Painted Dark Grey Doors

Ever since painting the half-bath door glossy dark gray, I’ve been wanting to paint the doors in the upstairs hallway the same way.  Painting doors isn’t as daunting as you might think, and the impact adds some nice drama to a space.  Here’s how the doors looked originally:

And below is how they look after two coats of paint- Sherwin Williams Brown Fox in semi-gloss for extra shine.
The paint color is a warm dark gray with a hint of brown in it.
I painted these doors off the hinges, but in retrospect, I don’t think that’s completely necessary as long as you keep the door propped open or tape and cover the moldings/wall above the door.
I used a 1.5 inch angled brush for the door moldings and a large roller for the rest.
The roller was something like this:


I also added about 8 oz. of Floetrol to the gallon of paint to help reduce roller and brush marks and I think it worked really well.
I removed the hardware and taped off the hinges before getting started with the paintbrush.
My little helper rolled some too.
This paint looks really muddy brown after the first coat, but after the second coat, it’s a nice deep grey.
I only painted the front of the doors, but ended up going back and painting the inside edge of the media room doors because you could still see the white when the doors were shut.  The picture above shows the doors before I painted that inner edge.
For comparison, here are some before and after shots:


I’m really liking the contrast, but now I need to do the hall linen closet double doors on the wall opposite that mirror!
What do you think of the change?  Is this something you would do in your home?  If so, what color would you use?


You Might Also Like

Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I can see my son doing the same, he would definitely love to help me out 🙂 I loved reading 20 questions about you on Hi Sugarplum. I loved your idea about pre-mixing the breakfast oats and just scooping out. It can make life so much easier in the morning.

  2. Wow, they look incredible! The hallway looks so much warmer. Let the convincing process begin with my husband! 🙂 These photos clearly show what I have been trying to explain though. Thanks!

  3. I love them!

    When we moved into our house, all the doors were painted green. Yuck! I painted them all white, all 20 or so of them. Then I painted the front door gray and thought well now I want them rest of the doors gray too. It looks so good. Unfortunately, I do not have the motivation to go through the entire painting process again.

  4. Looks amazing! We have some glass french doors going into our study that's in the main front hallway, and I would love to paint them something darker. The husband thinks I'm insane, but maybe your transformation can convince him! 🙂

  5. Its crazy how colors look differently in other people's houses. We tried black fox in our old house and it was BROWN, no gray at all! We went with gauntlet gray instead. Love it, looks great!

    1. I was really freaking out when I first applied it on the downstairs door and the first coat looked so brown. But the second coat looked way more grey. Choosing paint colors can be really difficult. Glad you found the perfect color for your home.

  6. These looks awesome and that color is fab!! I've been wanting to do this in our new house. I'd never heard of that Floetrol but will definitely be trying it!

  7. i saw this on emily clark's blog and she used urbane bronz and we did too. looks amazing. i suggest doing both front and back of doors thought. we didn't do that at first.

  8. I love the darker doors. I have been hesitating doing some of ours because we have dark hardware. But, after seeing yours I'm convinced it will still work.

  9. Wow! I opened your blog to look for the color you painted your powder room door as we are getting ready to do the same in our house!! And there it is a new post with all the info I needed. Love the look!

    1. Someone else asked me the same thing! I shouldn't call it a media room, although that's what it was intended for! It's been mainly a storage/dumping ground but after a recent big clean-out, it's more of a playroom! It's pretty much a hot mess in there with a bad wall color- I was going for navy blue and it came out crayola blue. I posted it awhile ago but not sure when.

  10. HUGE difference – seriously looks so much more expensive. Love the tip about the paint conditioner too. I'm about to test it out on a smaller scale project I'm working on since brush strokes drive me nuts.

    1. I was okay with the white, but wanted more personality and think this works. 🙂 I'd love to hear your feedback on the paint conditioner.

  11. FLIPPIN' AWESOME!! I love how they're not as high contrast as glossy black interior doors. Such a perfect shade of grey! Also, I never knew about the Floetrel stuff–genius.

