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How to Style a Black Accent Wall

How to Pull Off a Matte Black Accent Wall While Keeping Your Space Nice and Bright

Alongside Sherwin-Williams®, we're demystifying how to make a matte black wall work in your home. No dark cave vibes in sight!

Ok, we know black might not be the first color that comes to mind when thinking of what color to paint an accent wall in your home. But hear us out — against black, other colors and neutrals become even more bright. Plus, it's an instant conversation piece and a unique way to elevate your favorite pieces of decor. And don't worry — it's super easy to make sure your space stays airy and light with the right styling tools.

No matter how you decide to incorporate black into your home, it's important to start with a high-quality paint that's going to provide just the right matte finish. So, look no further than Sherwin-Williams for a range of gorgeous colors and finishes, and then get to experimenting!


Test the Color in Your Space


Before you start painting, virtually see a few color options with the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® Visualizer app. Using the “Paint a Scene” function, simply hold up your phone to face the wall, choose the color you want to see, and, in real time, the app will show you what that space would look like when painted.

Gather Your Materials


What you'll need:

Paint Your Accent Wall


Start by taping the bottom of the wall or baseboard with the painter's tape and a drop cloth. Move the drop cloth about an inch away from the wall so that the tape will stick to both the floor and the drop cloth.

Use painter's tape to edge along the seam of the ceiling and the corners of the adjoining walls.

Pour your paint into a tray and use a small paintbrush to cover the areas along the floor, ceiling, and corners. Then, use the roller to cover the large parts of the wall.

Let the wall dry for about an hour before starting on the second coat. When the paint is still tacky from the second coat, carefully pull the painter's tape off the wall.

Keep These 3 Styling Essentials in Mind


There are three golden rules (OK, maybe not officially) for decorating against a black wall: don't underestimate the power of plants, go big with your art mats, and use light-colored natural materials.

Plants are the easiest way to soften up a room with a matte black wall. The greens will look so chic against the black, as will planters made of rattan or terra cotta. And you can never have too many!

The art you choose is pivotal to bringing the black wall to life. There are two ways to go about choosing prints: either go with something super bold and colorful, or a piece that's a little more understated, paired with an extra-large white art mat and neutral frame. It's all about breaking up the black with bright spots.

Light woods and neutral materials in general will keep everything from feeling too heavy. If you need to cover the floor, opt for a rug that's either made from a light woven material (such as jute) or one that's white or has a light pattern. A light wood bench and cream-colored chair will also do the trick.

Put It All Together!


It's the little touches here that will make all the difference! From a cool, modern hanging lamp to trinkets and books you picked up on your last vacation, a black wall is the perfect vehicle for making your prized possessions pop.

Credits: Photography: Matthew Kelly; Art Direction: Meg Konigsburg; Prop Styling: Aja Coon