Double Parlor Painting The Victorian House

Almost Black

Hey, look, I did some painting this weekend! (My tiny assistant helped.)

Starting to Paint #makingitlovely

Black Paint Swatches Against a White Wall #makingitlovely

I need to find a ladder (the step-ladder isn’t cutting it with 10′ high ceilings), and I need to decide on a final paint color. My friend sent me this video when I initially shared the Instagram photo above of the paint swatches, and yep.

The room is now painted with black-tinted primer, but the color is a near match for the first sample I tried, Almost Black. I also tried Soot, and Polo Blue, all Benjamin Moore colors.

Black Paint Swatches #makingitlovely

Black Primer on the Walls #makingitlovely

I might pick up another sample or two, but I’m not sure yet. I do know that I want to go darker than the primer, which rules out Almost Black for sure. I’m happy with the direction the room is going in though! It’s a central room on the main floor, and I love the contrast those walls are bringing. I’m eager to bring all of the furniture back in, but I want to get the color just right without rushing it. Normally I wouldn’t be drawn to a green-based black, for example, but against all of the wood it might work. Otherwise, Soot?

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

You Might Also Like...

  • First Born Vintage
    February 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Soot is the best, I had it in my bathroom and once it’s all up it does tend to look more blue/black than true black.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      I think blue/black would be fine! I want something a little more interesting than just flat black.

  • Jessica S.
    February 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Soot, it is!

  • Kim
    February 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    My eye immediately went to the Polo Blue.

  • jaimie
    February 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    It can be really hard to tell how a color like that will end up until you’ve painted everything and the final coat is up. I like Soot personally. I painted both my bathrooms Deep Space by BM and it looks so different than it does in Anna’s photos for Door Sixteen.

  • Anna @ D16
    February 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    SOOT, SOOT, SOOT, SOOT!! ;) Seriously, it’s the perfect compliment to those wood tones in your house. Just the right amount of blue.

    (p.s. Jaimie in the comment above, all of the dark walls in my house are Soot. The dark gray walls in the apartment are Deep Space. Maybe you thought one was the other?)

    • Jaimie
      February 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      I meant the dark grey :) I haven’t been quite bold enough to commit to a true black, besides my door. I just mean the color looks different for me IRL compared to your photos. Sometimes you just have to paint everything and see how it turns out.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      Anna’s been on Team Soot from the beginning! I’m good with committing to a bold color, but I like to take my time in getting there. I need plenty of time to overthink and overanalyze in my head first. ;)

      • Marcee .... Illinois
        February 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm

        Whoa …. looks great! Yeah, I really like it afterall. Different but sure is a popular shade from so many yes comments.

        Lil helper is a hard worker. Has anyone ever said your girl resembles Mara Wilson? So cute!

  • Andrea Lynn
    February 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I had a RL color similar to Polo Blue for a decade in my bedroom…loved it, but 4 years ago, I wanted to change to something closer to black. I went with SW’s Inkwell and it’s beautiful. Good luck with your selection!

  • merlin513
    February 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    my vote is for SOOT. I’m afraid that if you went with the Polo Blue, once everything was finished that fabulous velvet sofa would blend in to much. Where as with the soot there would be some contrast between the walls and the couch. But in the end, it’s whatever makes YOU happy! :D

  • jenn aka the picky girl
    February 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, see I actually love how it’s looking, but I think the dark blue tone really compliments the wood well. And honestly, since I have something so similar, anything I hang on the wall looks amazing.

    Still, I can’t wait to see what you end up with.

  • Kayla aka Kilo Bravo
    February 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I love the direction this room is taking!!! That P&R clip was perfection.

  • Andrew
    February 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Love how your sofa and fig tree are looking against this! And the window frames are standing out beautifully.

  • Tory
    February 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm


  • cherneeshouse
    February 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    The room looks awesome with just the primer – the dark walls are really going to look lovely in this space. Can’t wait to see what color you pick.

  • Lisa Campbell
    February 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I love the dark against the wood! Actually, I’m kind of in love with dark walls, period. I painted my bedroom Behr’s Evening Hush and I love it. It’s a perfect charcoal/almost black, similar to Soot, I think.

  • Celeste
    February 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    You’re making the right choice with Soot.

    This is so lovely! Can’t wait to see it finished.

  • Traci
    February 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I love the color called Soot! So bold and deep. Can’t wait to see the progress after the walls are finished. Good luck!

  • Jules
    February 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Of the ones you have on the wall, Soot. If you’re looking for a black green, try RL Polo Green. I know RL doesn’t make paint anymore, but I bet Home Depot still has the formula. It’s the color I painted my back splash in the kitchen.

  • Clever Girl Reviews
    February 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I like Soot and Polo Blue. The Almost black looks too chalky and flat.

  • Kristina
    February 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I used soot on all the interior doors in my house and I love it. Go for it!!!

  • Judi
    February 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Soot. I first saw it on Anna’s blog, and now it’s on: All the doors in our house; an old IKEA media center; our banister; our upstairs bathroom vanity; and (soon) our lower kitchen cabinets (and probably a bathroom wall). It has UNBELIEVABLE depth, especially in Aura matte. It works as well in northern VT light as it apparently does in mid-Hudson light. I’m betting it would have the same depth and resonance in Chicago. You really cannot go wrong with this color (and thanks again, Anna–as you say, Soot, soot, soot, soot!).

  • Southern Gal
    February 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    i vote for polo blue.
    i have a room painted in a very dark blue – enough blue that when the sun shines there is a glow of blue- so its not SOLID black… good for decorating options. and that room must get some good light.

  • Anne
    February 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Ooh, can’t wait to see how this turns out! My vote is Soot.

  • Lydia
    February 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Personally, I like Polo Blue :] It seems like it gives a kind of nautical look, with the wood tones?
    I don’t know, but that’s what I’d choose :] xxxx

  • Erin
    February 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Dang, I love this. I have been pinning all sorts of dark rooms and am in the process myself of picking a really dark blue/green/smokey one for our bedroom. We have oak colored trim, which I’m trying to embrace until the day comes that I can leave this home for whiter, brighter trim pastures. But for now, I want to roll with the wood color next to dark paint for our master and my biggest dilemma is finding appropriate curtains and bedding that bring this whole look together. From your pics on my monitor, I’m liking the Soot one.

  • amanda
    February 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I love the direction this room is taking! Yay for bold choices: I never would have thought to go dark in a Victorian (which is weird because of course they did), but I love the dark color with the oak. I’m jumping on the Soot bandwagon. I like the Polo Blue as well, but the Soot is more of a contrast with the couch. And that couch deserves all the attention it can get.

  • Lindsay
    February 24, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I do love Soot! This room is going to be GORGEOUS! I love, love the colour.

  • Bmerry
    February 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Soot is nice and crisp.

  • Janine
    February 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    This is a really bold choice and I’m loving it!
    I’ve heard good things about a Martha Stewart colour called Avocado, which is a black with a bunch of green in it.

  • Sarah W
    February 24, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    My vote is Soot!

  • erin
    February 25, 2014 at 5:20 am

    I like Soot the best, too!

  • Antonella
    February 25, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Polo Blue all the way!

  • ChaCha
    February 25, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I have Soot in my long hallway. I could not love it more. I want to paint my whole that color!! It looks different in every light and every different angle!

  • Jill
    February 25, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I’ve been obsessed with Soot. A neighbor painted the exterior of their home Soot with white trim and it looks amazing. Colors just pop next to it. Great choice.

  • Kimberly | Turning It Home
    February 25, 2014 at 9:02 am

    When my husband and I were first married, he exclaimed that he wanted to paint our tiny bathroom black and I thought, “who is this man!?” By the looks of your room, though – I think he was on to something. Can’t wait to see the final result! (PS: my vote goes to Soot! It looks like a great neutral!)

  • Dawn V
    February 25, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Oh, I am on team Polo Blue. I especially like the way it looks when the light hits in in picture 5 above.

  • Cassidy Ray Delaney Ann
    February 25, 2014 at 11:15 am


    Also, here is the most epic figure skating routine EVER. Seriously.

  • JP
    February 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I like Polo Blue!
    And hmm, wonder where that Plushenko video came from … Seems like I saw that somewhere else today.

  • Kathleen
    February 26, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Love all the shades of blue! So beautiful!

    xo Kathleen

  • nicole
    February 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    You might want to peek at BM’s Iron Mountain. I painted my dining room this color and it’s a great, moody, almost black that feels warm and inviting and is pretty weather the room is dim or lit with bright sunshine. It might work for you here. It’s tricky to do an almost black in a room with a blue sofa.

  • alisa
    February 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    I think I like the almost black, although you know its really hard to tell on the computer. But love where this is going!

  • Sarah V
    March 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I have wood floors that are very similar in tone to yours and the ‘Soot’ walls in my bedroom look fantastic!