    PS. James is awesome, too. Can I borrow him, got some painting to do.

  12. Meg, it looks beautiful. Such a dramatic and beautiful change. So impressed with how much you have been tackling.

  13. Wowza! I love it. That is a fantastic grey colour, I love how it looks with your dark floors. Ooo and it's shiny!! Love, love, love.

  14. Wow, what a dramatic change for a small amount of effort! It really looks classy. Good job girl!

    I painted my island a really similar shade of dark grey (at least it looks very similar in the photos). It's BM Black Tar, and I love it so much I've spray painted a bunch of other stuff in my house that same color. Maybe the doors are next! 🙂

    Annie XO

  15. Totally love the doors! Wow! The hallway looked good before, but the impact of the new color is huge & I like it so much more (even though I wouldn't have guessed).

  16. Hi Megan! Can I ask what color your trim is? Ours was done in "shell white" by the builder and as we are starting to paint our walls (a greige color) we were told we should paint all the trim/doors "construction white." Because we are overwhelmed with crown molding, trim, and doors, shutters, and built-ins the cost is really (really) high! I'm just wondering if it's really worth it. Your trim is great, so I'm wondering what the color is before I make my decision about changing mine.

  17. You did an AMAZING job on these. Looking at the last pics alone, I would have thought for sure they were done professionally. I so, SO want to do this and you have completely inspired me. Even my husband (who I am always showing pics of things I want to do and his usual response is something along the lines of 'yeah, babe, that's great) loved them and was up for doing this. Don't think he would have gone for it, if he hadn't seen your before and after!

  18. Do you happen to know the color of the trim and walls? I fell in love with Black Fox for my doors but I need to find a wall/trim color that will be light enough to balance the dark doors. My floors are also very dark. Any help would be great! Thanks.

  19. Do you happen to know the name of the paint used on the walls and/or trim. We are painting our interior doors with black fox and are trying to paint the walls/trim a light color because my floors are also dark. Any help would be appreciated.

  20. hi, just wondered if you knew of a product that would allow me to paint/stain oak veneer doors a similar grey to yours but which will allow the grain of the wood to show through (transparent/translucent) rather than opaque (solid)? been to countless companies none of which have a solution, all stains purchased have turned out with a blue tint? thanks

  21. I just had my hallway doors and kitchen to garage door painted this same color (thank you for the inspiration). I was a bit nervous they would be too dark as we have a narrow hallway with lots of doors! They look BEAUTIFUL!! And it warms the hallway up sooo much! My husband even loves them 🙂 Thank you so much!

  22. I've been wanting to do this for so long and am now ready. But I am worried it will go out of style since I waited so long. What do you think? Do you still love it? Has it held up? I was told to use a deglosser on my doors so the paint would withstand everyday wear. Did you just paint upstairs or ALL the doors in your house?

  23. Hi Megan
    I love the transformation!!!
    We are remodeling our house and I want to paint the doors and windows a dark color. The professional painters are giving us outrageous bids. You have made it look so easy. I'm very crafty and hands on but have never painted before and I'm afraid of brush or roller marks. I like your suggestion about using Floetrol. Did that completely eliminate the striks or did u end up with some? In the picture the doors look very smooth. My husband wants that factory finish look. Do you think you were able to achieve that?
    Any suggetions?
    Thanks so much

    1. Thank you! The floetrol helps a ton, but there are still some brush marks. I would say try one door on your own that's in a less obvious place and use that to get the hang of it and then try the other doors. Or if your first try is terrible, you know you can call in the pros.

  24. I see this is an older post and wondered if you still love it? It’s so different I as afraid I will get tired of it. Has it held good? I went to go get the paint and the door and trim paint that it sturdy doesn’t come with the base dark enough to tint , so that must be why you got the Emerald brand from Sherwin Williams.

  25. Did you paint all your interior doors? I just painted my garage door a soft black and I’m unsure if I should do all of them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *