An interior designer shares the worst mistake people make when painting with dark colors

Dark wall paints have had a bad reputation for some time – and we think it’s time the reputation was stripped.

The darker shades of the rainbow are often neglected when decorating our homes, and many people fear that they will block the light and contract the space.

Contrary to popular belief, dark colors can actually create the illusion of a larger room by absorbing the light and blurring the edges of the room. An inky-tinted backdrop is also used to visually increase the size of furniture and make sofas and beds appear larger than they really are.

However, there is one big gaffe people make when they use dark colors – not painting the skirting boards. This simple mistake may seem minor, but it has the potential to erase all of your hard work entirely.

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“This is really important, and you have to do this if you don’t do anything else,” interior designer Kate Watson-Smyth told Ideal Home magazine. “If you’re using a dark color, you’ll need to paint your baseboards to match your wall to make your wall look bigger.”

Kate is an expert on using dark colors and has a number of other top tips for nailing those trickier colors too.

Andreas von Einsiedel

(Photo credit: Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty)

Paint your cooler

Once you’ve filled in the baseboards, your next call should be the radiator. When painting in dark colors, leaving the heater white is a common mistake, creating an unsightly distraction from the overall aesthetics of your space.

“So just get some eggshell paint, wood or metal paint and paint it to match the wall,” advises Kate. “They’ll go away and yes, they’ll still work.”

Expand the ceiling

Don’t worry, this technique won’t break your precious roof. Kate recommends painting on an invisible line that is a few inches below the ceiling when using dark colors. Add a few layers of lighter paint to the remaining space and voila, you’ve created the illusion of a larger room.

“It blurs the edges of the ceiling over the top of the wall,” explains Kate. “Because you’re not drawing attention to the outline of the room. You put the covers down. ”

Don’t paint the ceiling white

Our favorite color for the ceiling is often pure white, but it doesn’t have to be.

Many do-it-yourselfers shy away from other colors because they fear that they will close in the room. Kate encourages inexperienced renovators to be more experimental with painting the ceiling and reminds them of the myriad of other neutral hues.

“We spend a lot of time tormenting ourselves about the color of our walls,” she says. “We test it and buy samples. Then, by default, white paint is struck on the wood and the ceiling.”

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