Traditionally the trim in a house is painted in white or off-white paint, but more and more people are turning to alternative colors for their trim to add more personality and style to their homes.
Dark-colored paint used on wood or metal trim can create bold lines in a space and help to draw attention to particular areas in a room. A dark trim is also excellent for setting a modern and contemporary tone and injecting some interest into a space without making the whole room feel dark or dreary.
Here we look at the various ways you can add black trim to a house, covering a range of budgets and styles.
8 Great Ways to Use Black Trim in Home Decor
When we talk about trim in home decor, most people immediately think of baseboards and door frames.
While these are really great options for painting in black, they aren’t the only ways to add black trim accents to your house. You can frame a space with black trim in a range of ways, and some of them don’t even involve having to pick up a paintbrush.
If you have light-colored walls and want to create a stark contrast with your baseboards, then black is the way to go. Black baseboards set against white walls look particularly classy, and it allows for a contrast that is intense without being overwhelming.
The neutrality of black baseboards means they read as bold while still maintaining a relatively low-key vibe. Low black baseboards like the ones seen in this image can set the tone for a minimalist space, while deeper baseboards painted in black can make for a twist on a more classic style.
Black Window Frames
If you have an attractive view out of the windows in a room, then you can make this into a focal point by painting the interior window frames in black. This is especially effective if black is used very minimally throughout the rest of the space because it really helps draw attention to the windows, as seen in this farmhouse kitchen.
Here, the owners have matched up the black window frames with the black breakfast stools beneath the island, creating coordination without saturating the space in black. This ensures there is a sense of continuity while still allowing the black to really stand out.
Painting window frames in black is a really stylish way to incorporate black trim into a home, and it creates the idea of the view like a piece of artwork in a black frame.
Black Interior Doors
Using black paint on interior doors and door trim is a useful way to create a definition between one room and the next. Since doors and their door frames are tall, it’s also a nice way to bring some of your black trim higher up into the space where it will be most noticeable. Many types of trim, such as baseboards, paneling, and stairways, are lower down on the wall and therefore less obvious because they fall below the natural eye line.
Using black on trim which is higher up in the room, allows it to become more of a feature. Since doors are quite large features in a room, painting them black makes them become very dominant. This is especially the case if the black doors are set into white or light-colored walls.
If you want to make a bold impact, painting doors in black is certainly one way to achieve this, however, if you are looking for a sleeker look with your black trim, then small areas will be a better option.
One of the trending looks across home decor accounts on social media at the moment is staircases with black trim. There are a number of ways you can paint staircases black, depending on the type of banisters and steps you have. If you have wooden steps, then you can paint these along with the entire banisters in black and set this against white or off-white walls for a classic yet striking look.
For a slightly more elevated style, paint the spindles of staircase banisters in white, and paint the handrails in black, along with the wooden steps, as seen in this stairway. This option creates coordination and continuity without overwhelming the whole stairway in a dark color. It allows the black to shine as an accent rather than bring the energy of the space down.
Black Framed Furniture
If you’re interested in adding black trim to your home but don’t want to go as far as painting your woodwork, you can experiment by purchasing furniture with black frames. This creates the effect of sharp lines similar to what would be achieved by painting trim in black but without the commitment required.
As seen in the image pictured here, opting for furniture with straight, slender, parallel frames can create the illusion of black trim without actually investing in repainting your home. The resulting effect is sleek and modern, and this can be dressed in an edgy way for an industrial look or in a more classic way for a chic look.
A fireplace can be highlighted as the focal point in a room by painting it in a bold or contrasting color to the rest of the space. Black is a good choice because it will stand out against a pale-colored room, but it isn’t too loud or offensive in the same way that other bold colors might be.
In the living room pictured here, the owners have opted for a black framed fireplace, which frames the fire itself, and coordinates with other black accents in the room, such as the black legs on the armchair, the black lamp, and the black pots on the mantel. You can also paint an entire mantelpiece or fireplace in black for a more striking effect.
Wall paneling dates back to 13th century Europe, though it didn’t become as intricate and desirable until the 15th century. By the 17th century, wall paneling was ornately carved and embellished, and was used across rooms in wealthy houses and estates to elicit a sense of luxury and grandeur.
This is a style that remained popular among the rich right into Victorian times, but fell out of favor throughout the 20ths century as modern styles took over. Though paneling is widely considered to be associated with traditional styles and fancy decor, many of us will remember the wood paneling that became fashionable in the 1970’s.
Today, the paneling trend is once again on the rise, but in a style that combines a contemporary and classic aesthetic. Paneling is a relatively easy DIY task that can be completed at home on a low budget, which is one of the reasons for its appeal. You can paint the paneling in any color, but if you’re thinking about using black trim in your home, then paneling is a great place to start.
As seen in this image, the paneling which has been used is of a mid-century modern style, with pale wood as the main color, with black beneath, which can be seen between each individual panel. This creates a really subtle look, adding depth and dimension to an interior.
Black Photo Frames
Using black frames around the home is a really easy and effective way to create the look of black trim without spending a lot of money and without taking time to paint your woodwork. You can select black frames for photographs, art prints, or mirrors and achieve a style that looks sleek, modern, and simple.
In the room depicted here, the black frame has been coordinated with black plant pots and trinkets for a consistent color palette and a sense of continuity. By setting the black frame against a white wall, as has been done here, the black trim makes for a bold shade contrast.
Best Black Trim Paint Colors
Black Jack by Benjamin Moore
This is an ultra-black paint that lacks any other color pigments, making it a true, flat black. It’s the ideal choice if you’re looking for something bold and daring, but it’s also a fairly safe choice of black for smaller areas like baseboards.
Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams
This is a deep black with a subtle hint of brown, which gives it a mild, warming effect. Use this shade of black for paneling in a room where you want a cozy and comforting atmosphere.
Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball
This paint from Farrow & Ball could be considered dark gray or almost black. It has a charcoal color with a soft tone, making it ideal for anyone who wants black trim that doesn’t feel stark.