Mixing Painted Wood With Stained

January 22, 2013


Are you looking for ways to update your home’s stained trim and doors? Have you felt at a loss on how to work with your stained trim to refresh and update your home’s look?


Have you ever thought of painting your crown molding or baseboard white or cream and leaving your doors and windows stained?  I have seen quite a few beautiful rooms where both the stained trim and white painted trim are used together:


That room above is gorgeous, isn’t it? A modern, rustic look. It looks so cozy and comfortable as well as updated and fresh.


I think the new look may be the solution for a lot of homeowners that are tired of their stained look but do not want to paint all of the woodwork:

The most common combination of the two I see is a stained door and/or window with painted crown molding and/or baseboard:



Other creative ideas I have seen is painting the trim another color than white:


Or leaving just the door stained and painting everything else:


I think that dark stained doors work well with a painted trim, as long as the stain is consistent with the rest of the wood work in the room. For example, if you are mixing different wood materials (doors, beams)  the stain should be matched to look the same.


Do you have to repeat the same look throughout the home? If the rooms are open to each other, I would say yes, the baseboards, doors and crown moldings should be the same. If not, I would start with one room or a hallway and see how you like the look to determine if you want to continue in other rooms.


Do you like the look of the stained with the painted trim? Have you tried combining the two finishes in a room? I think we will be seeing a lot more rooms with the combination of the two!

I would like to thank Houzz for this amazing collection of pictures.



  1. Kelly,
    What a great way to lighten up a space with lots of dark trim, without losing all the character of the stained wood – especially if the home is old and it still has original stained wood. I have an old house and all the doors and trim had been painted white, until the previous owner stripped the doors back to the original wood. The trim is all still white, and I think it looks great. Thanks for all the great photos to illustrate your point here!

  2. I saw it a lot when I lived in Toronto. There are lots of century homes that have woodwork throughout and homeowners would often paint the trim and leave doors and beams stained. It can be a very beautiful look. The only time I don’t love it is when there are too many wood colours trying to work together in the room. Great photos to illustrate the point Kelly.

  3. My living room has wood floors and ceilings. The doors, crown moldings, windows and fireplace are also stained. I am replacing the tile in my fireplace and would like to paint the fireplace off white. Will this look right with everything else stained?

    • Previous owners had done that with the house that we bought and it looks great. The mantle is stained the same as the windows on either side of the fireplace and doors and frames leaving out of the room . There’s no dark stain on any of the trim . It is very similar to the coloring of the wood floor which is original to the 1930 Bungalo . The floors just a little warmer than the trim . The hearth is in set and is kind of a mocha or deep red . We have dark stained furniture in the room and the walls are all off-white . This makes the Turkish rug in the center and other elements in the room pop.

  4. We’ve been in our house for 23+ years. Our baseboards, door frames and doors are stained. I would love to upgrade the doors to the (6) paneled style doors but don’t want to have to paint all my trim white. I’m wondering if I replaced the doors with an “off-white” ivory colored door and kept the stained trim, would this look okay?

  5. Do you have any photos of the painted trim meeting cabinet kick plates? Or in the 3rd photo where the bottom step trim meets the wall behind the small table. Not sure how to remodel these types of spots.

    • I do not have a picture Leann but I am pretty sure it is just a small molding piece that runs along the bottom to finish off the edge. Hope this helps!

  6. My kitchen and dinning room have the 90’s stained wood cabinets, crown molding, french doors, window, floor and wood inset in the dining room ceiling. I would like to add board and batten to just one wall of the dining room and paint it ivory but leave all of the other trim and wood in the room as is. The wall also meets with the hallway where the trim will remain stained. Will this look tacky or will it add special character? Would you recommend painting the baseboard on that one wall or leave the baseboard stained? Thanks, Carla

    • Hi Carla,

      I know it is not the answer you want to hear, but I want to be honest with you. I think adding white on one wall in the dining room, will not flow nicely with all of your stained trim and ceiling. I would instead embrace the wood trim and find paint colors that will make a statement and look Beautiful. Find a bold paint color you love for that one wall in the dining room and really make a wow with paint!

      • Thank you for the advise. I kept trying to figure out a way to make it work for the last year but kept hesitating because I couldn’t come up with a look that would complement the wood without painting all of the woodwork in the house.

        • I think you can make a fantastic wall using a dark paint color and hanging a great mirror or a gallery wall, etc. I had to work with the stained trim in my last home also. If you can’t change you just try to make it work another way.:)

  7. Hi Kelly,
    We will be building a craftsman style home next year. We will have walnut floors, stained front door, and stained straight beams in the kitchen. We will have white trimmed box beam ceiling in living room. We have a gallery hall running the width of the house between foyer and living/kitchen. In that gallery, we have a closet facing the living room and a barn door for the pantry down the hall. Can these doors be stained to match the beams but all other doors (which are not easily seen from great room area) be painted white? We had our heart set on 5 horizontal panel white doors for bedrooms and bathrooms, but since the barn door was going to be stained, I thought we could add that to the closet door at the other end of the gallery hall as well. Also, I wanted the 3 horizontal panel doors for those. Will it work? Thank you!!

