Painted door and window frames: the next big interiors trend?

Painted door and window frames

A fresh lick of paint can do wonders to your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom – but why stop at the walls? Discover how painting small architectural details is a low-risk, high-impact design decision…

I love a dose of dopamine when it comes to design, so when I started noticing colour-drenched interior door and window frames in recent home renovations, I knew I had found my next DIY project. To find out more about this decorating technique, and steal a few ideas for myself too, I decided to speak to some industry experts.

Cloakroom design with patterned wall and floor, white sanitaryware, wood vanity unit and painted door frame.
Cameo 40cm mineral cast cloakroom basin with left tap hole in Arctic White, £175, and Cameo floor-mounted cloakroom cabinet in Natural Oak, £350, Vado.

Firstly, you may be wondering why you should do it. Annie Sloan, colour expert and founder of the eponymous paint brand, tells me, “Painting your door or window frames is a low-risk, low-commitment, high-colour payoff”. And I couldn’t agree more. “Doors and windows are a great place to make a statement with colour. We’re often forced to pause when we open a door or window, so they are great places to engage our attention with a flash of bright colour,” Annie adds.

Colouring these small architectural details is ideal for breathing life back into your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. But what do you need to know before picking up the paintbrush?

Neutral kitchen design with arched windows leading to the garden.
Tuscan veranda with Romanesque arches painted in green by Turner Architects Ltd. Photography: Adam Scott.
Utility room leading to a cloakroom with a yellow doorframe and rustic decor.
Doors in Tilton chalk paint, sealed with matt chalk paint lacquer. Panel detail in Amsterdam Green chalk paint and circle around the handle in Capability Green, all from Annie Sloan. Each paint, £26.95 for one litre; paint lacquer, £24.95.

Feature frames know-how

In terms of practicalities, it’s important to consider the paint finish for your window and door frames. “Choosing the right finish depends on the goal for the space: glossy for a modern look, or matt and satin for a softer ambience. Make sure you choose the right product to ensure durability – for example, a specific wood paint for wooden frames. And always use a primer,” advises Dominic Myland, chief executive officer at paint company Mylands.

“Test the shade in natural light before committing, ensuring the selected colour complements the overall design. The result is a bold statement that elevates any interior, adding energy and visual appeal,” he adds.

Calming bedroom design with rattan bed frame, floral textiles, a matching upholstered chair and painted window frames.
Greylag Goose, Highland Peat, Conker and Boleyn Rose, from £27 for one litre of Pure Matt emulsion, Fenwick & Tilbrook.

Ways with painted frames

Choosing the colour for features such as window frames and skirting boards, is like “the final piece of the jigsaw”, according to Katrina Dalley, interior design and trade sales executive at maximalist interiors brand House of Hackney. “There are different routes you can go. If you are using wallpaper for the main walls, pick a key colour within the print that you feel hasn’t had the limelight it deserves,” she says.

Closeup of dark patterned wallpaper with green window.
Papavera wallpaper in Noir, from £140 per roll, and emulsion paint in Apple, from £59 for 2.5 litres, House of Hackney.
Colourful bathroom design with sea-inspired wallpaper, yellow tiles, pink bath and blue window frames.
Swale bath with a painted exterior, £6804 and Mull floorstanding bath and shower mixer, £2868, all from Drummonds.

Another way of embracing this painting technique is to pick an unexpected colour, such as red, to really make the frames stand out. “A bright red, associated with passion and warmth, pairs well with neutrals or warmer hues, allowing you to introduce strong colour in a way that will not overwhelm,” says Dominic.

Ready to say goodbye to plain white and paint outside the lines?

Dining room with painted door frames in a bright red shades.
Woodwork in FTT-009 Bright Red, £40 for 1 litre, Mylands.

Enjoyed this post? Click here for colourful paint ideas for your bedroom

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