60 Minute & $30 Door Makeover


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I never realized how much I cared about interior doors, until I moved into our current house and realized that we were getting just about the worst doors possible – hollow core, full of dents, gouges, and holes, and stained a terrible medium brown that just screams ’80s. Completing the look are brass level handles with “fancy” swirls at the end (a handle, I should add, that I was obsessed with as a child in the ’90s!).

Getting new doors isn’t an option for us right now because we are at some point going to need to some work leveling out the floors upstairs, which means we would need to adjust the doors. And in general nothing is square in our house (as is clearly evidenced by the picture above) so replacing doors would involve a lot of adjustments. I’d like to learn how to hang a door, but I’m not sure this house is the ideal place for learning.

So, to brighten up the space and be able to fill and patch the various holes and dents in the doors, I decided that a few coats of paint were the next best thing to actually replacing all of the interior doors (and it’s a much faster and more cost effective option).

To lead off, I grabbed my trusty Rustoleum Chalked paint in Linen White.



Because I’m using chalk paint, I didn’t need to do a lot of prep at all. I removed the hardware.


Using a foam roller, I started painting! After one coat, everything was decently covered considering it was a base coat.


After about 15 minutes, I put on another coat. You may want to give extra time in between coats depending on how thickly you put the paint on. After the second coat, things were starting to look pretty good, although there were still some spots that weren’t covering well.


After the third coat, things were looking good! I opted to stop after three coats, but you could easily go for a fourth coat, especially if you’re covering a dark door. If I was doing one more coat, I would have let the door dry for 1-2 hours before putting on a final coat, just to make sure everything was really dry.


The next day, I put on a new door handle in an oil rubbed bronze, much more in vogue than the brass.

And then, the door was done!


Would I prefer new doors? Yep! But do I love that there is a quick and economical alternative until we’re in a position to do a major door overall? Absolutely!

I currently have five interior doors done with eight to go. It’s not a project I find incredibly exciting, but it’s definitely rewarding when I see how much the white doors brighten up the rooms and hallways in our house.

Some helpful hints to get you started:

  • You may want to clean your door with a degreaser before you get started. I like Krud Kutter.
  • I find it’s helpful to do at least two doors at a time. It works out well to paint a coat on one door, go paint a coat on the other door, and just keep flip flopping between doors.
  • Keep a wet cloth or paper towel on hand for wiping drips off of the floor and wiping off the hinges.
  • If it’s a closet door, consider saving yourself the time and only paint one side.
  • Plan to use up to half a quart of paint per door.

The cost breakdown for this project is pretty simple – the new door handle cost around $18 and the paint is around $18 for a quart, and I used a half of a quart or a little less for one door, so this project came in at just under $30!

I think I’ve found about 527 uses for chalk paint in my house. What are your favorite chalk paint projects?


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