How to Use Different Colors for an Interior Door & Frame

Updated February 21, 2017

Colour is one of the best, but least expensive, decorating tools. Interior doors can be more visually interesting with two colours used instead of one. The frame, painted a different colour, will make a bold statement if painted a contrasting colour to the door, for example. There are various ways to combine colours on the door and its component parts to add visual appeal. It's important to use exactly the right shades of colour, however, to get the correct effect.

Choose room colours first. Select any door colours based on the surrounding space. Select exact shades of furniture, flooring and window treatments first of all. Never design doors to become a bold focal point of a room or hallway. Select colours for the doors to harmonise with other colours on walls or furnishings.

Use two neutral colours for room doors as one option. Define a basic neutral colour, such as beige, to team with another neutral colour. Use beige on most of a door's surface, for example. Add pale green (in a neutral green hue that will blend with many other colours) on the raised panels of the door. Use coloured pencils to sketch the doors in detail before buying paint.

Paint trim and the door facing to contrast with the door. Use this particular technique by painting the door itself white, for example. Paint the door facing, surrounding trim, and small edges of raised panels in black. Use this method to give doors elegance in rooms with crown moulding and chandeliers. Paint the crown moulding black as well.

Use multiple colours for a child's room. Paint each quadrant of a door a different bright colour, or paint each raised panel a different colour. Do this only on the interior of the door, leaving the hallway side to match other hallway doors. Buy green, yellow and bright pink paint, for example. Paint one or more pieces of furniture in the room to match the primary colours used on the door.

Emphasise special trim around the door. Paint an ornate decorative header over a main door metallic gold, for example. Paint the door white but add ornate gold hinges that stand out. Use semigloss latex white paint on the door facing but add gold metallic paint to recessed edges of raised panels.


Use masking tape to paint door edges and other sections. Use the tape to keep the two colours of paint from running together.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketch pad
  • Coloured pencils
  • Basic paint colours
  • Contrasting colours
  • Paintbrushes
  • Masking tape
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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.