Black Paint Colors, Designer Favs & Understanding All Those Undertones Now

While my preference for pale tones spanning the rainbow of whites is well established, black paint colors are on my mind. There always seems to be a place for black and high contrast. Whether it is to frame a view to shout “LOOK THIS DIRECTION THIS VERY MOMENT” or to create an edgy vibe or deepen a mood, black is powerful. But like white paint, there are all sorts of undertones which affect a black paint’s quality and effect. I hope the interior design inspiration and help from Black Paint Colors, Designer Favs & Understanding All Those Undertones will be a resource if you’re ready to choose paint colors to sample.

Athena Calderone Brooklyn kitchen with black cabinets, marble, and floating desk in front of window. #blackkitchens #blackandwhite #inteiordesign
Farrow & Ball RAILINGS – Design: Athena Calderone (Eyeswoon)

Even when you decide to paint a piece of furniture, a picture frame, a shelf or an accent wall in a black color, there are a myriad of choices. Narrow the list down to a few to sample first.

Black Paint Colors, Designer Favs & Understanding All Those Undertones

Farrow & Ball RAILINGS No. 31

I love Railings, and I have sampled it when choosing a soft, off-black. The most recent time I sampled it for a stair railing, the blue undertones surprised me a little. It appeared navy at certain times of the day.

That’s not a bad thing at all when you’re after a cooler look or looking for a very deep blue-black. Remember how Drew used it in his own home including the kitchen?

Drew's honeymoon house kitchen (a classic black and white 1920s beauty!) with Farrow & Ball Railings on island and trim. #drewscott #propertybrothers #honeymoonhouse #kitchen #railings
FARROW & BALL Railings on island and trim – HGTV’s Drew’s Honeymoon House

Get glimpses of the paint color from this (and there may or may not be a scene with Drew in a freestanding tub painted black…):

And yes, you can paint the whole room Railings when you’re going for a chic cocoon look:

Railings (Farrow & Ball) black painted master bedroom in Drew's Honeymoon House with Linda. #farrowandballrailings #blackbedrooms
Farrow & Ball RAILINGS; HGTV The Property Brothers – Drew’s Honeymoon House bedroom

Black is still a popular color for kitchen islands when you’re after some contrast and a two-tone color story:

Beautiful black and white rustic modern Cotswolds kitchen by Torn and Cotton Interiors with black island. #farrowandballrailings #blackpaintcolors
FB Railings – Torn and Cotton Interiors

Alternatively, a wardrobe, kitchen pantry, or dresser is a smart way to use a dark moody color which adds weight and presence:

Railings by Farrow & Ball paint color on a bespoke kitchen cook's pantry- Humphrey Munson. #paintcolors #railings #farrowandball #pantry #kitchenpantry
Farrow & Ball RAILINGS – Humphrey Munson

Sherwin-Williams TRICORN BLACK 6258

For a truer black, Tricorn Black is a designer favorite.

SW Tricorn Black 6258 paint color swatch. #blackpaintcolors #tricornblack
SW Tricorn Black 6258

Lots of front doors and shutters are painted in this shade of black, and it’s always a good idea to buy a sample pot and live with it for a few days before going to all the work of painting.

Black front door painted SW Tricorn Black - @agk_designstudio. #tricornblack #frontdoor
AKG Design Studio – SW Tricorn Black

There are so many fresh ways of using black in traditional homes! And I know a bunch of folks think homeowners have no business painting trim or floors in old houses, but I disagree.

Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black in a kitchen butler pantry - Ladisic Fine Homes & Matthew Quinn. #tricornblack #blackpaintcolors #blackkitchens #sherwinwilliams
Builder: Ladisic Fine Homes; Design: Matthew Quinn; Paint color: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black

Just because a house has had tired stained brown trim or cabinets for decades (and it’s in great shape) doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Sometimes they didn’t get it right in the first place. And sometimes it just pays to be bold so a house becomes a home that feels like you.

SW Tricorn Black painted base cabinets in kitchen by Havenstudiodesign. #tricornblack #swtricornblack #paintcolors
SW Tricorn Black; Design: @HavenStudioDesign

This bathroom vanity by Darryl Carter seems reminiscent of Tricorn Black:

Isn’t it incredible? Here are other black paints to sample:

Black Paint Colors - ideas for using black on walls or cabinets - Hello Lovely Studio. #paintcolors #blackpaint
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Funny menopause humor and whimsical quote about being tired - Hello Lovely Studio. #menopausehumor #tiredquote #funnyquotes

Sherwin-Williams URBANE BRONZE 7048

Black paint colors suggestive of warm metals can be so timeless. Here’s a great example:

Urbane Bronze Sherwin-Williams off black dark charcoal paint color swatch. #urbanebronze #swurbanebronze
SW Urbane Bronze

Where could you use it? Home offices are becoming quite important these days.

SW Urbane Bronze painted walls in an elegant office with ballerina print - Sherry Hart. #urbanebronze
SW Urbane Bronze – design: Sherry Hart

A powder room might also be an ideal spot to try something moody.

Urbane Bronze (Sherwin-Williams) charcoal or soft black paint color on brick in bathroom - design by Sherry Hart. #urbanebronze #charcoalpaintcolors #sherwinwilliamsurbanebronze
Sherwin-Williams URBANE BRONZE; Design: Sherry Hart

BM Wrought Iron

Here’s another metallic black that would be wonderful to update window trim:

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron paint color swatch. #blackpaintcolors #wroughtironpaintcolor
BM Wrought Iron

I loved how Sherry Hart used it for a gallery wall in a powder room. So many of us settle for these boring white boxy half-baths when we could be welcoming an art gallery into the home.

