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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

Veranda

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

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 | decoratingfiles.com

Farrow & Ball

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

Peggy
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Comments

  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?

    Thanks

    • 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

      says

      I’m glad you found my blog too 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

      says

      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

          says

          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

      says

      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

      says

      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

      says

      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

      says

      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.

    Help!

  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??

    Cheers

    • 22

      says

      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

      says

      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

    Hi,

    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!
    Ramsey

    • 26

      says

      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

    Hello!

    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.

    -Meg

    • 28

      says

      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. 🙂

  13. 29

    Susan Jordan says

    I am trying to decide if I should paint a box ceiling in my living room the same color as the walls? Presently I have a whole wheat color on the walls that will be glazed and a Navajo white on the box ceiling. The tiers are trimmed with stained five inch molding. Your thoughts…..

    • 30

      says

      Hi Susan. One way to go would be to paint the main part of the ceiling in the same color as the walls, but in a flat finish. Another option is to use an accent color on the main part of the ceiling in a flat finish. 🙂

  14. 31

    Dinesh says

    Hi ,

    Your blog is really helpful taking all the stress of choosing the colour. Need an experts opinion on the colour selection . Building a new property and i choose Wattyl White for my ceiling and Dhimba for my wall colour. The big issue is what colour should i choose for my internal door and the skts ( ie match the ceiling or the wall?).

    Any opinion is much appreciated

    • 32

      says

      Hi Dinesh. Since you’re staying with a neutral color palette, you have a couple of options that would work nicely. With both of these options, I’m assuming you’re using a satin finish on the walls and flat on the ceiling. 1) You could use a purer white semi-gloss for your doors and trim or 2) Use the same color you used on the walls (Wattyl White) for the doors and trim, but in a semi-gloss finish. Either of these options would work. 🙂

  15. 33

    Trudie says

    Hi Peggy,

    Hoping you can help! Most woodwork and trim in our house is painted eggshell white. We have a lot of woodwork (shelves and cupboards) in our living room, and I think it will look too stark to paint all that white, so was thinking a cream to go with a something like http://www.craigandrose.com/morris-blue emulsion on the walls. But where do I stop the cream? I could continue the cream along the back boards, and door frame. But then what color do a I paint the door? The door goes into a hallway with 4 other doors all painted white.

    There are some great pictures above, but where someone has painted the inside of a door a distinct blue etc, have they painted the other side of the door the same color? I imagine it would like odd to have different sides of a door different colors.

    Thanks

    Trudie

    • 34

      says

      Hi Trudie. If you’re concerned about blending the cream doors with the white doors in the hallway, have you thought about painting the shelves and cupboards white, but painting the back of the cupboards in the blue wall color? You could even go with something a little darker or lighter than the blue on the walls. This would solve your issue about carrying the cream into the hallway and it would also help to break up some of the white. 🙂

  16. 35

    Catherine says

    Hi – we are currently renovating our home and choosing the paint is doing my head in. It is almost a hampton style with 4 to 5 different shades of paint depending on which side of the house the rooms are on – all different creams and browns with some pinky shades. My first limitation is that all the window sills are finished with primrose aluminum and painting them or changing them is not an option. My thought was to paint and blend the architraves, door frames and doors, skirting boards (the house is full of trimmings) with the primrose then paint the walls white – or almost white. Then I thought why not paint the architraves white (whisper white) and the door frames, doors (including French doors) the same and then paint the walls a contrasting shade/colour. Well I do not like the warmer undertones and would love nothing more to have cooler shades and undertones rather than yellow based. We are also have a combination of shutters and double blinds. Thoughts? Help. What are my options with Primrose? Should I sand back to wood around the windows which will leave me more options?

    • 36

      says

      Hi Catherine. Sometimes we have to work with what we’ve got, even if what we have isn’t exactly what we want. I’d suggest treating the primrose as a minor accent color, keeping it as the smallest percentage of color in the room. Painting the rest of the trim work in the home in white would help to keep the primrose at a minimum. You can then bring in cool shades of lighter blue tones on the walls. The blue and white will cool the color scheme down. Then you can bring touches of the primose in your accents – pillows, fabrics, artwork, etc. 🙂

  17. 39

    Mathew says

    Hello!

    This was such a great post! I am currently in a dilemma about my interior doors. We have oak trim with doors that are not real wood and so can’t be stained to match the trim. Right the now doors are painted a reddish brown color that does not match the trim in any way. We plan to paint our house soon with grays and blues to complement the trim. We would like to change the color of the doors but can’t decide on a color that would complement the oak trim. Any suggestions would be revived with immense gratitude!

    -Mathew

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