Next up came the painting. Since we were painting both trim and walls the same color, I chose an eggshell finish. Flat finishes tend to hide imperfections, and glossy finishes hold up better to wear and tear. An eggshell finish would protect high-use areas like the shelves, without pointing giant neon arrows at our imperfect old walls. Since the whole house had been recently painted a light color by the seller, we didn't bother with priming. We did, however, spend a fair amount of time prepping the walls, sanding down bumps and filling in holes. This takes a bit of time, but I highly recommend it (especially with dark colors in a non-flat finish). I wish we had taken the time to prime the trim, even though we didn't prime the walls. The trim in our house (and many houses) is in a glossy finish that doesn't really take paint well, and it took three coats of paint to cover the trim, bookshelves, and doors. I'd hoped to save time by not priming, but ended up taking more time because I skipped that step. Lesson learned.
I knew that I liked the photos of dark, moody rooms with painted trim, but it's still a bit scary to make that first brush stroke in your new house. I was worried that it would feel oppressive or gloomy, but we've been in the house for six months now (?!) and I can safely say that I love my dark rooms. We went dark in our library and our dining room, which are two rooms that just feel right being dark and cozy. They're rooms to drink a glass of red wine in, or to curl up with a book and a glass of scotch. And while painting trim can feel a little out there, I think white trim against dark paint can be a bit jarring, whereas matching trim keeps the room cohesive.
So who's going bold with paint? Or wanting to but scared to take the plunge? Let me be the devil on your shoulder telling you to go dark. You won't regret it.
Image credits: Our library / Blue library in a Nashville house via House Beautiful / A Paris hotel designed by Michele Bönan via Domino / Aerin Lauder's amazing home via Harper's Bazaar / That time I lost my mind