Here we go, my friends. I’m finally jumping in and taking the plunge…or, at least I think I am. To paint or not to paint our black dining room walls a new refreshing grey paint color has been on my mind (or in the back of it) for months. I shared my dilemma in my Instagram stories recently, and so many people still love our black walls! I still love our black walls. I’ve been torn, and have flip flopped for so long now. I know black walls are super on-trend right now, so they definitely have that going for them. Black walls are different and unconventional, and grey walls can seem well…ordinary. They’re also in almost every home you see lately. That said, we already have a warm grey paint color throughout most of our home anyway, Collingwood by Benjamin Moore, and I am still very happy with it, eight plus years later. The main reason I wanted to paint, is that I’d like to visually open up the room and bring in more natural light. I’m also craving change, and I think this is the perfect room to do it in. I’ve been seriously eyeing some new pieces for our dining room as well (check them out here), and with a lighter table and new rug – fingers crossed, I think the grey paint will be the perfect choice. So…thinking about trends, popularity, the updates I want to bring in, and the natural light I’m seeking, I think I just need to dive in and go for it.

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I’m sharing a few angles of our existing dining room from a few different seasons as well as my favorite Benjamin Moore grey paint colors, that I am considering for this space. I’m hovering between a very soft light grey to a more full-bodied medium grey. Some of these are warm and some are cool, and I’m trying to decide which route I want to go down.Benjamin Moore grey paint color

The one thing I do know for sure, is that I’ll need to test the three or four final color choices we narrow it down to. Trust me on this one – you always need to test your paint colors before painting the entire room. In my many years of painting multiple rooms, homes, and furniture pieces, the color never, ever, EVER looks like it does on the swatch. I’ve made this mistake more than once! So many reasons that happens… Light exposure being the most important one, especially with lighter paint colors. Have you ever seen your walls change color with the seasons and time of day? We live in a wooded northern climate, so our colors change quite drastically throughout the year. Here’s a before shot that I shared recently in my Favorite Makeovers Part 1 post (click here), where I shared this room’s evolution. Pretty basic and bare bones with Ikea Rtiva drapes and a zebra jute rug that’s way too small!

Dining room makeover before photo

This color is a soft black, it’s warm and brings a lot of depth to our little dining room. It’s called Cracked Pepper by Behr, and it’s the same color that we have used on all of our interior doors also. Below is the most recent look I shared with you this past summer, with a collected and curated table that creates a casual feel in the space. You can read more about this look here. Oh and don’t you love Oscar? He’s our lion head bunny for those of you who don’t know him. He’s my little cutie.
Dining room, black walls Cracked Pepper Behr

Here are the few new things I’m looking to do in this room:

  • PAINT THE WALLS A GREY COLOR (if I actually take the plunge)

  • ADD MOLDING ON THE UPPER WALLS (like we did in our master bathroom)



  • CHANGE THE TABLE FOR A LIGHTER STAINED ONE (or brave it and paint our existing one!)


Dining Room update, grey paint color

When I first revealed a more neutral palette in this space (read it here), we had updated the rug, and hung my original Ikea Ritva drapes (I had a totally different look in here at one time that was pattern galore!) that finished off the look. We’ve since added custom drapes with a more tailored look and they’re perfect, so they won’t be changing. I do still love this rug, and at the time is was perfect for what I wanted to achieve in our dining room, but since then, we updated our entryway (see the reveal here) with a new rug (shown below), so now I’m looking for something a little more complimentary with a vintage feel, also in greys.

Entryway looking into dining room. Grey paint color

Our light fixture was updated about two and a half years ago, and I still do love this too! I love the clean, modern lines and I added the shades to dress it up a little bit, a little styling trick if you want to customize your lighting. You can read about more simple tips to update your lighting here. I think I’d really love to dress the room up a little more, with a chandelier that’s a little more refined. I’m crossing my fingers I will be able to get the one I’ve been dreaming about!
Cracked Pepper Behr paint. White drapes. Lantern pendant lighting.

The only thing that makes me nervous about taking the plunge and painting, is that I’m afraid I’ll miss the gorgeous contrast these black walls give our home. This is the view from the entryway and I really do love it…
Dining room with black walls, Cracked Pepper by Behr.I also love how it picks up on our interior doors, which are also painted the same color. Neutral dinging room, grey paint color

There’s no doubt, I’ll miss this beautiful black statement in our home, and it’s going to take a lot of courage for me to paint these walls a new grey paint color! But I’m also excited, and I think the updates I want to make, if we do them all, will be absolutely fabulous in here. Tell me what you guys think? Do you like my grey paint color selection? Do you think I should bite the bullet and go for it? I’m almost there, but I’d really love your insight too! Thanks for reading with me, and as always, I love to have you here! xo


  1. Debbie E
    September 12, 2018 at 11:26 PM (3 years ago)

    My favourite color is BM Grey Owl. I’ve painted several houses that. It reads towards green or blue in different lights which goes with my decor.
    Having said that I really like how your black walls tie in with the black doors and provide the drama for the dedicated dining room.

  2. Edie
    September 13, 2018 at 3:39 PM (3 years ago)

    We painted our great room walls this Jan. I picked out the color two years ago. You are right; the swatches and even the sample color in a can don’t always tell the story. My painter used a flat enamel that was different from the sample can and it made a big difference in the color of the wall. I had to have them change the color when they had painted half the room! I then picked Dunn-Edwards Silver City and could not be happier. It has a slight blue tinge to it, but mainly looks silver. It was worth having to pay more to get the color I am so happy with. After all, we have to live with it. BTW, all your home is lovely, so I am sure your instincts about your chosen color are right on. Good luck!

  3. Nicole MacDonald
    September 13, 2018 at 10:30 PM (3 years ago)

    The Coventry grey is a great shade of grey. I just painted my living room and I am quite pleased with it. I have a great room to paint as well but I am torn between the Coventry grey and a warm white. I like to change up my accessories with some seasons and wondering if a warm white will be better for that ! Good luck with your decision!

  4. stacy
    September 14, 2018 at 4:02 PM (3 years ago)

    Love, love, love your black walls. They add a real designer element that puts your house above others. My votes is too keep : )

  5. Lynn W
    September 14, 2018 at 4:08 PM (3 years ago)

    I think when I read the beginning of the post, I was envisioning a graphite grey. Something still darkish.
    The lighter colors are pretty. It will be a big change for the room. Good luck :)

  6. Talitha
    September 14, 2018 at 4:14 PM (3 years ago)

    I love the black walls! They really make a statement with the black doors. Change the rug and chandelier if you want a change…even the table…but leave the walls black. They are just…wow!

  7. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:16 PM (3 years ago)

    You are not the only one, my goodness so many people want me to keep it! This is making it so hard to choose! Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it!!

  8. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:17 PM (3 years ago)

    You’re not the first person to tell me to go with a darker grey! Ahhhhh…so many decisions to make! I just thought the light walls will breathe life, but I’m still stumped!

  9. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:19 PM (3 years ago)

    Stacy, so may people love the black! I do too, it will be a tough decision and I will miss them no doubt…my sister in law painted her ceiling black and it’s spectacular! She’s super talented…I should steal her idea!

  10. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:24 PM (3 years ago)

    I change my accessories too! And whichever you go with I think will be fabulous! I really love the coventry gray also, it’s very rich and I like that it’s a medium tone too. Thanks for your help!! I have a big decision to make!

  11. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:25 PM (3 years ago)

    OH yes! Finish can change the color too! It’s crazy how many factors affect the outcome! Your color sounds beautiful I will have to look it up for sure! I totally agree about paying a little bit more for the right result too, and I’m so happy to hear you love it! Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by!

  12. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:26 PM (3 years ago)

    That’s a gorgeous shade too! It can go with so many different spaces! I hear you on this black…you and so many others are making me possibly want to keep it! Thank you for your input!

  13. Darlene
    September 14, 2018 at 5:27 PM (3 years ago)

    Love the elegance of the black walls, my vote is to keep. Grey is so ordinary, the black is a wow!

  14. Darlene
    September 14, 2018 at 5:31 PM (3 years ago)

    Keep the black it is elegant and stunning! Grey is ordinary! It makes your home look absolutely fabulous. Change the light and carpet but keep the black.

  15. Lisa
    September 14, 2018 at 5:49 PM (3 years ago)

    I love your black walls, but I totally understand the desire to have changes inside your home! I painted my ceiling last fall with an off-black and I love the statement it makes and how it visually lifts the ceiling. I am attracted to warm greys and love all your choices! Black accents might be fun I.e., pillows, table linens and throw blankets! Can’t wait to see your magic!! Xx Lisa

  16. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:55 PM (3 years ago)

    I literally just answered another comment about painting the ceiling black – my sister in law did it in her home and it’s stunning! I’m sure your’s is gorgeous too! I’m glad you like the greys…I’m so stumped I can’t tell you, so many people are telling me not to do it! But I love your idea of the black accents – so chic!

  17. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:56 PM (3 years ago)

    Darlene, thank you for the great advice! I know so many people want me to keep them as is…I have a very hard decision pm my hands!!

  18. tamaraanka
    September 14, 2018 at 5:57 PM (3 years ago)

    Thank you, thank you! I’m so happy you like it…like I said before, this is going to be tough! I love these walls too!!

  19. Joan
    September 14, 2018 at 6:45 PM (3 years ago)

    I love your dark walls…because we just built a new home and I painted all the downstairs walls BM Newburyport Blue, aka navy blue with lots of whitewainscoting and trim. My exterior is Coventry Gray, front doors Whythe Blue. I hope I don’t get tired of it. I’ll never hear the end of it if I do! 🙃

  20. Joanna
    September 14, 2018 at 8:22 PM (3 years ago)

    I love your black walls! They give your dining room an elegant feeling and must be wonderful in the evening with candles lite. Your new chandelier is gorgeous! It would cast a lovely glow onto your black walls. I vote to change your rug for a darker grey, vintage look rug the new chandelier and table. It would be amazing! So many bloggers have grey or all white. Stand out with your black walls! Besides, grey is waning as THE color.

  21. Laura
    September 16, 2018 at 9:33 AM (3 years ago)

    I would go ahead and see how the new table and rug, etc. look with the current wall color. It might be enough of a change without painting your beautiful dark walls. I’m sure it will look beautiful whatever you decide.

  22. Amy Kasten
    September 21, 2018 at 10:52 PM (3 years ago)

    I love your black walls! I would make the other changes first, rug, light etc. and then see how you feel. The walls are amazing as is!!

  23. tamaraanka
    September 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM (3 years ago)

    Amy thank you so much for the input! You are not the only one! SO many people love them…I’m still on the fence but am leaning toward changing! But so nervous to do it! Thanks for stopping by!

  24. Linda Biondo
    October 2, 2018 at 8:13 AM (3 years ago)

    I would personally love the lighter gray and understand the need for a breath of fresh air and light so to speak. Your vision of a lighter table is lovely as are all your design elements.

  25. tamaraanka
    October 2, 2018 at 3:43 PM (3 years ago)

    Thank you for your input! I am really leaning toward changing it up, and I’m even thinking of replacing the artwork too, which will look beautiful on the lighter walls. So happy you stopped by my blog today!

  26. Joy
    October 8, 2018 at 11:16 PM (3 years ago)

    I love BM Collingwood! What is the trim color you used with it?

  27. tamaraanka
    October 9, 2018 at 10:56 AM (3 years ago)

    Thank you! I love it too, it’s a great color! All of the trim in our home is Ultra Pure White by Behr :)

  28. Hope
    October 31, 2018 at 7:25 PM (3 years ago)

    Keep the Black Walls! I love the dark room surrounded by Collingwood & White, then all accessories and the door tying everything together is fantastic. I keep coming back to your website again and again, your style is inspiring!

  29. tamaraanka
    November 1, 2018 at 8:49 AM (3 years ago)

    Thank you so much for your input and your kind words Hope, it means so much to me! I’ve decided to paint! AHHH! I’m in the middle of testing the grey paints as we speak! I know you’l miss the black, so will I!! But I promise you’ll love the results!! Stay tuned!

  30. tamaraanka
    January 3, 2019 at 4:57 PM (3 years ago)

    Thank you so much!! We went for the light grey and love it SO MUCH!!! xox

  31. tamaraanka
    January 3, 2019 at 4:58 PM (3 years ago)

    Joanna, I went light grey!! I loved the black so much but in the end, we are soooo happy with the results – it’s so bright and feels so spacious in here, we really love it!! xox

  32. tamaraanka
    January 3, 2019 at 4:59 PM (3 years ago)

    Joan it sounds fabulous and I’m sure you won’t! I wasn’t necessarily tired of the black, but I wanted something new for a change – it was such a hard choice, but we’re thrilled in the end with the light walls! xo

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