Benjamin Moore Onyx Review: A Neutral Black

b onyx bathroom vanity
Benjamin Moore Onyx in our primary bathroom

Benjamin Moore Onyx Review

Benjamin Moore Onyx is one of my go-to black paint colors. I’ve used it a bunch of times in different homes we’ve lived in, most recently on the interior doors and vanity in my primary bathroom makeover, above.

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I most recently used the color to paint the closet doors in my bedroom.

I’ve used Onyx over and over again because I tend to feel the same way about black paint colors that I do about white ones: there are a bajillion of them, so when I find certain ones I like I just use them all the time. Onyx is one of those colors.

If you’re looking for your own go-to shade of black paint, here’s more about Onyx, plus photos of It my home, and the homes of others.

What Color is Benjamin Moore Onyx?

bm ontyx window grids
I also used Onyx to paint the grids in my bathroom windows

Benjamin Moore Onyx is an off-black, which means it’s black, but not true, 100% pitch black. Actually, when you open up the can of paint and see the color wet, it looks more like a charcoal gray (which threw me off a bit the first time I used it), but it dries to a nice, rich black color.

This is how Onyx looks when wet, which is more of a charcoal. When it dries, it looks more like an off black.

Benjamin Moore calls Onyx a “deep black that is both luxurious and grounded.”

As far as black paint colors go, Onyx is a neutral tone, which means it doesn’t have as much blue as some of the other popular black paint colors out there. To me, this makes it look rich and modern, and it pairs nicely with the warmer paint trends that are happening right now.

In my bathroom, I have it paired with Benjamin Moore Simply White walls.

Benjamin Moore Onyx LRV and Undertones

bm onyx bathroom simply white walls

Onyx is a very dark paint color. It has an LRV, or light reflectance value, of just 4.99 on a scale of 0-100.

If you’re not familiar with LRV, it’s a measurement of how dark or light a color is. This helps you make better decisions when comparing two similar colors. The higher the LRV is, the more light is reflected by the color. For reference, 0 is pitch black, and 100 is bright white.

As I mentioned, Onyx is a neutral black paint color. This means it doesn’t have any prominent cool or warm undertones, and is a nice balance of both. The Onyx RGB color model is 20.78% red, 20.39% green and 20.39% blue. You can see that its red, green, and blue amounts are almost exactly equal, which, again, means its neutral.

Where to use BM Onyx

I love using Onyx on interior doors, like in my primary bedroom, above.

Because Onyx is such a dark paint color, it’s best used as an accent color in the home. It works perfectly for:

  • Interior and exterior doors
  • Kitchen cabinets and islands
  • Bathroom vanities
  • Contrast trim work or interior windows
  • Paneling like beadboard or board and batten

I’ve showed how BM Onyx looks in my home on my bathroom vanity and interior doors, so here are a few examples of the color in other areas of the home.

Benjamin Moore Onyx Kitchen Cabinets

bm onyx kitchen 2
Image via ReDesign Home

bm onyx kitchen
Image via ReDesign Home

I love the way the color looks on kitchen cabinets, especially in a kitchen with mostly lower cabinetry, like the one above. The look is timeless, but also bold.

Benjamin Moore Onyx Exterior Trim

Onyx is a a perfect neutral black for front doors or exterior trim work, including railings and shutters.

Benjamin Moore Onyx Banister

BM onyx stair rail

Here, the color modernizes a classic stair bannister. I may have to steal this one for my own home.

Benjamin Moore Onyx Accent Wall

Image via Cup of Jo blog

If you want to use Onyx as a wall color, try it as a black accent wall color, first. It might be all you need to transform a room while maintaining a bright feel. If you want to go moodier, you can just paint the other three walls.

Similar Colors to Benjamin Moore Onyx

BM Onyx vs. Black Beauty

Black Beauty is a very similar shade to Onyx, but with a touch more warmth. It’s also a hint lighter than Onyx. The LRV of Black Beauty is 5.32, while the LRV of Onyx is 4.99.

BM Onyx vs. Black

Black is another off-black shade from Benjamin Moore, and considered the company’s most classic black. It’s slightly more blue-toned than Onyx, and only a little darker, with an LRV of 4.56.

BM Onyx vs. Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron looks like a black paint color … until you put it next to an off-black shade like Onyx. Wrought Iron is more of charcoal color than a black, so if you want something a little softer and lighter, it’s a good shade to try.

BM Onyx vs. Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black

Onyx is one of BM’s most popular paint colors, while Tricorn Black is one of Sherwin Williams’. Both paint colors are very dark, and can read like a true black, however, Tricorn Black is darker than Onyx, and one of the darkest black pain colors you’ll find, with an LRV of 3. It’s also a more cool-toned black than Onyx.