My mother-in-law has an innate design sense and a few firmly held beliefs when it comes to interiors. One of her dicta is "a coat of matte black paint hides a multitude of sins." Tired, battered furniture suddenly seems hip and edgy with a coat of matte black (gloss finishes, on the other hand, draw attention to any small imperfections, such as chips and nicks). We like Benjamin Moore's Ben Waterborne Interior Paint, which is a low-VOC, 100-percent acrylic latex (ideal for painting furniture) in a flat finish in Universal Black.
Above: A black-painted desk at Sleep in the City in Antwerp.
Above: A matte black mantel in Ashley Putnam's Houston living room, via Lonny Magazine.
Above: A chalkboard black-painted table, via Concept2012.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 4, 2011 as part of our Cabinet of Curiosities issue.
Another good use for black paint? See 10 Favorites: Daring Black Ceilings.