Black paint colors have been trending for years and the trend is only going to get strong. Benjamin Moore Onyx is a deep, dark black hue, perfect in smaller applications. Are you thinking about using this dark color in your home? Find out if Onyx is right for you with my full color review.
This post contains affiliate links. Read our policy here.
What are the undertones of Benjamin Moore Onyx?
Black paint colors are anything but straightforward with undertones ranging from purple, blue and even green, but Onyx is one of the few black colors without an undertone, and I’d consider this a true black paint.
What is the LRV of Onyx?
Onyx has a Light reflectance value (LRV) of 5. LRV tells us how dark or light the paint color is with 0 representing absolute pure black and 100 representing pure white. An even darker black paint color would be Farrow & Ball Off Black.
This number is really important when picking black paint colors as these hues really run the gamut with some leaning closer towards dark gray paint.
Onyx vs. Tricorn Black
Onyx has an LRV of 5, while Tricorn Black has an LRV of 3. Both Onyx and Tricorn Black are pretty dead on when it comes to their color, as they both lack undertones are as close to a true black as you can get, however, Tricorn Black is just darker.
Onyx vs. Black Magic
Black Magic has an LRV of 3, just like Tricorn Black, but when compared to Onyx, you can see that Black Magic is more saturated. When we replaced our windows we painted our sashes Black Magic as I felt it was the truest black on the market.
Onyx vs. Black Beauty
Although the LRV of Onyx and Black Beauty differ only by one, Black Beauty is a deeper black than Onyx. Black Beauty is also free of undertones.
Did you know you can order a peel and stick paint sample of Onyx or any other black paint colors you’re thinking about testing out? I recommend these to my clients, as it’s the easiest and fastest way to test multiple colors at once! Order a sample here.
What trim color looks best with Onyx?
A deeply saturated black hue, free of any undertones looks best either with the brightest of whites like White Diamond or true whites, like High Reflective White.
Three tips for deciding if Benjamin Moore Onyx is right for you
Is Onyx right for your space? Find out with my three no-fail tips.
Be realistic about your light
There’s no denying it, Onyx is dark. We’re talking really dark. If you have a small amount of natural light Onyx will look even darker. This color is so dark that there’s really no chance about it being washed out, as a lot of colors do in too much natural light.
The question you should be asking yourself with Onyx is “is this too dark?” Now, for a wall application, I tend to think that yes, Onyx is too dark.
It’s hard to make absolute black look inviting. Just like it’s pretty hard to make stark white look good. Of course, the world’s best designer can pull off any color, but for the average homeowner, this is likely too dark for a wall color.
But, for a window sash color, a door color, to be used on a vanity, an old dresser you’re trying to revive, yes, this is a great color.
If you really had your heart set on Onyx for a wall color but now feel like it’s just too dark, don’t worry, a world of other black paint colors exist that are far more “wall-friendly” than this one.
Work it into your decor
Don’t let a black wall or black dresser be the only piece of black in your room or it will look like it doesn’t belong. If you want to go with a big black bold piece or wall color you must repeat it in the room a couple times in substantial sizes for it to make sense and all work cohesively together.
Do you see how the black vanity in the above bathroom looks amazing? And do you also see how the black is repeated in the wallpaper and then again on the door? That’s the way to do it, my friends.
Test it out
By now you know that most of the time black paint colors have undertones. With Onyx you don’t have to worry about undertones, as it’s a true black, but you do need to see just how dark it is, and the only way to do that is to test it out.
I’d recommend ordering a sample of several black paint colors. I recommend the peel and stick paint samples when testing out colors for your home.
That is, if you only sample one paint color or even two, you really don’t know what you’re dealing with, as comparing multiple colors together is the only way to see undertones and color depth.
Not convinced Onyx is the one or just want to keep exploring? Here are some other popular black colors to try.