Best of Before and After: These Transformations Show the Power of Dark Paint

updated Oct 8, 2019
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Credit: Jo Char

I’ll say it: Dark paint colors can be be a little intimidating. But among the many before & and after stories we post, there are some brave homeowners who take a dive into the deep end… of the paint deck, that is. And judging by the “after” photos of their homes, their gambles really paid off. In honor of Risk Month at Apartment Therapy, we bring you our favorite ultra-dark paint transformations we’ve seen recently. Who knows? Maybe they’ll inspire you to take the plunge, too.

From leaf print to forest green wainscoting

Nicola Broughton didn’t want to mess with her perfectly functional bathroom when she first moved in, but after over a decade of living with the blue- and white-tiled walls, she was ready for a change.

Enter: board-and-batten wainscoting in a rich forest green. Opting for painting just the wainscoting in a dark color is a great way to dip your toe into the proverbial pond.

Credit: Dana McMahan

A yellow living room turns moody and fab

Dana McMahan loved the bones of her 132-year-old Victorian—but the color selections it came with, not so much.

Blue-gray on the walls and fireplace (Gentleman’s Gray by Benjamin Moore) instantly modernized the room, and made it extra cozy, too. Somehow, this leaves us wanting more dark blue walls, not less.

Credit: Submitted by Rebecca Raskind

Orangey wood goes gray (in the best way)

Rebecca Raskind knew this orangey wood kitchen needed a pinch of darkness.

Credit: Bethany Nauert

Charcoal gray on the lower cabinets did the trick in helping modernize the entire space (knocking out that wall didn’t hurt, either).

Credit: Jo Char

A transformation like day and night

Jo Char’s powder bath felt “sterile and anemic” with white walls.

Credit: Jo Char

But black paint instantly makes it edgy and cool—and the dark paint gives gold-framed art lots more pop.