Top Recommended Contrast Trim Paint Color Ideas

A round-up of paint colors most recommended and used by interior designers to create the trend of contrast trim in your own home.

We might be bucking the interior design trend of “color drenching” for our upcoming paint project. Instead, we have our eye on contrasting trim.

best contrast trim paint color ideas recommended by interior designers

Imagine how dynamic this hallway would look with chunky wainscoting and a burst of color painted on the trim and mouldings! Ahhh so good! (That icky attic fan vent in the ceiling is going away soon.) 

If you’re getting tired of white walls or any other wall color in your own home, painting a contrasting different color on just the trim can give you a massive transformation without a big budget. 

hallway with white walls and runner rug

What is Contrast Trim?

Contrast trim pairs light colored walls (often a neutral like white or light gray / beige) with a different colored trim. The darker and more saturated the color, the more drama it adds to a room.

Why Choose Contrasting Trim?

When you are dying to add some color to your neutral home but don’t feel up to the task of painting walls, painting only the wall mouldings, door casings, and interior doors a darker color is the perfect solution for less effort. 

It’s a great way to highlight ornate mouldings and intricate architectural features in an old home. And it’s especially a great choice in smaller spaces when you want to create some visual interest without adding clutter.

That’s the case for our hallway, stairway, and foyer. It’s so very white, which I have enjoyed. But I can’t stop imagining how dynamic it would look with a pop of contrasting paint on the trim, crown moulding, and doors.

Can you envision it yet?

staircase with black railing and white walls

Imagine how a dose of color with a blue or green color scheme would look on the trim and wainscoting!

staircase with blue contrast trim and white walls

Source | Sunset

Paint Color Ideas for Contrasting Trim

If you’ve wanted to try the high-contrast look, here are some popular choices for paint colors on trim work below. All of these colors are frequently used by interior designers and come highly recommended by paint pros.

It seems only fitting to highlight trim colors for every color family of the rainbow since every color deserves its time in the spotlight, right? 

As always, don’t let this post make your trim color choice for you. It’s always a good idea to visit your local paint store to see the paint chips in person, pick up some paint pots to sample, and test the trim color combinations in the natural light of your own home.

Tutorial: How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior Like a Pro

Challenge yourself to deviate away from white trim by trying some different shades instead.

I’ll definitely be pulling out the paint deck fan to “try on” a few of these colors in the next week!

burgundy / red contrast trim paint colors

Source | Becca Interiors | Rikki Snyder

Red Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Preference Red
  • Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy
  • Sherwin Williams Rustic Red
terra cotta / orange contrast trim paint colors

Source | Avery Cox Design

Orange Trim Paint Colors

  • Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay
  • Benjamin Moore Tarra Mauve
  • Farrow & Ball Charlotte’s Locks
yellow contrast trim paint colors

Source | Wit and Delight

Yellow Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball India Yellow
  • Benjamin Moore Man on the Moon
  • Sherwin Williams Restrained Gold
green contrast trim paint colors

Source | One Kindesign

Green Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Green Smoke
  • Benjamin Moore Soft Fern
  • Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog
blue contrast trim paint colors

Source | Vanderhorn Architects | Amy Hirsch Design

Blue Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Down Pipe
  • Benjamin Moore Water’s Edge
  • Sherwin Williams Stardew
purple contrast trim paint colors

Source | Notes of Colour

Purple Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Brinjal
  • Sherwin Williams Expressive Plum
  • PPG Purple Dusk
pink contrast trim paint colors

Source | Stef Turner

Pink Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Sulking Room Pink
  • Benjamin Moore Bashful
  • Sherwin Williams Cabbage Rose
gray contrast trim paint colors

Source | Bell-Guilmet

Gray Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Lamp Room Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn
beige contrast trim paint colors

Source | Carpendaughter

Beige Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Stony Ground
  • Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
  • Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
black contrast trim paint colors

Source | Lovisa Hager

Black Trim Paint Colors

  • Farrow & Ball Pitch Black
  • Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron
  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black

How to Find the Right Trim Color for a Room

Here’s a little trick that ALWAYS works when you’re trying to achieve the high contrast look in a room.

Choose the lightest color (or second lightest color) of the paint sample strip for your walls. Using the same paint sample strip, choose the darkest color (or second darkest color) of the paint sample strip for your walls.

Your two paint colors will have the same undertones so there is no second guessing that they work together! They’re meant to be.

benjamin moore williamsburg wythe blue contrast trim in stairway and hallway

Source | Benjamin Moore

Would you try out contrast trim in your home? Or have you done it already?

If you don’t feel ready to commit to repainting your trim, paint your interior doors for some visual interest instead. It really does go such a long way.

More Paint Color Ideas

The Best Gold Spray Paints: Ranked

best gold spray paints tested and ranked

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home Interior Like a Pro

how to choose paint colors for your home interior

The Best Haint Blue Paint Color for Porch Ceilings

haint blue paint colors

See more paint color recommendations for your home here.

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6 Comments

  1. I started to paint the trim in our recent purchase of an older home. It has the most awful orangey pine trim with ugly prominent grain. I feel that trim painting requires much more prep involved, especially since it is stained and sealed. I started out in a small room where I began sanding, cleaning, taping, caulking…then I got to the trim around each wooden window casement and threw in the towel Ü
    You’ve made me reconsider it again, though. Maybe a band of solid color around the wooden windows would anchor it in???? I did paint the walls so my caulking efforts did not go to waste but I can not live with this trim. Great article!!

  2. Lauren, I haven’t been reading you very long but I am so impressed! Your house is so pretty and I looked at a bathroom redo that you had to remodel after the damage – I loved, loved it! I wouldn’t change anything. You and your husband are learners and then teachers for all of us! (And I like your funnies too – just make me laugh!)

    1. Awe!! I am happy to have yo following along! Thank you for the time to encourage and support our space as we continue to work through our journey.

  3. If painting contrast trim, do you have to paint the trim in the entire house the same color? What about in open concept areas? Thanks!

    1. Hey. Trim through the open spaces may want to be the same. Our home has individual rooms. Each room has its own color scheme. Some trim is monochromatic while others we have held the high contrast theme. It is totally up to you and how you want to make it.