10 Best BLACK Sherwin Williams & Benjamin Moore Paint Colors. & how to style a black room!

I first saw an “all black” room years ago, many years ago, when I was watching Designer & HGTV Host Genevieve Gorder in her latest TV show at the time renovating her new Manhattan apartment transforming one room at a time making it her own. Genevieve had decided to paint her entire living room black which was ahead of the trend at the time. My first thought was an all black room?? Really?? I don’t think I would ever try this.  

But after a while, and seeing a few other “all black” rooms, I must admit, it actually started to grow on me. An all black room may not be for everyone, but you must admit, it is very cool and you just might be tempted to try it, maybe not a living room – or at the very least, one accent wall!

Black has become an increasing popular choice for house exteriors including black windows, accent walls in various rooms and recently black for kitchen cabinets. People are craving dark and moody colors as we move away from the gray trend and onto the white walls trends. But what is the best place for your home to add the addition of this dark and moody color?

Which room should you paint black?

In Genevieve’s show, see photo below, she picked her living room which makes a bold, daring and fun statement! I’ve seen a few black living room since then and they look great. But some of us may not want to make our main space black. Thankfully, there are alot of options.

A primary bedroom would be fun, romantic and sexy! A main floor powder room or a bathroom is a smaller commitment than a living room and can have a powerful impact on your guests! A kids room or an office may also be some other options in your home to keep it interesting and mix things up a little if you have manly neutral colored walls throughout the rest of the house.

10 Best Black Paints

Believe it or not, all black paints are NOT created equally. If you look at black paint separately, you will see black paint. If you line up 4 – 5 black paint chips side by side you will start to see differences in the color. Black paint is a darker version of some other color at its extreme. Therefore blacks can have undertones just like any other color. Some may be stark cool black, others a warmer black that may have undertones of brown, blue or green. Some have undertones of gray and lean towards a deep charcoal.

There is no right or wrong color choice when choosing the right black for you. It just depends on the look that you are wanting to achieve, and what are the existing elements, fixed and furniture & accessories that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the perfect black paint for your room.

Black Paint Colors:

Pure Black Paint

Jet black paint colors are a cool saturated black with no undertones. They go in any room or space where you want to make a bold, moody and dramatic statement.

Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black SW6258

Tricorn Black is one of Sherwin Williams bestselling paints. Its deep, saturated and has no undertones making it a true black. Its stark, bold and makes a dramatic statement in any room. It also makes a great statement in both exterior or interior doors and kitchen cabinets in a high-gloss finish. If you want a true black with no undertones of any other color, then Tricorn Black is a color you should definitely check out.

Benjamin Moore’s Jet Black 2120-10

Benjamin Moore’s Jet Black would be very a similar version of Tricorn Black of Sherwin Williams. If you want a true stark black with no undertones in Benjamin Moore, then look no further. Ben’s Jet Black is the color for you. Like Tricorn Black, it is suitable for any room and also works well with both exterior or interior doors and kitchen cabinets in a high-gloss finish.

Black with blue undertones

Sherwin Williams Inkwell SW 6992

This moody black/blue mix is perfect for a library, accent wall, or bedroom. This would be a good option if some of your fixed elements or furniture & accessories had blue undertones.

Benjamin Moore French Beret BM 1610

Ben’s French Beret is a black with a strong blue/gray undertone. Very suitable for spaces with blue fixed elements and/or blue furniture & accessories. This color would be a great color for an exterior door with orange brick.

Black paint with gray undertones

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7020

Some people will say SW Iron Ore is a charcoal gray that looks almost black. Others will say that Iron Ore is black with gray undertones. No matter how you slice it, SW Iron Ore is a popular black/dark gray and alot of designers go-to color for a charcoal gray, black with gray or whatever LOL. Its a lighter softer version of Tricorn Black and very popular on both interior & exterior doors, as well as in rooms.

Benjamin Moore Soot BM 2129-20

Soot is a popular Benjamin Moore black since it has gray undertones and comes across as a warm black/gray. It still looks black but has that warmth to it and so its not a stark black as we see above. Perfect if you’re looking for a warm black with an ounce of gray for warmth.

Black paint with green undertones

Sherwin Williams Greenblack SW6994

Greenblack is a great combination of black & green for those of you that want black but a hint of the ever growing popularity of green. It gives black a modern feel with edgy green mixed in. Popular in doors, and also very suitable for offices and bedrooms.

Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green HC-187 or PM-12

Green is a very trending color these days, and if you want a blackened green to co-ordinate with some of those green elements and accessories that you have chosen for your room, Ben’s Black Forest Green may do the trick for you to add the moody black/green to your room.

