A Guide to the Best Types of Paint for Interior Doors

CEO Khai Intela
When it comes to interior design, the doors in your home often play a more crucial role than you might think. They’re not just functional elements; they also contribute significantly to the overall aesthetic of...

When it comes to interior design, the doors in your home often play a more crucial role than you might think. They’re not just functional elements; they also contribute significantly to the overall aesthetic of your space. Choosing the right paint for these doors can breathe new life into your rooms, offering a fresh, updated look.

However, when painting doors, the variety of options available—different brands, finishes, colors, and types—can make the decision overwhelming. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the best paints for interior doors, dive into the specifics of latex and oil-based paints, and provide tips on how to achieve a professional-looking paint job.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Let’s open the door to your new interior upgrade.

List of the Best Paints for Interior Doors

Choosing the right paint for your interior doors is a critical decision. Just like choosing paint for exterior doors, the perfect paint should be not only aesthetically pleasing but also durable and easy to apply. Here’s a rundown of some top-tier brands in the world of interior door painting, with each bringing their unique strengths to the table:

  • Benjamin Moore: Known for its quality and durability, Benjamin Moore has an extensive range of paint finishes suitable for interior doors. Their Advance and Aura lines, for example, offer excellent coverage, easy application, and a robust paint finish that stands up to regular cleaning.

  • Sherwin-Williams: A favorite among professional painters, Sherwin-Williams boasts high-grade paints that offer excellent durability and a smooth finish. Products like ProClassic and Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel are particularly suitable for doors and trims, providing sticking resistance and a long-lasting finish.

  • Dulux: Dulux offers a variety of paints suitable for interior doors, with their Diamond Interior Acrylic being a standout. It has excellent flow and leveling properties, providing a smooth finish that’s pleasing to the eye.

  • Farrow & Ball: If you’re after deep, rich colors and environmentally friendly options, Farrow & Ball may be the brand for you. Their Estate Eggshell is known for its eco-friendly properties and rich pigments, offering a luxury touch to your doors.

  • Valspar: Valspar’s Cabinet Enamel Semi-Gloss Latex Interior Paint is known for its non-yellowing formula and easy-to-clean finish. It’s a good choice if you’re seeking a durable and attractive paint for your doors.

  • Behr: Behr’s Marquee Interior Semi-Gloss is another strong contender for interior doors. It offers excellent coverage and a durable finish, making it a practical choice for high-traffic areas.

  • PPG: offers a range of interior paints that stand up well to wear and tear. Their Manor Hall Interior Paint, for instance, is praised for its excellent adhesion and resistance to spotting and streaking.

  • Glidden: Glidden offers good value for money with their Premium Interior Paint and Primer. It’s praised for its low-VOC, low-odor formula and offers good coverage.

  • Rust-Oleum: Known for their specialized paints, Rust-Oleum offers products like their Protective Enamel which is particularly suited for doors due to its durable and chip-resistant finish.

  • KILZ: Offers a range of paints suitable for doors, including their Tribute Satin Paint and Primer in One. This line offers excellent coverage, easy application, and a range of attractive colors.

Man painting unfinished wood door white with best paints for interior doors Man painting unfinished wood door white with best paints for interior doors

Best Types of Finishes for Inside Doors

When painting interior doors, choosing the right type of finish is equally as important as selecting the right color. Consider factors like the door’s location, the level of traffic it will receive, and the look you’re trying to achieve. The finish can drastically impact both the look and the longevity of the paint job. Here’s a list of some of the best finishes to consider:


Satin finishes provide a subtle sheen that is more lustrous than a flat paint finish but not as shiny as a semi-gloss. This finish tends to resist dirt, mildew, and stains, which makes it an excellent choice for interior doors. Brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offer stunning satin finishes in a broad range of colors.


This finish is more reflective and durable than satin. Semi-gloss finish is easy to clean and resistant to wear and tear, making it a popular choice for interior doors. It’s worth noting that lighter colors in semi-gloss finishes tend to show less dirt and damage over time.


