Forget White Walls—These Are the Best Paint Colors for Dark Rooms

gif of 3 different paint colors

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Common sense would suggest that the best color to paint a room with little natural light would be white. After all, what makes a room look brighter and lighter more than stark white walls? Contrary to popular belief, the best paint color for low-light rooms is not actually white. An all-white room can only contribute to making it feel bland and uninspiring, rather than giving it the bright and airy feel we all crave and love. Ready to see your dark room in a whole new light?

Read on for the best paint colors for dark rooms.

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Benjamin Moore Black Beauty

benjamin moores black beauty

LB Design Studio

If you're going to go dark in a room, why not go all the way and opt for an all-black look? This color would look great on built-in bookcases or even painted on all walls and the ceiling for a cozy, dramatic look. "When choosing a paint color for your home, it's important to take into consideration the architecture, the purpose, the shape, the direction of a room, and the light, as they will contribute to the changing appearance of colors," explains Charlie Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball.

Benjamin Moore Black Beauty
Benjamin Moore Black Beauty $11
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Sherwin Williams Wheat Penny

Camel tones can be intimidating, but this deep warm hue is the perfect backdrop for a cozy breakfast nook or lounge area. Just pair it with other rich neutral tones for an elegant effect.

Sherwin-Williams Wheat Penny
Sherwin-Williams Wheat Penny $90
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Behr in the Moment

Behr - In the Moment

 Courtesy of Behr 

This gray-green hue complements nature beautifully and would look fantastic in a Scandinavian-style living room filled with neutral accents.

Behr In the Moment
Behr In the Moment $156
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Clare Prince

In north-facing rooms, which are notoriously low in natural light, Cosby advises staying away from white: "North-facing rooms can be difficult to decorate, as they are naturally darker. In these spaces, we would advise you to use strong color and embrace what nature has given. Dark colors can all be used to create drama and intimacy."

If you're feeling adventurous, try a deep plum like this Prince color from paint startup Clare. This moody hue pairs well with warm neutrals to create a cozy vibe that's perfect for a lounge or TV room.

Clare Prince
Clare Prince $54
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Benjamin Moore Excalibur Gray

Benjamin Moore - Excalibur Gray

 Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

While this color is on the lighter side, its grayed-out lilac hue is perfect to create an almost-neutral moody feel. We can picture this color in a relaxing tone-on-tone bedroom. 

Benjamin Moore Excalibur Gray
Benjamin Moore Excalibur Gray $11
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Sherwin-Williams Charcoal Blue

This almost-black blue hue is perfect for creating a dark and dramatic flair in a living or dining room. Try pairing it with cool light blue and gray tones. 

Start by testing colors at home to see how the color choices respond to the changing light in a space and how well they work with a room's features.

Sherwin-Williams Charcoal Blue
Sherwin-Williams Charcoal Blue $38
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Farrow & Ball Brinjal

farrow & ball brinjal

Farrow & Ball

Due to its high level of pigments, Farrow & Ball is the go-to paint brand for deep hues. This plum tone would look fantastic in a small moody space like a kids' bedroom or a dark hallway.

Farrow & Ball Brinjal
Farrow & Ball Brinjal $110
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Behr Equilibrium

Not afraid of color? Try this deep forest green hue in a dark room like an office with built-in bookcases, or a kitchen with low natural light.

Behr Equilibrium
Behr Equilibrium $25
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Clare Big Apple

Big Apple - Clare

Clare

Not afraid of color? This bold red is fierce and would look great in a powder room or dining space to create the perfect lively mood for entertaining.

Clare Big Apple
Clare Big Apple $54
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Sherwin-Williams Misty

A lighter option than most other dark paint colors, this misty hue will give a small space a cozy feel. Use it in a bedroom and pair it with tone-on-tone gray hues with touches of black.

Sherwin-Williams Misty
Sherwin-Williams Misty $38
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Benjamin Moore Incense Stick

We think this dark, grayed-out brown would create a quaint, cozy vibe in a library or TV room.

Benjamin Moore Incense Stick
Benjamin Moore Incense Stick $11
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