Spice up white walls by adding colors to interior door frames.

How to Paint Wood Door Frames in Two Colors

by Erin Maurer

Treat your home’s door frame as a literal entranceway to your home’s personal style. While white and off-white door frames offer a classic, fresh look, color adds visual interest to your trim. Adding color to door frames creates visual interest through contrast with a room’s wall paint or door color. Using two colors on door frames helps highlight a frame’s architectural details, especially in Craftsman designs, Victorian designs and homes with ornate trims.

Complementary Ombre

In design, an ombre effect creates a light to dark transition by using different shades of the same color. You can re-create this look on your door frames by choosing two shades of paint similar to your wall color. Choose one color a shade or two lighter than the wall color. Choose a second color a shade or two darker than the wall color. Measure two-thirds of the way down your door frame, marking this spot with painter's tape. Paint the top two-thirds of the frame the lighter color. Allow the paint to dry completely before adding the darker color to the bottom third of the door frame.

Horizontal and Vertical Contrast

If a tone-on-tone look does not speak to your design aesthetic, use your door frames to create contrast in the space. Traditionally, this is done by painting door frames white or off-white. Any neutral color creates a natural contrast with the room’s wall color. Create additional contrast by choosing a different paint shade for the horizontal, top edge of a door frame. Paint the vertical edges of the door frame the lighter color and the top edge of the frame a darker shade. Keep the look cohesive by painting the room's horizontal trim the same color as the horizontal edge of the door frame.

Highlight the Details

Using two colors on a single door frame works well for homes with ornate trims. Highlight the architectural details by choosing a two-tone paint scheme. Choose a neutral color and a second shade three to four shades darker than the original shade. Using a small brush, paint the details and grooves the darker shade, allowing it to completely dry before painting the rest of the frame the lighter color.

A Color Combination

Rooms with white or neutral-colored walls and neutral finishes can benefit from colored trim, according to Designs by BSB. Create a two-tone effect by painting the inside of the door frame to match the wall color. Add a splash of color to the face of the door frame. Choose a color that complements the fabrics or accessories used in the room.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images