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Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green (Review and Dupes!)

    Looking for a dark and moody not-quite-black for your next home project? Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green might be a perfect fit!

    This sumptuous shade can be used in doses large or small, depending on how much drama you seek.

    Black Forest Green dollop swatched over a photo of a tall arched entrance into a black forest living room study

    Let’s take a look at all things Black Forest, including a coordinating color palette, real life rooms, and finally, dupes!

    This post may contain affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use.

    What Color is Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green (HC-187 or PM-12)

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green is a deep – almost black – green, that verges on teal.

    While it can look black in low lighting or in artificial light, in direct light or bright daylight you will definitely see the color.

    Benjamin Moore describes Black Forest Green as:

    “A blackened shade of green that permeates any space with a sense of reassurance.” 

    LRV of Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green

    The LRV of a color indicates on a scale of 0 – 100 how much light a color reflects (or doesn’t reflect). True black has an LRV of 0 and pure white has an LRV of 100.

    In the paint world, we are working in a range of about 3 – 93 because no paint color is purely black or completely white.

    Black Forest Green Swatch beside a picture of a black forest

    This is where I have to make a great big huge disclaimer about this color:

    Benjamin Moore recently updated the LRV of a few of their colors, and Black Forest Green went from 2.72 (basically the darkest color possible) to 4.85.

    Benjamin Moore does not share their color formulas online whatsoever, and the tools available have not updated the color codes to the lighter color.

    The original hex code that I would have used is 252F2D. I am not a color scientist, but I did use a tool to lighten the color to approximately the correct LRV. I will be using the hex code 313B39 to compare colors. Otherwise everything will look lighter than Black Forest, and it will not be an accurate comparison.

    Dollop of previous darker hex code for black forest green beside new drop lrv

    Anyhow, that was a long way to say that the LRV of Black Forest Green is 4.85.


    Again, not a color scientist, but the RGBs available are not accurate because they will create a darker color.

    With the new LRV, the RGB of Black Forest Green is approximately: R 49 G 59 B 57

    Undertones: Is Black Forest Green Warm or Cool?

    Black Forest Green has cool blue green undertones. It can even look like a very dark teal.

    Black Forest green cabinets
    Photo Credit:

    There is nothing warm about it, and despite being almost black, it isn’t especially neutral.

    This color is a bit too saturated to play quite as nicely with other colors as many blacks or deep greens can.

    Black Forest Green Color Strip

    Like a lot of all-time favorite colors, Black Forest Green is a special color that Benjamin Moore came up with, and is not included on any of their standard color strips.

    Not one to be easily swayed, I spent literally HOURS combing through their colors to put one together for you.

    It may not be perfect, but most color strips are “collections” anyway, and not usually perfect lighter and darker versions of the same thing.

    Here is a version of the Black Forest Green color strip:

    Black Forest Green color strip including Benjamin Moore colors Chalk white, woodlawn blue, mystic lake, porch swing, mideterranean teal, and black forest green

    Chalk White (2126-70)

    LRV: 82.44

    Woodlawn Blue (HC-147)

    LRV: 60.64

    Mystic Lake (CSP-745)

    LRV: 33.24

    Porch Swing (CSP-750)

    LRV: 20.4

    Mediterranean Teal (2123-10)

    LRV: 10.56

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green Color Palette

    I actually liked Benjamin Moore’s suggestions this time, so I included Clarksville Gray and November Rain in my Black Forest Green color palette, at their recommendation.

    Black Forest Green color palette, featuring coordinating colors Clarksville Gray, November Rain. Chantilly Lace, and Sea Salt

    Coordinating Colors

    Benjamin Moore Clarksville Gray (HC-102)

    Much more beige than gray, Clarksville Gray is an updated alternative to a classic neutral like Revere Pewter or Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige.

    Droplet of Black Forest Green beside a droplet of coordinating color clarksville gray

    Benjamin Moore November Rain (2142-60 or OC-50)

    November Rain is supposedly “A comforting light gray misted with a touch of green.” This absolutely baffles me, because I don’t see that at all. In my eyes, it’s a cream color with the slightest putty vibe.

    Droplet of Black Forest Green beside a droplet of coordinating color November rain

    Regardless, it’s a nice light neutral. If you like the look of it, check out Manchester Tan.

    Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (OC-65 or 2120-70)

    If you’ve been here for even five minutes, you will know that I can’t shut up about Chantilly Lace.

    It’s a clean white with a hint of warmth, and technically it’s in the green family, so I loooove any excuse to pair it with green paint colors.

    Droplet of Black Forest Green beside a droplet of coordinating color chantilly lace

    Read all about it here: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (The Best White? Plus Dupes!)

    Sherwin Williams Sea Salt (SW 6204)

    Sea Salt is just a comforting neutral gray-green, that works with a million and one other colors.

    Droplet of Black Forest Green beside a droplet of coordinating color sea salt

    If you want a neutral wall color, but you don’t love the trendy warm tones, give Sherwin Williams Sea Salt a try!

    Speaking of trying out colors:

    The fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to test your paint colors, is by ordering a peel-and-stick sample!

    Samplize will ship you a large “sticker” made of actual paint. You can reposition it to check out the color in every area of your home.

    The best part? It really does end up being cheaper than buying the test pots and sampling the old fashioned way. (Plus you can order all the colors you want!)

    Canadian? Hello Paint does the same thing, without the expensive international shipping.

    Complementary Color

    Officially, “complementary colors” are those that sit across the color wheel from each other.

    The “official” complementary color for a dark green like Black Forest, would be an equally dark purpley-mauve.

    An example would be something like Benjamin Moore Caponata (AF-650):

    Droplet of Black Forest Green beside a droplet of coordinating color caponata

    What Trim Colors Go With Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green?

    Now let’s take a look at how different trim choices look with Black Forest Green.

    Wood Trim

    Greens love wood tones!

    It almost doesn’t matter the color of the paint or the tone of the wood, a green will look good with whatever wood situation you have going on!

    Here is an example of Black Forest Green with both dark wood and oak trim:

    Black Forest Green with a variety of trim colors and choices

    White Paint that Goes with Black Forest Green

    Sticking to a classic white?

    Here are some white paint colors to consider for your baseboards and trim:

    Behr Ultra Pure White

    Make a quick trip to Home Depot to get one of the whitest whites available!

    Benjamin Moore Pink Damask

    Pink Damask is actually the Benjamin Moore version of the Sherwin Williams creamy white: White Flour.

    It’s not actually pink at all! Don’t let the name scare you. White Flour/Pink Damask is a nice creamy white that is an alternative to something like SW Alabaster.

    Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

    Of course I’m back at it again with the Chantilly Lace.

    I often recommend Sherwin Williams Snowbound for trim too. It’s warmer than Chantilly Lace, but not as creamy as White Flour or Alabaster.

    Graphic of the paint color Snowbound by Sherwin Williams - SW 7004. A strip of warm white above a snowy cabin in the woods after sunset with warm porch light on. A drop of paint in the same color sits on top of the photo.

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green Home Interior

    Now let’s take a wander through some real life Black Forest Green homes, shall we?

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green Kitchen Cabinets

    Hands down, the most popular place to use Black Forest Green is on kitchen cabinets!

    I actually have three different kitchens to show you.

    First up, here is a kitchen by our friends over at Bespoke Redesign (@bespokeredesign).

    (You might recognize them from my 27+ Fresh Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinet Ideas post.)

    Wide shot of Black Forest Green in a kitchen with white range hood, walls, and tile
    Photo credit: @bespokeredesign

    You can see from this angle that the island looks black, but you can get a glimpse of the color when you look at the wall cabinets.

    Here is another dark and moody shot:

    Black forest green on a long run of lower cabinets with white range hood and walls
    Photo credit: @bespokeredesign

    Ready to see some color?

    Benjamin moore Black Forest Green on kitchen cabinets with gold hardware
    Photo credit: @bespokeredesign

    This is why you may, or may not, be able to use Black Forest Green as an actual black. Lighting is everything!

    Here is something kind of in-between:

    Black Forest green on wall cabinets behind a vase of flowers
    Photo credit: @bespokeredesign

    I can’t decide if the hardware is gold, brass, or something in the middle, but whatever metal, it was the right choice!

    Benjamin moore Black Forest Green on kitchen cabinets with gold hardware
    Photo credit: @bespokeredesign

    One more, because this kitchen is picture perfect:

    Benjamin moore Black Forest Green on kitchen cabinets with gold hardware
    Photo credit: @bespokeredesign

    Next we have the kitchen at Highland Estate ( :

    Light and bright kitchen with black forest green cabinets along the wall, as well as around the trim on oak windows
    Photo Credit: @Highlandestate

    Again you can see how much more colorful Black Forest Green looks in bright natural daylight.

