DIY All Black Sitting Room

DIY All Black Sitting Room

DIY All Black Sitting Room

By Brianna Whitehouse | @themoderncolonial

Would you paint an entire room black? Well, I did. My name is Brianna and you can find me at @themoderncolonial on Instagram rehabbing my latest home. This is the third home I have rehabbed with my husband. The first was a smaller townhouse, the second was a full on renovation with a large construction crew, and now this one we are taking our time and doing most of the renovation and upgrades ourselves. 


When I first looked at my new house as a prospective buyer, the very first thing I thought about was this sitting room and how I would love to paint it black! To me, the cherry wood built-ins were beautiful but totally outdated and in need of a major upgrade. The sponge painted walls were also not my style in the slightest and the light fixture needed to be replaced. 


When planning the paint color portion of the design for this room, there was one thing I really wanted to drive home; an all black room. This included the cherry wood built-ins AND the ceiling. Now, many people looked at me sideways when I told them I was planning on painting the ceiling black, but I had a vision and I wasn’t going to let anyone let me lose sight of that. I also heard long ago to think of the ceiling as your 5th wall and I feel many people overlook that. In my house, a ceiling is just as important as the other 4 walls, sometimes it is my feature wall, the focal point in which I want your eyes to go first. 


My house is very open and the sitting room is bordering 3 other spaces in the house, all of those spaces are stark white. So, for me, this all black sitting room was more like a feature wall (or feature room), if you will. When standing in the foyer, you would be standing in an all white room, looking through an all black room, into two other white rooms. It would make for some gorgeous contrast. 

When picking paint for this project, we had some details we could not overlook. First, I wanted everything to blend in, so the gloss all needed to be the same. Second, I would be painting not only walls, but I would also be painting cabinets as well as a ceiling in the same paint. Luckily, I had a great color concierge, Isabella, who helped me decide the best gloss for all of these surfaces. She also helped me figure out how much paint I would need, if there was anything I would need for my project, and the most important piece; she helped me decide on the right color! 


When we discussed the color of this room, I explained I wanted an all black room. I didn’t want jet black, but I had wanted it pretty close to it. Before working with Dunn-Edwards DURA, I had become familiar with one paint brand more than others, so I gave her the color I would have gravitated towards from that company and she was able to send me colors that were a close match! This is how I came to the color Blackjack. It is a perfect ‘off black’ that allowed me to get some beautiful depth with such a dark color. 

SHOP Blackjack

For me, I am always running around from place to place with my kids while also trying to complete projects. This can make me incredibly busy and become hard to manage. So, my favorite part of this project was the ability to have everything sent to my house directly, so easy! Isabella had paint chips and peel and stick samples sent right over. After I had picked my color, my paint was sent directly out, straight to my door! Talk about one less thing to worry about!  


The paint was very easy to work with so we were able to knock this project out in a weekend. I was surprised with how well the coverage was and how smooth the paint went on. This is the third room I have used Dunn Edwards Dura and I am still amazed by the coverage. The entire room took two coats, even the cabinets, and I didn’t even sand my cabinets down beforehand. Now, my cabinets were in extremely good shape, and I rarely ever paint cabinets or furniture without sanding first, but my built-ins are huge, overwhelming, and I wanted to see how the paint fared. It did even better than I expected, the paint adhered to them with ease and I was even impressed with the finish. I have worked with several paints for furniture, so I was a little apprehensive on how it would work for the cabinets, but it went on amazingly. The only thing I would recommend is adding a top coat onto your cabinets if you chose to use this paint for cabinets or furniture. I recommend this for ALL paints on furniture because they chip easily if they are not protected. The only place that needed more than two coats of paint was the ceiling. This had nothing to do with the new paint and everything to do with the paint underneath. 


In the end, we were able to create a dramatic change in this room at a low cost with just some paint! The color of the paint and the use of the paint is how we were able to create such a dramatic before and after. By painting the cabinets and the ceiling, it created a stunningly unique room and though we didn’t change any structure of the room, it leaves you shocked that it is the same room entirely. 

The main take away I want everyone to get from this dramatic before and after is not to be afraid of bold colors. It is a time where many people favor white, crisp clean lines, and while I am 100% on board with this trend, I still like to go outside of the box and take a little risk. Black Jack was the perfect color to help modernize this space and make black feel sophisticated. 

Follow along with Brianna @themoderncolonial on Instagram for more project highlights!

Products Used

Colors Used

Ready to start your own DIY project? Book a Color Session with a Color Influencer to help you through your color journey, or take a paint color quiz to decide your style! Our team knows just the right questions to ask to understand your goals, help you sort through color and gloss options, and even connect you with some clever sampling tools. Whether you want to talk for 5 minutes or an hour—whenever you want to talk—our team is ready when you are.

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