What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Interior Doors?

Over the years, interior doors undergo a considerable amount of wear and tear, so repainting them regularly is necessary to keep them looking beautiful and fresh. So what’s the best paint and primer for interior doors?

Latex paint is a great choice for interior doors. It’s water-based, so it doesn’t have toxic fumes. Plus, it dries quickly and has great coverage. However, as with any paint job, you should apply a primer first to ensure the paint adheres well and lasts longer. It is recommended to opt for a stain-blocking primer.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 3 factors to consider when choosing paint for interior doors
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for interior doors

The 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Interior Doors

1. Type of Door

The type of door is an essential factor to consider before selecting the paint. Whether it’s a wooden, metal, or fiberglass door, it significantly impacts the type of paint you should use. Different paints have different adhesion and coverage, which can affect the finished look of the door.

2. Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally friendly paints are a great option if you want to minimize the environmental impact of the renovation. These paints are free of toxins and chemicals that can harm the environment and people.

These paints are low VOC, which means the volatile organic compounds present in them are minimal, making them a popular choice when children or pets are around.

3. Quality

The paint’s quality can affect the door’s longevity and appearance. After all, you don’t want to invest in paint that might start chipping and peeling off after a short period. Choosing high-quality paints that provide long-lasting protection and excellent coverage to the doors is essential.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Water-based Paint (Acrylic, Latex)

Water-based paint is a type of paint that uses water as its main solvent rather than oil or another type of solvent. It is often used for interior doors because it has several advantages over oil-based paints.


  • Easy to clean up with soap and water
  • Low odor and minimal fumes
  • Dries quickly
  • More flexible than oil-based paints
  • Available in a wide range of colors and finishes


  • Not as durable as oil-based paints
  • Can be more expensive than oil-based paints

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is a type of paint that uses oil as its primary binder. It is known for its durability and resistance to moisture, making it ideal for painting interior doors.


  • Durable and resistant to moisture
  • Easy to clean
  • Provides a glossy finish


  • Takes longer to dry than water-based paints
  • Strong odor during application and drying process
  • More difficult to work with than water-based paints

What Paint Finish Is Best?

When painting interior doors, the paint finish that is considered the best depends on personal preference and the overall aesthetic of the space. However, there are some important facts to consider.

A semi-gloss paint finish is a popular choice for interior doors, providing a durable and easy-to-clean surface. Its reflective quality can also help to add brightness to a room. Furthermore, semi-gloss finish has a longer lifespan than other finishes.

Gloss paint finish offers a high level of sheen, making a room look more luxurious and modern. Its highly reflective surface can also add depth and character to the doors. 

However, gloss finishes are prone to imperfections such as scratches, dents, and bumps, making them a less practical choice for high-traffic areas.

Meanwhile, a satin paint finish is a good option for homeowners who want to achieve a soft, subtle appearance while still providing an element of durability. Satin finishes have a low level of sheen, which can help to hide minor imperfections and give a smooth finish.

The Best Paint and Primer for Interior Doors

Best Paint

When painting interior doors, Glidden Essentials Interior Latex is the top choice. This high-quality paint offers superior features that make it stand out.

Glidden Essentials has exceptional hide and coverage. This means it will provide a flawless finish on any door surface, whether wood, metal, or fiberglass. Even dark or bold colors can be achieved with just one or two coats.

What’s more, the scrubbable and washable finish of Glidden Essentials is perfect for high-traffic areas such as doorways.

It can easily withstand frequent contact and cleaning without losing luster or color. This feature makes it an ideal choice for families with kids and pets or commercial properties that need to maintain a pristine appearance.

Another major advantage of Glidden Essentials is its low VOCs and low odor. This means it is much safer to use indoors than other paints containing harmful chemicals. You can breathe easily, knowing you and your loved ones are safe from adverse health effects.

Best Primer

KILZ 3 Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Latex Primer/Sealer is the ultimate primer for painting interior doors.

Its powerful stain-blocking formula seals the surface and hides previous colors with its HIDE-ALL High Hide Technology, making it perfect for covering up any stains or imperfections on your doors.

Not only does it have excellent adhesion, but its thicker consistency ensures that it provides a smooth and level finish, even filling in small imperfections. This makes it the ideal primer for those who want their interior doors to look flawless.

KILZ Premium is also very low in VOCs, making it safe to use in occupied homes and workspaces. It is also mildew-resistant, so you can use it in high-humidity areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Furthermore, KILZ Premium can be used on various surfaces, including interior and exterior drywall, plaster, woodwork, paneling, masonry, and brick. This makes it the perfect all-in-one primer for any painting job you have in mind.

With a 300-400 square feet per gallon (7-9m² per liter) coverage, a 1-gallon can of KILZ 3 Premium High-Hide Stain Blocking Latex Primer/Sealer in a bright white finish goes a long way.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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