How To Paint Interior Doors Like A Pro

Why have I put this project off for so long?

When we bought our house about 5 years ago we put in all new flooring and baseboards and had the interior painted before we moved in. That was a really good call, being that our oldest was only a few weeks old and it gave the place a really clean slate to do some of the bigger projects we had in mind.

The interior doors however got left out of the equation because at the time we thought we would just replace all of them – until we realized how much doors can cost and found other, more important things to spend our money on.

So they sat, staring at me for 5 years with their not quite off white, more like a weird yellow, builder white color and all of the marks that come along with 10 years of living. I’d had enough, and it was time I give them a fresh coat of paint.

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Meet my pantry door.

This is the door that has stared at me the most. While I’m eating breakfast with the kids, doing art projects with them, and even right now when writing this post. It’s smack in the middle of where all the action happens around here- the kitchen.

It gets opened and closed more than any other door in our house and sometimes with messy hands. It is also the door that gets the most toy cars crashed into it. But I love it because it hides the chaos of unorganized pantry items that are just behind it.

UPDATE: We’ve torn out this pantry and redid it! See our DIY Pantry Makeover here.

You can see that we painted the baseboards a bright white and the trim around the door and the door itself were left builder white. Not matching. And not cool.

I didn’t want to even attempt this project until I knew for sure that I could get a really smooth professional looking result, and I’m happy to say that with the help of my HomeRight Finish Max paint sprayer they came out perfectly and of course I learned a few things along the way (through good ol’ trial and error) that I’m going to share with you today so you can take on this project skipping the trial and error of course. 🙂

Now meet my HomeRight Finish Max.

You may remember this handy tool from when I made my grandmother’s cabinet into a chic industrial bar cabinet for our dining room makeover. It worked so well on that project to get a really professional paint finish, so I thought it would be the perfect way to get that same professional look on my interior doors.

And it did! In the end. But I have a few tips for you.

Before painting your doors, you’ll want to remove all of the hardware, take them off, and place them outside or in the garage with a barrier of some sort behind them.

I did this by tacking a plastic sheet to the fence in my backyard.

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I mixed the paint with water according to the instructions of the HomeRight Finish Max and started spraying. It wasn’t perfect at first, but I figured it out…

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Tips for getting a professional look with the HomeRight Finish Max

  • For interior doors or anything else that you want to be super wipable use a high gloss paint.
  • Water it down exactly as the directions tell you to so that your sprayer works well and doesn’t clog up.
  • Do multiple light coats.
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  • And the biggest thing I learned… don’t hold the sprayer too close. At first it seemed that the closer I held the sprayer to the surface of the door, the better coverage I got. Not true. What actually ended up happening is that I got a really streaky looking door. I was able to fix it easily by adding another coat with the sprayer farther away, but I could have saved myself a bit of work if I would have just done this from the beginning. The next few doors I did went much faster once I knew what I was doing. So hold the sprayer about 12 inches from your surface.
  • Keep your sprayer moving. For each coat I used a different pattern and always kept my arm moving either in a horizontal line, vertical line, or even in a small circle pattern to get really even coverage. Also be sure to go a bit past the edge of the door when changing direction so that you don’t get a thick dose of paint at the edge.
  • If you happen to get a few drips, just sand and respray. No biggie.

The finished result is subtle since I just repainted them white, but my doors are now a bright white that match the baseboards (which also got a little touch-up while I had the paint out for the door trim).

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What once was scuffed and yellow and not matching, is now bright and clean and can be easily wiped down when fingerprints to appear.

I’m super happy with the result and the next set of doors I paint with the Finish Max will be the upstairs ones!

To purchase a HomeRight Finish Max for your next project visit Amazon or HomeDepot.

A big THANK YOU to HomeRight for sponsoring this post! This post contains affiliate links. My positive recommendation that the HomeRight Finish Max will help you get a really professional look is 100% my own. You can read my full disclosure here.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Colors For Your Home

A lot of factors go into selecting colors for your home, and it goes way beyond paint color.

Things like your home color palette, existing colors in your home (that you may not be able to change), and the color of the natural light, or lack of natural light can change the way a color shows up in your home.

In my self-paced online color course, Color Made Clear, I walk you through all the steps to choosing and using color in your home to create a pulled together and cohesive look, even if you have things like cabinet color or floors you can't change.