Who Said That You Have to Paint Trim White?

What color should you paint your trim?  White is easy (except when you go to choose between 240 white options, all with different undertones).  But don’t you ever wish for something different – something to add some punch and personality to your rooms?  Why not paint the trim in a COLOR?  You could paint the walls white/cream, then add your favorite color to the trim – like in this  cozy bedroom:



Afraid of choosing a color that isn’t as “classic” as white?  Go with black or charcoal – totally works with both traditional and modern interiors   My friend Leif painted all her thick baseboards gloss black, and her place looks like a New York penthouse!

The Lettered Cottage


via PaperWhiteJ


You could choose a color that compliments the wallpaper you’ve been dying to hang, like this:

via Shelterpop


You may have the fear that painting your trim a specific color (other than white) is too edgy or bold for you.  Or, that it “locks you in” to a specific look for the next 10 years.   Painting the trim a color can actually be a subtle way to add interest and highlight architectural details (like great trim). 

Too Yellow’s photostream via Flickr


When my family moved into Stonebrook 10 years ago, we painted the trim (and the ceilings) in several rooms on the main floor of the house in Benjamin Moore’s Prescott Green HC-140.   It is still Prescott Green, and I have never regretted it.  In fact, I’d love to paint out my kitchen cabinets in that color now!

Kristie Barnett


Have you considered painting your trim a color other than white?  Why or why not?

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20 thoughts on “Who Said That You Have to Paint Trim White?

  1. Kelly, Arte Styling says:

    LOVE colorfully painted trim. I wish more people would embrace it on their homes. Thanks for putting together this great group of images. Your Prescott Green looks beautiful.

  2. Kelly says:

    I love to paint the trim when the architectural details are interesting and I really want to make them stand out and say ” Hey, look at me!” . Great post Kristie, as always!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      This stops a lot of people from trying it, but how is it really different from stopping a wall color from one room to the next? For example, my dining room trim is the prescott green, then it stops and transitions to white where the arch opens into my living room – it’s really more subtle than it sounds. For things to really flow, you can do like I did – my living room has prescott green on the walls and white trim. So although the application of the prescott green changes from trim to walls, the common color flowing through the 2 rooms looks great!

  3. Chez says:

    Wow I had never thought of having white walls and colored trim. Love that idea and the first pic (with yellow trim). Question though – should the trim be the same color through the whole house? Is it okay to have white trim in some rooms and cream trim in others (based on bossy hard materials like stone/tile in the different rooms)?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      The trim only needs to stay the same in an open-concept area, but not in different rooms of the house. In fact, I have Prescott Green on my living room walls with white trim, and Prescott Green trim in the adjoining dining room with yellow on the walls, and Prescott Green trim in my office and Edgecomb Gray on the walls. If you weave the colors through the house in different ways, it still will feel cohesive.

      • Chez says:

        Thank you!!! I really don’t like the cream trim in our new-to-us home, but I know it probably needs to stay in the one room where the bossy fireplace mantle is — so I’m excited to hear that it’s okay to have different trim in different rooms. Changing the rest of the trim to white of course brings up the dilemma of the cream window shades everywhere. 😉 Again – thanks for the info!

  4. Karmin Brooks says:

    I love your dining room. I am planning to paint a room yellow with green trim and was searching for examples when I found this. Could you tell me the color of yellow you used? I am wanting soft, historical looking colors not bright crazy ones. Thanks!

  5. Vickie Daniel says:

    I want to paint my trim in my powder room trim gray but I not ready to do that through the entire house. Where do I stop the color? Do I only paint (gray) want I can see from the bathroom with the door closed?

  6. Vickie Daniel says:

    Vickie Daniel Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I want to paint my trim in my powder room trim gray but I not ready to do that through the entire house. Where do I stop the color? Do I only paint (gray) where I can see from the bathroom with the door closed?

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