Love the Gray or GrEy…the inspiration pic with the blue and gray reminds me of the color scheme in the room I did for my son’s 10th birthday a bazillion years ago….Glad you found the perfect gray!
I’m thinking that grey may be the new white. Lots of us all white girls are falling in love with the white/grey colour palette. I can’t wait to see your new rooms Kelly. It must be so exciting to have this big new project to work on. Happy New Year sweetie!!
I love love love your teaching posts. I’m tucking these true grays away for my upstairs bathroom! Pinning!
So glad you do Yvonne! Thank you.. Happy pinning then painting!
Hi Kelly! Thanks for the lowdown on the true GREY’S. Unfortunately for me I found you to late! I plunged into Revere Pewter as the new and best color paint I’ve ever met. The undertones in this paint is taupe, however not a true grey it is a new love. My husband doesn’t mind me lusting over ol Revere. Once applied to the walls I watched intently the entire day through and evening to see how it changed and lo and behold the heavens parted and the angels sang. Now had I met toy before my inspiring paint adventure I may have used your true GREY colors, so for future reference (because I change paint ever so many years) In going with your recommendation. You had me at GREY! Thanks for the insight and I’m a new fan. I’m debenr on Instagram as well. Remember we had 1988 Tuscan vino?
Well of course I know you & our shared 1988 Super Tuscan! Nice to see you here Deborah! I do love Revere Pewter as well. Another favorite is Kendall Charcoal, which I used on our office cabinets. Reveal soon-ish – so stick around!
I got burned with a blue grey in our renovations. I don’t have the time nor the desire to reprint right now and had a total of 3 gallons mixed up. Thankfully the kids like it and it will become their rooms, but the living room is still stuck that way. I’m thinking a charcoal couch and some grey and white details in the decorating will help tone it down.
UGH!!! I am sorry to hear that Kristy. You are on the right track to tone down the blue – stay away from blue accents. I am sure it is beautiful, even if not what you had in mind. Thanks for coming by!
Hello! I just brought home samples this weekend, and I think stonington is the winner for the kitchen. Do you think I could put the silver chain into the adjoining living room? I’m having so much trouble choosing a color for that room. I have played with bluer grays and they just aren’t working? Perhaps 50% of the color? This is so daunting! (Fun at the same time, though)! I was so happy to come across your post! It was so informative!!!
Hi Kelly’. Someone suggested using Silver Chain to me. What white would you suggest for the ceiling and trim that would look crisp and clean? Thank you for this information!
Love love love silver chain. I have just used it to great success with Simply White. My all time favorite white by Ben Moore. Very crisp & clean without tending to stark. Hope this helps!
Hello, I have been struggling with choosing a true gray paint color for my master bedroom. I want a chic but soothing palette. The colors I have chosen are winter white, soft gray with accents of aqua. My dilemma is my bedroom windows face north. I have tested silver chain and stonington. I am not sure which one to go with. I am worried it might still make the room gloomy. I also considered doing winter white with a darker gray accent wall. What would you do? Help!
Have you decided on a gray? My living room gets northern & eastern light, but I’m set on having crisp, clean gray, but HEAVEN FORBID, I am not using Revere Pewter! I think I’m going with Stonington Gray because it IS fresh, chic & soothing, but I’ll have to add warm tones & rich textures to counteract the dreaded “northern light gloom!”
I’d love to hear what you decided on and what Kelly thinks!
I think Nicole will be very happy with Stonington _ fresh, chic & soothing is a great combo! I also LOVE that we are all supporting each other in our quest for the perfect grey!
Glad I read your post. Looking for a true gray-grey color with not too much undertone. The two you suggested look great. I have dark Brizilan Walnut floors, dark wood furniture and basically creamy white upholstery. Will get color sample to try. Thanks!!!
What paint color will work for my hallways ? I love your advice on the 2 greys I am going to get samples.
Well I’d need to know more about your hallway Mary, but these two greys are wonderful pretty much everywhere! Thanks for coming by today & good luck with your hallway!
I recently bought bedding that is white, grey, and a silvery ribbon around it. However, I got it home and it looks more lavender than grey (which it did not in the store!) What do you suggest to bring out more grey vs bringing out the violet tones? I’m not really a lavender fan! lol I have an old door I’m making into a headboard. Would painting it either of these greys help bring it out?? Thank you!!
