The Best Paint Colors to Update Dark Wood Trim or Cabinets

Introduction Are you looking to update your home's dark wood trim or cabinets but unsure which paint colors will work best? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the top paint colors that...


Are you looking to update your home's dark wood trim or cabinets but unsure which paint colors will work best? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the top paint colors that will bring new life to your space while complementing the richness of dark wood finishes. Whether you have medium or dark wood trims, doors, or floors, we have got you covered.

The Importance of Modernizing Dark Wood

While it may seem like the obvious solution to paint over dark wood finishes, many of these woods are simply too beautiful to cover up. Instead, focus on updating the surrounding elements of the space to create a modern and stylish ambiance that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Consider updating hardware, light fixtures, and backsplashes to give the space a fresh look. Pay attention to the coordination and aesthetics of the photos in this article for inspiration in your own home.

Best paint colours to go with dark wood trim, doors and floor

Medium to Dark Wood Trim

If you have medium to dark wood trim, it's essential to consider the size of the trim rather than just the color. Narrow trim from the '70s and '80s can make a space feel outdated, but with wider trim, you can create a more modern and visually appealing look. While painting the trim is an option, it is important to note that it will still be narrower than the standard white trim, which may limit the overall impact of the paint. However, wider trim often has a distinctive beauty that you may want to preserve.

Dark wood trim, stairs and doors in older home entryway

Wood Doors

Wood doors wrapped with wood trim or white trim offer different options for paint colors. When white trim separates the wood door from the walls, you have more freedom to explore a wider range of colors. On the other hand, if you have both wood trims and wood doors, a more muted and understated approach might be preferred. Explore colors that provide a subtle contrast to the wood tones, and consider the overall style and aesthetics of your home.

Wood doors with white trim

Dark Wood Cabinets

When it comes to dark-toned wood cabinets, you may want to lighten and brighten your kitchen space. However, keep in mind that your backsplash plays a significant role in the overall color palette. Take inspiration from the stone or brick fireplace, other permanent hard finishes, and soft furnishings in your kitchen when choosing the perfect paint color. Remember that your paint color should complement these elements while enhancing the beauty of your dark wood cabinets.

Kitchen before with dark espresso wood cabinets

Medium to Dark Wood Floors

If you have medium to dark wood floors, you may be looking to lighten and brighten your space. While the wood floor's undertones are important, vertical finishes such as walls and ceilings can play a more prominent role in your color palette. Take into consideration your stone or brick fireplace, other permanent hard finishes, and soft furnishings when choosing a paint color. Create a cohesive and harmonious space by selecting a color palette that complements these elements.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster and Extra white paint color on trims and walls

Understanding Wood Stains, Colors, and Undertones

When choosing a stain for wood finishes, it's important to think beyond the traditional "wood/stain" concept and consider the color created by the stain. Each species of wood reacts differently to various stains, creating unique colors. To determine the color of your wood, blur your vision to block out the grain and focus on the overall color. Understanding the undertones of your wood can help you select the perfect paint color that complements and enhances its natural beauty.

Living room with dark wood beams, trim, and TV stand

Orange-Red Wood

If you have wood with orange-red undertones, it's best to avoid colors with yellow-cream in them. Instead, opt for colors with violet-pink undertones or muted, modern off-white beiges. Green can also be a beautiful contrast to highlight the wood. Similarly, if you have wood with dark red-violet undertones, consider taupe shades or warm grays. Darker shades of blue and green can also provide stunning contrasts. Remember that the red hue in the wood will not pair well with yellow hues or strong creams.

Tony Taupe in dining room

Dark Brown Wood

When it comes to dark brown wood, there is more flexibility in choosing paint colors. You can opt for gray, greige, taupe, cream, or beige shades. Consider the undertones of the wood and select colors that complement them. While a brown-toned wood can handle almost any color, be cautious of undertones that may not harmonize well with the wood's hue.

Benjamin Moore Antique White, off-white cream paint color

Dark Espresso Colored Wood

Dark espresso wood finishes offer a dramatic and rich look to any space. Light grays with violet undertones or varying shades of taupe work well with these dark woods. Greige tones can also complement the deep color of espresso. Be mindful of the wood's undertones and select colors that showcase its richness.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, green-blue paint color

Top Paint Colors for Dark Wood Trim or Cabinets

Now that we've discussed the different wood finishes and their ideal paint color options, let's explore the top paint colors that work well with dark wood. These colors are a perfect starting point to update your space and create a modern and stylish look. Remember to consider lighting and other design elements in your room to ensure a cohesive and balanced color palette.

  1. Benjamin Moore Ballet White OC-9
  2. Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige 7037
  3. Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172
  4. Benjamin Moore Graystone 1475
  5. Sherwin Williams White Duck 7010
  6. Benjamin Moore Collingwood OC-28
  7. Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White
  8. Sherwin Williams Sea Salt 6204
  9. Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray HC-169
  10. Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White

The best paint colors to go with dark wood trim, cabinets, wood floor


Updating your dark wood trim or cabinets with the right paint color can transform your space and give it a fresh and modern look. Remember to consider the size and color of your wood trim and select paint colors that complement its natural beauty. The top paint colors mentioned in this article are a great starting point to update your space and create a harmonious and stylish environment. Happy painting!

[Disclaimer: The images used in this article are solely for representation purposes. The copyright belongs to the original source.]