I love painting with gray colors, they are relaxing and make the perfect neutral background for lots of different styles of decorating. I get asked all the time how I chose the gray colors in my home and in our last house. So today I’m going to share a few of my favorite grays to work with, and a trick for finding the perfect gray paint color!
First I’ll share my favorite gray colors with you.
Woodlawn Colonial Gray by Valspar
Woodlawn Colonial Gray in our old house Living Room.
Partridge Gray by Better Homes & Garden
Partridge Gray in our new house Living Room.
In this picture the wall on the right is painted with Partridge Gray and the wall on the left is painted with Old Driftwood (info below). Partridge Gray is a Better Home and Garden color but made by Glidden.
Old Driftwood by Glidden
Old Driftwood in our Pantry.
Why does my gray look purple on the wall?
When picking out gray paint our eyes tend to be drawn to the lighter colors of grays that look gray in the store, but end up looking blue or purple when you paint them on the wall. The trick to finding the perfect gray color is to look for a gray that has a tan base, and maybe even looks slightly tan to the eye.
For example, look at how “tan” the Woodlawn Colonial Gray swatch looks.
But when you get it on the wall it’s a perfect gray color. Here it is on the walls in the living room in our old house.
When I made over the entryway in our old house I painted gray (Sherwin Williams Ponder) above the board and batten. It was a pretty color on the swatch, and in most lighting, but in the evenings it always looked purple and drove me nuts.
So if you don’t want to end up with purple, or baby blue walls, it’s very important to bite the bullet and purchase a sample.
Buy a Sample
It’s so important when picking out paint, but especially gray paint, to buy a sample of the paint before committing to a whole gallon, or more. Each gray paint color will look different in your house than it does in someone elses house because of lighting, surrounding decor or even other paint colors in the room. So before committing to a large amount of paint, buy a sample. When you get the sample home don’t just paint it in one little spot in the room, paint a 1′ x 1′ square on every wall in the room you are painting. Don’t be scared, use the whole sample, that’s what it’s for!
Paint will look different in different types of lighting and at different times of the day. To get a true idea of how the paint will look when it’s painted in the entire room, it’s very important to see the color on each wall, at different times of the day, and in all types of lighting. Once you have painted the sample on multiple walls, live with it for a few days. I usually wait a week before committing to a color. Seeing the sample in different lighting, at different times of the day, for multiple days, will give you an accurate idea of whether or not you really like it. (This trick goes for all paint colors, not just gray).
I hope these tips help you to be able to find the perfect gray color for your walls! Here are some other great posts to help you pick choose the perfect gray.
How to Pick the Perfect Gray Paint from Love, Pomegranate House
Gray, Grey or Greige from Pretty Handy Girl
Picking the Perfect Gray from The Turquoise Home