These offer the highest level of shine and durability. However, they may highlight imperfections on the surface of your door, so it’s crucial to prepare the door correctly before applying this type of finish. While less common on interior doors, a gloss finish can provide a striking, contemporary look.


The eggshell finish, named for its similarity to the low sheen of an eggshell, is a fantastic choice for a softer look. While it’s less resistant to wear and tear compared to satin and semi-gloss, it offers a beautifully subtle glow. It’s perfect for creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.


Although less common for doors, matte finishes can work well on interior doors that aren’t subject to much touching or traffic, such as closet doors. Matte finishes can give your doors a modern, stylish appearance.

Latex-Based vs. Oil-Based Paints

One of the most important decisions you have to make when deciding what to paint your interior door is whether to purchase latex or oil-based paint. Both types of paint have distinct attributes that can influence the finish and durability of your paint job.

Latex-based paints, also known as water-based paints, are a popular choice for many homeowners and professionals alike. Their popularity can be attributed to several key features, such as quick drying time, easy cleanup with soap and water, and less pronounced odor compared to oil-based paint.

High-quality latex paints are often praised for their durability and resistance to yellowing over time. Another advantage of latex paint is its flexibility, which makes it less likely to crack and peel over time. Moreover, latex paints usually have lower volatile organic compound (VOC) levels, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.

On the other hand, oil-based paints have a reputation for smooth application and a durable finish that stands the test of time. They are particularly good at covering imperfections and can provide a smoother surface finish compared to latex paints.

Another quality of oil-based paint is its leveling property, which leads to a smoother finish with fewer visible brush strokes. However, it’s worth noting that oil-based paint takes longer to dry, allowing for a stronger, more durable finish but requiring longer waiting times between coats.

With reputable brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offering a range of both latex and oil-based paints, you can find a high-quality option regardless of which type of paint you choose for your interior doors.

What You Should Look for When Finding Paint for Inside Doors

When deciding on the best paint for your interior doors, it’s essential to consider several key factors that will ensure you choose a product that meets your needs for quality, durability, and aesthetics. Here’s what you should look out for:

Durability of the Paint

Doors are high-traffic areas and frequently touched, so you need paint that can withstand regular use without chipping or wearing off. Both latex and oil-based paints can provide the necessary durability, but it’s essential to select high-quality options, like those from Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore, to ensure maximum longevity.

Finish of the Paint

The finish of the paint can greatly impact the look of your door. Satin and semi-gloss finishes are popular choices for doors due to their subtle shine and easy-to-clean characteristics. Glossy finishes can provide a more striking look, but they may highlight any imperfections on the door’s surface.

Paint Color

The color of the paint can transform your space dramatically. Choose a color that not only suits your style but also complements the overall design of your room. Consider the lighting in your room as well, as this can affect how the paint color appears.

Type of Paint

As mentioned before, choosing between latex (water-based) and oil-based paints is a key consideration. Each has its pros and cons, with latex being easy to work with and clean and oil offering a smooth and durable finish.


Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain types of paint and can have environmental and health impacts. Opting for low-VOC or zero-VOC paints can be a more eco-friendly choice.

Brand of Paint

Not all paint brands are created equal. If you are looking for a trusted brand with a reputation for quality, range of options, and overall reliability, options like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams are trusted by professional painters everywhere.

Finding the perfect paint for your interior doors involves a careful balance of these factors. Remember to evaluate your specific needs and preferences to make the best decision.

How to Paint an Interior Door

A freshly painted door can refresh and invigorate the overall aesthetics of a room. Whether the door is attached or detached can determine the best approach. Regardless of the method you choose, remember that preparation is key when painting and patience always pays off in the end.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to paint both.

