Gray paint really gained steam over the past decade replacing beige as the new go-to neutral. While some may argue the gray trend has passed, I actually think gray is here to stay. From warm greige to deep saturated charcoal, there is a gray for every taste and every space. Gray rooms give a sense of sophistication and remain timeless while maintaining a modern edge.
The most important thing to take into consideration when selecting a gray paint color is the lighting in your space as opposed to the actual paint color itself. More than any other color, gray is most transformed by lighting and the nuance of the undertone (green, blue, purple) can change drastically.
When selecting grays, no matter the project, I like to pick both warmer and cooler toned options. I always make it a point to select one that is much lighter and one that is much darker than what I think will work. I order paint sample size cans and then physically paint good sized swatches on the wall.
A few tips I have learned over the years… the number one being: make sure your wall color is primed to a white. No matter how many coats you apply of the sample, the color will be seriously altered by the background paint. Also make sure to paint the swatches near the trim-work and paint the trim out too if that is also being changed. You want to be sure to get an accurate sense of how the colors will actually pair when next to each other.
Be sure the selected wall has natural light exposure in addition to artificial light. Make sure to check on the paint colors in the morning, afternoon and evenings to gain a real sense of how they change in the space throughout the day.
Here are my Top 8 most used gray paint colors. From light to dark, warm to cool, there is a tone that truly works in every space.
1. Balboa Mist OC27
“One of our most popular grays, this hue has just a touch of warmth that makes it very appealing for its ability to pair beautifully with a wide range of other colors from white to pales to deeps," says Andrea Magno, director of color marketing and development for Benjamin Moore. Balboa Mist is probably one of my most used light paint colors. It compliments every color scheme, looks good in all light and is crisp while simultaneously welcoming.
2. Revere Pewter HC172
The perfect greige tone that is neither trendy nor dated, it is a timeless color that can work in any type of room. I always pair it with a rich white trim like Benjamin Moore White Dove in a semi-gloss finish. Revere Pewter happens to be my living room color and I love the way it changes throughout the day. In the afternoon light it feels like a cooler true gray and in the evening it warms up to a cozy taupe.
3. Agreeable Gray SW7029
My uncle was actually the one that introduced me to Agreeable Gray. It is the top paint color recommended by builders & brokers as everyone can “agree” on its neutral tone. Neither gray, neither beige it really is an "agreeable gray".
4. Winters Gate 2238 by Pratt and Lambert
This is a great “intro into gray” paint color. It is warm and saturated but light enough to read as a neutral. It also pairs especially well with cooler toned grays and blues.
5. Silver Chain 1472 by Benjamin Moore
This is my go-to cooler toned light gray paint. It is elegant and light and truly feels “silver” when painted out in a room. It is bright, fresh and instantly makes a space feel larger.
6. Farrow and Ball Lamp Room Gray 7029
I love all of the Farrow and Ball grays but I find Lamp Room Gray to be a standout because it has a little taupe in it that makes it very interesting and chic
7. Coventry Gray HC169 By Benjamin Moore
A favorite in the Historic Color collection, this mid-tone gray has become increasingly popular over the last several years as it is an extremely versatile and timeless tone. It is actually one of the most popular cabinetry colors on the market today and looks fabulous in the kitchen and on built-in cabinetry alike.
8. Chelsea Gray HC168 by Benjamin Moore
My go to shade of charcoal when I want to create a dark, moody aesthetic. It’s the perfect way to add a dose of drama to any room.