The Best Dark and Moody Paint Colors for Your Home in 2024

November 7, 2023

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Dark grays, earthy greens, rich blue tones. Can’t you just feel the warmth and coziness these dark colors exude? Moody paint colors are all the rage in the interior design world right now. And I am all in! I was made for this era. These colors give me all the feels.

Because they are so very popular at the moment, there are also SO many to choose from. How do you narrow it down and choose the right one? Today, I’m sharing my most favorite! Read on for the best moody paint colors!


What Are Moody Paint Colors?

I’m sure by now you have heard the term, “moody colors” or “moody hues.” But what exactly does this mean? What is a moody color palette? Moody paint colors usually have the following characteristics:

  • dark
  • dramatic
  • neutral
  • cozy
  • warm
  • inviting

Moody paint colors possess a depth and intensity that immediately draws the eye.

Why Are Moody Paint Colors So Popular?

Did you know the color you paint a room can have an impact on how you feel? It can go so deep as to impact your emotional well-being. Not trying to get all philosophical on you, but your wall color can make a difference in your overall mood.

Here’s a breakdown of color and how it affects feelings and emotions:

  • Deep blues and greens can be very calming and soothing. They are a great color choice for a master bedroom or any space where you want to unwind.
  • Velvety blacks can infuse a room with a sense of drama and intimacy. They are perfect for creating a cozy and luxurious atmosphere in living rooms or dining areas.
  • Deep, saturated hues can stimulate the mind and encourage productivity. Perfect for home offices.

My family’s most favorite room in our home is our theater room. Last year, I did the unexpected in that room and painted every square inch of it black. Benjamin Moore Black Magic to be exact.

The walls, trim and even the ceiling are painted black. Walking into this room has a completely different feel than any other room in our home.

While I could have just painted an accent wall black, I chose to go all in and paint the entire room black. And it is absolutely stunning. The cozy, moody vibe this room puts off is SO GOOD!

2 sofas in a home theater room for best moody paint colors

How to Choose The Right Paint Color

Before we dive into the best moody paint colors, we need to determine how to choose the right color for a given space.

First and foremost, you always want to test paint colors on multiple walls before diving into a painting project.

It’s a good idea to grab a few large paint swatches and test them in different lighting. How does that color appear in the sunlight or when the room is darker at night or throughout the day?

I like to grab samples of the paint colors I’m contemplating. I’ll then paint them in large sections of my wall and see how they appear throughout the day.

Living room with moody blue paint color and wood planked ceiling for best moody paint colors.

Source: Lily Pad Cottage

It’s amazing how the color can change from one room to the next.

An example of this is when I painted my butler’s pantry. I thought I wanted the same color as an accent wall in my kitchen. But what appeared to be more of a black tone in the butler’s pantry, had not a trace of that same darker tone in my open kitchen.

It was reading a dark blue out there. Not the color I was going for at all. So thankful I tested this color, before buying all of my paint and hating the final outcome. I’ve definitely made that mistake before and the wasted money was not fun.

What is Light Reflective Value?

Light Reflective Value (LRV) measures how much light a surface reflects. It’s a great way to determine how light or dark a color will look on a surface.

With a range of 0-100, an LRV of 0 will be completely black, with no reflection. Whereas, an LRV of 100 will be pure white and have maximum reflection.

Simply put, LRV helps us understand if a paint color will make a room look bright or dark. Low LRV values mean the color is dark and absorbs more light. While high LRV values mean the color is light and therefore, reflects more light.

LRV is a great way to determine which paint colors will create the right level of brightness and mood in a room.

Cabinet with blueish color paint, candles and industrial light.

What is the LRV Range of Moody Paint Colors?

Moody paint colors are known for their deeper, richer tones. They tend to have LRV values below 50. This means they absorb more light than they reflect. As a result, they have a darker and more dramatic appearance.

Some moody paint colors may even have LRV values less than 20 or 30. This super low LRV creates an intimate and cozy atmosphere in a room.

It’s important to keep in mind that the specific LRV of a moody paint color can vary depending on the brand and the exact shade. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the LRV provided by the paint manufacturer when selecting a color for your space.

How to Choose a Moody Paint Color

When shopping for the right moody paint color for a room, you’ll want to consider the sheen of the paint color. Most paint colors come in different sheens. Typically ranging from Flat to Semi-gloss, flat is going to have the lowest LRV.

The order of light reflective value from lowest to highest is:

  • flat
  • matte
  • satin
  • semi-gloss

Sitting area with one chair, pllow, blanket, console table and vase with books for best moody paint colors.

