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 look forward to Mondays and Fridays so I can read what you’re working on! I love your projects, seeing your garden and your hauls. I’ve never tried Dixie Belle but would love to and this comparison of black shades is very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been wanting to try Anchor in the silk paint line. I always have trouble with wax or top coat on black or navy. Any advice on that? All your pieces are flawless! Thanks for a chance on a great giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! Love that it included all the “black” paint options because the colors are confusing. I read some of your past posts last year to determine what color to purchase however that was before Anchor was on the market. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I generally do not use Dixie Bell paints, but this post (like many of your other ones) was so helpful and your pieces are really amazing. Love the style and the look of the pieces when they’re done. Thanks for sharing this info. It’s great to know and actually SEE the differences in the types of paint color. Dixie Bell should thank you! I’m going to buy some! 🙂


    1. Well, Dixie Belle does thank me 🙂 They are very generous in providing me with their products. And I really love their paint, so I do hope you’ll give them a try!


  5. I love your description of Caviar vs. Midnight Sky. I was trying to explain it to a friend and couldn’t 🙄 Now I can- you described what I had in my head, but couldn’t find the words! Common problem I have😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I find it amazing how the subtle differences in black can make such a difference in how it works with whatever is surrounding it in the room. I am fond of color in all my rooms but each room has touches of black and I know how important it is to get the black to work with the rest of the room.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your blog! Everything you create is beautiful. The comparison of blacks is very helpful as they are all a bit different and it’s frustrating to find that out after the piece is finished. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love me some Dixie Belle. It was the first paint I ever tried. Now I have tried several other brands but I always come back to DB. I haven’t tried the Silk line yet. I guess because it says not to use water with it. I’m used to spritzing some water to help the paint flow better. Black is my favorite color. Is bla k really a color? Thank you for the chance to win this prize. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed. What did you use on your “spooky” little dresser? Is that a transfer?


    1. It’s a stencil from Maison de Stencils. I bought it a couple of years back thinking I was probably never going to get much use out of a ‘Halloween-ish’ stencil, but I’ve used it a fair number of times and it’s always fun.


  9. I love to have your comparisons because then I don’t need to buy and try. I can just buy what I need for the project. What are your thoughts on Dixie Bell clear wax and Annie Sloan clear wax. Do you use Annie Sloan products? I can’t remember!


    1. I do not use the Annie Sloan products, although I did use them briefly back in the early days of my blog. Here’s the thing about waxes, they are not all created equal. I wrote a blog post about that back in 2017 (find it here). Be sure to read that post to learn more about waxes that contain aromatic hydrocarbons (they can cause cancer) and then give that Annie Sloan wax the ‘sniff test’.


  10. LOVE your uses of these blacks, Linda. I’m trying to remember, and I don’t think I’ve used a black before. Not brave enough probably. Thank you for your post as always! 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for showing us that comparison. I also enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful pieces that you have painted black. It inspires me to paint one of my own pieces black.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh I’m starting to want to use Dixie Bell paints. I’m an avid milk painter but just now doing a piece I wish I had used Dixie Bell on. Kinda hoping you’ll do a white comparison too. Thanks.


  13. I love all those colors! I think I should paint my porch settee! Such great inspiration! Thanks! 😉
    I love your blog! Look forward to each one. Be sure and update when your cake cake cake bench sells…if it hasn’t already! 💙
    Smiles, Alice


    1. The Laundry stencil on the dresser came from Maison de Stencils, and I get quite a lot of my stencils from them. Lately I’ve been getting stencils from Wallcutz also, they have some great Christmas designs! Just google them both, they can be found on Etsy, but they also have websites you can order from.


  14. I look forward to your posts each week! I am always learning from you. Even though I love color in my life, I do use black often in my projects. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Paint it all black 😉 I found a thrift store unicorn the other day and thought of you, it was the perfect shade of black. But at $20!!!! it was a pass.


  16. I love black furniture and have sold several pieces in black, all painted with milk paint. I would love to try Dixie Bells black. I use Dixie Bell’s whites and several other colors. I love all your pieces in black!


    1. I’ve done quite a few pieces in black milk paint too, including our own headboard (that one was painted in Homestead House milk paint in Coal Black. And of course Miss Mustard Seed’s Typewriter is a favorite of mine too!


  17. That midnight sky bedroom set is one of my favorites! Thanks for this comparison – very helpful. Midnight Sky is the only one of the blacks I’ve actually tried and thoughI do love it, I’ve been looking for a reason (piece) to justify ordering some caviar. It looks gorgeous,
    This is a very generous giveaway. Thanks for the informative post plus the chance to win.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. So helpful to have them all laid out here!! I’ve tried the caviar and anchor (thanks to you😉) but I think I like caviar the best-it’s so rich!!☺️☺️☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Who knew there were so many variations of Black, and the different moods they set. Thank You for always giving us tips and explanations on things that will help us get the results we want and hopefully avoid a look we weren’t quite going for. Always look forward to your posts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What great information. I an “armchair furniture painter”. I feel like an expert having read what you have done. The one and only Dixie Bell paint I have ever tried is midnight sky. In my ignorance I tried to put minwax over the top of it. Either I did it too soon or the chemical compounds between minwax and other paints is not a good choice. It seemed to lift the paint and made it very, very chippy. It looked okay, and although the recipient loved it, not what I planned.😏. Would love to try again…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for the comparison! It helps to see colors side by side. and used in projects. I have used Caviar and I like it but I think midnight sky might be a better fit for me. I really enjoy your blog and was recently inspired to paint an old toolbox. I used Silk paint in Baja Gray for the outside (because it was the only light neutral I had on hand – I wish I had used an off-white) and added some botanical transfers. and a label transfer. I painted the inside a deep blue green from GF. I am pleased with the results and thank you for your many models. Happy Halloween!


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