Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color

Ask The Decorating Files: This week’s question concerns painting interior doors and trim…

I live in a condo built in the 70’s. It is long and narrow with a front door that opens to a narrow hallway with many doors (6).  I am getting ready to paint the hallway and have picked a color for the wall, Paladium Blue by Sherwin Williams. I hesitate to paint the doors and trim around them some version of white, because I feel it will just highlight them. Would it be a good idea to paint the doors and trim the same color as the walls? Thanks, Paula

You’re right, Paula.  Painting the doors and trim white will make them stand out. Painting them the same color as the walls will help them to blend in and almost disappear.  This is a great idea for a narrow hall with so many doors. If you’d like a bit of contrast, you can go a shade lighter or darker for the trimwork and doors. The doors will still blend in with the walls. For the walls, I’d recommend using a satin or eggshell finish and a semi-gloss on the trim and doors. For inspiration, here are 10 rooms in which the walls, doors, and trimwork are painted the same or similar color.

Painting Interior Doors and Trim the Same Color

1 This hallway has lots of doors in it, too. But they don’t jump out at you, because they blend in with the wall color. The focus is on the skylight, beautiful doorway, and decorative sconces.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

T. Symington & Co. Interiors

2 In this room, the built-in cabinetry was also painted in the same color as the walls, doors and trim. Notice how this helps the accessories stand out.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Designer: Angie Hranowsky

3 Light curtains with a Greek key accent and white matting on the artwork and accessories keep the gray in this room from becoming to heavy.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Better Homes and Gardens

4 Finishing the fireplace mantel in a lighter color gives it more prominence in this dining room.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |


5 Deep colors on the walls and cabinetry create a cozy library. The light ceiling and area rug balance out all the darker tones.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Candace Cavanaugh Interiors

6 Plenty of natural light flows into this mudroom. Painting everything the same color visually expands the small space.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

LDA Architecture & Interiors

7 Deep blues make for an inviting room. The large window provides lots of light and opens the space.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Elle Decor

8 A mix of modern and traditional furnishings look fabulous in this dark blue study. I love the clean lines of the white lacquered nesting tables and the contemporary twist on wingback chairs.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Porter Design Company

9 Blue is a hot choice for rooms! In this photo, you can see that the doors and trimwork are done in a gloss finish.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Sally Wheat Interiors

10 The amazing crown molding in this room is able to take center stage when the walls and trim are all painted in the same color.

Painting Interior Doors, Trim & Walls the Same Color | The Decorating Files |

Farrow & Ball

If you have a design dilemma that you’d like help with, use this form to submit your question.

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  1. 1

    Stacey says

    Good morning, I have two dilemmas. First, we have huge crank out kitchen windows. What would be a nice window treatment for them? I was thinking shutters… Also, I am looking for a sofa/corner love seat for a kitchen nook?


    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      You can never go wrong with shutters, Stacey. Plantation shutters with wide slats are my favorite window treatment. As for your nook, you could have something custom made to fit the corner or purchase one that is ready-made. If you Google “corner banquette seating” you’ll find a variety of stores that sell banquette seating – Pottery Barn, Hayneedle, Amazon and Walmart are just a few that came up. :)

  2. 3

    Carrie says

    I am so glad I’ve found your blog. Do you mind if I ask you a question? I am in the process of painting my house throughout. I’ve always in the past used off-white for trim – skirting boards, architrave, as doors. This time however, I am looking at takings the colour over the woodwork. I’ve got myself in a muddle however. Do window frames and sills also get painted the same? What about doors? I feel there needs to be a few white accents, but not sure if you can do half and half or whether it needs to be all white or no white! Also, if you do all the same colour, does the woodwork need to be eggshell or emulsion?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • 4


      I’m glad you found my blog to, Carrie and I’m happy to help with your question. You can paint the baseboards the same color as the walls and paint the frames, doors, and sills white. By painting the baseboards the same color as the walls, it will help to add height to the room. Since they will blend in with the walls, essentially “disappearing”, the white won’t look out of place on the rest of the woodwork. I always recommend a a semi-gloss finish on trimwork. :)

  3. 5

    Pamela says

    I’be been repainting my entire kitchen and living room. I’m painting the baseboards and trim white. My dilemma is, do I have to paint the doors white, or can I leave them stained? Second do I have to paint my baseboards and trim white up stairs now? Thank you for any suggestions I’m confused!

    • 6


      Happy to help, Pamela. You don’t have to paint the cabinets in you kitchen. They will look fine with the white trim. It sounds as though your trim upstairs is natural wood stain. As to whether or not to paint upstairs, is there a clear separation between the upstairs and downstairs or do they flow together? My personal preference is for trim to be the same throughout the house for continuity. (Though, I have been known to do something different with the trim in certain rooms for overall design – such as bright red baseboards in an all-white kid’s bathroom and black trim in a gentleman’s study) It also helps for resale if you plan on selling anytime soon. The decision is yours. :)

      • 7

        Pamela says

        Thanks Peggy I plan to keep my cabinets stained. But what about the doors? I’m painting the trim around them white is it ok to leave them stained? Thanks for the help!

        • 8


          Yes; you can leave the doors stained. If you go to Houzz and search “stained doors with white trim”, you’ll find lots of images with this treatment. This will give you an idea of what it will look like. :)

          • 9

            Pamela says

            Oh my thanks Peggy you have completely saved me from losing it if I have to paint one more thing! I have one last question :) I scratched off an area on my trim that had a drip bubble from too much paint. Still very wet. It pilled off when I did that. Now I’m freaked I painted over oil based stain if that makes since? How soon would it peel or how would I know? Thanks a billion

  4. 11

    Nancy says

    We have dark stained trim throughout house with off-white/cream walls and I would like to use white plantation shutters. Is it a decorating mistake to paint window trim white and use white shutters (making the window & shutters one complete window treatment) when I have stained trim in the rest of the room? Painting the rest of trim, baseboards and doors is not an option. Thanks for your advice!

