There are those of you out there for whom plain white just won’t cut it. You’re daring, you’re bold and you want your home to show it. But even the most bold of people can shy away from using dark paint.


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We’ve all heard how it can make a room seem small, even dungeon-like. But if you use the right paint in the right way, dark paint can make your room so much richer and luxurious, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t use it before.

If going dark is something you’re interested in, here are ten tips to help you maximize the color.

1. Paint the Right Room

Not all rooms are meant to be dark—windowless, small rooms should probably not be your first pick for jewel-tone walls. Instead, look towards your larger rooms and rooms that are meant to feel intimate and cozy. The dark color doesn’t so much close in a space, as it brings it in—it feels less expansive and more personal which is great for places like your bed and living rooms.

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2. Don’t Go Totally Dark

If your room is smaller or the color still intimidates you, start small by painting an accent wall. Dark accent walls are a great way to keep light colored rooms and furniture from feeling too washed out. Pull the color through the room with other small accents that feature the hue.

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3. Two-Tone

Another option is to meet the color halfway. Literally! If you have a chair rail, paint the top half a light color and have your anchoring dark one on the bottom. If you have wainscot paneling, you can keep it white with a dark color resting on top.

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4. Create Balance

Keep your room from becoming too dark by balancing out the color with light trim, paneling or a bright colored accent wall.

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5. Merging Eras

If your decor is an eclectic mix of eras, using a dark color on your walls will create a cohesive anchor to pull them all together.

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6. Add Glamour

Dark colors alone exude glamour and luxury. By painting a room that has a utilitarian function black, brown, grey or jewel-tone, you add a layer of elegance.

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7. Call Attention

You can also use dark paint sparingly to call attention to a certain aspect of your room. Be it a fireplace, area of floor tile or built-in cabinets, the dark hue will pop and make a bold statement.

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8. Trim Your Room

Painting your trim a dark color has an interesting effect: it adds depth. Dark trim on windows and molding will draw the eye up and outwards making the room seem much bigger.

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9. Pairs Well With Texture

Textured pieces like wood, crystal and velvets are hard to use because they can either stand out too much or become overwhelming. Using dark colors on your walls help them to stand out in a fashionable way while making them seem like a cohesive feature in the room. Dark walls also make a great backdrop for art and photo galleries.

Purple Living Room


10. Choose the Right Light

When you do go dark, making sure that you have the right lighting in the room will be the most important thing you do. A simple ceiling fixture often isn’t enough since it casts a central glow. Instead, add some wall sconces or standing lamps to spread the light throughout the room which accentuates the dark color rather than fights it.

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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.