How to best use Black Paint when decorating

How to best use Black Paint when decorating

“Any colour, as long as it’s black,” was the quote allegedly used by Henry Ford in reference to his iconic Model T Car. We don’t quite agree with him of course: we’d adapt that to say, “Any colour as long as it’s mindful!”, but we do love a good bit of black paint in a home. The key is to use it in the right way.

It's important to pay attention to the lighting you have and the type of finish you use – a bright light will really reflect off black paint so matt may be your best choice. Consider your accessories – lighter rugs, wall art and bright accessories will bounce well off the darker surfaces.

Remember, black doesn’t have to be jet black or ink black. In the same way that you can get variants on white and pink, black can be with a hint or blue or grey or green, still providing your surface with depth and interest.

Here are our favourite ways to use black paint.


Feature walls

Everything goes with black, it is perfect for a feature wall. Pinks, greens, blues and greys all complement it, we especially love warmer tones like an earthy beige or yellow against its stronger depth. A black wall around a fireplace or a black feature wall to contrast against other coloured walls can add a real point of interest in a room. An art gallery looks especially good on a black feature wall, the colour provides a striking backdrop to your prints, pictures and paintings.


Borders and trims

The standard use of white doesn’t have to be the only go-to when it comes to skirting boards, borders, window frames and trims. Black is just as hardy and of course shows up less dirt so is ideal for high traffic areas. It can create a very contemporary bold alternative, whether you have a traditional or modern home.

Small spaces

Darker colours do absorb light so a larger room can feel much smaller if you go all out with  black and yet in an already small room such as the downstairs bathroom, black can work well. You could even colour drench it across the ceiling and doors for a truly dramatic look. By using completely contrasting colours and accessories – brass furniture, pastel pink towels, green plants - you provide interest and a classic, timeless style.



Like borders and trims, the default setting for banisters tends to be white. Again, this is a high traffic area and mucky hands are not ideal for white paint, so black is just as good – it’s much more durable and when used against a lighter shade in an open hallway, does not minimise the space, instead drawing the eye to the lighter areas by providing a point of difference. A coloured runner carpet can then add a touch of flair.


Cupboards and cabinets

We’ve seen a real trend for darker kitchen cabinets over the last year or two and can see why – they look fantastic. Again though, these well-handled items can show the marks: fingerprints really stand out on both matt and gloss black paint, so do make sure you think about how to combat that, either with large handles or a handy cloth! Bedroom and living cabinets and shelving in black are another way to use this paint for storage without that issue. They create standout against the wall behind and if open, create a strong base for your ornaments and books.

If you aren’t quite ready for black, why not consider a very dark grey? Our rock grey paint provides all the depth, neutrality and contrast of black – dark and rich, yet with just enough light to bring a calming ambience to your home.