  8. I have “honey oak” all over my house. I am in the process of putting all white trim, crown, and doors in the upstairs. I want to integrate the white into my main floor, but don’t want to replace the entire main floor with white. Stairs are wood, might paint risers and spindles white). Any suggestions about what could be left stained and what should be replaced with or painted white?? (Baseboard, crown, dining room trim, built in shelving around fireplace, mantle, doors …)

  9. We are painting some of our oak woodwork SW Alabaster. I have one whole wall of shelves that are oak that I am planning to paint some parts if not all, I have 3 sets of 2 double hung windows in the room – I would like to paint parts of them but not sure if would like the moveable parts and grids painted or just the casing and sill painted?? I like the French Country look. I am also painting the iak fireplace and adding a tuscany Ivory ledgstone on the wall. My criling is knotty pine stained and varnished. I am painting that Alabaster also. I don’t know how to attach a pic….

    • I would paint the whole wall of shelves with Alabaster Nancy. The same for the windows- all parts- movable and not- all the same color. That will give it a smooth one piece look. Hope this helps!

  10. Hi, we live in a home that has stained wood trim in only the living room, dining area and kitchen. Some is great some not so much. We’re remodeling our kitchen & will try to have new cabinets stained to nearly the color of the “sunset” stain that is in the rest of the main area. We have 2 full and 2 half pillars center in the house. One of these pillars will be incorporated into our new peninsula as we extend the current kitchen counters into the peninsula. We’re thinking of putting a wood laminate over the existing pillars (leaving the baseboards the stained wood) & adding a Craftsman style molding to give the pillars some interest. We may keep the crown molding at the top but will remove all crown molding in kitchen, foyer & dining area. Do you think painting the pillars white and leaving the wood stain base molding (maybe the crown as well) is a good idea? I tried sending a photo with this but can’t copy/paste here. Let me know of another way and I will send that photo. Thanks for your help. I really hate the color of the stain in the house but my husband says it stays but did agree to the pillars being changed up a bit.

  11. If you paint the window casing white do you need to paint the window sash as well or can you leave the sash and the grills stained? Been looking for a picture but can’t find one. thank you

  12. Wood floors and wood ceiling, wood doors+frames.. The window sills and baseboard were painted brown. Rest of house more classic white molding and doors throughout (an eclectic range of room styles…) Would white trim work on base, windows, maybe the French doors to porch- retaining wood ceiling and 3 arched doors? Or go back and strip/stain existing dark painted wood- seems so dark. I like wood ceiling and floor but all seems dark, as I normally like crisper white trim-color contrast walls. Planning to keep the plaster stucco type swirls… if can give fresher feel; maybe some soft butter for bit Tuscan feel- but want to feel fresh not too farm warm- don’t know if these wishes reconcile. Welcome any ideas for incorporating white trim or not + paint to go with medium-dark wood elements. (Don’t ask what we’ll do with the Venetian fireplace replica-?!). Trying to move this from castle room to lighter Italian manor feel. Wood floors and wood ceiling, wood door frames. The window sills and baseboard were painted brown. Rest of house more classic white molding and doors throughout (an eclectic range of room styles…) Would white trim work on base, windows, maybe the French doors to porch- with wood ceiling and arched doors (3). Or go back and strip/stain existing dark painted wood- seems so dark. I like wood ceiling and floor but all seems dark, as I normally like crisper white trim-color walls. Planning to keep the plaster stucco type swirls… if can give fresher feel; maybe some soft butter for bit Tuscan feel- but want to feel fresh not too farm warm- don’t know if these wishes reconcile. Welcome any ideas for incorporating white trim or not + paint to go with medium-dark wood elements. (Don’t ask what we do with Venetian fireplace replica- sigh?!) trying to move this from castle to lighter Mediterranean feel room. Sigh
    Wood floors and wood ceiling, wood door frames. The window sills and baseboard were painted brown. Rest of house more classic white molding and doors throughout (an eclectic range of room styles…) Would white trim work on base, windows, maybe the French doors to porch- with wood ceiling and arched doors (3). Or go back and strip/stain existing dark painted wood- seems so dark. I like wood ceiling and floor but all seems dark, as I normally like crisper white trim-color walls. Planning to keep the plaster stucco type swirls… if can give fresher feel; maybe some soft butter for bit Tuscan feel- but want to feel fresh not too farm warm- don’t know if these wishes reconcile. Welcome any ideas for incorporating white trim or not + paint to go with medium-dark wood elements. Trying to move far castle room to lighter media/Italian feel room… sigh.

    Wood floors and wood ceiling, wood door frames. The window sills and baseboard were painted brown. Rest of house more classic white molding and doors throughout (an eclectic range of room styles…) Would white trim work on base, windows, maybe the French doors to porch- with wood ceiling and 3 arched doors opposite still wood? Or go back and strip/stain existing dark painted wood… I like wood ceiling and floor but all seems dark, as I normally like crisper white trim-contrast color walls. Planning to keep the plaster stucco type swirls… if can give fresher feel; maybe some soft butter for bit Tuscan feel- but want to feel fresh not too farm warm- don’t know if these wishes reconcile. Welcome any ideas for incorporating white trim or not + paint to go with medium-dark wood elements. Trying to move from dark castle room to lighter medit/Italianish room. Sigh. Shoot can’t attach photo…

  13. I would like to paint my 1990’s Golden Oak kitchen cabinets white, but the remainder of the house has stained trim (windows, doors, floor trim, etc including the kitchen. How would this look? I cannot find any pictures.