Black paint with brown undertones

Sherwin Williams Black Fox SW7020

Black Fox is a dark black brown chocolate color that is a warm blend of both hues. Perfect for rooms or spaces that you want a warm black and has brown undertones in either your fixed elements like wood flooring for example, or your furniture & accessories.

Benjamin Moore Black Beauty 2128-10

Black Beauty is a warm black and still does the trick of making a home look stately, but without the attitude of the stark black paint colors. Like Sherwin Williams Black Fox, Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty would fall into a black/brown category. A warm black with a hint of brown for those of you who want warmth and are tired of the gray phase.

Does the finish of your paint matter for black paint?

The finish of the black paint you choose should also be taken into consideration when you choose your color black. Flat or matt finishes will soak up light and create a warm and cozy vibe. They will also help to disguise scuffs and imperfect walls. Those particular sheens work well in a living room or family room, hallway, office or kids bedrooms.

On the other hand, bold high-gloss paint adds shine and glamor but it also shows the imperfections more than a matt finish will. You will find high-gloss typically in kitchens, but you will also find them in rooms where you want to make a bold statement like an office or entryway.

6 Tips to Decorate a Black Room

Before you rush out and buy a can of black paint, there are some things to consider first when you’re making decorating decisions. You need to consider the style of your home, your personal style, the room you’re considering painting, and of course, your furniture & accessories because your current furniture & accessories may fit with an all black room, but some or maybe all may need updating to fit not only with the color but with the vibe of the room.

There is a certain technique involved in decorating an all black room.  A room with all black walls can look really amazing or it can look very cold and uninviting.

Read 5 things to consider when decorating a room.

In HGTV Designer’s Genevieve Gorder all black Manhattan living room below, she successfully pulls off this look (would you really expect anything different from Genevieve?) using the techniques below in decorating with black or dark walls.

1. Use white or neutrals as an accent color

Offset all of the black with white or neutral shades in your accent pieces. You can have white or light upholstered furniture, white or lighter accents pieces like artwork, curtains, accessories, bedding for bedrooms, and accent pillows. White ceilings, moldings and trim will make not only be a bold accent against the black, it will make for a crisp contrast.

What you need to know about painting a room black
Photo: Genevieve Gorder

In Genevieve’s Manhattan apartment, she uses a cream linen upholstered couch and a light rug to offset the black walls and cabinetry. She also uses alot of various textures, and interesting accessories to complement the mood of the black living room. Her dramatic black & white picture is the icing on the cake to make it the initial focal point of this stunning living room.


In this guest bedroom, Ashely Bagnight of Handmade Haven successfully combines a combination of interesting and varied textures with lighter accessories to make this guest bedroom a stunning retreat which would entice house guests to stay longer. Starting with the board and batten accent wall, the rug, ottoman, the white cotton bedding, and tastefully decorated bedside table, the varied textures adds interest to the room and complements the black moody paint color. Read her full tutorial here.

2. Use Bold Pops of Colors

Adding a few pops of bold color to your all black room will make it pop. Rooms that are primarily black can feel depressing without some bright pops!.


Photo: Bloom In The Black

Brianna of Bloom In The Black, created this stunning dark & moody library with unique accents pieces including this gold couch to pack a punch of color to the room. Read her full transformation and styling inspiration here.


For my son’s dramatic bedroom makeover of his tween sk8park themed room, he wanted black walls and there was no talking him out of it as much as I tried. I was concerned that he wouldn’t like it, and that it would be too dark. Adding pops of color like a sk8park graffiti wall not only added interest to the room, it became one of the rooms stunning focal points. Not to mention making him the kid with the coolest room on the street. Read about the sk8park transformation here.

3. Use Texture for Interest

To keep the room from feeling dull, add items with lots of texture. You can have art décor, a sleek metallic lamp and patterned upholstery or drapery.  A bold graphic pattern will add visual interest.


In this guest bedroom, Ashely Bagnight of Handmade Haven successfully combines a combination of interesting and varied textures with lighter accessories to make this guest bedroom a stunning retreat which would entice house guests to stay longer. Starting with the board and batten accent wall, the rug, ottoman, the white cotton bedding, and tastefully decorated bedside table, the varied textures adds interest to the room and complements the black moody paint color. Read her full tutorial here.

Do you find picking out a paint color stressful? Do you need help picking out flooring, a front door or need help with your room design?

Check out my online e-design consults here.

4. Use Interesting Accent Pieces & Accessories

Interesting accessories & accent pieces always adds alot of interest in any room regardless of the paint color. But adding these items in an all black room is a great way to showcase items of interest, not to mention, adding an artistic mood to a dark room.


