Blush & Moody Dining Room Makeover – ORC Week 3 – Picking the Perfect Black Paint

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

Good morning, friends! Welcome back to our One Room Challenge (ORC) dining room makeover. If you’ve been following along on my IG stories, you’ve seen throughout the week that we have gotten a lot done since last week’s update! The room is starting to take shape and I’m so excited to walk you through the progress – including how we chose the BLACK paint!

If you’re unfamiliar with the ORC, it’s a bi-annual event in April and October, hosted by Linda at Calling it Home and House Beautiful, where designers from all over the world come together and support each other through a room makeover. There are 20 featured designers, as well as over a hundred guest participants (that’s me!) who link up their makeovers and cheer each other on during the short 6-week season. Last fall, we did our master bathroom and this month we’re doing our dining room!

Be sure to catch up on this season here: WEEK 1 (THE PLAN) / WEEK 2 (THE DESIGN)

You can also watch a “before” video tour here and a week 2 progress video tour here.

If you’re joining me from the ORC site, welcome! I’m Rachel Joy – DIY addict, home renovator, and self-taught interior designer. Through this blog, I strive to help others discover the ease and fun of decorating on a budget. I’m so glad you’re here!

farmhouse bathroom

Before we talk about what we’ve done this week, I want to give a little shout-out to my husband Chris, who has been working so hard and diligently to keep this project progressing. Without his steadfast efforts, this project would not be happening. THANK YOU CHRIS!! 🙂

In case you’re new to our blog, Chris and I typically do all the work ourselves for our projects (this one is no different) while both working full time, having small kids (2 & 4) and volunteering a significant amount. This project is even more stretching because we have some busy weekends during the short 6-week season, so our time to work on this project is limited. Chris’s large task of building our dining room table is a huge driving factor for us to finish up the physical room updates as soon as possible so he can put his efforts towards building the table while I work on the decor aspect.

They don’t call it the One Room CHALLENGE for nothing. 😉

Ok, let’s review this week’s progress. We ended last week having just received our rug (the main focal point in the design and needed for color reference in regards to paint and decor) and just starting the shiplap wainscoting.

Ah, I still love that rug with all my heart. Is this how it is for everyone when they finally branch out and get a bold, detailed rug in their home for the first time?! If so, I want them in every room of my home… 😉

While Chris continued to work on the shiplap wainscoting, my biggest task this week was choosing our black paint.


I thought it would be fun to walk you through each of the steps I took in picking our black paint, in hopes that it will help you next time you have to choose a paint color for your home.

6 Steps to Picking the Perfect Paint Color


As I shared with you in my last post, I pinned more than a few dark walls on Pinterest that I really liked, but this one from Amanda at Our Humble Abode had me swooning. There was something about how it looked with the white and wood tones that I really liked. So, I asked her what paint color it was (BM Wrought Iron) and used that as my starting point.

via @ourhumbleabode


My next step was to go to the store and grab a bunch of paint chips. I started by getting the BM Wrought Iron paint chip and then looked through and found other similar colors that were almost the same but with just a slight variation. Also, because I was at Home Depot where we typically get all of our paint, I grabbed the chips for our trim and greige wall colors too so I can see each of the blacks against them.



After bringing the paint chips home and comparing them to the rug, flooring and window seat upholstery, I chose my top 5 and bought samples of each of them. Because I love the look of black without any shine, I chose to get a flat sheen for this paint (I know, a very poor choice on an entryway wall, but I couldn’t resist… Plus, we’ll be installing shiplap wainscoting on that wall eventually too, so it’s fine… right?) If you’re not sure what sheen to get for your project, you can download my Paint Sheen Quick-Reference Guide and it’ll help you know just what sheen is best so you can get it right the first time!  Don’t be like me and go against all paint sheen recommendations. 😉


Once I had the 5 samples, I painted a small section of each color on every wall in the room. This is a CRITICAL step in choosing a paint color because each wall has different lighting throughout the day and colors around it to play off of. You’d be amazed at how different the same color can look on two different walls! I usually label the paints on one wall and then do the same grid throughout the other walls so you know which paint is which. Again, DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!


After reviewing the samples for a few days, feeling them out in different light levels and against the decor I’m planning for the room, I decided to go with Little Black Dress by Behr. I chose this one because, while it’s definitely black, it was the only one with a blue undertone, which I felt was really important given the coloring of the rug. My only concern with that blue undertone was that it would actually look navy up against my black door (which I’m thinking I may paint a bright, fun color now) and the wrought-iron corbels under my entry shelf. So, just to double check we liked it before buying the paint, we painted a few larger sections on the entry wall to make sure it didn’t end up looking navy.


Thus, after much deliberation, we have black walls!

On top of finishing all the wall paint, we’ve finished the shiplap installation, started closing in the desk built-in shelving, and have one coat of paint on the back-side of the open hutch.

You may notice that we took the recessed lighting out of our mini-project list, because we decided not to take that on during the ORC. I also realized that while it may have been too much light before, having dark walls may justify having that many recessed lights in there…

At any rate, here’s a look at where we’re at!

  • Demo upper shiplap
  • Install shiplap wainscoting
  • Patch sheet rock on wall and ceiling
  • Paint walls and shiplap
  • Paint back wall of hutch (in progress)
  • Install frame moulding and crown moulding
  • Install floor trim
  • Install new storage tower doors
  • Close in desk shelving (in progress)
  • Touch up paint on built-ins
  • Paint chairs
  • Build table
  • Decorate!

Half-way there and feeling good!

This week’s focus will be finishing up the shiplap and built-ins (including installation and paint) and then we’re on to building the table, painting the chairs and decorating.


A big thanks again to Pillowcubes for their sponsorship of this project. If you haven’t heard of them, be sure to check out their custom, hand-made pillow inserts. They are a small, US based company in Tennessee that prides themselves on building relationships with their customers – you get to work directly with a Pillowcubes team member from start to finish! I highly recommend them and can’t wait to share their pillows with you in next week’s post!

Have a fabulous week, and don’t forget to go read about what the featured designers and other guest participants are working on!



exterior paint

3 thoughts on “Blush & Moody Dining Room Makeover – ORC Week 3 – Picking the Perfect Black Paint”

  1. Rachel,

    Your dining room looks amazing!!! It’s a toss-up for first place for me right now between the gorgeous black tone you chose, the horizontal planking and that beautiful rug!! Your handscraped floors remind me of the ones in our first house. So so beautiful. I am so looking forward to seeing the rest of the room come together!!!


  2. You and Chris have an amazing amount of energy! It is amazing to see what you two accomplish! My husband would paint a wall and need a nap! lol I love the black walls with the white trim and shiplap…this room is going to look gorgeous!


Leave a Comment