The 10 Best Paint Colors for Your Interior Trim, According to Designers

published Jan 10, 2024
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Floral sofa in green painted sitting room.
Credit: Amy Lamb

Once upon a time, when millennial pink and shiplap were starting to dominate home design projects and Instagram feeds everywhere, trim was often an afterthought. Although a decorative border or millwork of any kind can make a room feel more put-together, these details would usually be overshadowed by a pop of color or cool peel-and-stick wallpaper. But recently? Something has changed.

Sure, designers are still covering their walls with bright colors and zesty patterns; however, they’re also paying close attention to the trim, too. Nowadays, trims are anything but white: They’re reimagined in commanding shades of citrine, cerulean, and cranberry to max out on maximalism — and every room in your home doesn’t need to have matching trim, either. 

With so many hues to choose from, sifting through a rainbow of options can cause a bit of decision fatigue. To help, I asked several interior designers about their favorite colors to paint trims. Although your perfect pigment will depend on your space, taste, and existing decor, here’s your sign to go for the bold. “Do a strong accent trim color in a jewel-box space, like a bathroom,” recommends designer Isabel Ladd. “It creates a ‘surprise moment’ when you open the door.” 

Credit: Andrew Kung

1. Benjamin Moore’s Chartreuse

If you really want to dial up the drama in your home, why not opt for something totally unexpected? Ladd says Benjamin Moore’s Chartreuse (2024-10) looks best when there are no similar colors present, meaning it can be a great color to zing up your existing neutral powder room, for example. “It just makes everything pop and look spectacular, instead of finding an exact color to match,” she adds. “This color works best as millwork, like on baseboards and doors, because it creates a strong, confident accent.”

Credit: Emily Gilbert Photography

2. Benjamin Moore’s Mozart Blue

Blue might be the design industry’s unofficial favorite color of all time, so it’s no surprise that it’s a great option for trims, too. “I find blues like this very easy to live with: You don’t tire of them when they aren’t too much of any one thing,” says designer Colleen Simonds. “I think it’s a joyful, happy color that enlivens the room without feeling overpowering.” For Simonds, Benjamin Moore’s Mozart Blue (1665) is the ultimate “medium blue with vibrancy and warmth.” She says: “It’s not dark, and it’s not pastel; it’s right in the middle and has enough depth and saturation to make a statement.”

Credit: SEN Creative

3. Benjamin Moore’s Autumn Purple

When it comes to finding the perfect shade for your trim, designer Noz Nozawa says that a jewel-tone palette is packed with Goldilocks colors. “They are just the right amount of vivid but muted, and are amazing options for trim, wainscoting, or a whole entire room top to bottom,” she shares. For this cozy corner, the San Francisco-based creative selected Benjamin Moore’s Autumn Purple (2073-20). “It was the perfect choice for this room’s trim,” she explains. “It is a rich, juicy, vibrant shade of eggplant purple that also feels earthbound enough to pair really well with natural hardwood, leathers, and dense textures.” 

Credit: Laura Moss

4. Benjamin Moore’s Hidden Sapphire

A colorful trim and wallpaper can be a power couple, as long as you find a shade that works with your pattern — not against it. Here, designer Caroline Kopp highlights the wallpaper’s aquatic palette with Benjamin Moore’s Hidden Sapphire (CSP-69), a medium blue that sits squarely between bright cobalt and moody navy. “The color for both the butler’s pantry and the dining room was chosen in tandem with the wallpaper to harmonize together,” she says. “We sampled many different paints to find one that is clear and super saturated with no grays muddying up the vibrancy.” 

Credit: Megan Taylor

5. Farrow & Ball’s Pink Drab

Brights might be an obvious choice for 2024’s colorful trim trend, but pastels can definitely pop, too. When 2LG Studio’s designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead were putting the finishing touches on this sitting room, they enlisted a dusty rose to “bring a cozy snug feel” to the space. While the British duo used Soho Pink from Mylands Paint — which is only available in the United Kingdom — Farrow & Ball’s Pink Drab No. 207 is an excellent alternative should you want to get the look stateside. 

Credit: Nathan Schroder

6. Sherwin-Williams’ Rookwood Jade 

Working with white walls? The options are seemingly endless, but designer Katie Davis is partial to Sherwin-Williams’ Rookwood Jade (SW 2812). As a medium earthy green, this color offers a measured way to make a statement. The motivation behind using a bold, contrasting trim color was to add a bit of playfulness to the space,” she says. “It’s a great way to add a pop of color without saturating the walls.” Mission accomplished.

Credit: Upmarket Media

7. Dunn-Edwards’ Light Gray

“Painting interior spaces with contrasting trim color is so much fun,” says Megan Paulson,  founder and principal designer at 22 Design House. “Although you need to know how to balance it throughout the space, it totally changes the room’s personality.” If the mere thought of covering your trim in a bold color is intimidating, a neutral like Dunn-Edwards’s Light Gray (DEC789) can bring a little bit of Scandi style to your space. “With the neutral color scheme, soft textures, mood lighting, a designated reading and listening-to-music area, it turned out perfectly for them,” Paulson says.

Credit: Gordon Gregory

8. Fine Paint of Europe’s Tuxedo Red 

As the design director at Dorothy Draper & Company, Inc., Rudy Saunders typically paints trimwork a traditional white. However, when the moment’s just right, he loves to create a statement with “a pop of shocking red,” as he likes to call it. “On a stair banister, this provides the perfect contrast to a space while adding the right amount of flair,” he adds. “We turn to Tuxedo Red from the Dorothy Draper Collection for Fine Paints of Europe. Their Hollandlac high gloss is truly incredible for all surfaces but really sings with trim.” When paired with a bright blue wallcovering, this tomato shade is undeniably cheery. 

Credit: Amy Lamb

9. Benjamin Moore Sweet Basil

As this home office from designer Lisa Gilmore proves, it is very easy to be green. For a touch of moodiness without veering toward dreary territory, the Florida-based pro opted for Benjamin Moore’s Sweet Basil (455), a deep-yet-warm forest green. “To me, green is such a great neutral for that — it’s a great way to bring the outdoors inside without distracting the eye too much from what you might see outside of the windows,” she says. 

Credit: Michael Hunter

10. Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace

I know what you’re thinking: With so many colors to choose from, white feels so … blah. But if you ask designer Kara Adam, there’s a time and place for a white trim. “We like color and pattern in our projects, but we always have a mostly white or neutral foundation that disappears and lets the louder decor items and art shine,” she explains. In this space, Adams used Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace (OC-65), which she calls “the perfect ‘barely-there’ trim color.”