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Best Paint Colors for Trim

Choosing the perfect paint color for your trim doesn’t have to be hard.

In a home, the word trim commonly refers to baseboards, but can also include quarter round and crown moulding. Typically, all of these pieces of trim are painted the same color.

In this article, we will discuss some frequently asked questions about the best paint colors for painting trim, and also tell you what the best Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Behr paint colors for trim.

Read til the end to find out my top choices for trim paint colors!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you have any questions, please see my disclaimer page.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Best Paint Colors for Trim

What is the best color to paint baseboards and trim?

Trim is used to accent or highlight other surfaces of the house. One way it does this is by helping the wall paint color stand out.

The best color to paint trim is typically going to be white. White trim looks classic and elegant. It is the most common trim color, and for many, it is the most appealing.

white trim paint color

In years past, a soft off-white paint color was commonly used on trim. This look has gone out of style though, giving away to a crisp, bright white trim color.

Despite white paint being the most popular trim color, a growing trend is painting a home’s trim a dark color.

Black, dark gray, or even some brown paint colors are used to highlight the space with a more dramatic look.

However, this look doesn’t work and all homes, and with all styles. Dark painted trim tends to go best in contemporary or farmhouse style home.

White trim, on the other hand, works in every home.

What is the best paint color for doors?

The most common color to paint your doors is also a white paint color.

Since the majority of people match their door color to their trim color, you most frequently find interior doors painted white.

Do doors and trim have to match?

While it is most common that they do, door paint colors and trim paint colors do not have to be the same.

You can have a black painted door alongside white trim and it can look very nice.

That being said, you will find some who paint their doors a dark color, such as black, while leaving their trim white. This looks nice as well, as the white trim really off-sets the black doors in a striking way.

Should trim be painted lighter or darker than walls?

Trim is typically painted a lighter color than the walls.

But if you prefer, you can paint the trim a darker color than the walls.

The most important consideration though is whether the trim will do its job and highlighting the wall color.

Put another way, the trim should either be several shades lighter, or several shades darker than the wall color to make the room really pop.

If there is not enough differentiation in the depth of the paint colors, you’ll find that the whole space looks rather unpunctuated.

This tone on tone or monochromatic look works very well in some homes.

Monochromatic trim and wall paint colors

But, consider whether this is the look you are going for prior to painting your walls and trim very similar colors or paint colors with very similar depths.

Should all the trim in a house match?

There are no hard and fast rules on whether all the trim in the house has to match. However, it is most common that all the trim and the house will match.

This is particularly important if you have an open floor plan, and the trim in the house is one continuous piece.

If your space happens to have many separate rooms, you can certainly paint some trim one shade and some another.

But, you may find that this makes the rooms of the home feel disjointed, the same way the painting each room in the house a different color does.

Should I paint trim and walls same color?

If you like the look of a room where everything is one color, you certainly can paint your trim and walls the same color. However, this is not common.

Most people tend to like their trim to accent the space, and when everything is painted the same color it will not do this. There is one exception to this, and I’ll discuss it in the section below.

What color should trim be if walls are white?

White walls are very popular right now.

A question that frequently comes up is what color the trim should be if the walls are painted white.

The best way to ensure that you get the right trim color to match your white walls is to paint the trim the same color as the walls.

white walls white trim paint color

To make this work, you should us the same paint color in different sheens. This difference in sheen will make the paint color look different on the different surfaces but the undertones will match perfectly (because they are the same color).

For example, you can paint the trim in a semi-gloss and the walls in an eggshell. Since more light reflects off of a semi-gloss, the trim will look brighter than the walls, even though they are the same color.

If you do not want to use the same paint color on your walls in your trim, pick a white for the walls that has a bit more color than the white for the trim does.

Additionally, try your best to make sure that the undertones work together.

For example, you would not want to go with a very cool white on the walls, and a very warm white on the trim. This could make the trim look yellow, and the walls look blue.

Should walls or trim be painted first?

This question doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the color you paint your trim, but it is an important consideration.

I find it easiest to paint trim first, and then the walls. It is easier to cut in with your edging on walls than it is on trim.

Click here for a tutorial on how to paint trim.

Best Paint Colors for Trim

Alright, now that we have discussed all of that, let’s take a look at the best paint colors for trim by Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Behr.

Best Sherwin Williams Paint Colors for Trim

Sherwin Williams has many popular white paint colors, and this can make it hard to choose the right one for your space.

Here are my top three choices for trim paint colors by Sherwin Williams.

  1. High Reflective White
  2. Pure White
  3. Extra White

High Reflective White

High Reflective White is a very bright, crisp white paint color that looks gorgeous on trim.

It is very bright, with an LRV (Light Reflectance Value) of 93.

The LRV scale goes from zero, which is completely black, to 100, which is completely white. So as you can see, an LRV of 93 is very close to a pure white. In fact there’s only one paint color that I am aware of that has a higher LRV, and we will discuss that paint color in a bit.

High Reflective White has very little in the way of undertones. This makes it a very neutral shade. It will go with most any wall color, other than beiges or warm browns.

There is one problem with High Reflective White though. People tend to find that it doesn’t cover as well as some other paint shades. This is because it has very little color in the mix.

To fix this, you can ask your Sherwin Williams rep to add more white to the can, OR you can take a look at Chantilly Lace. We’ll talk about that color more in a minute.

Click here to learn more about High Reflective White.

Pure White

Sherwin Williams Pure White Door and Trim

Pure White is my go-to paint color for painting trim. It is a bright white that has just a hint of softness to it.

