Benjamin Moore Onyx vs Black: What’s the Difference?

Benjamin Moore Onyx vs Black

When selecting the perfect deep, dark paint color, two top choices from Benjamin Moore are Onyx 2133-10 and Black 2132-10. At first glance, these two near-black colors can appear identical. But looking closely, there are subtle differences between them that impact their aesthetics.

In this article, we’ll compare Benjamin Moore Onyx vs Black in-depth. We’ll analyze undertones, real-world photos, and best room applications. By the end, you’ll understand how these dark paints differ and which black is the ideal choice for your space.

Key Differences Between Onyx and Black

Before diving into all the details, here is a brief overview of how Onyx and Black differ:

  • Undertones: Onyx is a green-black, Black is a true black.
  • Use: Onyx and Black work well accenting focal walls and architectural details.
  • Rooms: Onyx excels in living rooms, Black shines in bathrooms.

Now let’s explore Onyx vs Black more closely!

Benjamin Moore Onyx 2133-10

Benjamin Moore Onyx
Image Credit:@ jennakamranproperties

Onyx 2133-10 is a deep black-green paint color with subtle natural warmth. Its richness has broad appeal across styles.

Here are some details about Onyx:

  • Undertones: Green-black
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, offices
  • Pairs With: Greens, blues, tans

Onyx is an intensely saturated color that appears black with the faintest hints of deep forest green. This blackened green influence gives it slightly more natural depth than a true black.

Onyx absorbs almost all light, allowing it to create serious drama and contrast wherever applied. The barely detectable hint of green keeps it feeling slightly warm and uplifting.

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This near-black complements earthy color schemes. Pleasing combinations include:

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
  • Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
  • Benjamin Moore Simply White

While extremely versatile, this dramatic green-black excels when used judiciously as an accent color in living areas, bedrooms, offices, and dining rooms.

Benjamin Moore Black 2132-10

Benjamin Moore Black
Image Credit:@ heathcrest_design

Black 2132-10 is a straight true black paint color without any undertones. Its purity allows it to suit any style.

Here are some key details about Black:

  • Undertones: True black
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Bathrooms, kitchens, accent walls
  • Pairs With: Whites, grays

Benjamin Moore Black is a pure black void of any undertones. As a true black, it absorbs all light for maximum drama and contrast.

With no undertones, Black may feel slightly stark and overwhelming when applied heavily. But used minimally, its crisp purity provides definition without sounding a single color note.

This true black suits any color scheme equally. Especially pleasing combinations include:

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove
  • Benjamin Moore Oxford White
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

While extremely versatile, this intense true black excels when used strategically as an accent color in bathrooms, kitchens, and on focal walls and architectural details.

Comparing Onyx vs Black

Now that we’ve looked at Onyx and Black individually, let’s directly compare the two deep Benjamin Moore paint colors:


Here is the main difference. Onyx is a green-black while Black is a true black without undertones.

Onyx’s faint greenness gives it subtle natural depth. Black’s purity provides crisp, unmatched contrast.


Onyx’s slight warmth pairs nicely with living rooms and bedrooms. Black’s starkness excels in bathrooms and kitchens.

Paint Finishes

Both Onyx and Black come in any sheen from matte to high-gloss. They make dramatic, sultry statements.

Onyx vs Black Comparison Chart

Here is an overview of their major differences:

Paint Color Onyx 2133-10 Black 2132-10
Undertones Green-black True black
Use Accent walls Accent walls
Sheens All finishes All finishes

Real Rooms Painted in Onyx and Black

To better envision Onyx vs Black, let’s look at real rooms painted in these dramatic Benjamin Moore colors:

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Onyx 2133-10

Real Benjamin Moore Onyx
Image Credit:@ tinytimbers_naomi

Black 2132-10

Real Benjamin Moore Black
Image Credit:@ theapplebydesign

The images showcase the subtle green warmth of Onyx vs the unadulterated boldness of true Black. But their extreme darkness can make them seem very similar.

Should You Choose Onyx or Black?

So which deep black paint color is the better choice for your space – rich Onyx or true Black? Here are some tips for deciding:

Pick Onyx 2133-10 if you want:

  • A black with the subtlest hints of green warmth
  • To add drama in living rooms and bedrooms
  • A near-black with a touch more depth than flat black
  • Intriguing allure and mystery

Choose Black 2132-10 if you want:

  • A true black without any undertones
  • Maximum contrast for bathrooms and kitchens
  • The boldest, crispest statement piece
  • Unmatched color definition

If still unsure between the two blacks, get samples to paint on walls and view at all times of day. Their minor differences mean one may suit your goals better.

Either Benjamin Moore dark paint color you choose packs a bold punch. But the subtle undertone variations help one likely complement your space better.

Ideal Room Applications

Here are some rooms that tend to suit Onyx and Black best:

Onyx 2133-10

  • Living Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices/Libraries
  • Entryways/Foyers

Black 2132-10

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Entryways
  • Doors and trim
  • Accent walls

Both create drama wherever applied. But the above applications maximize their unique strengths.

Design Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Onyx and Black make bold statements. Pair them with lighter accents for striking contrast:

Onyx Color Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (trim/cabinets)
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (walls)
  • Benjamin Moore Simply White (furniture)
  • Brass light fixtures

Black Color Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Linen White (walls/trim)
  • Benjamin Moore Oxford White (cabinets)
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove (furniture)
  • Chrome hardware

Onyx vs Black – Which is Best for You?

When choosing between Onyx and Black, consider your style and goals:

Pick Onyx 2133-10 if you want:

  • A black with hints of green for living rooms
  • Subtle natural depth over true black
  • A lush, mysterious statement piece
  • Intrigue added with warmth

Choose Black 2132-10 if you want:

  • A true black without any undertones
  • Maximum contrast and color definition
  • The boldest, crispest statement piece
  • Striking drama with stark elegance
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While quite similar, the subtle undertone differences help one better complement your space. Get samples of these deep Benjamin Moore colors before deciding between alluring Onyx and true Black.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to choose between Onyx vs Black? Here are answers to some common questions:

Does Onyx work in small spaces?

Yes, Onyx can be gorgeous in small rooms like powder baths when used strategically as an accent wall. The lush drama makes the space feel striking yet intimate.

What colors pair well with true Black?

Black looks stunning paired with clean, crisp whites and grays. Light gray walls and white trim beautifully complement Black’s bold drama.

Is there any green in Benjamin Moore Black?

No, Benjamin Moore’s true Black 2132-10 does not have any green or other undertones. It absorbs all light for a completely stark, flat black appearance.

Can you use Black in a bedroom?

Definitely! Using Black sparingly on an accent wall or headboard provides crisp, captivating contrast against light airy bedroom walls and linens.

Is Onyx suitable for offices?

Yes, Onyx makes a gorgeous home office accent wall! Its richness and depth create an intimate, intriguing setting for focusing without feeling too overwhelming.


When comparing Benjamin Moore’s Onyx vs Black paint colors, the main differences come down to undertones and aesthetics:

  • Onyx is a green-black that excels as a living room accent, providing subtle natural allure.
  • Black is a true black without undertones, ideal for ultra-bold statements in baths and kitchens.

While extremely similar in depth, their minor undertone differences help one likely better complement your space. Consider your goals when choosing between rich Onyx and true Black. Samples will ensure you pick the perfect deep black paint color for your needs!

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