bad. Here ya go:


I went with the usual Alabaster in semi-gloss from SW (the Pro Classic line). The ceiling is also the usual Alabaster in flat finish in the Super Paint line which is a paint-and-primer-in-one (the only paint-and-primer-in-one I have ever found that I actually like is from Sherwin Williams).

For the walls I chose a color called Stucco from SW. I found a paint color from Shanty-2-Chic that I really loved that was a very neutral light tan:

Her paint is a Valspar color called Homestead Resort Parlor Taupe. I prefer Sherwin Williams paint so I went to Lowe’s, grabbed a paint swatch in this color, then took it into SW and had them color match it. I told them I didn’t want a formula though; I wanted an actual color from their collection with a real name. After putting the chip into their machine, it was color matched to “Stucco”. Now I have an actual paint name that I can remember next time I need to buy some, and also it’s easier to share the color with you guys if there’s an actual name attached.

So there you go. Three topics all covered in one long post. To recap:
1. The doors are now black in spite of the drama I had in the last house
2. I used a Ben Moore color called Graphite, mixed up at Sherwin Williams
3. The new hallway color is called Stucco from Sherwin Williams

If you noticed in the photos, the doors are all missing door knobs. No need to fear, they have been ordered and will be installed hopefully soon. The bright gold just wasn’t cutting it! It sure made for an interesting Labor Day party though when I had to tell all the guests when using the restroom to shut the door, stuff a scarf into the hole, and pray no one barged in on them. Obviously some seriously poor planning on my part. My friends know I’m nust-o about DIY though and just assume whenever they come over there will be some shenanigan going on.

And one final side-by-side (my favorite way to view before-and-afters!):


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  1. Goodness thats a lot of painting! My husband and I just moved and I painted every room (but the bathroom and now i’m ready to paint the bathroom and its only been 2 months!). I’m still not done with everything, I realllllly wanna paint my front porch ceiling and floor. Painting painting painting, i just don’t have the patients to paint walls allll theee tiiiimmmmmeeeee

  2. You grabbed me with the title; it was the one I was thinking of using when painting our front door black. I guess classic rock lyrics can’t be beat. The doors look great!

    I also like your tip about matching to an actual named color. It will be easier to write down a color name than keeping a pile of paint lids with formulas out in the garage.

    • When I tried to name the post, The Rolling Stone lyric would not stop running though my head. Kind of a depressing song, but we won’t think about that part of it. Just about the black doors and how awesome they look! ha!

  3. Loving it all A!!

  4. I had almost forgotten about your first black door fiasco! Thanks for the reminder.
    We are going to be painting our bedroom a medium grey and perhaps a black door might look great in there. Love this post.

    Also, love the tips.
    I think the door colours make an otherwise boring hallway into an interesting and character filled transition space.

  5. I love painted doors!! We painted all of ours in the basement a deep charcoal gray but they look black in the light sometimes! It is tedious!! Good luck:) looks great so far

    House envy

    • Thank you. I am obsessed with black doors. All the doors will be black in this house before I’m done (except I might keep the closet doors inside the rooms white).

  6. Hi Allison,

    How on earth do you paint around the hardware on your doors? Everything looks real nice! I have missed your updates! Glad your back!


    • I took the door knobs off and threw them away. As for hinges, the previous owners had painted over them, so I just painted over them too. They are on the list of things I’m going to replace anyway. Otherwise, use painters tape and an exacto knife.

      • Boil ’em. In a pot you no longer wish to ever use ever again, just fill it with regular water, and turn the flames up to max. Run a utility knife around the edge of the hinge to separate the paint on the hinge from the paint on everything else, and take a hinge off a door after properly supporting them from the underside (so you don’t bend the other hinge).

        Check the unpainted side if you like the finish, and if you don’t abandon this project by putting the hinge back until you get replacements. Turn off stove. Put away pot after you dump the water. But if you do like the finish, and it matches your other hardware, then proceed to gently let them sink into the water as open faced as possible, and let the hinge sit as you go grab another hinge from another door. When you get back with the next hinge, take the first one out of the water with some cheap throw away plastic tongs, and drop in the next one. Make sure to use a cheap ugly towel, not your countertop, to set the boiled hinge on to cool. Whenever one has cooled, you can begin to peel the paint off. donmt worry that a hinge might be boiling longer than the previous one. the paint will peel off just the same. And so on. Once cooled (I’m trying to emphasize the part where one needs to let them cool a second time, cause this can burn a persons fingers), the paint should peel off the metal surface of the hinge like they did on your first attempt at black doors, but it’s not going to have leftovers most likely. But if it does, boil ’em again. If you’re having trouble getting it to start peeling, just rub at the edges of the paint with your fingertips. It should provide the friction to get things going.

