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Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color review

This Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color review will give you the low-down on one of our favorite black paint colors.  Believe it or not, black paint colors have cool and warm undertones, and can be described as soft or dark.  Onyx is a dark black with little or no undertones.  It’s a great paint color for a front door, an accent wall, a cabinet color or a dramatic office or living room.

In many ways it behaves as a white – it makes a great backdrop to highlight art or other colors.  It was the star of the show when I renovated my office.

Please note:  All color reviews feature our color consulting projects, and many of our photos come from our satisfied clients!

Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color review

Living room with Onyx walls and Chantilly Lace trim and doors; Photo by M. Camilli

Best Trim and Ceiling Colors

Black paint colors are pretty forgiving. For trim and ceilings you can use clean whites such as BM Chantilly Lace, off-whites such as BM Simply White or BM White Dove or creamy whites such as BM Swiss Coffee.  I like to match the ceilings to the trim as a cultural convention, but with black paints it doesn’t make that much of a difference.  Ideally the ceiling white should be lighter than the trim white paint color.

When to Use Onyx

Use Onyx when a room has lots of windows, many light-colored surfaces or in moody rooms without windows that have a ton of lighting.  I like to use Onyx in an office where you do a lot of computer work – it is easy on your eyes and you can see the screen better.  Avoid rooms with low light where you need to work manually such as laundry rooms.  Onyx also looks great on an interior front door or as a cabinet color.

Office with Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color and review

Office area with BM Onyx walls and BM Chantilly Lace for trim and ceiling; Photo by J Maynard

Onyx Craves Light

This room has lots of light, white trim and white ceilings.  This room has two enormous windows, and the black highlights the exterior foliage as art.

TV room with Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color and review

Photo by M. Marceny

Onyx Makes Wood Glow

This black paint color is a great backdrop for wooden shelves and tribal art as well as those gorgeous Paris prints.  The gorgeous wood floors look silky with the contrast.

Office with Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color and review

Office with Onyx wall color and wood shelves; Photo by M. Marceny

Onyx as a Cabinet Paint Color

Since Onyx has so few undertones, it looks fantastic as a cabinet color and complements just about any neutral paint color.  In this room, we used it to update a granite powder room countertop. Learn more about that renovation here.

Powder Room with Benjamin Moore Onyx cabinets and color review

Vanity with BM Onyx paint color; Photo by M. Marceny

Don’t Use Onyx in Laundry Rooms

This laundry room was a failed experiment.  It is pretty and dramatic, and even though I kept one of the walls white, and it had a white ceiling, trim and cabinets it was still too dark to do laundry.  It looked great, but you could never see what you were doing.

DON’T PIN!  Don’t use Onyx in a Laundry Room; Photo by M. Camilli

Onyx as an Exterior Paint Color

Dark exterior paint colors are having a moment right now.  We don’t have any photos of Onyx exteriors, but it would be a great option! Dark paint colors such as Onyx look great with lots of foliage as contrast, and without trim.  If you use Onyx for an exterior, consider warmer whites or light gray paint colors for trim.  Some trim options are BM Classic Gray (OC-32), BM White Dove (OC-17), or Edgecomb Gray (OC-173) for a creamier look. You can read more about Classic Gray as an exterior trim color in the color review here.

Which Sherwin-Williams Color is Most Similar to Onyx?

The closest Sherwin-Williams match is Tricorn Black (SW 6258).

The Verdict

Onyx is a beautiful black paint color with neutral undertones.  Make sure you use it in rooms with lots of light for interiors.  You can use it as a siding or trim color for exteriors.  As always, don’t forget to test your paint colors! Learn all about paint testing here.

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Benjamin Moore Onyx paint color review

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We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give out specific answers to your paint questions.  If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.

Pick Colors Like a Pro with our FREE Guide!

8 Easy Ways to Pick Paint Colors

An Insider's Guide to the Perfect Palette for your Home

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8 Easy Ways to Pick Paint Colors

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