Top 3 Paint Choices to Pair with Dark Trim


One of my client meetings recently was a color consultation to choose a whole-house paint color. The homeowners were stumped because they have dark walnut trim and cream-colored doors; they really wanted grey (obvs), but couldn’t figure out how to make all 3 colors/tones work together. The paint that’s currently on the walls is a very yellow-toned neutral that is oh+so+popular in the world of contractors, making it even more difficult to visualize what a different color would look like throughout the house—it cast a very “golden” hue over everything.

When I walked into the house, there were different paint color samples on every wall, although, the homeowners still hadn’t landed on the perfect shade. Some were too light, some read a bit green, and even worse…some read pink. The struggle with gray is getting the perfect undertone, especially if you’re pairing it with non-white accents.

After holding up color cards all over the house (to get different light reads), it became clear that to blend the walnut trim, cream doors, and include the gray they wanted…we needed more of a stone color (a greige…but no pink undertone!).

The top 3 paint colors I brought for the homeowners to select from are:

3. Sherwin Williams Twilight Gray

While I love all three of these colors, my favorite is Dutch Boy Comfortable Gray! It is such a warm color without pink or yellow creeping into it. It also works with the current popularity of the color gray, but feels very fresh! Sherwin Williams Gossamer Veil is lovely as well, but ended up being too light for this space. Twilight Gray is gorgeous as well; it is very close in tone to Comfortable Gray, but comes off a bit lighter and a hint more silver. When I took the walnut color of the clients’ woodwork into consideration, the paint needed to be a little warmer (Comfortable Gray) to blend, instead of compete, like Twilight Gray would have.

My suggestions for choosing paint are:

  1. Give yourself enough time—don’t rush the process.

  2. Buy the samples!

  3. Put those samples all over the space you want to paint. Each wall is going to get different light at different times of day; you might end up not loving one depending on how it reflects that light or how it may bring out hints of other colors that aren’t always visible (pink, purple, and green color hues are often hidden in color blends).

  4. Choose the one you love! Don’t always choose what’s trendy, what Pinterest says, or what your friends suggest. Ultimately, it’s your space to enjoy and you should surround yourself with the color/non-color that makes you happy.

Picking the perfect paint can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Do your research, test ‘em out, and have fun!