        When you’re done, make sure that pot is never used for food prep again. This is important. Scratch into the surface “not food safe” if you feel the need to and toss it or throw it in a shed if you think it might be useful for something else like a paint pale in the future. Toss whatever throw away tools you also happened to use to drop in/fish out the hinges, and throw away the towel. Aand that’s it. It’s tedious, but you’re guaranteed a perfect fit between the hinge and the door they came from, as long as you make sure to place the same hinge back in the same postitiin on the same door they came from.

  7. Love the black doors!! It really changes the look and feel of the hallway! Can’t wait to see what kind of hardware you got for them! Happy Friday!!

  8. Very clean and crisp looking! Beautiful, as usual.

  9. I started painting our doors about 4 years ago. They are honey oak and I do not like oak. So I’ve been painting them white. I managed to get all the doors on our first level done and then my son stopped napping. 🙂 I have been taking the doors off to paint them just because I dread going up and down a ladder to paint the door. I’m short. But after seeing your tip with the cardboard I’ll think I’ll change my strategy. I’ll be giving it a shot tonight. Thank you! I only have 12 more doors to go! Also, I’m thinking about painting my front door black. Would you use an oil-based semi-gloss for a front door? I just see it covered with dust so I’m not sure about the black.

    • Are you wanting to paint the inside or outside of the door? If it’s the outside I would definitely use a more durable paint like an oil-based one. As for dust, doors get dirty either way, so paint it what you love and just hose it off once a month or so!

  10. Painting one door black or a navy in the near future. I have a feeling I’ll get addicted to painting doors! It makes a huge difference-love yours.

  11. Ah yes, the black doors! I do like them – they look really sharp. But here’s a question: don’t you get messy black paint all over the hinges if you don’t take tem off?

    • I did get black paint on my hinges, but I am going to be replacing the hinges so I didn’t care. If you want to keep your hinges nice, you can put painters tape over them and carefully cut around the hinge with an exacto knife.

  12. Love the black doors! They look awesome!

    I used SW paint for the first time in our living room last week and I think I’m in love! It’s amazing!

  13. You are one brave woman to attempt this project again 😉 But I love the doors!! I am trying to convince my parents to do this in their house (built in the late 1980’s) – it’s an affordable way to update the look of your home! What are your thoughts on using a paint sprayer to paint the doors?

  14. I absolutely adore the black doors from both of your homes! You’ve been such an inspiration to me about them. My only concern about painting my white doors black is that I have a very brightly-painted home — deep red dining room, dark teal bedroom, burnt orange living room, etc. I’m worried that black doors will darken it up too much. But hey, it’s just paint, right? If I don’t like it, I’ll paint them back to white. Thank you so much for the tip about painting them with semi-gloss, too. Your new home looks fabulous; keep it up!

  15. I’m terrified of painting my doors, but desperately want to, I’m worried the paint will be too thick and make the doors stick.
    Have you had this problem?

  16. Love your doors!! I am going to paint my pantry door black.
    It is painted with an oil based now. Did you have to sand before you painted latex over oil,
    Or did the primer do the trick? The man at SW said I would have to sand all the
    Oil based off first. Ugh! Would love your info on this!

  17. I saw yur ast post about the peeling doors and used primer before painting my bedroom doors. I hate using oil based pimer. Anyway I as just at Shermin Williams and they told me yu can paint latex right over oil based but not oil over latex. I would love to not primemy livigroom doors but not sure I want to risk it.

  18. Wow my post looks crazy, not sure what happened but I promise I can spell.

  19. I have been wanting to do this forever. We are in the middle of a major remodel and it is the perfect time, BUT I have a question. Did you paint both sides of the door? My kids’ rooms would look odd with a black door, I think.

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