Can A Door Be Different Colors On Each Side? Home Decor 101

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Sometimes, painting doors can help them blend in with the rest of your interior design.

While you may prefer to leave them unpainted, a delicate lick of paint can complete the look of most rooms.

But what happens when your color scheme’s different on either side of the door?

Can A Door Be Different Colors On Each Side

Can a door be different colors on each side? Yes – there’s no risk of a clash if you paint one side of your door blue and the other white (for example). However, you’ll need to  paint the edges to match. Consider neutral shades or matching one side.

Why paint a door different colors on each side?

Painting interior doors can help them to blend in or stand out from your walls, carpets, and furniture. But, you may have different color schemes in the rooms on either side of the door. 

So, you may wish to paint your lounge door blue to match neutral grays or delicate duck egg on one side. For your hallway on the other side, in a flat white, you may choose to leave your door unpainted. Alternatively, you could choose a neutral gray.

Pro Tip: Embrace the Power of Color

As an interior design enthusiast, I’ve found that color can dramatically transform a space. Don’t be afraid to paint your door different colors on each side to match the color schemes of the adjoining rooms. This can help create a seamless aesthetic and extend the feeling of space. Remember, the door is an extension of your walls, so treat it as such when considering your color choices.

Treat the flat surfaces of your door like part of your walls if you’d like to keep a seamless interior aesthetic. Paint them the same color to extend the feeling of space and to avoid cramping your room.

If you’d like your door color to stand out, do so delicately with a mild tone. Choose a color that complements your walls, ideally from a set scheme or from a wheel.

What should I paint the sides and edges of my door?

paint the sides and edges of the door

Pro Tip: Pay Attention to the Edges

One thing I’ve learned from painting doors is that the edges matter. The side or edge of your door that opens inwards should ideally match the color of the side pulling towards you. This keeps things uniform and complete. And don’t forget the hinged side of your door, as this is the edge you’ll see from the outside. Paint the hinged edge the same color as the outside panel for a cohesive look.


The main side or edge of your door should ideally match the color of the side that opens inwards. This edge will ‘enter’ the room and should ideally match the side pulling towards you. This keeps things uniform and complete.

From the other side of the door, edge color won’t matter too much, as you won’t see it as you push the door inwards.

Don’t forget the hinged side of your door, as this is the edge you’ll see from the outside. So, the opposite rule applies here – paint the hinged edge the same color as the outside panel.

You can choose a different color altogether if you wish to create a statement. However, there’s a risk of this color standing out awkwardly and not appearing intentional. 

If you’re against painting your door edge in the same color as your inner and outer panels, opt for a neutral shade. Is there a bridging color that falls between your inner and outer door panel? Consider a ‘true neutral’ color such as white, cream, magnolia, or some shades of gray.

Pro Tip: Consider the Door Frame

When painting your door, don’t overlook the door frame. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same color as the door. In fact, painting it a different color can help your door ‘pop out’ a little. However, if it makes your room look smaller, consider blending it or choosing a neutral shade to balance instead. Remember, the goal is to enhance your interior design, not detract from it.

How do I paint my door different colors on either side?

Firstly, you’ll need to carefully remove the door from its hinges. Ask someone to help hold the door as you remove it. If you can, tape the screws to the frame so you don’t lose them.

Now, you’ll need some masking tape and newspaper or floor covering. You should, where possible, take your door and paint outside if using spray paint. Ventilation is a must, no matter the type of paint in use.

Apply masking tape to all visible edges of your door and prop it up with one panel facing outwards. Gently spray or apply paint to your first side and leave the initial coat to dry. Come back for a second coat if it looks thin.

Once dry, flip your door around and restart the process on the other side. Carefully paint this panel and, once again, leave to dry. Be sure to keep the masking tape in place.

Once both sides are dry, remove the masking tape from the sides of your door. Apply more masking tape to the inner edges of the door panels you’ve just painted. This is to protect any paint applied to the edges from splattering over. 

Then, paint both vertical edges of your door using the same method as before. Leave to dry, and ask someone to help you reattach your door to the frame. You’re done!

FAQs

faqs different colors on each side of the door

Should I paint the upper and lower edges of my doors?

You don’t have to paint your door’s upper and lower edges, as you’re not likely to see them. The lower edge will go unseen for as long as your door’s in place. The upper edge, however. may be seen from stairways (or by very tall people!).

In this case, choose a neutral color if you want to paint the upper edge of your door. Or, paint it an identical color as the side that’s opening inwards.

Why might I paint my door the same color on both sides?

Many people paint their doors the same color on either side for cohesion. It depends on your current interior design plan and aesthetic. You may even find you prefer your doors unpainted, just finished.

You shouldn’t leave your door painted the same both sides if one side clashes with a room’s aesthetic. For example, an orange door may work well for a red room on one side. But, it may not work with a purple room on the other.

Do I have to paint the door frame the same color as the door?

No, you don’t have to paint your door frame the same as either side of your door. Painting a frame or trim a different color to the panel can help it ‘pop out’ a little. This effect isn’t ideal for all interior looks, so planning is a must.

You could paint either side of your door frame the same as the rooms they reside in. Alternatively, leaving your door trim or frame as one neutral shade may be easier. 

Look carefully at how your frame actively ‘frames’ the look of your door. If it makes your room look smaller, consider blending it or choosing a neutral shade to balance instead.

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