A door jamb is a frame on both sides of the door. If you’re repainting a room or several, the question then becomes, what color should your door jamb be?
You can paint your door jamb any color you wish, but many homeowners select the same color as the door. You can also use white, a timeless, bright color that accents the features in the rest of the room.
In this guide, we’ll first offer pointers for picking your door jamb paint color. Then we’ll delve into how to paint a door jamb, so your rooms look fresher and brighter!
Selecting a Color for Your Door Jamb
To reiterate our point from the intro, door jambs don’t have to be any specific color. If you wanted an orange door jamb or a pink one, it’s your house, your rules.
Assuming you want your home to look conventionally attractive, you won’t select any hue under the rainbow for the door jamb. You’ll want it to complement the rest of the room.
That’s why many homeowners will paint their door jamb to match the door. The door grabs attention rather than the jamb, and the two look cohesive.
If you’re searching for the ideal color to paint your door jamb, you can’t go wrong with white. You don’t have to worry about it going out of style anytime soon. Despite that it’s classic, white also maintains modernity.
More so, a white door jamb can brighten any room it’s in. The color serves to highlight or accent the features in that room. If you have white windows or doors in the room as well, the white blends in exceptionally nicely.
Click to read more: What Color Closet Doors Go With White Walls?
How to Paint a Door Jamb
Painting a door jamb is not like painting a wall. You’re working in much tighter corners, so you must take more precautions. Follow these steps to ensure your door jamb paint job comes out nicely the first time around:
Gather your supplies. Semi-gloss or high-gloss paint looks great and doesn’t take much effort to clean.
A straight paintbrush will make painting the door jamb far harder than it has to be. Switch instead to an angled brush so you can get into those crevices and corners.
You can’t access the entirety of the door jamb with your door installed, so removing it is the next step. Detach your door first with the hinge pin, which you can loosen with a spare nail and a hammer. When the pin is loose, lift it with your hands.
Move the door a little, then pull it until it comes off its hinges. Hold onto the screws and the hinge pin of your door, as you’ll need those later. Move the door out of the room or at least out of the way.
Take a roll of painter’s tape and stick it on all surfaces close to the door jamb, including the door hinges and the doorframe. Place a drop cloth on the floor.
Clean the door jamb with water, a sponge, and degreasing soap. Spackle or wood filler can restore its smooth texture if the jamb is gouged or scratched.
Now it’s time to get painting. Holding onto the metal band around the angled paintbrush, dip the upper angled part of the brush into the paint.
Start on the inside corner nearer the top. Your angled brush should fit right into the jamb.
Move your paintbrush downward to the bottom of the jamb, painting broadly rather than in short strokes. If you need to thin paint globs, then go over the jamb again.
Give the paint adequate time to dry. Once the first layer is dried, assess how your door jamb looks. Some high-quality paint requires only a single application. If you wish to add another layer of paint, follow the steps above.
Here’s a video courtesy of Home Depot that illustrates the steps above:
What Color Should a Doorframe Be?
Door jambs are part of a larger doorframe, which is the structure that surrounds your door. It’s often made of wood, but other materials include aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl.
Now that you’ve painted your door jamb, you figure you might as well upgrade your doorframes while you’re at it.
What color should you paint the doorframe? The same wisdom as above applies. You’re not limited in color selection for your doorframe. You can even forego painting if yours is a natural wood doorframe. Just treat the wood for longevity and stain it.
Read more: Should Door Handles and Knobs Match Throughout the House?
For a bit more guidance, here’s what we recommend. Use the same color as the door and the jamb for your doorframe. That will also make painting the frame a lot easier, as you won’t have to go out and buy more paint.
Contrasting colors can also look good. For instance, a white doorframe with a natural wooden door or a wooden frame with a white door is a great pair.
Speaking of white, it’s another option yet again. Colors in the white family, such as beige and cream, can work as well, provided the hues in the rest of the room share similar undertones. If your room has shades of brown as well, then beige or cream are great options.
You can even experiment with shades of gray or black. A black doorframe is sure to grab attention in the room, perhaps more so than any other feature. With a white door, though, a black doorframe looks fantastic.
Should Doorframes Be Lighter or Darker Than Walls?
As you select the color of your doorframe, you must also think of the doorframe as a larger part of the room. Since the doorframe is mounted against the wall, if the color of the frame doesn’t gel with your walls, your door will stand out like a sore thumb.
Does your doorframe color need to be darker than the walls or lighter?
This depends on the walls in your home and what kind of effect you’re going for. If you have light-colored walls such as white, beige, or tan and you’re interested in a contrasting color, then a darker brown, gray, or black doorframe makes sense.
For a dark-colored room that’s dark gray or navy blue, a lighter-colored doorframe creates the same contrasting effect.
Can Interior Doors Be Different Colors?
After painting both the doorframe and the door jamb, you couldn’t help it. You began to feel that itch to repaint your door. You feel like a different color would suit the new doorframe better.
You go out and browse for paint and bring home plenty of color swatches to explore. As you begin envisioning colors for your doors, you realize something. All your interior doors are painted the same color.
Wouldn’t it be weird for one or two doors to be different than the rest of the doors in your house?
No rule says every interior door in your home has to match. That said, homeowners tend to prefer cohesion from one part of the house to another. If that’s a desire of yours as well, then you have to think about what that common element will be.
Perhaps you paint all doorframes the same color, but you use different colors for the interior doors. This will create that sense of consistency from one room to another.
Here’s another thought. You could paint the interior doors on one story of your house the same color, then choose a different color for the second story. This gives you the freedom to experiment with hues without breaking up the cohesion of your home.
Another option is to paint the door two different colors, one hue for each side. This is certainly unconventional, but if all the interior doors were painted alike, it wouldn’t look out of place in your home.
When painting a door jamb, your best bet is to select the same color as the door itself or the doorframe. Contrasting colors also look nice, as do classic hues such as white, black, brown, or gray.
There are no rules for painting your doors, so remember to have fun and select colors that you enjoy. It’s your home, after all!