I have hand scraped original hardwoods that I’ve recently stained 50% dark walnut/50% ebony. Every grey I pick looks purple! I want a true grey! Help!
Try the two I suggest here Haley! Good luck – your headboard sounds beautiful & would be stunning with the right grey.
In my home, we have lots of natural light. We painted our living room and entry with BM Stonington, as well as Gray Owl. SO very disappointing – they both looked baby blue. Like a beautiful baby blue you would paint a nursery! Crazy. Lighting plays a major roll in what paint will look like in your home – natural light as well as your bulbs, incandescent vs. LED.
Lighting does play a big role – do you have LEDS in your rooms?
Such a great post! I love gray for the walls, will be pinning this for future reference. Thanks for the info.
I to one of the true gray and my painter pic out mindful Gray he just turned sort of a greenish Grey which is not what I want and I have a very dark hallway next to it with no natural light I was thinking of doing whatever I put in my great room as a true gray on one wall and on the other wall and accent of a deeper darker gray more like a charcoal any suggestions
That sounds like a great solution Cathie. As for a charcoal I LOVE Ben Moore Kendall Charcoal. Sometimes when it is dark you just need to go with it & delve deeper into the depths. I think this could be very sophisticated & lovely in your dark hallway.
I painted my kitchen walls BM Sidewalk Gray, which looks blue. Any suggestions for a true gray that will match the BM Pigeon Gray on the bottom of the chair rail?
Kathy do you want to go lighter – which is what I assume – on the top? Also what is going on light & colorwise in the rest of the room?
Thank you! I’ve been having such a difficult time finding the perfect gray for my new home! I’ve done a few swatches in a couple different areas and everything I swatched turns out blue. Can’t wait to try these two tomorrow! Thank you!
Great Senada! Glad you found my post. Good luck!!
Yes I do want to go lighter on the top. My floors are a light wood and I have a sky light in the part of the kitchen that used to be a breezeway. I’m using Lowe’s Velspar paint and got another sample, but although it looked gray in the store, it looked exactly the same as the BM Sidewalk gray on the wall.
Have you tried either of the two greys I mention in this post? If not, I think you might want to…
I will try one of these. Thanks!
Great Kathy – let me know how it goes!
I have Kilim beige in my house with latte color as accent wall color.
In bathrooms and kitchen with fluorescent light bulbs, the color looks like yellow.
However I saw agreeable gray paint color in few models homes here are it was gorgeous.
So I painted few rooms in that color and see a lot of blue undertones in some areas.
Especially in north side room, during the day where the sun hits, those areas turn out as bluish gray. Does this tend of happen with agreeable gray paint color?
Before painting the rooms, I did put few sample on the walls and as more blue than after painting the whole wall. What could be going on? Do you think the existing Kilim beige and latte behind the agreeable gray is making it look more blue? If so, what would be the fix or is it simply that agreeable gray is just not the right color for my house.
Any help in this matter would be really helpful.
Hi Sandy – thanks for coming by & your question. I have not used Agreeable gray, but I am not certain that it has blue undertones, but if it looks blue in your house it does as far as you & your house are concerned so that is what counts. Grays in general tend to blue or purple. I would not think Kilim beige & Latte would cause the blue tones. I think agreeable gray does not AGREE with your walls! My suggestion is to try one of the grays I have suggested both have stayed true for me & many color experts. Good luck! Here if you have any other questions…
Hi! Do these grays go well with light or dark floors? What color would you recommend for an accent wall to go with one of these shades?
Hi Elena – I like these grays with a dark wood floor and a crisp white trim. That being said, a very light floor would work as well. What would not be the best floor is an orangey oak. As for an accent wall, Ben Moore Kendall Charcoal would be great. Or how about a gray toned wall paper. Did you see my post of the papers from Graham & Brown? They have lots of interesting gray toned papers. Or you could plank the wall – like I did in several of our rooms. Lowe’s had a terrific & inexpensive wood plank. Hope this helps!
I have orangey oak floors. What Benjamin Moore gray paints would you recommend for these color floors? What color trim?
Hi Lynn – thanks for coming by & your question. I would suggest a light gray to go with your floors. My daughter’s antique bed is an orangey oak and it looks great against Silver Chain. I was actually surprised how much I liked the look. I had thought I might paint the bed. An even lighter Dive gray would be good too. As far as trim – I am a firm believer in crisp white trim. My favorite white is Simply White by Ben Moore. Hope this helps!