  14. Kelly, I just came upon your blog and love it! The beautiful pictures on this post really helped me make a decision about my own home remodel. We are trying to update. I love the clean look of white, but don’t want to go all white since I also love the wood look. We currently have the golden oak throughout our home and it’s very orangish looking, but quality kitchen and doors. We decided to put craftsman style baseboards and molding around floors and windows in white. Then we will keep our doors and kitchen and will stain darker to match the darker wood floors (keeping my fingers crossed that this is doable). I’m excited and nervous, but your pictures inspired me.

  15. would white painted interior doors work with oak stained door trim . I know
    I have seen stained doors with white painted trim, just wondering if the opposite would work?

    • Thanks for writing Jean. I think it would work IF the wood trim was large and wide enough to make a statement. If the trim is a standard size, I would test before you painted the door, place large sheet of white over door and see how it looks with the stained trim. Hope this helps!

  16. We are in the process of having our windows replaced. We presently have the 1990s honey oak trim throughout and are planning on replacing windows with white vinyl. 2 companies don’t want to use our existing trim but want to use white vinyl for the window frames. 1 company wants to reuse our existing oak frames. We are now perplexed as to which way to go as we don’t plan on changing all our door frame trims or baseboards so they will still be the honey oak stain. Would the white vinyl frames be ok or should we reuse the existing frames. Thank you for any advise you can give.

  17. My entire house has stained trim,doors and stairs. However, we are finishing our basement and I was thinking, such it doesn’t get a ton of natural light, to stain the doors and paint all the trim white, maybe even the stair risers? It is a separate floor…but worried the two different styles won’t look good together. Thoughts?

    • Hi Jessica, Like you said- it is on two different floors. I think it will be fine because it is a whole new area. I would go with the white if it were my home. Hope this helps!

  18. Hi Kelly-
    We are building a house. We will do white trim and kitchen cabinets on main level with stained alder doors. My questions are:
    1. Can I keep our office with all alder trim? Window jams still white…my son’s bedroom and bathroom. But my two girls will be down there too with two bedrooms and a jack and jill bath, which I’d like to have all white

    2. Going into the basement, I’d like to have the main rec room alder and trim and bathroom cabinets.

    Am I trying to mix too much??

    • Hi Camryn, I don’t think it would be a great idea to put different trims throughout the house. Especially if they are on the same floor. Stained alder doors will be beautiful, but I am afraid having one office with trim and not another alder trimmed room, it might look disjointed and not flow nice. Just my opinion- hope this helps.

  19. We have the 90’s orangey stained woodwork throughout our house. We are replacing windows. I see this as an opportunity to change the windows and trim to a white paint. However we not the rest of the doors and baseboards. Should i use this opportunity to upgrade the windows to white while the rest remains ugly stained? Will this look ok.

    • Hi Candi, You did not say if you were going to eventually also paint the doors and baseboards also. If yes, it would be a great way to get started if you want to change everything over to white. I don’t think it will be ugly- people are mixing stained and painted wood all the time. Hope this helps!

  20. We purchased a ranch-style home 8 years ago and it has dark wood trim and doors throughout, with white walls. We have been gradually working on rooms. The home is more a closed concept than open, and I wondered if this would help with changing some baseboard to white without changing it all rooms. Example: one hallway is dark, with 4 dark stained doors off it and dark stained baseboard. I thought painting the walls a light gray or greige and doing white baseboard may brighten it but wonder how this might work with the dark baseboards still being in the rooms that go off the hallway. Will this look odd? Thanks for your input!

    • Hi Lori,
      Are you planning on changing over to all white trim at some point? If so, this would be a great place to start in the hallway. Since the rooms are off the hallway they will not be as obvious. Mixing stained and white trim is becoming more and more popular, you may be right on trend!

  21. Hi Kelly,

    Twenty-two years ago when choosing my paint and stain colors, whitewash was popular so I chose that for my wood. My formal rooms which are the living room, dining room, master bedroom, master bathroom, powder room and foyer all have painted white baseboards, trim, crown molding and doors. The rest of the home has the whitewashed wood stain. The kitchen cupboard doors are raised panels with an arch, topped off by large, formal crown molding. The foyer is huge with a sea of black granite floors which flow into the powder room; and the kitchen floor is the whitewashed wood. My baseboards are the standard 2″ because the larger moldings weren’t offered to me by my builder. Now, I would like to update my home somewhat. I’m thinking about replacing my baseboards with something larger but to have them all whitewashed seems like a huge job. I’m wondering how it would look to install 6″ painted white baseboards throughout but to leave the doors and the 2″ door mouldings the whitewashed wood? Also, should I change out my kitchen cabinet doors? Is the arch on the doors too out-of-date? In regards to the whitewashed wood, it would not be feasible to sand and restain because I have so much of it. My den alone is mostly wood. I have a whole wall of grand arched wooden built-ins with wooden wainscoting and wooden french doors. Not to mention the other built-ins throughout my home, which is not a small home.

    Thank you!

