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Image via Boxwood Avenue

Deep and dramatic, black walls never fail to make a statement. Using black paints, wallpapers or fixtures brings an immediate sense of sophistication and style to a space. The dark background also makes furniture, decorative accessories and design details really stand out.

I am getting ready to start a project that will have some version of black in both the bedroom and kitchen. I'm not sure what the colors will be yet until I can test patches on the walls in natural daylight but it will certainly be some combination of the below 'blacks'.

If you too have been playing with the idea of venturing to the dark side, read on for details on my favorite tried and true hues that never disappoint.

Before selecting the specific paint color, consider the lighting sources in the space you want to paint out. Keep in mind that as a color, black absorbs light. Adding multiple sources of lighting including overhead, wall, under cabinet and accent lamps are crucial as you won't have reflections from the wall bouncing light into the room.

Ceiling height is another key component. If the ceilings are low, I like to wrap the black walls up onto the ceiling to trick the eye into seeing an "expansive" space with no delineation. Again, remember to add in more lighting than you think necessary and incorporate mirrors and shiny accents (one of the reasons why brass hardware is so popular) to help reflect the light.

Image via Pinterest

Wrought Iron Benjamin Moore 2124-10

When looking for a really warm, soft, classic feeling 'black', Wrought Iron is my favorite color.

It is considered to be a complex shade of black due to its blend of black, grey, brown and navy blue. Wrought Iron really works best with at least a small amount of natural light to highlight the different dimensions and color undertones.

image via

Raccoon Fur Benjamin Moore 2126-20

Described by Benjamin Moore as a slightly lighter shade of black with an "alluring hint of inky violet". Raccoon Fur is great because it is very deep and saturated but it has a significant level of blue to give it more depth but less intensity than a true black. It's a great "starter" black and a very popular choice for kitchen cabinetry.

image via Becki Owens

Black Panther Benjamin Moore 2125-10

Described to be much like the coat of a panther, Black Panther is a classic shade of black that appears almost to have a velvet-like softness to it.

Since it has slight grey undertones it reads almost as a deep off-black. It is warm and soft much like Wrought Iron but significantly darker in shade.

image via F&B

Railings Farrow & Ball

Railings is more of a deep charcoal blue than a black. It is a popular choice for accents like ironwork or "railings" (its namesake) since it is a softer alternative to a bold black.

It is also a popular pick for front doors which you will usually see in a high-gloss finish.

image via Studio McGee

Soot Benjamin Moore 2129-20

Soot is a strong black but its blue undertone gives it an interesting and fresh appeal, especially when accented with a bright white trim.

Studio McGee cites Soot as one of their favorite black paint colors, calling it a “moody gray-black that isn’t too cold”.

Iron Ore Sherwin Williams SW7069

Iron Ore is a rich dark charcoal gray color. It is a pure deeply saturated tone and a popular choice for doors, kitchen islands and built-in cabinetry. It is also one of those shades that really sing when paired with white trim to help pop the smoky gray tone.

Off Black Farrow & Ball

This soft black is one of the original Farrow & Ball colors. As Farrow & Ball describes, it is "an uncomplicated name for a well loved classic. Off-Black is much more flattering to adjacent colours than stronger blacks because it feels so much milder in tone and has less of the underlying cool blue of Railings or Black Blue".

Tricorn Black Sherwin Williams SW6258

Tricorn Black is one of the most popular blacks from any paint brand and often considered the go-to black for many designers. It is a true neutral black that is timeless and will work in any light situation. It is neither a warm or cool black so you won't see any brown undertones you may find in a warmer black or those cool blue tones found in many of the other options above. Tricorn Black works best with a light floor to help bounce the light back into the room.


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