Painting the Trim Darker than Walls – The Pros and Cons

applying darker paint to trims than walls

Whether you are remodeling a home, renovating it, or building a new house entirely, you will have to decide what colors you want to paint the house. This includes any trims and the walls inside the house as well.

Many people struggle to determine which color to paint the window and door trims and are wary of painting them a darker color than the walls.

Below, we will examine painting the trim a color that is darker than the walls themselves, what are its advantages and disadvantages, along with some other questions and answers that you may have in mind.

Should the Trim Be Lighter or Darker Than the Walls?

Well, it depends on the kind of look you want as the homeowner. If you don’t mind one way or the other about color contrast, you can do it as long as it works well with the color of the walls. Those who like to play with unique shades can benefit greatly from this.

Of course, colors do affect mood, so you should at least be mindful of which ones you pick, as some colors can make a room feel darker and more cramped, while others may create a space that is brighter and roomier looking.

Where Will Darker Trim Work Best?

Adding dark or black trim to lighter and neutral wall colors can create a bold statement and add a sense of depth to a room. This look is ideal for spaces like home offices or hobby rooms where you want to showcase more personality.

This approach also works best in rooms that already have some darker accents, such as in modern homes, to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

When and Where to Use Lighter Trims?

If you have a classic or traditional home with strong architectural features, using lighter trim colors can be a great way to highlight those features and add elegance to your space.

Typically, white is the most popular choice for lighter trim and is an appropriate option regardless of your room or home style. For the finish, you should generally go with semi-gloss or gloss instead of flat. This not only highlights the trim but also makes it easier to clean dirt, grime, fingerprints, and scuffs.

Should Trims Match Throughout the House?

No matter what shade you pick, it’s best to have consistency in the color of the trim in each room of the house. This will create a seamless and streamlined effect, resulting in a unified look throughout the house.

If you vary the color of the trim in less frequently used rooms, you can still achieve variety while maintaining consistency in the main areas of the house. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference.

pros and cons of painting trim same color as walls

Benefits and Drawbacks of Applying Darker Paint to Trims

Indeed, you can paint the trims around your doors and windows darker than the walls, creating a nice bit of contrast. In fact, painting the door and window frames in darker colors will tend to draw the eye to them and help create an interesting depth in the room.

However, before you commit to this look, it is important to consider what types of colors will be complementary. You want to make sure that the trim and wall color combination complements each other rather than conflicting with or clashing with one another.

It is also important to note that some colors may be too extreme, so try to pick a trim color that isn’t too far off from the walls. For example, if you have a light blue wall, choose a navy trim instead of black or charcoal.

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of going the route of lighter walls and darker trim:


Beautifies the room

A way to enhance the appearance of a room is by painting the trim in a darker shade compared to the walls. This technique creates a charming contrast that adds visual depth and can complement elements such as window sills, door frames, and furnishings.

Attracts more attention

Darker trim is also more visually striking, which means that it will attract attention more readily. If a room has darker trim compared to the rest of the area, the trim will likely be one of the first things that capture attention.


It can create an overwhelming effect

On the other hand, going with a darker trim can also have negative effects when used improperly. If the darker trim is too extreme for the color of the walls, it can create an overpowering effect.

When this happens, instead of creating an aesthetically pleasing environment, it can actually make the space feel oppressive.

The darker colors may fade more quickly

Darker colors absorb more heat and light, which can affect the paint and cause it to fade over time. And that’s the reason if you paint your trim darker, it may cause the colors to fade faster than lighter colors. This means that you may need to repaint the trim more often.

Will Darker Window and Door Trims Make My Room Look Smaller?

Dark trims can indeed make the space appear smaller and cozier than it is because the darker shades absorb some of the light and heat in the room. Of course, it is only an illusion and doesn’t affect the true size of the room.

But overall, if you want to make a large room feel more intimate, you can opt for darker trim to accomplish this feat.

That said, the trim should match the wall color, even if you go for contrasting dark trim. This means choosing colors that complement the shade of the wall, such as painting your trims a slightly darker shade of gray than the light gray walls.

You could also have white walls with gray trim to give it a similar look. A darker color on the trim will create a focal point and attract the eye to it, making the room more visually intriguing.

Be aware that if the ceiling in your room is low and you paint it dark (matching the trims), it can make the space look even smaller and darker. On the other hand, painting the ceiling and trim the same color as the walls will hide away the trim and make the wall seem taller, preventing the appearance of a cramped, too-low ceiling.

So make sure to choose colors that will still be able to provide some contrast but won’t make the space seem too small.

Your goal with darker trim should be to create a beautiful space with some contrast and visual interest, but not one that’s overwhelming or makes the room look too small.

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