The Best Paint for Interior Doors and Trim

calander Nov 14 , 2022 user-iconAnderson Painting

When it’s time to paint your home interior, most of your attention will be focused on the walls within a given room. After all, the colors and finishes you select for these large surfaces will greatly shape how a room looks in total. But keep in mind that interiors feature plenty of other paintable surfaces, too – features that help create contrast or make statements of their own. If you leave your interior doors or trim unpainted, your space will look and feel incomplete (not to mention these features will be left unprotected). This doesn’t mean you should choose just any kind of paint, however. Some paints are better suited for interior trim and door applications than others.

Let’s explore what makes for the best paint for interior doors and trim so you can complete your interior and protect these important features.

Two Compositions to Consider

The composition of a given paint product determines its consistency, adhesive properties, longevity, fumes, dry time, cleanability, and more. Two types of paint are optimized for painting interior doors and trim: alkyd/oil-based and acrylic latex/enamel.

Oil-based paints have been a staple for trim painting for several decades. This type of paint offers a smooth finish with virtually zero brush marks, in large part thanks to its thick consistency. This thickness comes with some downsides, however, namely in the form of longer dry times and increased emissions (i.e., volatile organic compounds, or VOCs).

Acrylic paints are water-based, so you won’t have to worry about those aforementioned fumes and odors nearly as much. Of course, water-based paints are thinner than their oil-based counterparts – this means they dry faster but also yield more noticeable brush marks and a more brittle surface.

Four Finishes to Choose From

Whether you go with an alkyd or acrylic paint for your interior trim and doors, your next decision revolves around the finish. Paint finishes fall on a spectrum from the flattest (matte) options to the shiniest (high-gloss). These finishes don’t just affect a surface’s final appearance – they also contribute to its durability and ease of maintenance. Glossier paints are tougher and easier to clean than flatter paints. And since interior trim and doors are bound to take a beating over the years, it’s best to coat them with hardier (and therefore shinier) paint finishes. You don’t want to go any flatter than satin paint, so the four home interior painting finishes to consider for trim and similar features are as follows:

  • Satin Paint

  • Semi-Gloss Paint

  • Glossy Paint

  • High-Gloss Paint

The glossier you go, the more reflective and protected your interior trim and doors will be. Just note that higher-sheen paints tend to cost more than less glossy alternatives (they also reveal more surface imperfections).

Color Counts, Too

The interior paint colors you choose ultimately come down to personal preference – this is especially true for walls and cabinets. Interior trim, however, is usually best left a neutral color. White is the most common paint color for trim, followed by brown, black, and beige. Keeping your trim neutral allows you to emphasize the colors of each surrounding wall. But if you have a specific color scheme in mind, you can choose virtually any color for your interior trim. The same logic applies to interior doors. You can’t go wrong with a neutral-colored interior door, but a more vibrant choice can transform the character of a given space if so desired. Your interior paint ideas don’t need to be so limited.

The Verdict

There are countless brands and interior paints to choose from when seeking the best option for your trim and doors. Before you get too lost in the weeds, remember that you’re looking for an alkyd or acrylic paint with a satin, semi-gloss, glossy, or high-gloss finish. From there, you can worry about how to paint interior doors and trim the right way. Not to worry – the experts at Anderson Painting can help you with your next interior painting project at every step. Whether you need help selecting paint brands, products, and/or colors, or require professionals to get the job done, we’re your premier Raleigh, NC, painting service.

To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at!

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