  22. Hi Kelly,
    We’re in the middle of a remodel. Traditional raised panel cherry cabinets going in as well as whole house (main floor) hickory wood flooring which has a low shine finish—almost satin. All doors and windows are new and stained as well as all window and door trim is stained. The stain is the color of the darkest aspect of the hickory floor which is a medium brown. Obviously we love the stained look with all views out our windows/doors one of wooded nature. My question is should I lighten the look somewhat by painting all floor trim white which might “pop” the hickory floor and wall color as well as offset all the stained windows and doors. I’m not a big fan of mixing stain/paint at the doors and windows ie stained windows and doors with their trim being painted white. My family room and dining room make up one large room that has a cathedral ceiling with a stained beam the length of the room. This room has a floor to ceiling brick fireplace (multi color brick–reds/browns/black)–again dark looking but my husband will not even consider painting the brick. Do have large windows on each end of this large room which helps. Have two large stained support beams at side of room near front entrance, thinking I should paint these beams white as well? Just not sure if doing whole house white floor trim will look out of place or not? Also what colors do you recommend for family room/dining room areas? Kitchen opens to family room through a large 6 foot opening, I may make the kitchen a pale blue or yellow? Any advice much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hi Sylvia, NO I would not paint the base boards white. It will make it stand out so much because nothing around it relates to white trim. Do you know what I mean? Without seeing photos, I would rather see you spend the time and money installing high base boards 5″ in a great stain color than painting white. Hope this helps!

  23. Hi Kelly,
    I have a big design delimma in my hands! We own a 90’s traditional/transitional home with all dark brown wood trims, doors, french doors, staircase, & lots of cabinets. We just put down dark brownish-red Brazilian tigerwood flooring in the main floor rooms. We left our foyer and kitchen floors with its original ivory ceramic tile for now. The kitchen is opened to the great room with dark hardwood floors put down and a stone fireplace. Kitchen granite counters are mostly brown, with black specs, grey, beige & cream. Backsplash is beige, earth toned travertine. We have a pantry with a door and french patio doors in the kitchen. We’d like to reface our dark dated cabinets (and the bar area in our great room) to ivory color or a similar shade. I know this will stand out against the dark wood, so I’d like to incorporate that ivory color elsewhere, but most of our dark wood trims are of nice quality (stairscase, French doors, window sills) and I would hate to paint them. I don’t mind painting the doors and moldings but worried that this would be too much of a contrast against the dark wood window sills and staircase. Exactly what part of the dark interior can I paint with ivory and what part can I keep dark-stained, without attracting way too much attention to them? Or is this even do-able? I want out home to look cohesive and flow well. Or should I just reface with brown cabinetry? I would love your professional advice on this!

    • Hi Rita,
      It sounds like a beautiful home! As far as introducing ivory cabinets, I would not worry about having to change any of the other wood- just bring in the ivory color in an ivory rug, window treatments, accessories, etc. I would not paint any of the existing trim and stained wood. For a suggestion, take a large poster board and paint with the ivory color and leave up for a few days to see how you like the color. That will give you an idea how the painted cabinets will look. You can send me a photo if you would like. Hope this helps!

  24. Hi Kelly –

    We’re doing new flooring and paint in our living area and I’m looking at putting the same flooring in the kitchen/dining area. My kitchen/dining area is one big room. The living area is separated from the kitchen area by an 8′ wall. but the dining end of the kitchen is open to the living room (12′ opening). Hope that makes sense. Several years ago, we had our kitchen cabinets refaced with oak. The cabinet guy stained them a light/medium color, which doesn’t match our stained trim at all. I wanted oak wood, but wanted them darker. All of our doors, windows, and trim is stained a much darker color. The flooring that I’m putting down is very dark with lighter colors mixed in, like real wood. I feel that I need to use the darker stained baseboards to match the new flooring and the rest of the trim, but I don’t know what to do about the baseboard trim that goes around the bottom cabinets in the kitchen. The darker trim definitely won’t match the cabinets, and the lighter trim won’t match the new flooring. If I leave the lighter one underneath the cabinets and put the new darker one around the wall, they will meet at each end of the cabinets. I don’t think that will look right. Do you have any suggestions that would work better?

    • Hi Claire,
      I would use the darker stain all the way around. It is ok to match not up with the cabinets, as long as you have the continuity of the same stained trim. It will look better than having half one color and the other have a different trim. Plus you said that it works well with the flooring which will all blend together. I hope this answers your question!

  25. Hi Kelly- we are mid remodel (from kitchen and dining room to open floor plan) and I am really struggling with paint because we now have two different wood color windows next to each other. I was going to paint the one set of windows a white trim and keep the set in our former dining room the oaky wood color as there is also oak wainscoting there but now I think it might clash with th white windows next to wood. The main problem is the oak windows have built in grids that can’t be painted so we sort of have t keep the oak color. So question is keep the darker wood window next to the oak window or paint the darker wood white? I can send pictures… would love advice as we are down to the wire 🙂

  26. Hi Kelly-
    One more thing, we will have brown cabinets and three creek cabinets so it would technically be three different color woods sp that is why I thought paint the dark brown windows white to tie it together more…


  27. Hi Kelly,
    I am SO confused. We have wood floors and oak trim in the house. We also have all wood stairs going up. We want to refinish the floors to a darker color but not sure if we should paint trim white and part of stairs white because there is so much wood? Thank you

    • HI Lori. Is there a way to send me a photo? I can not picture painting part of the stairs white and the rest wood. Is there a cutoff point where the trim can be painted and not see the stained trim? I don’t want to give you the wrong advice- send a photo if you can. Thanks!