    Note how it looks on the trim around the oak windows too, if you still need convincing!

    If you want to know how Black Forest Green will look in your kitchen if you leave your oak cabinets alone, here is a mock up:

    Black Forest green on the wall with oak cabinets and white subway tile

    This last kitchen was created by @ContourCabinets for a Lottery Dream Home:

    Black Forest green on island and wall cabinets in a white kitchen with light countertops and floors
    Photo credit: @contourcabinets

    Once again, Black Forest looks pretty darn black:

    Close shot of Black Forest green on island and wall cabinets in a white kitchen with light countertops and floors
    Photo credit: @contourcabinets

    Lots of gold in this kitchen too! Do I spy gold grout?

    Perplexing, but very pretty!

    Looking for a cabinet color? Check out my post: Trend-Setting Green Kitchen Cabinet Ideas (Plus: 22 Paint Colors to Use!)

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green Living Room

    While I have lots of Black Forest Green on cabinets, I was pretty limited in other parts of the home.

    Here is how it looks in a living room/office by Archetype Designs:

    Two white chairs in the black forest green living room of a custom home
    Photo Credit: @archetypedesigns

    You might have peeped the entrance to this room in my palette:

    An arched doorway leading into a black forest green living room
    Photo Credit: @archetypedesigns

    That arch is doing it for me!

    From the other side:

    Black forest green arched doorway into a white hallway with a staircase
    Photo Credit: @archetypedesigns


    Here’s one for the Christmas lovers:

    Black Forest Green in a cozy library with a christmas tree and two white lounge chairs
    Photo Credit: @archetypedesigns

    “The Christmas tree placement was planned in advance in our Falls Modern Cottage and was discussed during the floor plan phase on this project.” – Archetype Designs

    Now that’s commitment!

    I actually know a few people who would be happy to design their house around their Christmas Trees (yes, “trees” plural).

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green Exterior

    It’s very unfortunate, but I do not have Black Forest Green on an exterior.

    What I do have, is a very close color match by Sherwin Williams called Jasper:

    We will talk more about Jasper in just a moment, under dupes, but essentially Black Forest Green would have a bit more of a blue-green tone than this house.

    Front Door, Trim, and Shutters

    For an idea of how Black Forest Green would look on a front door, trim and shutters, I have for you another Sherwin Williams color that is similar: Greenblack

    Sherwin Williams Greenblack on a front door of a white house with pumpkins on the step.
    Photo Credit: @thenottinghome
    Exterior trim in dark green - sherwin williams greenblack.
    Photo Credit: @thenottinghome
    White Flour and Greenblack on a home nestled in the trees
    Photo Credit: @thenottinghome

    Again we will look closer at Greenblack in just a minute.

    Black Forest Green Compared to Other Benjamin Moore Paint Colors

    I will preface these comparisons by saying that I don’t know what in the what is going on with Benjamin Moore’s LRVs. Both of these colors have updated LRVs too, just like Black Forest Green, but I’m going to leave the color code as is.

    I’m thinking that Benjamin Moore has possibly changed the formula of some of their bases?

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green vs Salamander (2050-10)

    Salamander is more overtly “colorful” than Black Forest Green. It is more on the blue/teal side of things, and not as gray.

    Black forest green vs salamander on a wall

    In real life, it is a bit lighter than Black Forest Green, with a new LRV of 5.72. (Previously 3.66).

    Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green vs Essex Green (HC-188)

    Essex Green is a very deep emerald green, compared to Black Forest which is more of a blue green.

    Black forest green on a wall beside Essex Green

    Essex Green is also a little more saturated (less gray) than Black Forest, but not quite to the extent of Salamander.

    The new LRV of Essex Green is 5.64 (Previously 3.53).

    Black Forest Green Dupes

    Now that we’ve seen alternatives from Benjamin Moore, let’s see what kind of equivalents we can find in other brands!

    5 Black Forest Green dupes swatched beside Black Forest Green over a background of a Black Forest Green arch

    Sherwin Williams Black Forest Green Equivalent

    Before we get into the Sherwin Williams dupes, please note that this brand rounds all of their LRV numbers, and Benjamin Moore does not. This means that colors can appear to have a larger LRV difference than in reality.

