Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Interior doors are most useful in adding privacy to your rooms, but they can also reduce noise and hide utility spaces or clutter. If you’re restyling, you may wonder if interior doors have to be the same color as the walls; after all, rooms often have different wall colors throughout the house. We have thoroughly researched if interior doors should be the same color as your walls.
It is not considered necessary for your interior doors to be painted the same color as the walls. In fact, using a perfect match is often considered too redundant. However, the interior doors should coordinate with each room and the overall home style. Also, all of the interior doors should agree with each other in the same way, even if they are different colors.
It can take a fair amount of time and effort to repaint all of the interior doors in your home, which would take a lot of cleaning, sanding, and curing time. So, it’s important to make an informed decision when selecting their color. Keep reading to learn about the ideal interior door colors, how they relate to trim, and if they have to look the same on both sides.
What is the best color for interior doors?
Since your interior walls take up so much surface area, they will often dictate the home's personality and reflect the purpose of each room. As such, the interior door colors are usually determined by their relationship with the interior walls. You can coordinate interior doors to agree with the walls, contrast with them, or remain neutral.
If the interior doors are styled to match the walls, it is best to avoid using an exact match. Although it will feel consistent, it may also seem boring throughout the house. Instead, it is ideal for keeping the door color within two to three shades of the wall color and temperature.
When interior doors contrast with the walls, it highlights the doors. This can be useful for certain interior designs, as arts and crafts or abstract homes. But it may also be used to draw attention to a certain room and its purpose.
The most common, ideal color choice for interior doors is neutral or near-neutral. This includes white, gray, black, or brown. Neutrals are absent of any true color, making them highly flexible. They allow you to freely style the room’s décor, and save time if you want to redecorate later on. Neutrals are safe choices, and they're often useful as a bridge between décor styles.
This is a warm neutral that is often considered the most effective and popular choice for interior doors. White reflects all colors, which allows it to brighten up the room without shifting the focus away from any décor.
Also, its reflective qualities can make the area appear larger than they actually are. This can be very useful if the interior door is in a hallway or serves any smaller room.
For example, bathrooms are often much smaller than the rest of the rooms in the house. And closets or laundry rooms are often tucked into tiny areas that would feel cramped without plenty of white.
This cold neutral is frequently mistaken as a boring selection. Many interior designs actually make significant use out of gray interior doors, such as cozy farmhouse and beach house styles.
Gray has all of the flexibility of white, but its temperature will never feel overwhelming. Its stiff personality is also useful for modern designs, which prefer minimalist features. Gray is just as smooth and sleek as black, without feeling as cold and powerful.
This near-neutral is the perfect compromise between white and black. Brown is often considered to have traces of the color orange in its appearance. This gives brown more personality than any other neutral, but it remains flexible.
Brown is also frequently found within nature, so it may save you painting time if you have wooden doors. Additionally, you could always re-stain the wood to completely change its color, temperature, and gloss level.
However, although brown can work with any color, it may not be ideal for every interior design. Its natural look can be too warm and dusty for certain styles.
Should interior doors be painted the same color on both sides?
It is typical for interior doors to have the same color on both sides, but only because they are often neutral. It is actually possible for either side of an interior door to have different colors.
This may be useful if your room, such as a nursery, has unique wall colors from the rest of the home. While the hallway outside might be a cool gray, the nursery walls can include anything from sky blue to rose pink. The interior door still needs to coordinate properly with the room, so it may become necessary to have a different color on each side.
The trouble is that most interior doors are primarily left open, which can simply hide the secondary color. You would also have to paint the edges correctly in order to maintain consistency.
The edge will need to match the side of the interior door that is visible when it opens inward. That way, the door still appears to have one distinct color.
Should you paint the tops and bottoms of interior doors?
Although many interior doors have unfinished edges, painting the top and bottom is still considered good practice. Most doors are made out of wood, which expands and contracts as the temperature and humidity levels change. So, you may have to consider the environment of your home.
If the tops and bottoms of your interior doors are not sealed in some way, then moisture can accumulate and cause minor to severe issues over time. For example, the door might begin to warp, which is unappealing and may make the door difficult to close. If the wood warps, it can also result in cracking the paint job and require refinishing.
Worse, collected moisture can invite mold fungi, which is known to cause serious health issues. The CDC warns that mold can cause fevers and shortness of breath, which is especially difficult for people with existing respiratory issues.
Do interior doors and trim have to match?
The trim in a room may refer to multiple things, including the baseboards, crown moldings, or casing. The baseboards are the strips of wood that protect the base of your walls, while crown moldings run where the walls meet the ceiling. The most important factor here is the casing, which is the trim that sits around your windows and doors.
It is common for the interior doors to match the casing trim, but it isn’t always necessary. This is especially true if the trim already matches the wall color. And you can always paint interior doors within two to three shades of the trim to avoid redundancy.
However, it’s important to consider how many distinct layers you create in your home. If the interior doors, trim, and wall colors are too varied, they can become too distracting. That is particularly easy in tighter or smaller areas of the home. You can read the post "What's The Best Paint Finish For Trim?" to help balance your trim with its surroundings.
Are painted interior doors in style?
Painting these doors is always in style because they can be coordinated to match any trending interior design. Also, painting an interior door is an easy way to make bolder choices, while taking less risk than painting entire walls.
Introducing more personality into the home has recently become popular, especially with an increased time to redecorate. Alternatively, it may be necessary to repaint an interior door when you restyle the surrounding walls and trim.
You can read the post "How To Install An Interior Door That Is Not Prehung [9 Steps]" for tips on adding your own interior door.
Interior doors are often overlooked because of their practicality, but they can still be used to balance out an interior design. While it is usually best to keep them neutral, using more contrast or color is always possible. This will be left to personal preferences, but either way, the interior doors need to coordinate with the rooms' and home's overall style.