Painting White Trim Dark Looks So Good

Come to The Dark Side

Do you ever fantasize about painting your boring, white trim a really dark color? I mean, white trim has its place, sure, but sometimes it just feels so… meh. So… ordinary. I don’t know about you, but I prefer extra-ordinary. Actually, scratch the ordinary part. I prefer extra. Painting white trim dark is totally extra. For our purposes, in this post, that’s a good thing.

Nay, a great  thing.

Check out the bold, glossy, black trim in my extra dressing room, below. (No, not an extra dressing room. I don’t have two dressing rooms. I’m not a Kardashian. We literally just established what extra means in this post. Try to focus, please.)

Green and pink dressing room with zebra rug and black painted trim

Back in 2016, I painted my dining room a beautiful peacock blue. This perfect blue did not come easy. No paint swatch in existence was the “right” shade, so I had to mix my own custom color. I may have (definitely) gone to Crazy Town to find it, but… this post is not about that blue. This post is about dark trim, remember? Guys, please. Focus.

Dining room with blue walls and dark trim

I guess typical white trim could have worked in here, but that felt very nautical to me for some reason. (There once was a room from Nantucket…) I wanted my dining room to be extra moody and extra sophisticated (like me), so that meant darker trim. My bay window in the living room is painted Seal Skin, by Sherwin Williams, and I love it, so I decided to use that same color for my dining room trim. And wow. Am I right?

Close up of peacock blue and dark trim

Yes, I’m right. That, my friends, is extra.

But wait…

Open floor plan with different trim colors

I have an open floor plan. Next to my new, dark, sophisticated trim, my white crown molding just looked all kinds of wrong. Like ‘white t-shirt at a black tie affair’ wrong. Definitely underdressed. Not at all extra.

You guys see it too, right? You know what I had to do…

Dining room with dark painted trim

Hey, white trim. Ya basic!

The boring, white crown molding is continuous, around the whole living room…

Living room with gray paint and white trim

And down the hall…

Hallway with gray paint and white trim

So, it was all or nothing. (Of course it was ‘all’. This post would be pretty pointless if it was ‘nothing’.)

I started the job on November 25, 2017. Here’s an image taken from actual footage recorded on that day, so very long ago…

No, not really. But the date is real. Over three years ago, I painted the white crown molding in my living room and hallway dark. So, why haven’t I shown it to you? In THREE YEARS?

Easy. I never finished it.

Living room with a mix of dark and white molding

This is how it’s looked for 1,152 days. I counted.

So, this week, I decided to finally get off my lazy bum and finish the job! (And also put away my leg lamp. It was time…) I had to take the curtains down so I could paint the window frame.

Leg lamp in a bay window

This picture only serves to add more cat to this post. You can never have too much cat. (Or cowbell.)

Egor the cat looking out the window

OK, back to business! It literally took me only one day to finish. Well, 1,152 days… plus one. Why do I put these projects off for so long? No, really. I’m asking. Anyone?

Maybe this is why…

very messy living room

I totally blew up my living room. But just for one day. No, really! Remember my foolproof cleaning method from a couple of weeks ago? I used that. You’ll see. Keep reading…

The Glorious After Pictures

Here’s the painted window frame, which now actually looks finished instead of all underdressed and t-shirty. Also, notice my chandelier is back where it belongs, in my bay window. No, it’s not weird. It’s awesome.

Chandelier in a bay window with dark painted trim

I’m ready to show you rest of the after pics, but let’s take another look at the before, right here, so you don’t have to scroll anywhere. (You’re welcome.) Here’s the view of the kitchen and dining room before…

Open floor plan with different trim colors

And here it is now…

view of kitchen and dining room with dark painted trim

You know what I see when I look at these two pictures? Cohesion. Instead of my eyes locking onto the boring, white trim, I can appreciate my fabulous design as a whole. Everything is working together to make this entire space extra.

Man, I am so freaking talented.

OK, here’s a few more after pictures, with their corresponding “befores”…

Living room with gray paint and white trim

Living room with green couch, gray walls and dark trim

Hallway with gray paint and white trim

Hallway with gray paint and dark trim

As you might have guessed, I’m not done with the hallway. Yes, I will be painting the door and base trim to match. That’s going to take extra time, what with the carpet being in the way. (Extra in the traditional sense of the word.)

Here’s one more view for you.

