We Painted a Door Black...And Then Painted It Back

  Before & After

Before & After

Our names are Aaron and Emi, and we are Home Project Addicts. They say acceptance is the first step, right? Except that in this case, we’re both totally okay with being addicted to doing home projects. We’ve lived in our home for over 3.5 years now, and we have done a lot to it, and we started pretty much immediately, and we do pretty much everything ourselves. Aaron has always had a knack and passion for all things home related, and he’s really good at it (even if he disagrees sometimes). 

We started out simple, with just repainting almost every room, and we moved on to bigger things like stenciling our wall column, doing a tile backsplash in the kitchen, redoing the kitchen floor, installing cabinets in our laundry room, installing an entire sprinkler system in our backyard along with totally landscaping it…the list goes on. We’re in the process of working on putting together a photo tour of our home, so check back in the next week or so for that. We’ll be showcasing every room with before and after pictures of what we’ve done throughout our home.

Sometimes, though, these home projects don’t always go as planned. So far it seems that what should be the hardest projects, like tiling the backsplash, have actually been the easiest (Aaron had never tiled before, and he knocked it out in about 3 hours, including measuring and cutting all of the individual tiles), whereas the “easy” projects end up being the most complicated and stressful, like our most recent project, painting a door. Yeah I said it, painting a door. Should be super straightforward and quick and easy, especially when you have a lot of experience painting, right? But alas, even the simpler things can go wrong sometimes.

So what went so wrong with this simple project? We had toyed with the idea of painting one of the doors on our main floor black for a while now. Our wall color is Benjamin Moore's London Fog, which is a light greige color (grey mixed with beige). We have white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and decided that our pantry door would be the best choice for painting black. So Aaron picked up some Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel Acrylic Latex High Gloss paint in Black, took the door off and hung it in the garage and got started, thinking 1-2 coats tops and he’d be done.

Guys, it took 4.5 coats to cover our off-white door. Four and a half coats. We’ve never used this paint before, and to be honest we probably never will again. We can only speak to its door coverage, but holy cow it was awful. It did not want to cover at all. The paint was so streaky and difficult to spread. Poor Aaron spent a total of 5 hours painting that thing! But it just gets sadder from there.

  4.5 coats later, it’s finally fully covered

4.5 coats later, it’s finally fully covered

  Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel

Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel

After all of that work and frustration, he hung it back up in the kitchen, and…we didn’t like it. Like at all. It just didn’t work in our house unfortunately. Black doors can look so modern and gorgeous in the right place, and in theory it should have worked perfectly in our kitchen, we have the right colors and style in there, but it’s too small of a room, and it clashed with our darker wood-colored floor. It just didn’t look right sadly. 

So we were faced with the dilemma of how to remedy the situation. Neither one of us are really the type to leave something if it isn’t right, so after we sat on it for a day we decided we had no choice but to either repaint it or replace it with a new door. Honestly I was voting for just replacing the door, until we went to Home Depot and realized that 1) we’d have to paint a new door too because they only come primed, and 2) we’d have to put in our own hinge mortises (the grooves the door hinge plate sits in on the side of the door). So instead of leaving Home Depot with a new door, we left with a sample of off-white Behr Marquee paint to try. 

  This is some pretty impressive stuff

This is some pretty impressive stuff

Behr Marquee paint is actually pretty impressive stuff. After our Sherwin Williams debacle I wasn’t holding out much hope, especially because covering black with white is difficult anyway. Amazingly it started covering really well right away, it only took 2.5 coats (the half coat was just touch up on some spots), and only took Aaron about 1.5 hours spread out over two days. Way better experience with that paint, we would definitely recommend it. Good paint makes all the difference in the world, and we’ve tried a bunch of different brands and types over the last few years. Benjamin Moore is one of our favorites, but Behr Marquee was pretty impressive as well, and we’re likely to use it again. Sherwin Williams of course has some good paint as well, but based on our experience we can’t recommend their All Surface Enamel.

Even though the project didn’t go or turn out the way we were hoping or expecting, we’re really glad we did it anyway. We had been thinking about doing that door black for the last couple of years, and I know we wouldn’t have been able to get it out of our heads until we finally tried it. Now we know that it just won’t work in here. 

That’s the thing with home projects, you can love the look of something on Pinterest or HGTV, but it won’t always work in your space but that’s okay. It’s good to get out there and try things and experiment with them. Home design is largely about trial and error, especially for DIYers. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different; oftentimes it will pay off greatly. Other times it may not, but that’s how you learn. So go out there, get some paint and throw it up and see what happens. You can always paint it back.

What are some of your biggest home project flops or successes? We’d love to hear about them! Make sure to follow us on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more ideas and inspiration!