Our Review of Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore

Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore is a deep, dramatic paint color that’s as intriguing as its name. It’s a timeless classic but bold at the same time. It also made our list of the 15 best black and dark gray paint colors for exteriors in 2021.

In this review, we take a closer look at the technical specs of Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart, the various ways our designers like to use it, paint color pairings, and more.

If it’s time to break up with your current exterior paint color, our team of expert designers can help you visualize new options before you commit. Learn more about our exterior design services here.

A one-story home painted with Benjamin Moore's Cheating Heart

Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart: The Specs

Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore has an LRV of 6.89 and is best described as the perfect blend of black, gray, and navy. It’s a complex shade, and different undertones shine through based on the amount of light it’s exposed to. (Not familiar with LRV? Learn what it is and why it’s important to factor in when choosing a paint color for your home here.)

If your home doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, Cheating Heart will appear more black. But with the right lighting, the hue’s cool blue undertones come to life and it looks more like a muted navy. (If you’re looking for a true navy blue, we love Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore.)

A rendering of a home's exterior with a contrasting color palette

Recommended Applications for Cheating Heart

One of the things we love most about Cheating Heart is its versatility. It works well on a wide range of home styles, from traditional to Victorian, Craftsman to modern. 

Our designers use Cheating Heart as both a primary and accent paint color. Its depth makes it a good choice for painting textures like brick and stucco. Cheating Heart also looks really beautiful on shutters, trim, front doors, and bay windows, as seen above.

A home featuring Benjamin Moore's Cheating Heart

Cheating Heart Paint Color Pairings

Cheating Heart can play an important role in both monochromatic and contrasting color palettes. Pair it with Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace for a crisp, clean contrast, or fully embrace the dark side and use it with a shade like Benjamin Moore’s Black Beauty. We also love Cheating Heart when paired with red brick or warm-colored stone.

Cheating Heart brings depth and moodiness to the design above, where it’s used on the siding alongside Sherwin Williams’ Gray Area on the brick.

Large two-story colonial home with dormers, rendered with siding in Cheating Heart

Pros and Cons of Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart


  • It creates a strong, striking look
  • It’s both classic and daring
  • It’s versatile


  • It’s moody and its understones vary 
  • It may feel too dark if your home doesn’t get much natural light
We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.

Cheating Heart Alternatives

If you aren’t sure if Cheating Heart is the right choice for your home’s exterior, consider these alternatives.

A home painted with Benjamin Moore's Wrought Iron

Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron

Similar to Cheating Heart, Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron works well in traditional applications, as well as modern or contemporary. With an LRV of 6.16, it’s just slightly darker than Cheating Heart, and it reads a bit more black-ish gray.

A home rendering featuring Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur

Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur

Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore is another dark gray paint color with a blue undertone (and a unique name). This shade has an LRV of 6.34, meaning it’s barely darker than Cheating Heart. Because of its strong undertones, it can also look different depending on the home’s accent colors and textures. (Tricky undertones are just one of the many reasons we always recommend testing a paint color before committing. Learn more here.

A home painted in Sherwin Williams' Iron Ore

Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore

Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore has an LRV of 6 and can take on a true black appearance when paired with bright whites. On the other hand, alongside natural elements, it can pick up brown tones, and in the right light, it can also read slightly green. 

The Bottom Line on Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart 

Make a strong statement and use Cheating Heaert as your main exterior paint color or add a touch of drama to your home by using it as an accent. Versatility, timelessness, complexity — Benjamin Moore’s Cheating Heart has it all.

Don’t choose the wrong paint color and wind up feeling cheated. Our team of designers will help you find a shade you love. Get started today.