  28. Hello Kelly-

    I am interested in mixing white with wood. But I am wondering about wood stained baseboard around light maple laminate floor. With 6 panel stained doors with white casings around the doors.

    I see lots of pictures just the opposite, but want to keep baseboards stained wood, because I have 9 children and don’t want to have dirty beat up looking baseboards, but I love the way white casing looks around wood stained doors.

    Do you think that would work?

    We are also mid remodel & down to the wire on making a decision.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  29. Hi Kelly ~ I really appreciate the guidance and honesty in your responses. We are going to start a kitchen, dining room and family room remodeling project to update an 80’s home with medium oak everywhere – trim, wood floors, cabinets. The rooms are open to each other. The family room does have neutral carpet. We are not changing any of the wood cabinet or trim color. We will be restaining our wood floor an Early American-ish color. My question – would adding Cloud White builtins flanking the fireplace in the family room seem out of place with everything else being stained? Or should I stick with stained builtins? Thank you so much for your guidance!!

    • Hi Karen. If everything else is stained wood, I would keep the shelving in stained wood also. I think it would stand out too much if only that area was painted in white. The black TV actually looks better with stained wood than white I think. Use molding and arrange beautifully and you will love them!

      • THANK YOU so much for your reply, Kelly!! I can’t tell you how much I’ve been deliberating over this decision. Your advice was what I needed to hear. You made my day! Happy New Year!

  30. Kelly –
    I am glad I ran across our blog.
    I am building a house with dark hickory, wire brushed floors. Stairs are made of same dark hickory. I had planned to stain trim, the book cases that flank the fireplace, and the craftsman half wall (with pillars), but I now fear that much dark stained wood would be too dark overall (even with light paint). My brother suggested white trim but stained built-ins and stained doors. White trim sure would be easier, but would it work mixed with stained pieces? Thank you.

    • Hi Kristen, You did not mention the trim throughout the rest of the home. Is it stained trim or painted white? If it is stained in the rest of the house, I would stay with the stained trim and bookcases to all flow together. Is there white trim or anything else white in the room to tie in with white trim? I am having a hard time visualizing the white trim not sticking out with everything else stained. Do you know what I mean? Let me know how you make out! Love seeing photos.

  31. Kelly,
    I’m in a big decorating dilema!! We bought a ranch lake house that has honey oak cabinets in the kitchen, with various interior doors all stained in the honey oak other than the bedroom closets which are sliders in a blonde finish. We added on a family room so it is open to the kitchen we put in a new LVT plank flooring called Birkdale Xlarge planks in color Grand Oak Vail. If you google it you will see the color. It looks way grayer down than it did in the store under flourescent lights!! My problem is I’m not a huge gray lover when it comes to decorating so struggling with this issue!! Not sure what to do with our cabinets as far as painting?? I really wish I had picked out a floor to go with them so we didn’t have to paint them, but think that is our only choice with this floor, so wasn’t sure if white or a greige cabinet would be better?? We are also replacing all trim and doors, so do we do white trim/doors or white trim and stained doors?? Going between stain and paint for cupboards, trim and doors so looking for advice. We are on the lake but want it to be warm and welcoming also. Any advice you could give me would be appreciated. Want it to all pull together nicely. Thanks in advance!!!

    • Hi Brenda, You seem to have a lot going on! Try not to stress! I can not answer you the best I can without pictures and speaking together. If you would like to work together, send me an email and we will figure something out.

  32. Hi Kelly,
    I just love your photos of combining the stained wood with white in creative ways. I also have a home with a lot of honey oak trim, oak stairs, rails, 6 panel oak doors. It is beautiful but I feel it’s dated. My husband is vehemently against painting it all. We just redid our master bath and painted the trim and baseboards white, but left the doors and windows stained. I am now wanting to redo the kitchen with white cabinets (or paint the existing oak ones). What else will I need to incorporate so that it isn’t just the cabinets that are white, while all the trim, windows, doors are stained?

    • Hi Andrea,

      I usually suggest that if the kitchen cabinets, which are at eye level, are white then the window should also be white to tie them together. A better looking flow in the room with them both painted white.
      Think of the floor as jeans- goes with most everything. The baseboard can be left stained if the flooring is a medium to dark color. If the floor is tile and very light, then I would probably also paint the baseboard so they do not stand out too much. Hope this makes sense! Good luck with your project.

      • Thank you, I appreciate your feedback. Would it be ok to paint the crown molding white ,
        Along with the window but leave the baseboard stained?

  33. Kelly, I have wood trim and wood doors throughout my house. The floors are also wood. I would like to paint the trim white and leave the doors, windows and their trim stained wood. What do you think?

    • HI Michele. This is just my personal opinion- I am afraid if you just paint the baseboards in the white, they will call attention to themselves and really stand out. Like “look at me”. If you are doing all of the baseboard white, which is the biggest part of the trim in the house, why don’t you go a step further and do door trim, baseboard and window and trim in white? I think if the doors are a nice looking stained door, it will work with all the white trim. Hard not seeing pictures. But again, this is just my opinion. Thanks for writing.

