The 7 Best DARK Paint Colours for a Dark Room (Sherwin W. and Benjamin M.)
Partner post to The Best LIGHT paint colours for a dark room or basement
Do you have a dark basement or family room? Are you struggling to find a paint colour that makes it feel like a welcome part of your home?
Now a lot of people get in the mindset that their dark room needs to be a light colour to off-set the lack of natural light. And while this can work, they actually might be missing out on the chance to add some personality and interest with a more deep and saturated paint colour.
Why would you paint a dark room a dark colour?
Because dark rooms tend to have a lot of shadows. Light colours don’t really like shadows and can look dingy and dirty. DARK colours LOVE shadows, they ABSORB shadows and tend to look even more stunning than they do on that wee little paint chip.
‘But won’t this make my room feel dark and scary?’
Source – Candice Olson
If you have adequate lighting, no. The key to solving a dark room doesn’t lie just in choosing the right paint colour, it lies in the lighting as well. With adequate lighting and the right decor, even a room with no windows can feel bright and inviting in the day and cozy and intimate in the evening.
If you DON’T have adequate lighting, there really is no paint colour that will save you
However, if new lighting isn’t in the budget and you want to give it a go anyway, check out these fabulous medium and dark toned colours…
The Best Gray Paint Colour for a Dark Room
Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray
(click on underlined colour name to view on website)
Hands down, Chelsea Gray wins the grand prize as the best medium/dark toned paint colour for a basement or dark room. It is just the right depth and sits just a smidge on the warm side of neutral compared to more cool/blue toned charcoal grays.
Source – Dear Lillie
This gives you an idea of how Chelsea Gray might act in a room with some but not TONS of natural lighting.
A bit more about Chelsea Gray
- Chelsea Gray is like a ‘heavy medium tone’. The darker version of CG is Amherst Gray which tips the scales into the ‘too dark/flat’ zone for a darker room
- Chelsea Gray has soft undertones that are susceptible to picking up cues from the environment. In some lights Chelsea Gray can pick up just a barely there green/blue, in other lights it falls into a slightly softer, brown zone while STILL looking totally charcoal.
- Chelsea Gray has an LRV of 23.5
Read more: How to Choose a Paint Colour with LRV
Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC 167
Amherst Gray is a beautiful, rich, medium/dark paint colour and is a stunner with it’s subtle undertones! At first glance it is a medium/dark charcoal, but as the lighting shifts you’ll see some beautiful almost cool green undertones coming up (green that leans slightly to the blue side over the yellow side).
Kylie M Online Colour Consulting
A bit more about Amherst Gray
- With an LRV Of 19, Amherst Gray is pretty skookum
- Notice the rich depth in the corner and beautiful velvet look on the main part of the wall
The Best Blue/Green Paint Colour for a Dark Room
Benjamin Moore Caribbean Teal
Caribbean Teal is undoubtedly one of my FAVE medium toned ‘colours’. Unlike Chelsea Gray which is neutral, Caribbean Teal does have some gray in it to tone it down, but its real bones are a mix of blue and green, making it a stunning, earth-toned teal.
Source – Taylor Design
A bit more about Caribbean Teal
- Caribbean Teal is a medium toned colour, but can seem a touch heavier as it’s quite saturated
- While it does have gray in it, at no point does it ‘look gray’. The gray simply stops it from being overly colourful.
- The LRV of Caribbean Teal is 20
The Best Brown Paint Colours for a Dark Room
Sherwin Williams Keystone Gray SW 7504
I love this one. This is an interesting ‘greige’ type of colour in that it’s a brown/gray blend. At this depth, the brown is slightly stronger than the gray, but the gray is still there to stop this colour from being ‘chocolate’ or overly warm. In the lighter range of this colour (Agreeable Gray), it’s the gray that is slightly more dominant. If you are looking for a sophisticated look Keystone Gray is a great choice.
Kylie M E-Design
A bit more about Keystone Gray
- Keystone Gray is one of the lighter ones on this page with an LRV of 29
- In the lighter range this is a pretty decent greige that leans to the gray side. At this depth, the brown shows up more, without becoming a typical ‘brown’
Sherwin Williams Mink
(click on underlined colour name to view on website)
In a dark room, Mink can look fabulous if you are wanting a rich and sensuous look with depth, but not TOO much colour.
Source Lia Griffith
Mink is a dark colour that is a pretty even mix of gray, brown and purple.
Source Decorating Den
The above stairwell photo looks VERY similar to Mink. These 2 photos show you how much it can vary – in one space the purple can be more obvious and in another it can be more subtle.
A bit more about Mink…
- The LRV of Mink is 20
- Mink is darker and more colourful than Kingsport Gray due to it’s purple undertone. In comparison, Kingsport will feel warmer
- A pretty colour with darker wood tones
Darker than Dark Paint Colours
Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze
Urbane Bronze is one of the up-and-comers in the colour world due to its neutral, but intensely rich colour!
A bit more about Urbane Bronze…
- The LRV or Urbane Bronze is 8 – BOOM! Yup, that’s dark!
- Urbane Bronze is a nice brown/charcoal mix with just a weeeee smidge of green
And don’t forget
There’s a few other things to think about before you finalize your paint colour…
Low Ceiling (common in basements): How to Make a Low Ceiling Feel Higher
Not sure which colour is the best for your room, tastes and furnishings?
I’ll suggest 3 fabulous custom-picked colours for you for $45 with an Online Consultation
Kylie M Interiors E-Decorating and Online Color Consulting Services Based in Nanaimo, BC, Canada, serving the whole darned World!