Thank you. What do you think of Covington Gray with orangey floors?
Question: Is the photo you posted by “Vibeke Design” the Benjamin Moore 1472 “Soulful Chain”? It doesn’t appear to be labeled. Sorry if I missed it. Thank you.
Yes Silver Chain Chris – thanks for coming by!
After 10-12 samples and *months* (I am not exaggerating here) of trying to find the right gray paint, I have succeeded! This was literally my last ditch effort; I googled “for the love of God, is there a grey/gray paint that does not turn blue on the wall?” And up popped this post. I went to Ace the next day, got a sample of both, thinking “if this doesn’t work, I am saying *expletive-it* I am painting the room Magenta and sealing it off like a tomb.” I got home and ~~angels singing~~ neither color turned into disgusting baby blue/weirdly green/oddly purple/really?tan!? THANK YOU! Prior to this, I even re-tiled my shower white in hopes of helping to neutralize the horrible mess that was my color problem. Stonington saved my bathroom! (Plus subway tile shower is always a classic move)
Kathryn I am THRILLED to have helped you!!! Phew bathroom saved! Thanks for letting me know.
Is there a BM black that would go best with the stonington gray walls. We want to paint handrails at stairs. Trim and pickets will be white.
I have a bedroom I am converting to a guestroom/sewing room/closet storage/reading area (basically a bedroom but without the bed (can put up an air mattress for guests). It is somewhat long and narrow – 16×8 – with 2 windows on the 16 side as well as a regular sized closet and 1 window on the 8 side. Right now it is painted a light-to-mid lavender. I redid the bathroom that is near it a few years ago and went with a gray (Valspar, but can’t remember the name). We painted over the green antimicrobial sheet rock and because of that, or just also because of the undertone of the paint, it has a def. dark purple tone, which turned out okay because then instead of going with blue accents, I just went with the purple. Anyways, for the bedroom, I’m wanting to stay away from purple – my colors will be white trim (and if we can get this old house’s floor level enough, laminate wood flooring – probably in a mid-tone brown/gray); I think I’m going to accent with sea glass colors (blue and green and silver and glass) and water hyacinth bins from the container store for open dresser storage.
Would you recommend doing an accent wall for a room shaped like this? Or maybe I should use the darker gray you recommended as paint for the outside of my dresser (inside painted white so it doesn’t look too dark for the open storage)?
Really appreciate this blog post, as it is quite overwhelming the number of grays, and I really like gray, so it’s super hard to choose one and always wondering if you went with the right one – – now I have two great options! Thanks!
Hi Kelly – thank you so much for coming by and your comments/question. I very much appreciate that you found my post useful. I would not paint an accent wall in the room as you described. I think the room is too long & narrow & although I don’t know the exact placement of the windows, having three of them would make an accent wall difficult. The room will also appear larger painted a lightly toned & all one color. I would say if you want a darker accent paint the INSIDE of your open cabinet. This will draw the eye in – and could be just the ‘accent’ you desire. Hope this helps!
I just painted my upstairs living room pigeon gray. Which looks somewhat lavender. UGH! so many gray samples and I chose the one that looks purple:/
What can I use to tone down the purple? We have a brown couch.
Oh Cori – I am sorry to hear about the lavender undertones coming thru! Bummer!! Obviously stay away from any purple or lavender accessories…also anything in the blue family. Keep it neutral. It may be the light & the paint so may not be able to rid the room of lavender. Sorry! You could go the other way totally & embrace the lavender.
Hi! I recently painted our living room Stonington Gray but have yet to furnish the room. Do you think a rust Orange loveseat would pair well with the gray? Or is it too warm a color? Also…Would beige fabric go with the gray? I’m so clueless with the warm/cool colors. The room is a blank slate right now except for Stonington on the walls and warm wood floors. Thanks for your help!!
Hi Leslie – thanks for coming by & for your question. I think the rust orange loveseat could work with the gray as long as you work in an accent fabric that has gray, rust & other warm colors in the pattern. The rust could be quite a cool pop against the neutral gray. It really depends on the lines of the loveseat & how you accessorize. If you do use the rust loveseat, I would make it the ONLY big pop of color along with the fabric that will pull in the rust & grey. I would then use antiqued gold as a complimentary metal for the side tables. Glass topped tables preferably. Feel free to send me a pic of the love seat if you’d like. Of course beige & neutrals would work great with the grey too.