  34. Hi Kelly! I just found your blog, and I love it!!! I’ve been struggling with a few things, and I’m hoping you can help.

    We recently purchased an old Sears home (circa 1911), and we’re remodeling a bit. We want to keep a lot of the character and charm, but we want to update it. There is somewhat of an open floor design, and the ceilings are about 10′ high. There are hardwood floors throughout, that are a medium walnut color. The stairs going to the second floor are the same stain and go up from the dining room. The walls are painted lighter neutral colors (a bit darker shade in the living room) The main 3 rooms are laid out pretty much like a rectangle split into 3 equal sections with the dining room in the middle. There is a big bay window in the dining room, on the opposite wall of the stairway. There are French doors between the dining room and living room (that will be open most if the time.). There is an island between the kitchen and dining room, that has a stove top & counter on the kitchen side and a raised counter with bar stools on the dining room side. The kitchen cabinets are an off white color with a glaze (going for a bit of a vintage feel), and the counters are a dark brown mildly marbly patterned quartz.

    Ok… ? I how I’ve given you ask the info you need to get a good picture.. Hehe!! My dilemma and questions are….
    We’d like to keep the original stained doors, (the stain is darker but seems to have a bit of a reddish tint to it), but we’d like to change the overall look to be more updated, fresh and not so dark. I’d like to do white trim, crown molding, and base throughout. But I have questions about some details that go along with that. ?

    -First, should the doors be stripped and re–stained to match the floors? (A lot of work, especially with the French doors, but…)
    -Should the door jambs be painted white as well? Or stained? (I’ve seen both ways, and I’m not sure which way I’ll like)
    -Also, my thought is to do all window trim, white as well. Should the window casing, frame, etc be painted white as well? Or stained to match the floors or doors? (If the doors remain the same original stain, should we match the windows to the door stain as much as possible.)
    -and… If the windows should be stained, should the Bay window be stained as well? Or all white?
    -side question… what is your opinion about the stairs, as far as.. Should all pieces be stained? Or should we do all or some spindles, or the railing, or risers white?

    I hope I haven’t forgotten any questions. ?
    I’d love love LOVE your opinion when you have time. Thanks so much, in advance!! Tami

    • Hi Tami, I really would like to see photos of your rooms before I give you advice. I do like stained doors with character with white trim, baseboard and windows. I think I can answer your questions for a quick question consulting charge which is $45.00. If you would like to send me a few photos to [email protected], I can look at them. I just would not want to give you the wrong answer without seeing photos. Let me know!

  35. Hi Kelly! we have have honey oak trim throughout the house. Our flooring is mostly oak with the exception of kitchen and baths. We are going to start replacing windows and I am wondering if I can paint the window trim but leave the doors, door trim and baseboard stained? We have cats so I do not want to go with white trim but some slightly darker color. We also have a single wall in our living room that is stained wood planks same color as all the trim that I would like to paint gray to blend better with the living room that is also gray, thoughts?

    • Hi Lori, Yes, I think the gray would work. I would hesitate if you were just painting the windows white, but a gray will not stand out and say, “Hey look at me, I am different”. I think it is a good idea and will look really nice!

  36. Hi Kelly, I’m not sure why, but I want notified when you responded. I just remembered about it and went back to find your site. Hehe!!
    I’ll try to send pictures…

  37. Hi! I appreciate your blog. We have a 50’s ranch home with a lot of oak. We have two beautiful bay windows that my husband doesn’t want to paint. Would it look ok if we keep the oak windows frames and door frames and paint the baseboard white to lighten the house ? We have both white and wood baseboard on the upper floor .

    • Hi Jennifer,
      You did not mention if your doors are painted white or stained. If the doors are painted white, I would paint the trim and door frames white and keep the bay window not painted. If your doors are stained, I would keep everything in the stained, including trim. The white trim will stand out too much if that is the only painted white in the room. Hope this helps!

  38. I have a 70s style ranch home. When we bought it it had stained 3 track windows, which we replaced with energy efficient white vinyl windows and sliding patio door. The house has the basic 70s dark wood trim. Although I am a stained wood person, I feel overwhelmed with contrast of the dark wood trim against the stark white vinyl. I also have a husband who is adamantly against painting all the trim white. Could I paint just the window trim white and leave the rest stained? I have been searching for pictures of this combination, but have not been able to find any, although I have found feeds saying to do just that. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Teri,

      I saw an idea online the other day that I thought might work for you. Would you be able to send me a photo of you window? I will not charge you. I just want to see actual window before I give advice to you. Thanks!

  39. Hi Kelly,
    We’re having a new house built and the windows will be white, the trim painted, and the kitchen cabinets a light stained rustic beech (Shaker style). I would like to find a trim color that will soften the transition from the white windows to the stained cabinetry. Can you recommend an off-white that will blend nicely with both the white-white of the windows and the warm tones in the cabinets?
    Thanks for this article, Kelly. It has helped me to make some decisions about our new home!

    • Hi Kris,

      I would love to help you find the perfect colors for your home, bu t I can not select paint colors without seeing photos of your home. If you would like to work together, please email me- [email protected] and I will give you information on how the online color/decorating process works together. I am priced very reasonably and can help with your decorating/ color questions.
      Thanks for writing!

