Design Tips

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Choosing gray paint colors can be a tricky task. He is how we went about picking a neutral gray.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Today we just finished painting the sixth room in our home gray. As I was up on the ladder practically doing a back bend to paint the top of the arches in what will soon be our library, I couldn’t help but think how pleased I am with our gray paint colors that we have chosen so far for our house.

No longer are gray walls viewed as drab, dull and dreary but now in my opinion a stylish neutral that is cozy and modern.

My love for gray walls began several years ago. I was in college and out window-shopping in an upscale shopping mall that included stores with merchandise that was infinitely out of my price range then (and now). I walked into one store that was designed to have the look of walking into an expensive home. It had dark wood floors, white trim and gorgeous gray walls. I was mesmerized by how cozy it felt.

I never thought about gray walls in a home before. I was a green walls type of girl. But I just couldn’t get over how inviting that combination felt. I don’t remember anything they actually sold there; I just adored the interior design of the store. I do remember I had to eventually be shook from fantasizing, dragged out of the store and reminded I did not actually live there.

From that moment I wanted my own gray house, on a much smaller scale of course. Hey, I may have dreams but I am a realist too.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

When the time to came to actually pick gray paint colors for our home I realized that gray paint is not just gray paint there are so many brands, shades and variations out there.

Choosing gray paint colors became a tricky and overwhelming task. How do you go about selecting the right gray color for your wall? While there is no magical color that works for everyone’s home, here is what we learned about choosing the right gray paint colors for our walls.

For the majority of our home we ended up choosing Mindful Gray from Sherwin-Williams. After comparing all of our gray paint options we found that this shade was the most neutral gray which is what we wanted.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Since we knew we wanted the most neutral gray color as possible, the challenge was that we did not end up selecting a color that made the room look even a little purple, blue or green. When we looked at each swatch individually, it appeared the color was neutral but the key we found was to compare numerous gray swatches to each other in the room we would be painting under the exact lighting.

By doing this we were able to see the spectrum of grays available and pick the one that was most neutral in relation to all of the other grays. The gray shades can appear very close so we looked at the darkest and lightest shades on the swatch to see a more dramatic difference.

The gray colors we chose are below. We selected colors for the rooms that were on the same swatch or one swatch over to keep a cohesive and neutral look throughout the house.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

  1. Your description of discovering the appealing, elegant coziness of gray walls, white trim and dark floors is persuasive! What did you discover about how to select the best “white” paint formulas?

    • Thanks Holly! We haven’t had to purchase white paint for a project yet, but we do have some baseboards that need some TLC. We will definitely post the results when we finish and an update on how we pick our favorite white paint.

  2. Very helpful! I just finished painting my son’s room with the Software Gray and it turned out looking blue. So we will be painting over it tonight. Would you suggest primer before painting a lighter Gray over it?

    • Hi Kristen! Having to redo work is always a bummer. Using a primer is never a bad idea but can be unnecessary work depending on the type/brand of paint you use. We can’t speak highly enough about about Sherwin Williams Cashmere paint with a low lustre sheen. < < (that is our honest opinion we are not getting anything from Sherwin Williams) It is slightly more expensive than paints you might buy at a home improvement store but it saves tons of time. We painted our home gym from an almost offensive green to tan in one coat. -Brent

  3. My hall is painted gray owl which has a slight blue undertone (beautiful). My dilemma is what color to
    paint a bathroom that joins it. Do you have any suggestions?

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