When painting a room, I usually go with a satin sheen. However, when painting a room or accent wall a moody color my go-to sheen is matte. Matte allows you the ability to clean scuffs and marks off the wall, while staying true to its dark moody paint color.

The Best Moody Paint Colors

My favorite colors to use in my home are greens, browns and blacks. On occasion, I’ll add in a blue or dark gray tone too. So, for my best moody paint colors palette, I’m going to focus on these five color tones.

The Best Moody Green Paint Colors

I believe every room needs a touch of green. Green is a calming and comforting color. Classic and timeless. A great way to bring a sense of nature into a space. I love to use dark green paint colors on accent walls.

While we have all white walls in our master bedroom, I added a slatted wall feature behind our headboard. Painting it Sherwin Williams Shade Grown, gives the space a neutral tone pop of green….

Slatted bedroom wall with green paint

Here are 5 dark green paint colors that are sure to create a cozy and inviting space.

Shade Grown by Sherwin Williams — SW 6188

Shade-Grown is a green paint color from Sherwin-Williams. A deep foresty green with brown undertones. Shade-Grown is a good choice for small spaces like powder rooms. As a darker green, it’s more neutral than a true green, but still picky about the colors it pairs well with.

Shade Grown Best Moody Paint colors

Billiard Green by Sherwin Williams — SW 0016

Part of Sherwin Williams historic collection, Billiard Green pairs well with light-toned golds and deep browns. It has a teal undertone, making it a brighter and more saturated color.

Billiard Green paint swatch

Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams — SW 6208

A cool and sage-like green, Pewter Green is a deep and muted color with gray undertones. This cool color pairs well with wood and metal.

With over 10 million views on TikTok right now, this calming color is very popular in kitchens. Especially kitchen cabinets. It complements well with the following colors:

  • Soft-creamy whites
  • Gray-blues
  • Taupes
  • Rich golds

Pewter Green paint swatch

Backwoods by Benjamin Moore — CC 630

A welcoming and warm forest green paint color, Backwoods has a true black undertone to it…

Backwoods paint swatch for best moody paint colors

Rock Bottom by Sherwin Willians — SW 7062

A cool, moody dark green paint color by Sherwin Williams with gray undertones. Seen in many kitchens and baths today, it’s a very popular color for cabinetry.

Rock Bottom paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Moody greens color palette for best moody paint colors

The Best Moody Brown Colors

In the world of color palettes, moody brown shades stand out for their understated elegance and timeless appeal. With their rich, earthy tones, they quietly command attention. Moody brown colors offer a sense of warmth and comfort.

Mocha Brown by Benjamin Moore — 2107-20

The color of this paint is in it’s name. Think: dark chocolate candy bar. I love this color already! :)  A warm, darker shade of brown. This dark tone would be perfect for a dining room or powder room.

Mocha Brown paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Sealskin by Sherwin Williams — SW 7675

Sealskin is a deep, bold brown with warm undertones. With an LRV of 6, Sealskin definitely falls in the darker colors category. If you’re looking to make your living room or a bedroom a moody space, this saturated brown is a great choice.

Sealskin paint swatch.

Raisin by Sherwin Williams — SW 7630

Pairing well with most colors, Raisin is a dark brown with purple undertones. But don’t let the “purple” dissuade you. It’s a very subtle undertone. A beautiful, elegant color.

Raisin paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Southern Vine by Benjamin Moore — 2138-10

With an LRV of 6.23, Southern Vine falls In the category of very dark greens. A dark olive green hue that is almost brown, Southern Vine is a very popular choice among interior designers.

Southern Vine paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Moody browns color palette for best moody paint colors.

The Best Black Moody Colors

If you’re looking for a true black undertone, you can’t go wrong with these dark shades of black. Whether you’re painting an accent wall or a whole room, black paint is sure to make a statement. It literally changes the feel of the entire room, making it instantly feel warm and cozy. So inviting!

Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams — SW  6258

Of all my favorite paint colors, this one is at the top of the list. With no obvious undertones, Tricorn black is about as true black as you can get.

A very neutral black paint color, it has an LRV of 2.4. I love using this color on my walls, trim, and furniture builds. It’s such a great versatile color.

Tricorn Black paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Limousine Leather by Behr — MQ5-5

Another true black color with no distinct undertones.

Limousine Leather paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Charleston Green by Sherwin Williams — DCR099

But wait! Isn’t this paint color supposed to be in the Moody Greens section? Nope! This “green” color tone is much closer to black than it is green.