  40. Love the article! I’ve been looking for pictures of rooms with white windows but stained baseboards. I’m helping my parents redo their home, which is full honey oak woodwork. My dad will NOT give way to going all white woodwork (despite my mom’s and my pleas). I was wondering what you thought of my proposed compromise – white windows, with stained baseboards and doors (hopefully a wood darker than honey oak). Would this work as a good update? Thanks!

    • Hi Maddie,

      I do think it will work together and becoming the latest trend. White windows and trim, stained baseboard and darker doors. It would definitely be a good update. If you can go one step further with the door trim, if you get new darker doors, I would paint the trim around doors a white. Then baseboard trim will just melt away.
      Hope this helps!

  41. I have wood stained panels 1/2 way up wall in living area, baseboards , door frames, window casings,book cases on either side of mantle, mantle and stained dental molding for crown molding. I can’t afford to paint all of this , but would like to update and brighten. Please offer suggestions.

    • Hi Liz,
      What about painting the walls in a lighter cream color? I think white is too bright for stained wood, but the right cream color works well. Not seeing any photos on the color of your stained wood, light greens sometimes also look nice. If you would like me to help you find the perfect color, we can work together with an online color consultation. Please write me a note at [email protected]. Thanks for writing.

  42. So glad I found this site. Built our home in 1984 with all wood (oak stained) trim, windows, doors, and floors – very lightly stained red oak. 10 years ago, I painted all the upstairs room trim,window, doors, white and I love it in those rooms. But our downstairs is very open to the outside and I love my large wood trimmed windows and my medium cherry cabinets. In my opinion, the reddish streaks in the wood floor works well with the cherry cabinets.
    In all of the downstairs smaller windows (standard double hung), I have oak shutters, which I love. a set of Oak French doors which I love, and an oak front door with oak side panels that love. I DON’T love my wood baseboards (very basic), small windows wooden trim, and wooden door frames for the bedrooms and bathroom. I am undecided about the oak doors for the bedrooms and bathroom, as they are nice 6 panel doors, and I like the oak crown molding against the white ceiling.
    It is now time to repaint downstairs. Could I paint the baseboards, window and door trims white ( or some neutral ) and leave the other trim stained? Or also paint the bedroom and bathroom doors? Thanks for your help.

  43. Hi Kelly,
    We are in the middle of a new build in the mountains of Colorado. I am in the process of picking out doors & windows. We are leaning towards Andersen windows with Alder wood interior & sheetrocking the window jam & also Alder interior doors. We might have to get white French doors for the living room & master bedroom deck. Do you think that would look strange to have all wood doors except the French doors? Also we are assuming white trim throughout the house. We are leaning towards a grey or light tan hardwood since the exterior of the house is grey tones? The walls we are leaning towards a palette of light grey and white. Do you think this will all look cohesive and flow well? This is my first build & the ability to visualize these choices in my head is very hard! Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.!

    • Hi Jen,

      Congratulations on your new home! Yes, I think it is fine you use white for the french doors- it will all flow well with the white trim and Alder wood. I think your choices are going to be beautiful. Great job selecting all the pieces. Good luck with everything!

  44. Is it OK to have different door colors on different floors of a house? I’m thinking of doing all white trim and base boards and having stained wood doors in the common spaces but white doors for bedroom closet doors. In the lower level, I would like to have all white trim and base boards AND white doors to keep things light due to less natural sunlight. Does that sound OK or should I be consistent throughout? This is new construction. Main floor will be mostly hardwood; lower level will be carpet. Neutral/taupe walls throughout.

    • Hi Ellen,

      If it were my new home, I would keep all the doors the same throughout. I think being consistent and not having different doors with the white trim would look best. The doors that are stained I afraid would stand out too much especially if all trim and other doors are white. To get the best flow and look, I would keep all doors the same throughout the house, in this case white. Hope this helps your decision making!

  45. Hi Kelly,
    My 2 story colonial style, built in late 90’s, home has all oak trim, kitchen cabinets, doors and front door. Hardwood floors in same color in Family room, Kitchen and Hall. It is a warmer, orange-ish color stain. Wood plantation blinds in same color as oak on all windows. Paint color on main floor is a warm tan color. Furniture is brown leather with accents of blue, green, cream and a little pop of orange.My question: I want to put trim on flat panel doors and will probably need to paint them. What color would you suggest? Cream or a couple shades lighter than wall color or should I do white? The hardware will likely be bronze. PS I have been toying with painting the main level, LR and DR Behr Sage Gray and the Hall, Family Room and Kitchen Behr Granite Boulder. Thank you for your help!

  46. Hi Kelly,
    My 2 story colonial style, built in late 90’s, home has all oak trim, kitchen cabinets, doors and front door. Hardwood floors in same color in Family room, Kitchen and Hall. It is a warmer, orange-ish color stain. Wood plantation blinds in same color as oak on all windows. Paint color on main floor is a warm tan color. Furniture is brown leather with accents of blue, green, cream and a little pop of orange.My question: I want to put trim on flat panel doors and will probably need to paint them. What color would you suggest? Cream or a couple shades lighter than wall color? Or should I do white? The hardware will likely be bronze. PS I have been toying with painting the main level, LR and DR Behr Sage Gray and the Hall, Family Room and Kitchen Behr Granite Boulder. Thank you for your help!