Attached Doors

A majority of people can paint an interior door while it’s still attached to its frame. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Prepare the Area: Start by laying down a drop cloth to protect your floor. Use painter’s tape around the door hardware and hinges, or consider removing them if possible.
  • Clean the Door: Clean the door with mild detergent to remove any dirt or grease. This step helps ensure smooth application and adhesion of the paint.
  • Sand the Door: Sand the door lightly to remove any gloss from the previous finish. This helps the new paint adhere better.
  • Prime the Door: Apply a suitable primer, especially if you’re painting over a darker color or bare wood. Allow it to dry fully before proceeding.
  • Paint the Door: Starting at the top of the door, apply the first coat of paint. Use a brush for the panels and corners and a small roller for flat areas. Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat.
  • Reattach Hardware: Once the door is dry, carefully remove the painter’s tape and reattach any hardware you removed.

Unattached Doors

If you can remove your door from its hinges, this method can make painting simpler and neater:

  • Remove and Prepare the Door: Take the door off its hinges and remove any hardware. Lay it on a flat surface, preferably on a sawhorse, for easy access to all edges.
  • Clean and Sand the Door: Clean the door with mild detergent, rinse, and let it dry. Then, lightly sand the door to remove the gloss from the previous finish.
  • Prime the Door: Apply a coat of primer and allow it to dry completely. Priming is especially important if you’re painting over a darker color or bare wood.
  • Paint the Door: Apply the first coat of paint, starting with the panels and working toward the edges. Using a brush for detailed areas and a roller for larger, flat areas can give a smooth finish. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat.
  • Reattach the Door: Once the paint is dry, reattach the hardware and hang the door back on its hinges.

Painter coating interior door with best paint like they do at Pizzazz Painting. Painter coating interior door with best paint like they do at Pizzazz Painting.

Should You Use the Same Paint for Interior Doors & Trim?

The question of whether to use the same paint for interior doors and trim depends largely on the design aesthetic you’re aiming for. Both options — matching or contrasting the door and trim colors — have their unique appeals and considerations.

Using the same paint color for your interior doors and trim can create a seamless, cohesive look throughout your space. This approach often brings a sense of calm and continuity, making the rooms appear larger and more unified. It’s also a practical choice as it simplifies the painting process; you won’t need to worry about carefully ‘cutting in’ where the door and trim meet.

On the other hand, choosing a contrasting color for your doors and trim can add depth and interest to your interiors. This design strategy can highlight architectural features and add a pop of color or drama to an otherwise neutral space. If you go this route, keep in mind the color harmony and ensure that your chosen colors complement each other and the overall color palette of your room.

What About the Door Frame?

The door frame, also known as the door trim, often follows the same color rules as the trim of the rest of your room. It’s common practice to paint the door frame the same color as the door itself or the baseboards and window trims in your room for a consistent look.

Alternatively, if you’re using a contrasting color for your door and door frame, this can add visual interest and depth to your space. This design strategy is great for highlighting architectural features, creating a focal point, or adding a pop of color.

Keep in mind that painting both the door and the frame in contrasting colors requires more careful execution to ensure clean lines where the colors meet.

Summary of Paint for Interior Doors

Choosing the right paint for your interior doors is a critical aspect of home design. It not only sets the tone for the aesthetic appeal of your space but also plays a role in the longevity and durability of your doors.

We’ve explored various factors to consider, such as the type of paint—either latex or oil-based—both offering unique benefits and considerations. Latex paints are easy to work with, environmentally friendly, and resist yellowing over time. Oil-based paints provide a durable, smooth finish, although they require a bit more effort to apply and clean.

When selecting paint, keep in mind factors like durability, the type of finish, color, and brand. High-quality options from brands like Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore are well-renowned in the market for their superior durability and wide range of color and finish options.

Remember, the best choice will depend on your personal preference and the overall design aesthetic of your space. Whatever you choose, investing in quality paints will always yield a more professional and durable result.

Contact us today to learn more about our interior painting services so we can help you create a space that’s tailored to your personality and design dreams!