Painting trim the same color as walls can create an elegant designer look in any room of your home. Highlight architectural qualities, draw focus to rich colors, and give beautiful furniture the chance to stand out. Use a few designer rules and tips to achieve a cohesive painted trim look that suits the style of your home.
Apply Professional Design Principles
When you decide to paint your trim the same color as the wall, consider applying a few professional design principles to the process so your resulting look feels intentional and customized to your home's style.
- Choose the right color.
- Use high-quality trim and intentional placement.
- Select the proper paint finish.
- Be particular about wall decor.
Choose the Right Color
Unsurprisingly, the choice of paint color for matching trim and walls can make or break the design. Make sure you consider the qualities of the color you choose. Muted, pastel, dark, and neutral colors all generally work well with matching trim and walls. Rich jewel tones like emerald and red can feel overpowering in certain settings and brilliant in others, so make sure to consider the other room qualities before jumping in on jewel tones and other highly saturated colors. Avoid colors that are too vibrant for this type of paint application like bright yellows or vibrant shades of coral.
Use Quality Trim and Intentional Placement
If you decide to paint the trim in your room the same color as your walls, do your best to use high-quality and carefully placed trim types like board and batten, wainscoting, and panel molding. These types of painted trim will become an architectural focus of the room, so you want to make sure it is selected carefully and installed professionally.
Select the Proper Paint Finish
The paint finish you select for your matching trim and wall color greatly impacts the design's translation. For modern rooms that you want to feel high end and formal, try using a satin or gloss on both the trim and the walls. If you prefer a more traditional look that is also durable, use eggshell finish paint on the walls and a semi-gloss finish on the trim. For a look that complements styles like mid-century modern and Scandinavian, you might want to use a matte finish on walls and satin finish on trim for a flatter look. Also, remember that the flatter a paint finish is, the more flaws it hides. The higher the gloss, the more flaws you will see.
Be Particular With Wall Decor
When highlighting architectural trim styles like panel molding or chair rail, be sure to consider additional wall decor carefully. You may want to avoid applications like wall-mounted shelves or gallery walls because they could feel cluttered. Instead, opt for lighting features like sconces, mirrors with simple frames, and pieces of artwork that have a high-quality feel.
Matching Trim and Walls Has Many Benefits
Painting trim the same color as the wall places the emphasis on texture, color, and architectural elements of the room. Doing so results in a backdrop for your room's decor that instantly elevates your space and creates a type of visual dimension that can't be matched by contrasting wall and trim colors. Rather than framing your walls in, trim painted in the same color elongates your walls and helps the architectural qualities of your home feel more intentionally designed to complement your style.
Matching trim and walls also gives you the opportunity to focus on dark, muted, and rich colors without being boxed into just choosing colors that suit your white or wood trim. Trim that matches your walls creates a canvas for gorgeous color, tasteful wall art, and elegant window treatments. When your trim is painted the same color as the wall, it blends into the space rather than standing out, which means you have more options for visual interest in your decor and furniture choices.
Another benefit of painting your walls and trim the same color is that you take the focus off unavoidable flaws that may be present in your trim or doors. Trim and doors tend to take a lot of the daily stressors homes endure, resulting in dents, knicks, or scratches. When the trim is painted the same color as the wall, your eye is drawn more to the actual wall color instead of the contrasting trim framing the wall.
Matching Trim and Walls Is Suitable for Multiple Styles
Once you understand the benefits of matching trim, you might consider the design styles it works well with. Typically, historical homes and homes with architectural detail are well-suited to trim painted the same color as the wall. In many cases, historical homes are seen with this style of painting in their original design. There are many other design styles and types of homes that are suitable for matching wall and trim paint:
- Homes with traditional styles
- Homes with grand architectural elements
- Homes with wide or ornate trim
- Historical homes
- Minimalist style homes
- Modern farmhouse style homes
- Scandinavian style homes
- Mid-century modern style homes
In order to determine if your home or design style will work well with matching trim and wall paint, try deciphering whether painting your trim the same color of your wall will add something to your space or take something away. If you feel the room would be elevated and better showcased with matching trim, then it might be a great choice for your home. If you feel it would take away a quality in the room that you really love, it might be best to stick with traditional trim applications like wood stains or white paint.
Decide What Parts of Your Trim You Will Paint
Depending on the style or construction year of your home, you might have any combination of trim types that would look beautiful when painted the same color as the wall. Types of trim or architectural details you might paint the same color as your wall include:
- Crown molding
- Chair rail
- Window frames
- Built-in shelving
- Panel molding
- Board and batten
- Bead board
Nearly any type of wall trim or framing can be painted the same color as the wall to create a unique look that complements the design style you envision for your home. Generally, streamlined trim and molding with simple lines and shapes is better suited to matching with your wall paint. For more ornate, detailed, or antique types of trim and molding, you might find you prefer a wood stain or contrasting color of paint to keep the focus on the artistry of the trim.
Consider the Room You Will Paint With Matching Trim
Some rooms of your home may be better suited to painting trim the same color as the wall. You might find that painting the board and batten feature in your bedroom really elevates the design, whereas painting the trim in your kitchen can feel too intense if the cabinets, trim, and walls are all the same color. The built-in shelving unit in your home office might feel elegant and sophisticated when painted the same color as the walls, but the built-in unit in your formal living room might be better suited to a simple white paint.
When thinking of whether you should match the trim to your wall paint in a certain room, consider a few important factors:
- Whether you want the trim feature to stand out or blend in
- The width of the room and height of ceilings
- Furniture elements that will be placed against the wall
- Whether your focus is on contrasting colors or highlighting architecture
- How many windows are in the room and how much wall space they take up
- The presence of any built-in shelving or cabinet units
- If the room is formal, informal, or strictly for utility
You'll want to consider if painting trim the same color as the walls will highlight elements of the room you love, help distract from elements you don't love, and create a more spacious feel rather than close the room in. If a room is more formal, you might find that painting the trim the same color as the walls feels high end and elegant. If the room is used mostly for utility purposes, you might find that matching the trim and wall colors seems out-of-place or purposeless.
Be Flexible With Your Design
One of the most important things to consider when designing a space in your home, especially one where you are applying a new technique or style feature, is to be flexible and open minded. Remember that anything you paint in your home can always be repainted. So, if you're leaning toward painting your trim in a matching color, just remember that you can always change what you don't love with a fresh coat of paint later.
Also, keep in mind that you may need to reconsider what you initially think will work in your space once you evaluate a few details. If there's a long list of reasons why you shouldn't paint your trim in a matching color, consider changing the plan. Painting trim may not be an easy or quick task, but if your doubts are few and small, you might find that taking a leap of faith on your design will eventually pay off when all your guests believe that your home was designed by a professional.