  47. We are adding a significant addition (new kitchen living room, large gathering room and extra bedrooms/bathrooms) to an existing home that has stained pine trim and doors throughout (office, master suite, entry way, and sunroom). I would really like the new addition have white trim with dark gray painted doors, kitchen to be done in shades of grays. Can I do this or would this be a decorating nightmare? Prefer not to redo the trim/doors in the structure that is staying. Thank you and I appreciate your thoughts

    • Hi Kristen,
      I have looked at your email for a couple weeks now. The problem is that if you kept existing trim, it will look dated when compared with new rooms. I know it is a hard decision to repaint all trim white. I just can not answer this question for you, you will have to decide if the old mixed with the new will work well for you.

  48. I have a two story colonial built in the 90s with an updated cherry kitchen. The windows, moldings, wood floors, doors and staircase in my home are a golden oak. I am planning on selling my house. Do you think it is worth the cost and effort to paint the moldings throughout the house and balusters of the staircase? My patio and front door are beautiful wood doors so painting the doors is not an option. I appreciate your help!

    • Hi Denise,

      If you want to attract a larger buyer market when selling, yes, I think it should be painted out a soft white. Everyone wants white molding and windows. The wood floors are nice- keep them and work around. Beautiful wood doors look gorgeous with white trim so don’t worry about your patio and front doors. I know it is A LOT of work, but that’s what the buyers want. Hope this helps.

  49. Hi Kelly,

    I enjoy reading your comments and suggestions so much! Our home is a late 1980s contemporary style with honey stained oak mouldings, trim, balconies and cabinets. While I do not love the oak, it adds warmth to our cavernous 2-story living room and foyer so I do not intend to paint it. I would, however, like to replace our honey oak veneered hollow doors. They look not only dated but cheap. I am struggling to find a solution. I have seen gorgeous contemporary doors in bleached oak and honey ash but not in honey oak. The big box stores sell 6 panel oak or cathedral top panel doors, but nothing contemporary style made from oak with a honey stain. Help! What wood, style, stain color door will work with our current trim, white square tile and black marble floors? Would a 4 or 5 panel shaker style work. Thank you!

  50. Hi Kelly:
    I own a Mid-80’s colonial home with all stained woodwork, doors, and windows. In order to update the home, I am painting the door frames/trim, baseboards, and the window trim white. I am keeping the doors and windows stained. Should I have kept the door frames stained and just painted the trim? My doors are all 6 panel and solid wood. Your photos of mixing white and stained woodwork are beautiful.

  51. Hi, Kelly,
    What a beautiful website. May I ask you, in the second photo from the top, what is the color of the walls and what company. ? I need a nice light fresh, but very neutral/slightly warm color for our walls. I would appreciate your help. Thank you.

      • Hi David. I tried to track down the source for the photo on Houzz- they move photos often and I had no luck. I can tell you it is a taupe color. A couple good taupe colors are BM Pale Oak OC-20 and Cedar Key OC-16. Hope this helps!

  52. My interior doors, baseboards and window trim are painted white. There are stained ceiling beams and posts in the Great Room, a reclaimed wood ceiling in the dining room. The master bedroom has stained crown molding. The door to the master bath and to the water closet are frosted glass pocket doors. Would it look ok to stain these doors? There is a solid door from the bathroom to the master closet. It is painted white like the other doors.

    I could stain and see how it look and paint if I don’t like it but know it’s much harder to remove paint to stain.

  53. We have 35 year old oak kitchen cabinets. Boxes are in good shape. Layout is fine. Husband wants to leave the boxes color they are and since I cannot find anybody to help re do them that would be easy. Have new doors and drawer fronts made and paint those to coordinate with boxes. Thoughts please to my email below.

    Thank you

    • Hi Teresa,
      Not sure I understand your question. If you are asking to buy new doors and paint to use with existing cabinets, I would try just one and see if you like the look before doing the whole kitchen.

    • Hi David. I tried to track down the source for the photo on Houzz- they move photos often and I had no luck. I can tell you it is a taupe color. A couple good taupe colors are BM Pale Oak OC-20 and Cedar Key OC-16. Hope this helps!

  54. I want to replace my front door.. but inside I have All walnut stained trim… the problem is I want a dark pecan color fiber glass door. I’ve been told it’s better to have the door the same color on both sides … I would love to paint all trim in house white but my husband loves his wood look.. which I’m fine with because the entire house has it! can I send you a couple of pictures to get your opinion? Thank you!

    • Hi Heather,

      Yes, you can send me a couple photos if you would like. I don’t believe both sides of the door has to be the same! A lot of people paint the inside of their door a black or navy. You can see that on Pinterest or Houzz photos when you search’ inside exterior door colors’.

  55. Hello Kelly,

    This post is very interesting! I am currently deliberating whether to do painted wood windows or stained. I have walnut-stained oak flooring, white baseboard and white, two-panel interior doors. We’re replacing the windows so I have to/get to decide on materials. The other piece of info is that I have a carpet/tile family room addition that is all stained wood windows and trim, so the parts of the house have different looks already (I probably should restain the addition’s wood because it’s a dark honey pine and doesn’t match the adjacent wood flooring). I would love some advice!

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