Living room with dark painted trim and unpainted doors

Could my doors be any more ‘meh’? The answer is no. No, they could not. They’re not staying white, of course. I’ve got door plans… And guys, I promise you, they will be extra. (I’ve really ruined that word, haven’t I…)

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  • Lorraine

    I will be honest and say I’m not a fan of the dark trim. When we bought our house, it had all dark stained trim and we painted it white. It made a huge difference in the lightness of our home. We live in the deep south and prefer the beachy, light and airy look. I think if you like dark walls though, it definitely works. I would like to say that I think the chandelier hanging in your bay window is such a fabulous idea!!!

    • My Crappy House

      I think it depends on how much light a space gets. I wouldn’t advocate for dark trim everywhere, or for everyone, but I really love how it looks in my space.

      After my first Christmas with the leg lamp in my window, I got used to the glow, so I hung the chandelier up in there. I LOVE how it looks from both the inside, and the outside, and I also love the warm glow it gives my living room. I have it on a light timer so it pops on in late afternoon, then goes off around 2am.

  • Melissa

    Chandeliar in the window IS very awesome and extra. Still deciding about the dark trim and agreed that the ‘meh’ doors need to go. Keep up the fast pace there girlie!

  • Heather

    I’m torn. I love the dark in the dining room with that amazing peacock blue, but not so much everywhere else. I am sure when you get it all done it will be fab though and it doesn’t matter what I think as long as you love it!

    • My Crappy House

      You can reassess once I get the doors done. I LOVE it, but it’s totally OK if not everyone does. It’s not for everybody.

  • Diesel VW

    I think the dark trimwork is such a refreshing change! It adds a lot of character to the space. People take the safe way out with boring, white molding, but you nailed it. Keep it up!

  • Barbara H.

    I didn’t think I’d like it but I do. Glad you got it done so quickly once you started. I think there must be an unwritten rule that thinking about finishing something MUST take much longer than actually doing it.

    As a side note I had the scar tissue from cataract surgery in my “good” eye burned off a couple of weeks ago and now I can see again. The detached retina eye is still hanging out in its blurry state but it no longer rules the roost. It’s like a miracle!!!!

    • My Crappy House

      You’re so right! I pretty much think every project is going to take a crazy amount of time, so I put off starting them. Sometimes, I’m pleasantly surprised.

      I’m so happy you’re making progress with your eyesight. I know you’d prefer two eyes (we all would!), but one good one is better than two crappy ones…

  • Em

    Ahhh! The happy sigh of a task completed.

    I have to say your “extra” trim captured my attention several hundred days ago. I’ve since been seeing more and more people joining your edgily vibed bandwagon. I like how some people paint the crown to match the wall color…but then the continuity suffers and you have lots of colored crowns if you have an open plan…as you do. So I like what you came up with and am looking forward to what’s next!

    • My Crappy House

      Yes! And a task I put off for SO FREAKING LONG! I do love how the dark molding unifies the space. The dark gray brown trim also matches my kitchen back splash, so the open plan feels very cohesive to me now. I feel open floor plans need to be designed as a whole so all the visuals play nice together. Each area can be different, but something needs to tie them all together. And I believe “unity” is the theme for 2021, so this design is even politically correct.

  • Wilma

    I love people that love their houses. Awesome. You *could* paint that white register the same colour as the moulding…just saying…

    • My Crappy House

      Wilma, great minds think alike… That’s already on my list, but I have to wait until winter is over and the radiators are off.

  • Doug@Thumbandhammer

    When we finished our basement 2 houses ago, SWMBO wanted the trim painted dark but in the same color family– so green walls, dark green trim. Blue walls, dark blue trim. We liked it. It seemed classy enough. But at one point, I was measuring a piece of trim that hadn’t been painted yet– only primed– and when we saw the piece of white trim against the painted wall, we had the same reaction– “wow, that kinda pops.” And we had a moment of second thoughts.

    So now we now like pure white trim (no tint at all, just the off-the-shelf white base). But then I see your pictures and think– ya know, the dark trim looks really good, too.

    So now I’m more undecided than ever.


    • My Crappy House

      I think a case by case assessment is in order. I’m actually doing white trim in my office because it pops in there, but the bedroom will most likely not have white trim. I LOVE the black trim in my dressing room, but I also LOVE the white trim in my bathroom. I wait for the spaces to speak to me…

      PS- Had to look up SWMBO… and now Schmoopy put me in his phone as SWMBO. I like it!

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