Bringing some drama to our interior doors

When we first walked this house, I was horrified that previous owners had swapped all the original door hardware for cheap, builder-grade brass hardware. Yes, I know I love brass, but this is not the good stuff – it’s quintessential 1990s – and I’m happy to do without it. In addition to that, at some point the original doors were replaced with hollow-core 6-panel recessed doors. To me, they scream cheap, so I did some digging into how I could make them feel expensive, without replacing all the doors.

This hunt, landed me on the intel that both Martha Stewart and Nate Berkus are proponents of upgrading cheap doors with black paint for that luxe look I was seeking. So, I found some inspiration photos of interior doors painted black and I was smitten.



Source: The Everygirl

|Manhattan Nest Dining Room Makeover|

Source: Manhattan Nest

So, I ended up using the same black paint as in the above Manhattan Nest doors, Benjamin Moore Black Onyx. It’s a slightly gray black, so it is a bit softer on the eyes than a pure black would have been. We used the Benjamin Moore Advanced formula, which we used when painting our bedroom campaign furniture and completely adore. For a finish, we went with semi-gloss to match the sheen on the trim-work.

We did one door at a time, taking down the door, sanding it on a sawhorse and then nailing two large nails into the top of the door and one into the bottom so it could be rotated easily. The cure time on the paint is 16+ hours, so the rhythm we got into was to do one coat of paint on the sawhorse, give it two days to cure and then hang the door with new hinges and touch up all the imperfections in the paint while it was hanging. Once that coat was cured, we’d install our new(ish) hardware, which I’ll discuss at length in the next post.

So here were the doors before painting commenced:



And here they are today:


The black feels clean and chic, but also modern yet traditional. Of the four doors on our main floor, we’ve completed three, where I’m contemplating whether we can do a fun half-glass door to our laundry room, to allow the room to feel more connected to the rest of the house. We still have many, many more doors to tackle upstairs, but I’m excited to bring all the doors in the house back to life.


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