One of the topics I get emails weekly about are my black interior doors. Our modern black doors are one of the things I love most about our home, so I’m thrilled you all love them, too.
I notice a few common questions and issues that many of you all worry about when deciding to paint interior doors black instead of the standard white builder grade color, and today I hope to answer all of your questions regarding cleaning, maintaining, dusting and living with black doors.
I wrote about my initial take of living with black doors after six months of living in our home, but now I have a few tips, tricks and hacks to keeping your doors clean and looking new.
Having a home or house with black interior doors is definitely unique and not for everyone, but it can really make a big impact in a space.
Are Dark Interior Doors More Work?
I think one of the main concerns people have is whether or not cleaning or maintaining black doors is more challenging than cleaning standard white doors.
Personally, I truly feel it is easier, and I will tell you why.
The dust isn’t as noticeable on a door that is black in color– in fact, I tried over and over again to get a good picture to show you all the dust on the door in our master bathroom (toilet paper dust is a pain!).
It was very challenging to get a good photo because it’s simply not that noticeable.
In our former house, we painted our doors a high gloss white, and when they’d get dirty they’d have this dingy brown gunk on them that was super obvious.
I also feel the paint finish we chose for our doors works in our favor, but more on that later.
Cleaning Fingerprints Off Black Doors
The one thing I will say is a tiny negative/con about black doors is the fingerprint situation. This is especially apparent on the black pantry door in our kitchen.
If you opted for black french doors with glass, this would be less of an issue in high traffic rooms, so that is something to consider when choosing the type of black door you’d like.
However, with just two super simple, common and inexpensive cleaning items, you can easily clean your modern black doors and keep them looking pristine…
A magic eraser and a clean towel.
Every month, or every other month if I’m being totally honest, I will grab a magic eraser, slightly dampen it (it should be very nearly dry AND without any chemicals or cleaning agents on it that could harm your door) and I gently erase or buff out the fingerprints.
Then because I am impatient, I will dry the area with a CLEAN towel and marvel at how the fingerprints just disappear. Sometimes if the doors are particularly icky, I’ll have to do this twice (mostly on my pantry door – look below the door handle in picture below to see with/without fingerprints).
Overall, it takes me less than a minute per door since I’m usually just focusing on the areas that have fingerprints. While I’m doing this, I also use the magic eraser on the chrome door handles to remove fingerprints from there, too.
How to Easily Remove Dust From Black Doors
As you can see, my black doors have five beveled panels which attract dust and dog hair. Whenever I vacuum a room, I use the soft bristle brush to vacuum the dust out of the bevels and go on my merry way.
The vacuuming of the door bevels takes me less than one minute per side of the door. I would say to be careful to not dig or drag the bristle attachment into or onto the door in order to prevent any dings or scratches. My method essentially involves very lightly hovering over the door with the vacuum attachment to get the dust off.
This little practice of mine also usually leads to me quickly vacuuming the baseboards and door jamb around the door, which helps keep all of our trim work looking good in addition to the black interior doors.
The rooms that gather the most door dust in my home are the frequently used rooms like our master bedroom, home office, kitchen and bathroom doors.
Selecting the Perfect Paint Color & Finish for Doors
To me there is no question that Sherwin Williams’ Tricorn Black is the most perfect black paint color for doors and walls.
I feel this particular shade of black complements all interior design styles and would look great with nearly all paint colors you could possibly think of.
I also knew 100% in my gut that going with a satin finish instead of semi-gloss or high-gloss would make maintenance a lot easier, and I still stand by that decision to this day.
A satin is the perfect middle ground in terms of a paint finish. It has enough of a gloss sheen to make it look chic and modern.
In my opinion, super high gloss black doors tend to remind me of 80’s style decor, and I do not mean that in a good way! If you feel you must have a glossier finish because of kids, I’d suggest sticking with a semi-gloss that is scrubbable yet not overly shiny.
Do Black Interior Doors Cost More Money?
We built our home in 2017 with a local builder, and I will be fully honest and transparent that we did not pay extra to have our doors painted black. I could have picked white, black, red, lime or yellow and the price would have been the same.
Some reader emails I receive about black doors state the builder is either trying to charge them more OR flat out doesn’t want to do it.
Only you can decide if black doors are worth the extra money for the upgrade with your builder. If you feel you’d want to DIY it later, I will warn you painting doors is a meticulous, arduous process for a homeowner and you may want to have it done professionally instead and spare yourself the work later.
If you are a homeowner who wants to DIY paint your doors black to modernize your space, I would highly suggest a paint sprayer.
I’ve owned three different consumer paint sprayers during my time as a homeowner, and I can say without a doubt this affordable paint sprayer is the BEST and requires no air compressor and is beginner friendly.
It works flawlessly with this type of semi-gloss paint which I used to paint my dining room chairs. The finish is flawless, the paint doesn’t need to be thinned much at all and has excellent coverage.
Now, if your builder is flat out refusing to paint your doors black, it is likely because of the extra work involved.
Any drips or paint mishaps are highly noticeable which means they’ll have to pay extra attention! That is what you are paying them for, so hold your ground if black interior doors are a must have.
What Color of Trim Work Do I Choose?
I am well known for my love of black and white, so I chose to go with white high gloss for all of my trim work which includes crown molding, door trim, baseboards, and any other decorative moldings around.
As for the color of white, I wanted absolutely zero undertones, warmth, etc. so my builder suggested going with the color white straight out of the can. Totally untinted paint, and it’s absolutely perfect.
The main factor to consider when deciding on your trim work paint color is the color and finish of the interior walls, your design and decor style (farmhouse, modern, boho, eclectic).
If you’re on the fence, I truly do not think you can go wrong by sticking to a classic white color. It can be a huge undertaking to repaint all of the trim in a home, so really think about it before committing and play it safe for resale, too.
Decorating Around Black Interior Doors
If you go with black doors, you can decorate as you normally would. If your style leans farmhouse chic, all of those creams, whites, warm wood tones and rustic finishes would look so fabulous next to black interiors doors.
If you lean more minimalist and modern with a Scandinavian vibe, then those very streamlined, hard edges and contemporary styles would be complimented by the stark black doors.
If you’re a maximalist or bohemian, you’re going to likely have tons of patterns, textiles, colors, textures that will all mesh well to create a moody, global look if you decide to incorporate black interior doors.
And then there’s people like me who kind of mix traditional with eclectic- I love my chinoiserie classic blue and white decor, but yet also love touches of glam and the bold contrast of black doors and white walls for extra flexibility.
I would suggest to take your decorating style (and family situation- kids, pets, etc.) into consideration when selecting what style of doors (beveled panels, louvered, french doors, glass insert, flat panel, etc.) AND your paint finish (is it durable? scrubbable?)
I hope this thorough guide to living, painting, cleaning, maintaining and decorating around modern black interior doors is helpful. If you have any other questions, drop them in the comments.