The Best Black Paint Colors

If there's one thing I've learned in my 8+ years of working in interior design, it's that paint can work miracles. When looking for a dramatic change at a low cost, paint is always my first suggestion. It's relatively inexpensive (compared to other updates), easy to DIY, simple to change and makes a huge impact in a space. So, when I decided to paint my dining room black (as a more cost effective option vs this wallpaper I'd hoped to use) I knew I wanted to pick the perfect color for our space. 

When picking any paint color it's important to realize there are so many varying shades and undertones that can vary within similar colors, choosing the right one isn't always easy. With black paint there are colors that read more blue or green, brown, charcoal and then of course a true black. I spent a lot of time sourcing through my samples and narrowed down my own choices to four colors from Benjamin Moore: Onyx, Black Panther, Black Beauty and Black Satin

When I had Carling Stiksma over a few weeks back I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to test out these colors and have her capture the moment and I'm so glad I did! Despite my education and experience with design, I still recommend buying tester samples of the paint you're looking to buy to check out the color on your own walls. Subtle undertones don't always come through on the small paint chip not to mention that as the lighting in your home changes throughout the day, so will the paint color. It's worth the small monetary investment to make sure you pick the right shade, especially with a color as dramatic as black. 

Seeing as I've now analyzed black paint to the point of obsession, I thought I'd share my findings and a few of my favourite dark and dramatic black paints by Benjamin Moore.

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True Blacks

Benjamin Moore: Black

A true classic black paint. My girl Candace has this color in her home and it's truly stunning. You can take a peek at one of her rooms with this color in it here. Striking, bold and a deep hue, if black is what you're looking for, this is your color. 

Benjamin Moore: Black Beauty

A warm rich black. Another true black paint color that works well in both modern and traditional spaces. Similar to Onyx but slightly deeper and darker. 

Benjamin Moore: Onyx

This rich hue has a warmth to it that keeps it from feeling stark. A rich black that still has a bit of softness to it. When held up next to other blacks it pulls brown, hence it's warmth and richness. 

Blacks with Subtle Undertones

Benjamin Moore: Black Ink

A soft black with an oh so subtle nod to a deep rich blue.  This slight touch of blue makes it ever so slightly cooler when compared to other blacks such as Black Beauty or Onyx. 

Benjamin Moore: Black Satin

A deep color with a green/blue undertone. A rich depth of color, this striking hue is a gorgeous choice for a dark and dramatic color. 

Benjamin Moore: Soot

Soot is a dark gray/black with subtle blue undertones. Despite the blue, the color doesn't err on the cooler side and still manages to feel warm and luxe. 

Dark Grey Blacks

Benjamin Moore: Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a deep dark gray with a softness and warmth to it. When compared to other blacks it is noticeably lighter and more gray however on it's own, it comes across as a warm black that adds drama without the full depth of some of the other colors. 

Benjamin Moore: Black Panther

For a color named black it is certainly a deep hue however not nearly as rich as many of the other truer blacks. Black Panther shares the same softness and warmth of Wrought Iron but is a deeper and darker color. 

Benjamin Moore: Nightfall 

Nightfall is a deep charcoal. A striking bold color, this makes a fabulous accent wall for someone who wants a black wall, but still wants a softness to the color. Nightfall is an incredibly luxe color as charcoal is so soft and rich. 




Just take a scroll through some of the photos below and you'll see the huge differences in the paint samples I chose. The blues and greens and brown undertones really show when you start to use the paint in person. In the end, I'm so happy with the color I chose! Our dining room is now a bold black with a softness and richness to it that looks so great with all of the white and brass and walnut in our place. Just take a peek for yourself! So, which color did I end up choosing? You'll have to wait until next week for that reveal ;) 

If there are any other colors you struggle with let me know, maybe I'll share my other favourites! 

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A HUGE thank you to Carling Stiksma for the photos in this post! (All except the black wall with the chandelier photo). I'm so lucky to get to work with such amazing photographers and if you're in Edmonton and the surrounding area, I highly recommend checking her out!