Best Wall Colors for Stained Trim

Written by Kelly on October 17th, 2011


I was recently asked this decorating question by one of my readers: “I am looking for paint colors that would look good with my walnut stained woodwork and doors. Most everything I see now has white woodwork and doors. Do you have any suggestions?”


It’s true. A majority of the interior design photos you see now are all in white including the trim and doors. I personally do not like the look of a bright white color for the walls with stained trim. Nor do I like this look below of wood doors with white trim:


Instead of a stark white to work with stained woodwork, I always suggest using a beiger, creamier white because it does not make the woodwork stand out and scream.  Look at the photo below which is mascarpone af-20:


I think the color is too ‘clean’ and bright with the wood. Now take a look at the below image that features showing with harmony af-90, which has more beige in it, with the dark stain wood:


Just remember that pure, bright white colors look best paired with ‘clean’ bright colors and off-whites and creamier colors look best with browns and beige.


I also am not a fan of the lighter paint colors with the wood trim:

I think the woodwork is sticking out to obviously in this above photo. Wouldn’t you agree that the trim would work better in the room if it was painted a pure, clean white?

What I do really love is the look of the stained wood trim together with medium to dark colors on the wall:


House Beautiful

So gorgeous!


So my advice on choosing wall colors for dark trim? If you are looking for a soft, fresher look, I suggest using creamy or beige off-white colors instead of a pure white hues. Or, if you are looking for a bolder and more contemporary look, I would suggest using a medium to darker color for the walls which will work beautifully together with the stained wood trim. I love! medium to deeper shades of grays, blues and greens with the darker woodwork.

You can see more inspirational photos of painted rooms with stained trim here.

Comments? Please? All photos used are from pinterest. If you have not visited pinterest yet, go there immediately! You will love it.

If you need help choosing paint colors for your home or office, contact me today!


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20 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kelly says:

    Hi Heather,

    I tried to go back and find source but could not. I know the color is a green beige- It could be Bleeker Beige or Wheeling Neutral. Did you try to paint a large poster board with the color? So hard to see true colors through the computer.

  2. Heaher says:

    I’m having such a hard time finding a color for my living room. I have had it painted three times in 20 months!! I have a entry way that looks exactly like the arched door photo. I love that paint paired with the trim and door. I know you said you thought bleaker Beige, but do you know for sure?? It looks a little bit green compared to the bleaker beige swatch. Thanks

  3. Kelly says:

    Hi Chris,
    I do know that the wall color has a green undertone. On the computer it is hard to see but I think the color is BM Bleeker Beige HC-80. Hope this helps!

  4. Chris says:

    Any idea what the colour of the paint with the arched door is Kelly?

  5. CW says:

    Is there a wood color that is complemented by yellow-green walls?

  6. Terri says:

    We have golden oak wood trim and kitchen cabinets of similar oak color. We are putting in caladonia granite countertop and are trying to determine a wall color that we can carry from the kitchen into the ‘great’ room area because there isn’t a very good breaking point for the kitchen. The larger living area will have hickory flooring (large color variation) and the kitchen already has a dark grey tile.

    Suggestions for wall colors?

  7. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the post. I am trying to figure out what to paint our home we bought. It’s been over 6 months and I am stuck because we have wood trim the color of dark honey. the colors that are there now look peach when next to the trim and I am scared to replete their mistake. Maybe I will try and be bold with a darker color, but I also worry my small house with feel like a cave. Thanks for the food for thought. Best into I have found in my search so far.

  8. I have actually usually gone for light trim with stained colours for a clean contrast but I am liking the darker colour, nice tip thanks for sharing!

  9. sandra says:

    hi kelly,
    I have mahoany trim and doors throughout my home, and am going with a green color for the walls as you have mentioned.
    We are planning on putting in hardwood or laminate in the bedrooms/ livingroom but aren’t sure of what darkness/shade to go with. Should it match the trim color? Would the room have too much wood?

  10. EClark says:

    Love natural wood interior trim. White woodwork is so boring, and now walls are gray and dull as well.
    We chose to use a dark rosewood stain for the woodwork (looks so rich and deep). Light Buff yellow GLOSS for the walls and ceiling for our north coast cottage. Stone for the floors (because of all the sand and pebbles).
    It looks like a jewel of a small house. It literally reminds one of a ship out at sea.
    My advice is to leave the drab and monocromatic whites and grays behind. Celebrate color. Look at nature for your cues.

  11. Jenn says:

    I LOVE the first picture of the pale green walls and yellow leather couch. Can you direct me to where you got this photo in the hopes of finding out more details on this room?
    Thanks for this post – it really did inspire me as I am in the middle of re-painting an old home with all wood trim!

  12. Kelly says:

    Have you tried a cream color Lanie?

  13. Lanie says:

    I love all of these color schemes! They are fantastic looking. Yet I have a house with mahogany window trim, doors, and baseboard. It is a small house and painting the walls a beige or medium color seems to make the house feel even smaller.

  14. Kelly says:

    Thanks Nick for the tip! I am going to give it a try. Colonial White- maybe you should patent it before BM finds out about it!

  15. nick dunse says:

    Love your site and thoughts on color, I see linen white and shaker beige in my sleep. Been painting with BM for over 35 years.

    Mix linen white and white one to one call it Colonial White customers love it. I will direct my customers stuck on color selection to your site.

    Much success in 2012

    Nick/ thinkpainting!

  16. Good tips, Kelly! I must say that I do not like browns or even grays on walls with wood trim. It just seems like a cop-out to me, and it doesn’t highlight the beautiful wood. I’m with you on choosing darker, richer colors to compliment wood trim such as greens, blues, golds, even corals if the undertones are right.

  17. Hi Kelly!
    Always love your posts.
    My sister has deep mahogany crown moulding- her house was built by timber people and there is gorgeous woodwork throughout. She has used Etiquette- AF-50 with great success. Says it is so rich it looks like fabric, yet it is a light color. Thought I would share some color love.
    Mary Steele

  18. Kelly says:

    Thanks Emily! I think a lot of people have trouble choosing colors for the stained trim that want a more updated look. Glad this helped you.

  19. Emily says:

    Great tips! Thank you for that. I have stained trim and crown molding in my formal dining room and have been struggling with what color to repaint the walls with. This will help me.

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