This is one of those quality over quantity situations.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated June 27, 2019
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No one ever said painting was easy, but as far as home upgrades go, slapping some new paint colors on a wall is a lot quicker than, say, replacing all the floors. As doable as painting is, though, it’s not always possible. Living in a rented space, time or ability restrictions, and even an unwillingness to spend a weekend learning how to paint a room can keep people from doing a low-cost, high-impact painting upgrade. Just painting a door frame, though? Almost anyone can do that.

Painting accent walls is a small-scale way to add a pop of paint to a space, but even that can feel like too much sometimes. We’ve talked all about painting interior doors, too, but that can have the same hesitation: Painting a whole door—and taking it off its hinges and finding a large, flat area to actually do the painting—can feel like a lot. Painting just a door frame, though? It has the same bold impact as painting trim, but in a very small, concentrated area, and without the chore of moving all the furniture.

Painting just the door frame can take minutes, rather than the hours it can take to paint a whole wall, much less a room. Repainting it later, in the case of renters, is a breeze. And door frames are something everyone sees as they enter and leave a space, so it’s sure to draw a lot of attention.

Painting door frames is very similar to painting trim. (You can see our guide on how to paint trim here.) Start by removing the door (it can be leaned against the opposite wall) and applying painter’s tape. Apply your preferred paint color and let it dry. If you don’t need a second coat of paint, that’s it; just replace the door and you’re done. Talk about an easy paint project, right?

As far as colors go, the bolder the better—as long as it fits into the rest of your room, of course. With such a small pop of paint and color, you’re going to want it to have major impact, so don’t be afraid of those dark or striking shades you’d typically avoid. A space as small as a door frame or doorway can’t be overwhelming, after all.

Later on, if you decide you do want to spread the color love, you can always paint the rest of the trim in your space to match the door frame. For now, though, a door frame can be enough, especially if you know you’ll be moving within the year. (Looking at you, renters.) You can even add a little flourish at the top or on the sides if you want a little more character in your mini paint job.

When visitors inevitably admire your handiwork, you can pretend it was a lot more difficult than it really was; they’ll never know.