How to decorate with black paint like a pro

While black paint has been in fashion for a few years, it is finally starting to reach its climax. Several celebrities — including Miley Cyrus and Ciara — have recently shown off black walls in their own homes, Havenly named it one of the top trends for 2022, and Sherwin-Williams’ HGTV Home just declared the purplish-black hue “Darkroom its 2023 color of the year. Because of this, there’s now plenty of inspiration to choose from if you’re considering using a moody hue in your home. However, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from some expert advice on how to decorate with black paint. After all, using color on your walls is always a challenge, as easy as it looks on Instagram.

And the first part of this challenge? Find out if black paint is right for you or not. Before taking any steps to choose a shade, Gianpiero Gaglione, owner and lead designer of Gianpiero Gaglione Interior Design, says to ask yourself if you’ll really be at peace with the shade of your home. “Look inside your wardrobe and see the colors of your clothes,” he says. “This will tell you what colors appeal to you and are comfortable with and give you a good foundation for the appropriate paint colors to use.” If there are no shades of black present? Chances are you don’t want it on your walls either.

But if so, you’re in luck: there are many benefits to using color in your home. Although Gaglione notes that black paint is definitely a statement, “if used correctly, it can add a ton of drama and a luxurious edge to a space.” Plus, it can help achieve a myriad of looks. For example, the designer says black paired with white can create a “chic, contemporary and sophisticated look,” while black and gold add a lot of glamour. “In a material sense,” he continues, “black paired with exposed brick and steel evokes a very masculine and industrial chic vibe, while black paired with rattan and Moroccan rugs evokes a bohemian, eclectic undertone. “

Convinced that you are ready to cross over to the dark side? Ahead are pro tips on how to take the plunge and get the black paint off perfectly.

Courtesy of Folding Chair Design Co. / Photo by Jenn Verrier

Choose the right part

While the decision to use black paint is entirely up to you, some designers follow certain rules when adding it to spaces. Jennifer Walter, owner and lead designer of Folding Chair Design Co., says she typically uses very dark or black paints in small to medium-sized rooms. “Creating a box around that color can be so ubiquitous in a smaller space.” And yes, that means you might want to avoid using these shades in larger areas. “Dark paint tends to absorb more light, shrinking some rooms, so we opt for lighter colors in living rooms and larger breezeways,” she continues. Walter even gives a few specific examples to illustrate this, citing gunpowder and dining rooms as his favorite spots for black paint. “These are two pieces where customers are more inclined to take risks and where color has a major impact,” she shares.

Pay attention to the lighting

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: dark rooms need a light source. Walter says she likes a room with black paint “to have natural light if possible, or overhead lighting that can be dimmed to avoid the black hole and cave effect.” Still, while having windows is important, Gaglione says it’s possible to go overboard with this. “Spaces where I think you can avoid dark would be rooms with a ton of light, so rooms with big windows or very open spaces,” he explains.

start small

Maybe you’re not ready for an entire room painted black – and that’s okay. You still have plenty of options. Walter recommends trying a small ceiling: “In [one] bathroom we designed, we lacquered the ceiling with black FPE paint which created a mirror finish that was so striking against the wallpaper. What if you’re thinking of adding it to the walls, but you’re scared? “Try a wall or a small area to start,” says Gaglione. “For example, if you’re thinking black in the bedroom, just paint the headboard wall and see if you like it.”

Do the preparation

A crucial step to engage in black painting? “Get your walls in order,” says Walter. According to her, you should skim, sand, and be a little more careful when prepping in general, as black paint is less forgiving with imperfections. “Bumps, chips or dents will be seen much more easily.”

Courtesy of Folding Chair Design Co. / Photo by Jenn Verrier

Choose the right shine

PSA: Not all black paints are the same. As with all colors, there are different levels of sheen. But with black, says Gaglione, choosing the right one is especially important. “Glossy black is super chic and adds so much glamor to a room,” he explains. “It bounces light everywhere, especially if you have crown molding or trim on any of the walls.”

On the other hand, he continues, flat matte black is “a much more casual look.” It also has the unexpected benefit of helping to camouflage certain things. “For example, painting a ceiling that has exposed ducts or sprinklers is a common thing to do in restaurants or offices so it all goes away.”

Be ready to commit

Even if you start small with black paint, let’s be real – it’s still quite a dramatic move to add to your home. So, Walter says, as with any bold or deep color, you have to be ready to see it. all daytime. “Just as some people can live with all-white walls, so living with jet walls takes a level of commitment,” she explains.

This is where the previous tips come in. Review your lighting situation, ask yourself what mood you’re trying to achieve, and consider the room you want to use it in. And finally, trust your instincts. “As an interior designer, I think it’s important to listen to your instincts and follow them,” says Gaglione. “Being brave and taking risks is something you have to do in the creative field, so take a leap of faith. If it doesn’t work, in the end, it’s just paint.

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