Pure White has a slight yellow and gray undertone in it. The undertones are very subtle and very pleasant. It is technically a warm paint color, but it doesn’t read so warm on your trim that it looks yellow.

Altogether, Pure White looks clean and bright but not stark.

Pure White goes well with almost all paint colors. It is very versatile.

Click here to learn more about Pure White.

Extra White

Extra White is a bright, cool white paint color. It has slight blue undertones in it that give it a bit of a chilly look.

Extra White is a good Sherwin Williams trim color if your wall paint color is cool. This includes blues, greens and purples.

Click here to learn more about Extra White.

Best Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Trim

Benjamin Moore also has a lot of gorgeous white paint colors as well. Since some people prefer Benjamin Moore paints, I’ll discuss my top neutral, warm and cool white paint colors.

My top three choices for Benjamin Moore trim colors are as follows:

  1. Chantilly Lace
  2. Simply White
  3. Super White

Chantilly Lace

Chantilly Lace is a trim color that is somewhat similar to High Reflective White.

It is a mostly neutral paint shade that just barely crosses over the line to be considered a warm paint color.

Chantilly Lace is a perfect white for trim because it has very little in the way of undertones, and goes with almost any paint color.

Chantilly Lace on Walls

The picture above shows Chantilly Lace on the walls (not on the trim!).

It is one of Benjamin Moore’s purest white paint colors. Because of this, it is very versatile and makes a great trim and door paint color.

Click here to learn more about Chantilly Lace.

Simply White

Simply White on Doors and Trim

Simply White is a trim and door paint color that is a warm white paint color. The soft yellow undertones in Simply White make it great with other warm shade.

While it does have yellow undertones, it doesn’t look yellow on your trim or doors.

Click here to learn more about Simply White.

Super White

Super White is Benjamin Moore’s best cool white paint color for trim. It has soft blue and gray undertones.

Super White doesn’t have nearly as much blue in it as Extra White though, making it my top choice for a cool white paint color for trim.

Super White will go nicely with other cool paint colors, such as gray, blue, green and purple.

Click here to learn more about Super White.

Best Behr Paint Colors for Trim

I am not as familiar with Behr paint colors as I am with Sherwin Williams paint colors, but since Behr is sold at Home Depot, it is becoming increasingly popular.

Here are my choices for the top two Behr paint colors for trim.

  1. Ultra Pure White
  2. Polar Bear

Ultra Pure White

Ultra Pure White has the highest LRV of almost any paint color on the market. Coming in a 94, Ultra Pure White is a very bright white paint shade.

It has very minimal undertones, making it a great trim or door paint color for almost any wall color.

Polar Bear

Polar Bear is a warmer white paint color that is still very bright and very white.

Best Dark Paint Colors for Trim

If you’re interested in painting your trim a dark paint color, here are my top three dark trim paint colors:

  1. Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  2. Sherwin Williams Iron Ore
  3. Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

Tricorn Black as a dark black paint color. It is a classic shade, with perfectly pleasant undertones.

Click here for all the details on Tricorn Black.

If you like a dark trim color, but want something with a little less crisp, Iron Ore might be right for you. This dark charcoal gray, or soft black, gives your trim a defined look without being too harsh.

Click here for all the details on Iron Ore.

Last, Urbane Bronze is a dark brown paint color. It has become more popular recently, as it is Sherwin Williams 2021 Color of the Year.

Click here for all the details on Urbane Bronze.

Wondering how to pick the perfect paint color?

I have the best solution for you!

Samplize sells 12×12 stick on paint squares in almost every paint color.

These eco-friendly, peel and stick squares are made from real paint, so they will show you exactly what the paint color will look like.

Simply place them on your walls next to your trim, furnishings or fixed elements, and easily see whether the colors works in your space and with your lighting. Then, peel the square right off your wall and reapply it somewhere else if you like!

Samplize square on wall

Oh, and you get free shipping on orders over $15, and $5 off your first order when you enter your email – that is basically like getting one square for free!

Samplize squares are truly the easiest way to test a paint color in your home.

Final Thoughts on the Best Paint Colors for Trim

Choosing a paint color for your trim is a much easier decision once you understand the colors a little bit better.

To narrow the decision down even further, I’ll give you my top two paint color choices for trim.

My first choice for a white paint color for trim and doors is Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. Because this color is almost undertone free, it goes with just about any paint color you put it with. It gives a clean look without looking too terribly stark.

My second choice for a white paint color for trim and doors is Sherwin Williams Pure White. Pure White is a great trim color if you want a bright white trim that has a softer approach. With the touch of gray in it, Pure White looks classic but not jarring in its brightness.

If you are sure that you want a cool white for your trim, my top choice is Super White. It is cool but not blue in its appearance, and that gives your trim a nice, defined look without being too chilly.

Overall, if you stick with a white paint color on this list, you’ll probably end up with a trim paint color that looks gorgeous!

Want to see all your paint options in one convenient place? Click here to pick up a Sherwin Williams fan deck (contains all SW colors) or a Benjamin Moore Collections fan deck (contains many popular BM colors – other fan decks sold separately)!

The Best Paint Colors for Trim

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Lisa

Saturday 9th of October 2021

I am considering painting our open foyer/living room/kitchen walls. All the trim and kitchen cabinets plus ceilings are in SW Natural Choice. There is a lot of natural west/southwest light via big windows which fluctuates with our four seasons in Indiana. Currently the walls are SW Pussy Willow. Wood flooring is a deep all brown. Any suggestions as to a ‘white’ for the walls?

Lauren

Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Hi Lisa! Greek Villa or Westhighland White might be nice!