comparing shades of black.

After painting the spooky nightstand that I shared a while back, I had an idea that it would be worthwhile to compare the shades of black paint that are available from Dixie Belle Paint Co for you guys.  Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post because there’s a giveaway today too!

So, the thing is, much like with white paint, there are lots of options for black.

With the spooky nightstand, I painted it overall in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky chalk mineral paint, and then stenciled over that in Dixie Belle’s Anchor Silk All-in-One Paint thus making this piece a good representation of the difference between those two black paints.

There are two factors at work here; color and sheen.  The Midnight Sky is what I would call an off-black, it has a slightly more faded look than Dixie Belle’s Caviar.  In addition, the chalk mineral paint is very flat.  The Silk All-in-One Anchor paint is a little bit darker than Midnight Sky and has a bit more sheen, thus creating the look above when it’s stenciled over the Midnight Sky (the diamond pattern and the damask pattern).

Now, I know the differences between the three are pretty subtle, but I’m hoping you can see them here.

That’s paint only, no added topcoat.  The Anchor clearly has a bit more sheen than the other two, and the Caviar is a bit darker than the Midnight Sky.

When I first starting using Dixie Belle paint, I originally fell in love with the Caviar.

I used it on so many pieces!

One of my favorites was this bed …

So gorgeous!

Caviar is a deep, rich black.

But then I discovered the Midnight Sky and I used it on my baby grand piano.  This is a slightly more faded version of black, still definitely black, but not quite as deep and dark as Caviar.

I feel like the Midnight Sky is just a tad more forgiving when it comes to dust and fingerprints.  My baby grand gets a fair amount of wear and tear because I basically use it as a workbench most of the time.  For that reason, I thought Midnight Sky would be a better choice for it.

I also used Midnight Sky on this Eastlake style bedroom set.

This shade of black is the perfect complement to brass or gold hardware.

This brings me to the new-ish Silk All-in-One black paint from Dixie Belle called Anchor.

First, to save you from the confusion that I experienced, I want to point out that the Silk color called Black Sands is not black, but a dark charcoal.I ordered it thinking it was black.  Even looking at it in the jar, you won’t immediately realize that it isn’t.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the color.  It was perfect on this dresser

But it’s not black.

If you’re looking for a fabulous charcoal grey though, it’s perfect.  In fact I just ordered more of it to paint some wooden folding chairs for my porch.  I think it will be perfect on them.

But the Anchor is the true black in this line.  Aside from stenciling it on the spooky nightstand, I haven’t actually painted a full piece of furniture in this color so I don’t have a picture of one to share with you.  But I wanted to include it here in my line up anyway.  As you may already be aware, the Silk line is Dixie Belle’s version of a primer, paint and top coat all in one.

To recap, Caviar and Midnight Sky are more flat (but of course you can add sheen with a top coat).  Anchor has more sheen due to its built in top coat.  Midnight Sky is a faded black, while the other two are darker.

Now, please don’t read too much into the brush strokes in that Caviar example above.  I let my brush dry out, and then still tried to paint with clumpy bristles.  Rooky mistake, and something I would never do on a piece of furniture but this was just a practice board.

Now for the fun part.  I’m giving away a 16 oz size jar of all three of the Dixie Belle blacks, plus three of their brushes to use to apply them.  So one lucky winner can try out all three and decide which one is their favorite!

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post to be eligible to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, October 31, 2021 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $140, if the prize is not claimed by Thursday, November 4, 2021 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and brushes I am giving away today.  Good luck!

102 thoughts on “comparing shades of black.

  1. I love both the Midnight Sky and the Caviar and haven’t tried the Silk paint yet. I’m very interested in seeing the difference between the chalk and the silk. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caviar is my favorite, but I love Midnight Sky on your spooky nightstand! I always enjoy your newest project posting, and you have inspired me to do several projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Monday, Wednesday and Friday used to be my favorite day of the week. Now Monday and Friday is my favorite day of the week!
    Great and educational post. It is getting more difficult to see differences in blacks and whites. Keeping fingers crossed on drawing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These comparison posts are SO helpful! Also, as I loved the spooky nightstand, I may just do some furniture painting myself, just to try that technique–once I’m settled in St. Paul, of course! Look for me after next week!


