Paint it…..Black?

Amber Randhawa Interior Decorating

How to Use Black Paint on Interior WallsThere is one recent trend in home decor that has even the most adventurous of us a little intimidated – black paint!  Many of us grew up thinking of black as an absolute no-no for interior walls, but much to the contrary, black paint has become a surprisingly fun and eye-catching way to add a pop of color and sophistication. You can use it for an entire room, or on an accent wall or door without hesitation if you keep a few things in mind. Here are some helpful tips for giving this ultimate neutral a try.


Black Absorbs Light

A bedroom with few windows might not be the ideal spot to experiment with black paint, but an accent wall in a large room with ample natural light could be perfect! A theater room is another wonderful place to use black paint, particularly if you want to decrease the effects of light flowing in from windows. In a room where light is welcome, adding a large mirror to a black wall, particularly one facing a window, amplifies the natural light to counteract black’s light absorbing effects.

Black Decreases Space

If black is used on part or all of a room’s walls, the area will feel smaller and cozier. Using black on your ceiling will have the same effect. An informal sitting room, library or an oversized powder room are good options for experimenting with black tones. Just as with light absorption, a large mirror hung in a black room will negate the room shrinking effects. Another visual trick for a small space is to choose a black paint with a matte finish rather than a glossy sheen.

Black is a Focal Point

Black has a habit of overpowering the other colors in a room. If you are using black paint on an accent wall only, make sure you choose a wall that is already a focal point of the room, rather than having two walls competing for attention. Further offset this by choosing light and bright furnishings for a black room, such as white curtains, rugs and furniture. Use other bold colors sparingly as accents – pillows, vases or artwork are great ways to add bold color to a black room.

All Black Paint is Not the Same

Just as there are many shades of white, there are also many varieties and sheens available in black paint. Look for black paint with undertones of gray or blue in a room where a peaceful, calming effect is desired, such as on a bedroom accent wall. Go with a bright or jet black with red or brown undertones for a more active area. If you’re unsure about the perfect paint, pick out a few samples to test in an inconspicuous place before committing to a shade.

Don’t Forget the Primer

One belief that makes black paint so intimidating is the idea that it is difficult to paint over when you are ready for an overhaul. Whenever you are making a drastic color change, the key is proper priming. Use a gray or deep base primer and your black paint will need fewer coats, and be much easier to paint over later.


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Want more information on current design trends or decorating tips? Check out some of our previous posts:

Retro Kitchens are Back!

Tips to Make Your Home Look Brighter