    Sherwin Williams Rookwood Shutter Green (SW 2809)

    Not to be confused with the color “Rookwood Dark Green,” Rookwood Shutter Green is almost identical to Black Forest Green, and the closest dupe I have.

    Black forest green on a wall beside rookwood shutter green, a sherwin williams dupe equivalent for black forest green

    From what I can tell, Black Forest Green is ever so slightly more gray, and a hair less blue, but we are dealing with imperfect color codes, so I would safely consider this a dupe!

    The LRV of Rookwood Shutter Green is 4.

    Sherwin Williams Greenblack (SW 6994)

    Greenblack is a little bit more blue than Black Forest, but more importantly, it is significantly more gray

    Black forest green on a wall beside equivalent Greenblack

    It isn’t the saturated color that Black Forest is, which is why Greenblack looks almost entirely black, but Black Forest often does not.

    The LRV of Greenblack is about the same as Black Forest at 4. 

    Sherwin Williams Greenblack looks black on a barn
    SW Greenblack – Photo credit: @thenottinghome

    To see Greenblack in action, check out these two posts:
    Best Dark Green Paint Colors from every brand
    Sherwin Williams White Flour (Review, Comparisons, and Dupes!)

    Sherwin Williams Jasper (SW 6216)

    Jasper doesn’t have the blue that Black Forest Green does, it is purely green. Jasper is also a touch more gray.

    Black forest green on a wall beside Jasper

    Again the LRV is about the same: 4.

    Valspar (Lowe’s) Equivalent to Black Forest Green

    Unlike Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore, Valspar doesn’t make a whole lot of really dark colors.

    Luckily they do have one pretty close color match to Black Forest Green: Nocturnal Green.

    Valspar Nocturnal Green (CI57)

    Nocturnal Green is both a little more blue and a little more gray than Black Forest.

    Black forest green on a wall beside Valspar nocturnal green

    Valspar’s LRVs are always way different than other brands, and although they say that Nocturnal Green has an LRV of 3.277, it’s still lighter than Black Forest, even at its new number.

    Nocturnal Green on a wall in an antique shop.
    Nocturnal Green – Photo Credit: @kabinettandkammer

    If I had to guess, I would say the LRV is closer to a 5 or 6.

    Black Forest Green Behr Equivalent (Home Depot)

    Behr doesn’t have a whole lot of “black” paint colors, so there is no perfect dupe for Black Forest Green.

    Here are a couple of close alternatives: Limousine Leather and Black Evergreen.

    Behr Black Evergreen (MQ6-44) 

    Black Evergreen is a little more similar to Benjamin Moore’s Salamander than it is to Black Forest Green, but it’s still the closest equivalent that Behr has.

    Black forest green on a wall beside behr black evergreen

    Black Evergreen has an LRV of 8, so it is lighter than Black Forest Green, but the actual color is pretty close (just a bit less gray).

    Behr Black Evergreen on a living room wall with gold accents
    Black Evergreen – Photo Credit: @tim_the_goodman

    Behr Limousine Leather (MQ5-05) 

    Limousine Leather is not super close to Black Forest Green, but it’s the closest black that Behr offers.

    Black forest green on a wall beside limousine leather

    The LRV is about the same, at 4.

    Limousine Leather is a green-based black, but almost all the way desaturated, so there is not much “color” in it at all.

    5 Black Forest Green dupes swatched beside Black Forest Green

    Black Forest Green Final Moody Musings

    That’s all I have today for Black Forest Green.

    Let’s recap!

    • Black Forest Green is a super dark green with a touch of teal peaking through
    • Sometime this color can be used as an alternative to a true black, but be sure to check it out in your lighting
    • Black Forest Green is a popular choice for kitchen cabinets

    Still undecided? You might like these articles:

    Graphic of 9 green circles reads "Dark Green Paint Colors" From top left to bottom right colors are: vogue green, vine leaf, vintage vogue, tarrytown green, black evergreen, ripe olive, cascades, greenblack, and salamander. Background photo is dark green palm fronds.
    Tricorn Black Feature wall in foyer with round mirror labelled "Tricorn Black"
    Paint drop of Homburg Gray over a living room with a mount on one wall and simple victorian Inspired furniture

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