  5. Have used both Caviar and Midnight Sky and loved both! I really love Dixie Belle for any project. It’s so easy to use and hides a multitude of sins when dealing with old pieces. Gives them a whole new look!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love your comparisons and examples. I have a small, narrow chest I was thinking about painting “black” but I’m no longer “just thinking” about black. More specifically “Caviar.” Thank you. Now I just have to find a stencil or decal for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love how you test things out and share your experiences with us. I used Fusion mineral paint (has top coat built in) in black on an old buffet, and love how it turned out, but have been frustrated by how much fingerprints show on it. Do you have a solution for that?
    Thanks for the opportunity to win some new to me paints!


    1. Actually, that is one of my frustrations with black as well. And the Dixie Belle Silk paint is very similar to the Fusion (also with a built in top coat). The solution I used for my piano was to choose the Midnight Sky with a wax topcoat instead. Since it’s not quite as ‘deep’ of a shade, fingerprints aren’t nearly as noticeable.


  8. I have used both the Caviar and the Midnight Sky. I haven’t tried any of their Silk paints yet. I will have to try it. I love all of the black pieces that you paint. I definitely am a fan of black furniture pieces. Thank you for the chance to win a giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how using the chalk paint and silk together on same item gave such a cool effect on the night stand! I have used black before, but from a different brand. I actually have 2 nightstands ready to paint, and it would be fun to try the DB paints in the black color options!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t really tried the blacks before, so this post was very helpful. How do these compare with the Fusion mineral paints?


    1. The Silk All-in-One paint from Dixie Belle is comparable to the Fusion paint. Like Fusion, it has a built in top coat. If you like Fusion, you’ll love the Silk paint too. The other two Dixie Belle colors I mentioned in this post are more of a chalk paint, like Annie Sloan or any of the myriad of other chalk paint brands these days. They are very flat and if you want any sheen at all, you need to add a topcoat of some kind.


  11. First thanks for this very informative post. The clothespin samples really help to understand the difference in color and sheen. I actually think it would be worth the investment to buy all three. Since seeing it in the light of the space it will live in will also effect the look. I’m a big fan of Eastlake furniture. Just love the lines. And the finish on that set above emphasizes the delicate carvings. Also I like the way the paint gives it an aged appearance. Then the hardware omg. I’m sure I saw it when you originally painted it but you are so prolific hard to remember all your past projects.


  12. This is a much-needed post. Comparing the shades of black and reminding us that Black Sands is NOT a black, but a charcoal is something I needed. To be given the chance to win a jar of all three plus 3 amazing brushes is just awesome! This is a drawing I truly hope to win!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Learned SO much from this post! Who would have thought there were all these differences in “black”. I would like to try them all. But need brushes first!! 🙃
    Thanks for this opportunity!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have used Midnight Sky on a piece of furniture and loved it! I am anxious to try the Silk line’s Anchor. Thanks for showing the differences since I haven’t used all three it helps a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love what you do with the different blacks. When you mention Midnight Sky I always thought it was going to be a dark blue. I have a little table that I would love to try my hand at painting. New at this. Love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love the blacks and charcoals. I have also really wanted to try the silk line. (I do always read the blog!) I also was up at my sister in laws cabin and saw about 5 of your pieces. I told her about you years ago but I never knew she had purchased a bunch of things from you.


  17. Midnight sky has been the favorite of the blacks for the pieces I’ve gotten from you. It’s interesting the names the colors are given, makes it difficult to choose, unless we are lucky enough to have someone like you to show us the differences! Also it’s great that you share your knowledge and tips and tricks of making all your pieces turn out so nice!
    Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. love all your painted pieces, especially the black ones. I have many black pieces and will surely be doing more,
    .comparing makes choosing one so much easier. thank you for all the info you give us, love your blog. carol

    Liked by 1 person

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