Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Picking the Perfect Paint Color for Wood Trim

Entry & dining room (that light fixture needs to go
too, but one thing at a time)
I knew I was in trouble before this all began. After bringing home color decks and carefully selecting a few shades, I presented my findings to Jon who immediately declared that they all looked the same. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. It was time to call in the reinforcements so Mom is coming this weekend to help make some decisions. I think Jon and I are both relieved.

It's a little easier to choose paint colors when you are working with white trim, but I can't bring myself to paint the trim. I can always change my mind, but it's easier to paint wood rather than strip paint off wood so I don't want to touch it until I'm 100% sure.

I also do like the wood trim. It's in good shape and adds charm, but it does present some problems... particularly when it comes to choosing paint colors.

The current wall color throughout most of the house is richmond bisque. Although viewing colors on a monitor is deceiving, it's pretty easy to tell that this color is too golden. It looks fine at certain angles, but overall, it casts the room in a faint yellow glow. It's a little bit like walking into a giant jar of honey.

I want to modernize the space while complementing with the wood tones. Gray is really popular right now - it's basically the new beige, but every true gray I've tried is way too cold against the natural trim. I need a warm color with a modern edge. I've learned this is much easier said than done. I can't even find good inspiration photos on Houzz or Pinterest because everything is paired with white trim. Here are some of the contenders shown against the current wall color. They are all various shades or greige:

Top to bottom: Benjamin Moore tapestry beige, edgecomb
gray, natural linen, and Sherwin Williams wool skein

wool skein by Sherwin Williams

What do you think? Do you have a favorite? What neutral paint colors do you love?


  1. I would go with wool skein. Appears to be a perfect mix of gray & beige.

  2. I am in the same boat. Have painted swatches of every color gray it seems but t just doesn't seem right. I am contemplating cream. What did you decide?

    1. I ended up not using any of the colors mentioned above. Ha! I painted most of our house white sand and cayman islands (in the rooms that got more natural light) - both colors worked well. I also eventually painted my son's nursery revere pewter at 50% strength (which ends up being pretty close to edgecomb gray). It's about the warmest gray I could find and I was happy with how it turned out - it didn't look too blue or cool on the walls....but keep in mind I just did one smaller room in that shade. All colors are Benjamin Moore. Good luck!