When you’re finishing your home, it’s important to pay special attention to all the decorative details. One key part of a home’s finished interior is the trim, including the trim around the interior doors. The way the trim matches or contrasts with the doors themselves express something of the homeowner’s design viewpoint.

If you’re dealing with an older home, you may wonder if you need to paint doors and trim in matching white, or if you can break the mold and try something else. Can you have stained doors with painted trim or vice versa? Explore some of the reasons why you might paint one but not the other.

Does Trim Have to Match Doors?

Most homes, especially newer builds, have interior doors painted white, with white trim and baseboards to match. However, there are definitely situations in which the trim around the doors does not necessarily need to match. Maybe you have a house that you have remodeled, and you like the rustic or old-fashioned look of the wooden doors. Or perhaps you have replaced the doors, but you like the vibe of the wooden trim. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Stained Doors With White Trim

If you are going for a farmhouse look or attempting to reclaim the atmosphere of a century-old home, choosing to have stained doors with white trim is an excellent option. This mode of design looks especially nice if you have interior French doors leading to an outdoor space. The white trim freshens the look, while the stained wood of the doors keeps the room grounded in its rich history.
If you are choosing to have white trim with wood doors, make sure that you keep the surface of your interior doors in good repair.

If they are left too rugged or unvarnished, they will simply look unfinished and out of place. You need a nice, high-quality stain that brings out the natural texture and color of the wood. Some stains provide an opportunity to deepen, enrich, or heighten the wood’s natural color, so you can consider those options as well.

Take some time to think about the color of the walls along with the white trim and the stained doors. How will all those elements work together? What kind of color effect are you attempting to create? Consider your color palette overall throughout each room and the entire home, so you can achieve a cohesive, attractive look.

Painted Doors With Stained Trim

It is also possible to have painted doors with stained trim. This usually occurs when the door frame itself has a nice rugged aesthetic or is being preserved as part of the home’s or building’s historical value. If you have door trim or casing elements that are unique, ornate, original, or otherwise of aesthetic value, consider staining them rather than painting them, so the natural beauty can show clearly to your guests and others in the household.

Wood Vs. Stain for Trim and Doors

Remember that paint and wood stain can both offer some protection to older wood. However, the stain will let texture, grain, and color show through in a way that paint cannot. So, if you want to cover up blemishes, discoloration, or other problems with the wood, paint may be the right answer. If you want to highlight the wood itself and its natural beauty, stain may be the way to go.

No matter which path you choose, it is important to select high-quality products. You want to paint and stain that will be long-lasting and provide a nice smooth finish. You also want products with good coverage, so you don’t have to do more than one or two coats to get the look you want. Be sure that you select varnish, stain, or paint that is durable and protective for the beautiful wood elements in your home, especially since doors and their trim have to endure a lot of wear and tear.

Get Some Expert Advice

Can you have white trim with wood doors? Yes, and you can also have painted doors with stained trim or stained doors with stained trim. Whatever option you may be considering, it might be a good idea to call in an expert for advice. Maybe you have a friend with interior design experience or a relative who has done restorations on historic buildings in the past. Perhaps you could hire a local interior designer or restoration contractor to give you some advice.

Either way, it is a good idea to get another set of eyes on the project before you make your final decision. Remember, if you decide that you don’t like the look of painted trim with stained doors, or painted doors with stained trim, you can eventually paint or stain both doors and trim to match each other.

Sarah Byrd

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