    • 12


      Happy to help, Nancy. By all means, you can paint the trim around the windows and leave the rest of the trim in the room as is. It will look give a cohesive look to the shutters and as you said, make it look like one treatment. :)

  5. 13

    Cheryl says

    Hi, I’m trying to figure out how to paint my living room and kitchen. There is a huge doorway between them and the wall goes 3/4 up.under the vaulted ceiling .The long wall that they share by the large doorway I want to paint a dark teal/ turquoise. I want to paint the doorsnd trim the teal too because there’s a lot of doors on that wall and I don’t want to draw focus. My question is is it ok to paint the kitchen and living room different colors with the trim being white? I was thinking brown-grey for living room and something lighter in kitchen. Please help! Thanks!

    • 14


      From what I’m visualizing Cheryl, the rooms seem to be separate spaces united by the dark teal wall. To give the two rooms continuity, I’d recommend painting the kitchen in a lighter version of the living room color. The white trim will also help with the color flow. :)

  6. 15

    Lucy says

    I love the picture of the hallway with the skylight. I want to paint my house ,wall ,trims and doors the same color or a shade 2 darker. What color paint is that in the picture and if possible the brand. I am so glad I found this blog.

    • 16


      I’m glad you found us too, Lucy! :) As for the color in the photo, the source didn’t list the brand and color name. I hesitate to recommend colors base on how they look online, because colors can look different on each monitor. I’d recommend showing the photo to your local paint store professional. They should be able to find something for you that is a close match. :)

  7. 17

    Ann says

    We are moving into an “apartment” in back of the garage while the rest of our house is built. This apartment is 600 sq. total with two bedrooms and a bath (small rooms!) The ceiling is as tall as the garage, so very tall! I am considering Navaho white (it is an off-white, really) for walls, baseboard and door trim but a black interior door color for the front room. I know that the ceiling is tall, and the fact that there won’t be a baseboard in another color to shorten the room, but would that work? Any other suggestions? Thanks!!!

    • 18


      Happy to help, Ann. Door color doesn’t have to match the trim in a room. The black would give the room a nice pop of sophistication and it’a nice neutral. I love it; great choice! :)

  8. 19

    Margo says

    My new kitchen has two sets of sliding glass doors. They are on two separate but adjoining walls. I like the light they let in but they provide no privacy.

    Ideas on options? Have thought about having the glass done with a “film” that’s invisible on the inside and looks mirror-like on the outside. Know little about this process. Any advice about doing this, especially in a kitchen where cooking grease could be an issue? Windows not adjacent to stove though.

    Not wild about two sets of full length curtains in the kitchen–seems out of place and maybe a fire hazard.


  9. 21

    Di says

    I am painting by door jams and window sills in quarter black white and walls and doors in quarter tea (taking walls all the way down over the skirting boards). Should the ceiling be in the same white??


    • 22


      Molding such as door frames and window sills are usually done in a semi-gloss finish, Di. Ceilings are typically done in flat paint, unless you’re going with a specific look. In other words, you can paint the ceiling in white, but I wouldn’t recommend using semi-gloss. However, you don’t have to paint the ceiling white. Feel free to express your creativity and opt for something unexpected. This is a good opportunity to bring in a pop of color, even if it’s a soft neutral. :)

  10. 23

    Jyo M. says

    Hi Peggy!
    I’ve are building a new house and I have very dark brown floors throughout the first floor. I love the idea of the walls and trim white . I was thinking of BM Chantilly lace for both because we have great natural light. However my interior designer says that will make the space look unfinished. Do you think that is so? I am worried about going against her advice but also really want to do the all white.looking forward to your reply!

    • 24


      Hi Jyo! When it comes to design, it’s a very personal thing. I’ve seen amazing homes done with white walls and trim then accented with pops of color or used as a showcase for the owner’s artwork. It depends on what you do with the rest of the design after the walls are painted. If your designer is concerned that it will look to plain, perhaps she can recommend another color for the walls that falls somewhere between the white you want and the color she is recommending. I’m sure you can find something that you both agree on. Bottom line – you have to love where you live. :)

  11. 25

    Ramsey Lancaster says


    Love your post!
    I am considering repainting an entire condo. The doors, baseboards and trim need painting as well. I want white all over as the condo is small and I love white, but should I paint the doors, walls, baseboards and trim the same color white? What is typical?
    Thanks so much!

    • 26


      Thank you so much, Ramsey; I’m glad you liked the post. Painting walls and trim the same white looks great, as long the finishes are different – satin (my fave) or eggshell for the walls and semi-gloss for the trim. All white makes a wonderful backdrop for art. Think of museums; their white walls showcase the art. If you don’t want to go with the same color but still want white, there are many different whites you can choose from. Make it your own and have fun with it! :)

  12. 27

    Meg says


    I love the above photos. Thank you for sharing. I live in a Marina style home build in 1922 in San Francisco. All of the trim, moulding and baseboards are off white and the walls are painted different colors in each room. I am considering painting the walls, doors, trim, moulding and baseboards all one darker color in the master bedroom. Do you think that will look too different than the rest of the house? Out of sync/style so-to-speak? I want the walls in the master to look taller and I want to give the room a warmer, more dramatic look. Any thoughts/advice are much appreciated.


    • 28


      Hi Meg! You are most welcome; glad you found the post helpful. The master bedroom is a special room and should be decorated to reflect that. If you want to go with something more dramatic than the rest of the house, then do so. As long as you love the color and the room makes you happy, that’s all that needs to be said. :)

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