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron black paint color on gallery wall in powder room designed by Sherry Hart - @sherryhdesigns. #blackpaintcolors #bmwroughtiron #gallerywalls
BM WROUGHT IRON painted gallery wall in powder bath designed by Sherry Hart

Bonus inspiration is how the designer displayed a woven basket with the framed art…

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron black paint color on gallery wall in powder room designed by Sherry Hart - @sherryhdesigns. #blackpaintcolors #bmwroughtiron #gallerywalls
WROUGHT IRON (BM) painted gallery wall in powder bath designed by Sherry Hart

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This Wrought Iron color reminds me of a PPG color Leanne Ford uses called Black Magic:

Black Magic PPG paint color is a gorgeous black designer Leanne Ford (HGTV's Restored by the Fords) uses in her projects. #bestblack #blackpaint #blackmagic #leanneford #interiordesign #paintcolors
PPG Black Magic paint color

See more of Leanne Ford’s favorites in THIS.

Leanne Ford painted this gorgeous staircase PPG Black Magic, Walls: PPG Sugar Soap; trim: Delicate White; Stairs: Black Magic. #whitepaintcolors #leanneford #restoredbythefords
Staircase paint color: PPG Black Magic; design by Leanne Ford

How is Wrought Iron from BM paint color different from Iron Mountain (which designer Sherry Hart has used with great success including her infamous ORC bedroom makeover)?

Iron Mountain (Benjamin Moore) painted statement wall in bedroom with design by Sherry Hart and the "before" room painted white. #ironmountain #blackpaintcolors #smironmountain
Benjamin Moore IRON MOUNTAIN bedroom before and after – Sherry Hart

You can see more brown undertones emerge from Iron Mountain when you compare it to Wrought Iron.

Iron Mountain (Benjamin Moore) paint color swatch is a dark charcoal, soft black, deep bronze color to consider. #ironmountain #benjaminmooreironmountain #paintcolors
Iron Mountain (Benjamin Moore) paint color on walls in a lovely laundry room office with open shelving and white cabinets - Sherry Hart. #ironmountain #benjaminmooreironmountain #office
Sherry Hart’s genius and lovely home office space in a laundry room. Paint color is BM Iron Mountain.

No idea what the exact paint color name is for the home below, but it certainly seems to be in the family of Iron Mountain black-browns:

Slightly darker, yet still very close to Iron Mountain’s black-brown color is this one:

Black Fox (Sherwin-Williams) paint color on black kitchen cabinets in a home with design by Sherry Hart - @sherryhdesigns. #blackfox #blackpaintcolors
Sherwin-Williams BLACK FOX painted kitchen cabinets – design by Sherry Hart of @sherryhdesigns
Funny mom humor or adulting quote about tomorrow - Hello Lovely Studio. #momhumor #adultinghumor

More Paint Color Ideas for Soft Black With Brown or Blue Undertones

My own personal favorite which I keep returning to again and again? Sherwin-Williams Carbonized. I transformed builder-grade kitchen cabinets in a condo we renovated here:

SW Carbonized on kitchen cabinets - Hello Lovely Studio. #sherwinwilliams #carbonized #paintcolors #blackkitchen

You’ll be seeing Carbonized show up in images of our new interiors!

Light black and dark charcoal paint color ideas from Hello Lovely Studio. #paintcolors #charcoalgraypaintcolors
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Clare GOODNIGHT MOON

But what if brown-blacks and those muddy grays are not your jam? Maybe a deep blue-black will be:

I’m a fan of the paint colors from CLARE, and even though we’re not sure what color this bathroom vanity below as painted, you could approach the look with the color Goodnight Moon.

While I don’t know (not yet!) which black paint color was used on this gorgeous exterior by Ladisic Fine Homes, at least in natural light, you can see the blue undertones coming through:

Clare BLACKEST

Why would you want to use a richly dramatic very black paint color? Here’s the description of Blackest:

“Chic. Modern. Dramatic. Our blackest black might seem edgy, but when paired with the perfect light, it has the power to make a space pop.” – CLARE

Maybe you have a small area where a pop of black makes sense to create high contrast like in this “cloffice” type space:

Chic cloffice design via @designhallyu with doors that recess and high contrast on walls. #cloffice #homeofficedesign #closetoffice
via @designhallyu – see more CLOFFICE examples HERE

Designer Sherry Hart chose a bold black for a pantry, and this is a brilliant way to try out a color that is scary for you.

Deep black painted pantry wall with white shelves and white dishes - Sherry Hart. #blackwalls #blackpaintcolors #blackandwhiteinteriors
@sherryhdesigns

After living with the color in a small area, maybe you’ll decide to boldly try it in another room. Black can be quite elegant…

Dramatic deep black painted walls of sophisticated and elegant dining room with design by Sherry Hart. #blackpaintcolors #blackrooms #diningroom #blackandwhiteinteriors
Ladisic Fine Homes and Sherry Hart
Funny Target shopping quote - Hello Lovely Studio. #shoppingquotes #shoppinghumor #momhumor

I can imagine there are lighting situations where the warmth of the yellow sun may warm a cool, very dark black.

Not yet sure of precise paint colors used for the exteriors above and below, but an argument can be made for how black makes a striking backdrop for the lush foliage:

Beautifully dramatic black paint color on house exterior - @heathermariesanders. #blackhouses #blackpaintcolors
@heathermariesanders

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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2 Comments

  1. Amy
    April 19, 2022 / 8:53 am

    Love these brown/black shades and Carbonized! Can’t wait to see where you used it!!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 19, 2022 / 9:32 am

      Thanks for stopping today, Amy. Who would have thought I would begin using this deep moody color and love it? In other news, I might just be able to squeeze a mini vacay in soon and head to the sunshine (husband’s schedule opened up…yay!). Since I have been waking up to snow this week, it’s pretty exciting!

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing