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From the Resene colour choices booklet

We may be known for our love of black clothing, but it seems we also love this colour on our homes.

It’s a brave person who paints their interiors in black, but the colour – or at least its many subtle shades from the Resene paint palette – regularly pops up in living rooms, bedrooms and even bathrooms. Black is smart, sophisticated, dramatic, masculine, moody and urbane.

As with any dark colour, black will make a room appear smaller and more enclosed. It’s superb for a room that’s more likely to be used in the evening, such as a media or TV room, or a bedroom. Well-planned lighting can heighten the effect of black, by casting a wash of soft light over a wall. Not all blacks are created equal. Some have a touch of brown like Resene Bokara Grey, some a touch of green like Resene Swamp, or blue, like Resene Bastille. Ask a staff member at your local Resene ColorShop to decipher the numbered code underneath the colour swatch.

Black started showing up on exteriors a while ago. Black lends a crisp contemporary edge to modern architecture, or a romantic cast to bungalows and cottages, especially when teamed with white architraves and joinery.


If a dark colour is to be used on the exterior of a house, consider using a Resene CoolColour version of the colour, which reflects more of the sun’s heat to keep the paint and surface cooler.

Black kitchen
Walls in Resene Nero.

Chalk it up with blackboard paint

The ultimate practical black finish is Resene Blackboard Paint. Paint an entire wall in a child’s room, the back of a kitchen island bench, or frame up part of a wall as a more traditional-style blackboard. Add another dimension by painting Resene Magnetic Magic underneath so you can use it as a magnetic noticeboard as well.

Top tip

An extreme colour such as black often calls for an extreme finish – choose an absolute matt finish, such as Resene SpaceCote Flat, to appear velvety and luscious. A high-gloss finish gives a feeling of glamour and helps reflect light.

Plywood wall stained in Pitch Black
Walls in Resene Colorwood Pitch Black wood stain.

Positive – Black can be timeless and glamorous. It is also the colour of emotional safety, efficiency, substance and excellence. Psychologically, black creates protective barriers, as it totally absorbs all the other colours of the spectrum.

Negative – Black represents oppression, coldness, seriousness and weight. It makes rooms seem smaller, too.


Download a PDF of this article

Resene colour choices booklet
Choose colour with confidence and creativity


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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