If you’ve ever been to Charleston, South Carolina, you have likely noticed the almost black shutters and trim on most of their homes.

While vacationing there a few years ago, I fell in love with this color and had to know what it’s official name was. I was shocked to learn that it actually started out as a bright, glossy green!

Over time, due to the elements of the weather, this color would degrade to what it is now–almost black. With its green undertones, this completely makes sense. I had never really seen a black paint with such distinctive green undertones.

The uniqueness of this color was so intriguing to me. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Sherwin Williams has actually come up with their own formula to create this exact color. They nailed it!

Part of Sherwin Williams Historic Collection, I’ve used this black, rich color in my own home. If you’re looking for the perfect color for your front door, trim or accent pieces, Charleston Green is a great option!

Charleston Green paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Black Beauty by Benjamin Moore — 2128-10

A timeless favorite, Black Beauty is a rich, warm black with a brown base. This very neutral color looks best in a matte or satin sheen.

Black Beauty Paint Swatch for best moody paint colors.

Black Magic by Sherwin Williams — SW 6991

Another color that falls in my wheelhouse, of best dark paint colors, Black Magic is the perfect black. This dark, warm black paint color is perfect for bathroom and kitchen cabinets.

Black Magic paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Moody black color palette for best moody paint colors.

I love how Black Magic makes my kitchen island pop against my white walls….

Kitchen island with a large artwork behind it

The Best Dark Gray Moody Colors

Gray is a color that has been in the spotlight for quite some time now. So much so, that it has taken a back seat in the design world.

Gray is no longer the big head honcho that it used to be. But these gray colors will forever stand the test of time. With more of a black, moody undertone, they are the perfect backdrop for natural materials.

Use one of these colors in a large or small space, then bring in natural wood materials and you have a stunning modern and luxurious room.

Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams — SW 7069

Not only popular as an interior color, Iron Ore is popping up on exteriors all across America. A soft black paint color with subtle green undertones.

Iron Ore paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams — SW 7674

It’s not surprising that Peppercorn is one of Sherwin Williams 50 top best-selling paint colors. Perfectly balanced between warm and cool, Peppercorn is a dark, neutral gray.

Peppercorn paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Cracked Pepper by Behr — PPU18-1

Color of the year 2024–Right here! Cracked Pepper is a beautiful mixture of dark gray and soft black, depending on how the light hits the room.

In a room with natural light flowing in, you’ll notice more of a dark gray tone. But as the evening comes and the lighting gets darker, Cracked Pepper takes on a soft black hue. Beautiful!

Cracked pepper paint swatch.

Night Club by Behr — N500-7

As described by Behr, “Night Club is an off-black with a distinctive smoky appearance, giving it an edgy sophistication.”

Night Club paint swatch for best moody paint colors.

Mined Coal by Behr — PPU18-18

Behr explains this paint color as, the perfect blend of dusted gray charcoal mixed with the richness of brown. With somewhat of a green undertone, Mined Coal is another beautiful moody color…

Mined Coal paint swatch.

Moody grays color palette for best moody paint colors.

The Best Moody Blues

When I hear the word blue, my mind tends to go towards pastel-like blue colors. Those blues couldn’t be farther from the blues in our moody blues category. These blue color tones are timeless and full of depth. Think blue with a black or dark green undertone.

Here are the best moody paint colors when you’re wanting to add in a very subtle pop of blue.

French Beret by Benjamin Moore — BM 1610

French Beret falls as my number one in my top two favorite blue paint colors. Depending on the lighting, this blue can present itself as a dark navy color or lean more towards a black color tone…

French Beret Paint swatch.

Naval by Sherwin Williams — SW 6244

Naval is my number two favorite blue paint color. Sherwin Williams Color of the Year in 2020, Naval is a deep blue paint color with gray-green undertones…

Naval paint swatch.

NYPD by Behr — N480-6

With an LRV of 12.42, NYPD is a charcoal, gray-blue paint color.

NYPD paint swatch.

Stonecutter by Benjamin Moore — 2135-20

With tones of teal and slate, Stonecutter is a lighter shade of black…

Stonecutter Paint Swatch


Moody blue color palette for best moody paint colors.

So, now that you have the best moody paint colors, want the best stain color too? This is my favorite way to mix stains, resulting in a beautiful stain color. You can check out the post here.

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

More Design Posts to Check Out:

How to Make a Cozy Bed

I Painted My Front Porch Black!!

Easy How to Build a Cozy Fireplace

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