The photo you have posted from Vibeke Design is Silver Chain #1472? Please confirm.. I am going crazy with my gray options and after 25 samples, still clueless! Please help.
I liked Moonshine, Agreeable Gray, Halo and Horizen as well. Please pick your best colors
Thank you very much,
You have answered my long search of the “True Gray Colors” for my home’s wall colors thru out my open floor plan with linen white trim Everywhere…… however, I have cream kitchen cabinets washed with brown accent color in the decorative carving. Cabinets have rubbed oil bronze handles and the counter tops are black marble having gold and bronze color markings thru out . The flooing is Hardwood with gray and black tones thru out. I’ve since changed my color choices with my builder and I’m planning on choosing the 2 grays you’ve suggested. My dilemma is I originally choose tan backsplash tiled for the kitchen. They builders choices are limited and I need to tie in all of my colors choices in the kitchen being I have a OPEN floor plan that needs to flow….. I have gray and brown stone around my fireplace too which is all visual from All points of view including the kitchen, dinning etc….. DO I stay Tanzania backsplash or now change to Gray….. I’m so indecisive……. I’d appreciate your help immensely!!!
Michelle I emailed you and as per your response I await some pics from you so I can help you!
The actual undertones of not just gray, but any neutral color are yellow, blue, red (primary colors) and green, violet, or orange (secondary colors). It’s impossible to know how a particular neutral color will read in a specific space short of knowing all colors in the room, especially the largest planes, floors and walls. Knowing these helps quite a bit, however exterior and interior light sources are another strong influencer. I recall the hilarity of a former design client phoning me with the comment, “Oh, it will be so simple since I only want to paint neutrals throughout my home.” That said, the mystery of color and all that we learn along the way is completely fascinating.
Hi there, let me share my recent experience.
I painted 2 hallways, the computer/ tv sitting area, and part of the kitchen in stonington grey this past August. I had painted the paint on a piece of poster paper and held it up. Yep! Looked good! True grey. So I went ahead and started painting the walls, and lol and behold! It looks blue! In almost every light that comes in, it looks blue. I don’t hate it, but it was not what I had aimed for. On a cloudy darkish day it looks grey and it like it. But I also love my sunshine which makes it look blue. And we have pretty much no blue stuff in the house.
Hmmm…Anna I am wondering what color the walls were before you painted them Stonington Gray. Since the poster paper looked great & was presumably white, were teh walls another color? Maybe that color is ‘bleeding’ thru and causing the blue tones. Thanks for coming by & sharing your experience with us.
I love your blog and am moving to an apartment from a townhouse. I know the colors I want and I stumbled upon your site. After reading about GREY paint, I took your advice and went to my local paint store and got a sample of Silver Chain; it’s a wonderful color and so nice to the eye. I am going to have that as a trim with White Dove walls. I am also going to have two pieces of furniture painted with Silver Chain…beautiful contrast…thank you
Thank you so much Marilyn! I truly appreciate your readership. I am so glad my post helped you find the right color. I think your choice of trim will be fabulous with Silver Chain. Best of luck to you in your new home!
Will the Stonington Grey or Silver chain be good for an exterior paint
Hi Jill – great question. My first instinct is to say no as I think these greys may appear like dirty white from afar. That being said, without knowing what your house looks like and the amount of sun/shade it is hard to say for sure. I would suggest a deeper grey would be better for the exterior.
I am looking for a true gray paint color for my entire home kitchen, rec room, living room,dining room and upstairs hallway. I have several samples and alot have green, purple or blue undertomes. I am looking for a gray paint with more of a brown undertone not to light nor dark being my floors being installed are a dark brown hardwood. I am also having my kitchen cabinets painted white and my granite counter in black with bronze spec’s. My recreation room is off the kitchen and I have a rusty/brown sofa so what I was trying to do is incorporate rust, brown and gray with pewter accents. Please let me know what paint color you suggest. Thanks
Doreen – hi – You need Revere Pewter Ben Moore HN-172. Emailing you with details. Good luck!
