Colors that go with oak trim

Written by henri bauholz
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Colors that go with oak trim
When wood trim is painted, the underlying type of wood is usually unrecognisable. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Oak wood has long been harvested, milled and dried to be used as an attractive baseboard, window or door trim. The durability of the wood is just one of its many desirable attributes. The attractive grain and various hints of colour the wood exhibits after installation are another reason for the presence of oak trim, furniture and floors in many residential buildings.

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White Rooms

Painting the walls white is a design technique that yields a light-coloured room that will just about match with any type or colour of wood trim. It matters little if the wood borders are left in their natural state or stained to a dark tone. The result is usually pleasing to the eye. One thing the interior designer needs to be aware of is that the walls not be painted a perfect pure white. Some colour in the wall, no matter how small, will be picked up by the eye and enhance the overall appearance of the room.

A Tint of Red

Oak trees and their resulting woods are classified into two groups, red and white. In accordance with its name, the red oak group, and especially the red oak tree, has a uniform wood colour that has a distinct pink cast. A popular design strategy includes choosing a rich deep green colour to go with the naturally pinkish woodwork. It is also possible to bring out the natural red colour with some red-tinted stain or a tiny amount of red trim paint thinned with a solvent and rubbed into the wood with a clean cloth.

White Oak

The white oak group not only includes the white oak, but also the swamp, chestnut, water and post oak, along with many other species. White oaks are much more likely to exhibit different colours within the heartwood and sapwood part of the tree. In general, the sapwood is creamy white to grey, while the sapwood displays a light tan to brown tint. A strong colour contrast in the wood necessitates use of a darker stain in order to create an even distribution of colour.

Dark Stains

Applying a dark stain to oak boards solves the problem of differing shades of colour within the same board. However, this application method creates a rich wood tone that needs to be complemented by the appropriate choice of a wall colour. In general, a light colour will accent the darker would value and in particular you want to complement your wall colour to the trim colour. For dark stained oak, a warm neutral wall, such as taupe, mushroom, or khaki offers the right combination. This colour also goes well with a room full of darkly stained oak furniture.

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