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Are you intrigued by the idea of painting your trim darker than your walls? The trend of contrast trim is gaining momentum – and for good reason! In a sea of white walls, darker baseboards, door casings and window trim can really add the wow factor.

contrast trim header image with text overlay

What is Contrast Trim?

Contrasting trim or contrast trim is when baseboard trim, door casings and interior doors are painted a darker color than the walls. Usually, the walls a kept a shade of white, with the trim painted a shade of gray, greige or beige.

RELATED: How to Add Contrast to a Room

What is The Best Trim Color?

For most people, white is the best trim color, because it’s a safe bet that works with all wall colors. However, if you’re looking to mix things up or don’t want white trim with white walls, a contrasting color in a darker shade is a really fresh way to update your home.

white walls with dark slate gray door and trim
Slate Gray Trim via Ashe Leondro

Does Window Trim and Baseboard Need to Match?

No. This is a myth. It’s certainly easier in terms of consistency to keep them all one color. And I certainly wouldn’t go painting them different shades of white. But I’ve seen contrast trim on baseboards and standard white trim around windows done very successfully.

bedroom with darker baseboards and white window trim
Note the darker baseboard and door casings, but white window trim and closet door

Wall and Trim Color Combinations

The darker trim, lighter wall combo works best when the walls are a shade of white or off-white. This really allows the trim color to stand out and have a moment, instead of competing with the wall color.

hallway with dove white walls and revere pewter trim
Revere Pewter Trim and Dove White walls

As a general rule, if you’re using a warmer greige, gray or beige for the contrast trim, pick a white with a slightly warm undertone. If you’re in doubt, Sherwin Williams Pure White or Benjamin Moore White Dove are almost always a safe bet.

I personally prefer this look with the slightly warmer tones, but you can really choose any color you like. If you opt for a cooler gray on your trim, stick to a neutral white like Pure White that will stop the whole space from feeling too cold.

Are you ready to paint your baseboards darker than your walls? Here are some of my favorite inspiration images to help you decide on what color is right for your home!

mudroom with white walls and warm greige trim and door
Benjamin Moore Stone Hearth via Seeking Lavender Lane
White trim with painted door and contrasting millwork
BM Revere Pewter via Roost Flourish Roam
light walls, agreeable gray trim in a small living room
SW Agreeable Gray via The White Buffalo Styling Co.
grand staircase with millwork painted BM Stonington Gray
BM Stonington Gray via Content and Company
Gray window trim
SW Magnetic Gray via Yellow Brick Home
Dark gray contrasting millwork around fireplace
BM Silent Night via Ariella Horowitz Design
Dark brown window trim
BM Bronzetone 60 via Linda McDougald Design

Final Thoughts

Whether contrast trim is something you’re planning to do, or you think white will always be the one for you, sometimes it’s fun to take a risk in your home. Whether it’s a new paint color, mixing your throw pillow patterns in unexpected ways, or even a DIY project – step out of your comfort zone once in a while and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you may like it!

Don’t Forget To Always Use Real Paint Samples!

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides peel and stick paint samples made with real paint, that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

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  1. Camille Ence says:

    What color would you recommend for base and doors with Swiss coffee as the wall.