I have been looking for a grey to paint my living room that has a red oak floor with a light golden stain (looks a little orange) . At the monent, I only have an aqua leather sofa and maching chair in the room. They are kind of like BM Gossamer Blue, maybe a tad greener. I have a picture window with a southern exposure and a small eastern facing window in this room. Our Michigan winter is often cloudy, though. I just bought a gray area rug that is a medium cool gray, not too blue or green. Do you thing your Silver Chain would work? I’m not even sure about the solid gray rug, yet.:) I looked all summer for a patterned rug with some blue and aqua to no avail. I wondered if I should just use BM Open Air.
Hey there Diane, I will email you as well. Here is what I think… with the red oak floor and aqua leather sofa & chair I don’t think grey is the right choice. I would play up the aqua a bit instead. VERY pale, almost white tinted with a bit of aqua. I think that would appeal to both elements you have in the room. Grey would likely just look like dingy white under these circumstances. Open Air may work as well. Then I would find a rug with a combination of the colors – have you tried RUGS USA – they have beautiful rugs with “washed out” patterns in blues & greys that are stunning. You may even find one that had a bit of umber or other warm tones to pull in the floor color. I would use natural woven blinds with a neutral drape as side panels and copper accessories. Hope this helps!
We can recognize “true blue” in all forms.
But TRUE GRAY is another thing entirely.
No fear, I am here to steer you clear of the disloyal, fickle grays that will turn on you.
Turn green or blue or taupe or even violet on you!!
Read on to learn how to choose a gray that will give you what you signed up for and two tried & TRUE colors that you can take to the alter ~ without them altering.
I have been doing lots of color research in the gray tones for our renovation. Have you seen the BEFORE videos? Clearly more than paint is needed, but that is the start of the really fun part!
My palette is white, grey, black with splashes of gold. Modern Farmhouse glam for my 1886 Folk Victorian.
Gray or is it grEy – I kinda like grey myself.
Isn’t this gorgeous ala’ the always stunning Vibeke Design. True gray – done right! To get gray right, you need to understand how it will read on the wall.
Understanding Gray Paint
So you want a true gray paint color?
Well, there truly isn’t a TRUE gray, but I have two that get as close as you can get.
Let’s first learn why gray finds it so hard to be true.
It is not really just gray that “goes changing” on you. It is all neutrals.
Every neutral color on the paint wheel has a recognizable undertone. The key is recognizing that and it when choosing the best grey for your home.
The undertones of gray are blue, green, violet and taupe.
These undertones will rise to the surface, so to speak, depending on the elements in your room.
Gorgeous use of Stonington Gray in a predominantly blue room via House Beautiful.
The undertone of your gray needs to work well with what you have going on in the room. You don’t want the undertone & elements to clash. Recognizing this & working with the undertone can make a chameleon gray work beautifully for you.
If your furnishing are cool in tone stay away from a grey with taupe/brownish undertones.
If your furnishing are warm in tone stay away from a gray with cool blue/violet undertones.
This is a guide to understanding what is going on with gray paint – armed with this information you can make the perfect choice.
But this choice needs to be made in the context of your room. Get chips, get samples & experiment.
Or go with one of these true as true can get for a gray paint grays.
If you are searching for a lovely ethereal gray either of these are the easy choice.
Benjamin Moore Silver Chain # 1472
Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray # HC-170
Stonington Gray is a shade lighter than Silver Chain. It is the paint color in the photo above. See that it reads gray, even in a room with so much blue.
Silver Chain stays true too despite the furnishings. I love it against crisp white trim as we just did in our girls’ bath. Want to see the BEFORE ? YIKES!! Bathroom reveal in a few weeks!
We love Silver Chain so much, Lara has picked it for her bedroom walls.
Knowledge = power – or in this case, knowledge = the perfect gray paint!
Knowing what is going on underneath with gray paint makes the decision on which one to use easier.
Picking one of my two true grays makes it even easier.
Are you a fan of gray or grEy paint?
Oh and let me give you one more painting tip – get yourself My Paint Saint. It is the all in one touch up painting solution. You pour in your paint, seal it up air tight and never have to clean the brush. The brush is melded into the cap. What a money, time & space saver! No more rusty cans of oxidized paint cluttering up your garage/basement. Get your My Paint Saints here.
** Kelly **
Original article and pictures take http://mysoulfulhome.com/two-true-gray-paint-colors/ site