How to Use One of the Trickiest Paint Colors in Your Home
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about decorating with black paint.
Published Oct 9, 2017 2:00 PM
is officially trending for 2018. PPG Paint, Glidden, and Olympic Paint & Stains have all named some variation of this dramatic shade their colors of the year.
That said, using black paint in your home is often easier said than done; the idea of painting our interiors black is definitely intimidating, especially since the cardinal rule of making your space feel bigger is often to steer clear of dark hues.
So how do we implement the color without overpowering the rest of the room decor? We tapped some experts at PPG to clear up some frequently-asked questions. Here, Senior Product Marketing Manager Jenny Burroughs and Senior Color Marketing Manager Dee Schlotter share their top tips for painting with one of the upcoming season’s hottest hues.
Generally-speaking, are there any rules to follow when painting walls black? Any common mistakes to avoid?
Jenny Burroughs: Priming is key when moving from light or medium colors to black, or vice versa. Some homeowners may be hesitant to paint walls in black because it is thought to be more difficult to paint over later; however, with proper priming, black can be painted over rather easily.
When going from a light or medium color to black, a grey or deep base primer is recommended. Darker primers allow the black to cover in less coats.
Can you tell us a bit about the different shades of black? Is how you use warm tones different from how you use cool tones?
: The indigo undertones of PPG Paints brand’s Black Flame make it a cooler black, while warmer blacks pull red and brown undertones. Both cool and warm blacks provide great anchor colors to other softer colors. For example, Black Flame serves as a great anchor for trim and doors against Farmhouse hues like Olympic Paint’s Burnt Red and soft blues like Glidden Paint’s Arctic Blue.
Can you speak a bit to the difference in black paint finishes
JB: Matte finishes continue to rise in popularity this year, particularly with
kitchen”] appliances. As this trend continues to expand, there has also been a rising interest in using flat paint sheens to achieve the same luxurious matte finish on walls in the home. For high-traffic areas of the home, higher sheen products like eggshell and satins offer more durability. A highly durable product, like our new PPG Timeless interior paint and primer, offers all four sheens—flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss with excellent hiding and scrubbability.
Are there certain spaces in the home that work best with each of those finishes?
JB: When choosing the sheen of your paint, choose a higher sheen in areas with high traffic and clean often. Higher sheen typically means higher durability and it can withstand repeated cleaning and touching.
PPG recommends an
finish for children’s playrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms—rooms that are exposed to a lot of activity. Flat finishes are excellent paint sheens to hide imperfections and can easily be touched up, making a great choice for either ceilings or dining room walls.
Is there any particular technique to follow when painting with black?
JB: The painting technique is similar to painting with other colors! When applying the paint to the roller, ensure the nap of the roller is sufficiently covered in paint. Then, roll in three to four foot sections at a time in a “W” motion. PPG recommends moving quickly to maintain a wet edge in each of the three to four-foot sections. To finish, run the roller down the wall from ceiling to floor without adding pressure to the roller handle in order to even out the roller stipple and blend each section together.
For any touchups, use the same type of applicator that was used when the paint was originally applied, as well as paint from the same original bucket of paint to ensure the finish and color are both uniform to the original coat.
What’s the most unique way you’ve seen black paint implemented in home interiors?
DS: When thinking of nursery decor, your mind may automatically go to soft pinks and blues and whimsical pastels, but over the past couple of years nursery colors have become much more mature.
To add instant sophistication to your nursery, add a black hue to an otherwise neutral space for a look that is effortless, dramatic, and modern. Black can also be paired with a pale pastel on the ceiling and an off-white trim along with nuanced colors on furniture, bedding, and window treatments. Whatever you pair it with, integrating black into your nursery will create a timeless and cozy feel in your baby’s new space.
Can black paint work in small spaces?
: There is an interior design rule of using a black accent in each room, which is reflective of the universal nature of this classic color. Every space could use a touch of black. As with any strong hue, it’s perfect for an accent wall or to [use to] paint a table or other pieces of furniture; however, black can be much more than just an accent color.
Treat your walls like a fashion runway and find a room you want to turn into a statement, whether it be the dining room, living room, or kitchen. Envelop the wall, trim, and ceiling in black, allowing the hue to act like a curtain and allow your artwork, cabinets, and furniture to take center stage.
Do you have any tips for painting a small space black without making it look cramped?
DS: No matter the color you select for your small space, utilizing one color for all walls in a space makes it feel larger. One unified color fades defining lines, which enhances the coziness of the space and makes it feel larger.
Additionally, repeating colors in a room at least twice creates a unified flow and makes your space feel more open and cohesive. By using your wall color at least one other time in your space, either in a rug or a small accent piece, you’ll not only pull your style together but also make your room appear more spacious.
Are there any myths surrounding painting your walls black that you would like to refute?
DS: While black in decor is a bold statement that implies a bit of edge, at its core, black is a classic hue that pairs well with almost anything and adds sophistication to any space.
Can you share some of your more general tips for using black paint?
DS: There are endless possibilities to integrate this classic hue into your home, but here are a few suggestions:
- Modernize your kitchen by incorporating black matte lower cabinets with upper open shelving to add elegance to your cooking space.
- Paint your wainscoting black and the wall above a nuanced neutral to infuse your space with drama while maintaining a cozy atmosphere.
- Color helps to corral clutter—paint the back of the shelves black and exhibit your white or pale collectibles in front.
- Who says ceilings have to be white? Draw the eye upward with a chic black ceiling paired with a beautiful light fixture. These elements are sure to command attention.