How to paint interior doors

Whether you need a fresh coat of paint on a worn wooden door, or you’re looking to jazz up the look of your door with a bold new colour, here is the proper way for painting interior doors.

Doors can act as an accent in a room, and are a great way of highlighting other features or the total style of a space. Semi-gloss paints are easy to clean but still have that bit of shine to draw the eye. To draw even more focus to the interior door, use a glossy or higher sheen paint. Once you’ve decided what look you want for your interior doors, here are some easy steps to take you through how to paint interior doors!

Materials needed for painting interior doors:

  • soap and water
  • scrub brush
  • sander
  • drop cloth
  • primer
  • paint – we recommend a semi-gloss or high gloss finish for an interior door painting
  • small paintbrush
  • paint roller
oak stained front door colour palette for exterior design inspiration home painters company in toronto

Step 1: Prep (before painting interior doors)

  • Choose your paint. We recommend Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paints, in a semi-gloss or satin/pearl finish as the best for painting interior doors.
  • Decide how you’re going to be painting interior doors: in place or lying flat. There are benefits to both methods. Although leaving the interior door on its hinges means you can paint both sides at the same time.
  • Make sure to clean the door before painting! Even if your door looks relatively clean, it’s better to give it a thorough scrub with soap and water first. 

 Step 2: Fill and Sand the Wooden Door

  • Once the door is clean, you may find some chipped paint or blemishes in the wood. An uneven surface will make it more difficult to paint. Smooth out any bumps and imperfections with sandpaper.
  • Be sure to wipe away any dust you create with a damp cloth.
  • Unlike walls, it’s doubtful you’ll have to fill any major holes on your interior door before the door painting process. Most nicks or dents can be sanded out. If there are any large divots then simply fill with putty and then sand to ensure a smooth finish.

Step 3: Protect the door hardware and accents

  • Remove the knobs, plates, and lock mechanisms. Or you could also tape off the doorknob and hinges to avoid messy paint splatter.
  • If you remove any hardware, make sure you keep them in a labeled bag so you know where and how each part goes back.
  • Put down a drop cloth to protect your floors from paint drips and in case of paint spills.

Step 4: Prime

  • With a paint roller and small paintbrush, apply a primer. Make sure to read and follow the directions on the container for best results.
  • Allow the primer to dry for a full 24 hours before applying any paint. Don’t rush!
before and after of Local home painters service staining a faded charcoal coloured door from a home in Toronto, Ontario

Step 5: how to paint interior doors

  • For a flat door a paint roller will work fine, but back-brush with a wide paintbrush to avoid roller stipple.
  • However, most doors have some kind of paneling or details. In this case, start with a smaller paintbrush for the panels, then paint the rest of the door with the paint roller.
  • Just like the primer, allow it to dry completely before applying a second coat.

Step 6: Final touches

  • Remove all of the painters tape to see the full effect! 
  • Make sure that all of the paint strokes are even and that there are no drip marks on the door. Touch up with a small paintbrush if you notice any drip marks or stipples.
  • Leave ample time for the paint to dry fully before replacing any hardware or using the door.


Don’t forget to visit our Pinterest page for all sorts of interior painting inspiration!

More interesting blogs related to ” How To Paint Interior Doors  “

  1. How to Prepare Your House for Painting
  2. The Best Time of Year to Paint the Exterior of Your House
  3. Top Colours For Your Exterior Front Door
  4. How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Exterior in Canada?

If you don’t have enough time yourself, or are just looking for a more professional look for your interior wooden door, call 416.494.9095 or email for a FREE quote or visit our website

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From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.