Mother and daughter duo, Steph and Michelle from Sunny Side Design created this amazing “man cave” for Steph’s teenage son. They hit is out of the park with their amazing attention to detail from their DIY vintage suitcase table to the leather chairs, and artwork. Read their full transformation here.


Even the Bachelor Mansion updated one of their rooms to a black room.  The various art pieces, rug and floor adds interest and lightens the room. Photo: ABC, The Bachelorette

The detail & accessories that went into this basic builder bathroom makeover by Sunny Side Design is what makes this design absolutely stunning! This bathroom is the poster child for using all the 6 steps needed in decorating a black room.

Notice the beautiful shaped matching mirrors, the accessories on the sink, the upholstered, shag ottoman, the flooring design, and curtains. And to top it all off, the blushing pink cabinet which is subtle but not too subtle to ignore, is the icing on the cake. Be sure to check out their full blog post here to see the before pictures, and the great tutorials of how they accomplished each step.


Adding an oversized wall mirror in the photo right (source unknown) is a great example of diffusing a dark moody room by adding an interesting statement piece.

5. Let there be light!

Lighting is important to add in any room but especially important in a black room, or your room can end up looking dreary. Even if your room gets alot of natural light, you need to consider your room at night time after the sun has gone down because this is when you’re going to need lighting the most to keep the bright and inviting.


Here’s another picture of Steph & Michelle’s “man cave” room transformation with a spotlight (pun intended) on their lighting solution of the room. They added pot lights to ensure more lighting for this space, and interesting ceilings lights to add to the mood of this room. Check out their DIY lighting makeover here.

black room, genevieve gorder, living room

Photo: Genevieve Gorder

Genevieve uses different light sources not only to lighten up the room but to add visual interest.  She also breaks up the black with a wood door & the hanging basket lights.  (Genevieve Gorder’s NYC Living Room Apartment.  )

6. Paint an Accent Wall

Painting an entire room black is not for everyone!  As with any latest design trend, you need to take into consideration the style of your house, location and your own personal style. An all black room would look great in any trendy neighborhood but may look a little silly in a sleepy small town home. Perhaps using black as an accent color would suit your style and your home’s style. Pick the prominent wall as this wall will become the focal point in your room. You can also make it interesting by using textures such as a wood panelling feature for example.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Dining rooms and primary bedrooms seem to be the most popular choices for black accent walls. They make a bold statement but may not feel so overwhelming as a total black room. Also having an accent wall feature may be easier to accomplish by incorporating some of your own pieces of furniture & accessories with some tweaking. An all black room may require a large amount of selecting new pieces of furniture & accessories that may not be in your budget at the moment.

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

One of the latest design trends in using black or charcoal gray is using this color as an accent wall in the dining room. You get a bold pop of color, a break from all the neturals out there, and you still get your bold trendy design statment. If you find black to harsh for your taste, charchol gray is becoming a trendy alternative to jet black.

An alternative to jet black is a dark gray like Sherwin William’s Color of the Year Urbane Bronze. Its a bold yet warm gray that would be suitable for any room really with the right elements in the room. Notice how they styled this room with netural bedding, light oak wood bedside table and an adorable hanging light again in a neutral to offset the dark accent wall.

What NOONE tells you about painting with black paint!

When I was painting my son’s room black, I was actually surprised that it was harder to look professionally painted than I thought. I mean, I’ve painted a black chalkboard wall, and probably hundreds, ok may not quite hundreds, but many many rooms different colors. That’s the perk of owning rental properties. You get to paint the same room many times over and you need to become really good at painting or you’re spending your profits hiring a painter.

Black paint shows EVERY imperfection.  You need to roll up and down consistently one line, and then move onto the next.  You need to roll DOWN to finish the line and then roll DOWN to finish the next line and so on.  Otherwise, if you don’t do this, the black will look like different shades of black even though you’re using the same color of paint.

So what do you think?  Are YOU bold enough to try this????

how to pick a paint color for my house


Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. I’m a Designer & Real estate investor.

My design advise to the world is … styling your home is the BIG secret in having an Instagram worthy home as opposed to a ho hum look. — My superpower is about styling to make your home stunning all while adding value to your home at the same time!

It all started back in 2006, at the request of a realtor, where I nervously staged my very first home. The sellers liked their newly styled home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price and stayed. I went back to design school and the rest is history. I’ve been working my “magic” with hundreds of clients to create a stunning retreat whether they’re styling to stay or staging to sell! In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently living in my 9th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails on how to make your home your stunning retreat, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!

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