Are you struggling to find the perfect color of gray paint for your home? Who knew there could be so many different shades! This gray paint guide is designed to help you find the perfect color for your home.
Best Gray Paint Colors
Before you decide on a specific paint color, choose one of the four gray paint categories: Neutral Gray, Warm Gray, Cool Gray, or Dark Gray.
The choice comes down to personal preference, but you should also consider the style and location of your home, as well as your decorating style.
To see which interior decorating style fits you best, check out this fun 10 question quiz I created: What’s Your Interior Decorating Style?
Neutral gray paint colors look great in most homes, and work with all design styles. These colors ‘play nice’ and complement other color palettes.
Warm gray paint colors make your home feel inviting and cozy. A color from this category is the perfect place to start if you’re into the rustic or traditional design styles.
Cool gray paint colors have a slight blue undertone that keeps things light, bright, and airy. Make sure to check out these colors if your decorating style is: costal, modern, contemporary, bohemian, or minimalist.
Dark gray paint colors are bold, catch the eye, and make a statement. A color from this category could be perfect for you if your design style is eclectic, modern, contemporary, or industrial.
To find a gray paint color that will look spectacular in your home, let’s break it down and talk about the benefits of each category + what makes each individual gray paint color unique. Here’s all the information you need to know, let’s get started!
Neutral Gray Paint Colors
Gray is inherently neutral, so most gray paint colors can be classified as neutral. However, there are some grays that appear to have blue, yellow, green, brown or even purple undertones with certain lighting conditions.
The neutral gray paint colors in this category have been carefully curated to avoid paint colors with strong undertones. These paint colors should not clash with most other color palettes.
These neutral gray color selections are ‘light’ to ‘medium-light’ with LRV’s (Light Reflectance Value) ranging from 57 to 75.
Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore (OC-20)
Pale Oak – LRV: 69.89 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Pale Oak (OC-20) by Benjamin Moore is my personal favorite gray paint color. With a bright LRV of 69.89, it’s the second brightest gray paint color included in this guide.
I love how this subtle gray has just enough depth and color to make it feel like a true gray, but does it in a way that isn’t overly bold or in your face. Plus, Pale Oak walls look stunning against bright white ceilings, and trim.
Benjamin Moore discribes Pale Oak as:
Reminiscent of the majestic white oak, this beautiful neutral is graceful and elegant, conveying a sense of style and quiet restraint.
The picture below is our guest room with walls painted in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak (OC-20). The ceilings are Super White (OC-152), which is also a Benjamin Moore color.
Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7029)
Agreeable Gray – LRV: 60 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 209 G: 203 B: 193 Hex Value: #d1cbc1
Agreeable Gray (SW 7029) by Sherwin-Williams is neutral gray paint color, and as the name implies – it is quite ‘agreeable’. This gray paint color works well with most interior decorating color schemes because of its balanced neutral appearance.
Agreeable Gray is on the warmer side of the neutral spectrum. It reads as a true gray, and does not have strong undertones with most light.
With an LRV of 60, Agreeable Gray is on the lighter side, but still stands out as distinctively gray. This is especially true when contrasting against true white trim, walls, or ceilings.
The living room walls in the image below are Agreeable Gray (SW 7029).
Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore (OC-23)
Classic Gray – LRV: 74.74 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Classic Gray (OC-23) by Benjamin Moore is a popular gray paint, and for good reason – it is a spectacular color! Creating an interior design plan around ‘Classic Gray’ is easy because of its light, neutral appearance. With a LRV of 74.74, Classic Gray is one of the lightest grays included in this paint color guide.
I recommend this color to anyone that can’t quite choose between off-white and gray. Classic Gray is really a hybrid between the two color classifications. Despite having ‘gray’ in the name, Benjamin Moore technically includes the color in their off-white color collection. Here’s what they have to about Classic Gray:
This color is part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces. A compilation of 152 white and off-white colors.
The living room in the image below is painted with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray.
Silver City by BEHR (MQ2-59)
Silver City – LRV: 57 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 200 G:200 B:194
Silver City by BEHR is a neutral gray with pleasant hints of metallic silver. The touch of silver that BEHR utilizes in this color really brings the paint to life!
The LRV for Silver City is 57, which makes it a great choice for many rooms. Its a nice medium depth – not too light, and not too dark. The bedroom in the image below has BEHR Silver City walls.
Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7015)
Repose Gray – LRV: 58 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 204 G: 201 B: 192 Hex Value:
Repose Gray (SW 7015) by Sherwin Williams is a ‘true gray’. The color does not present strong undertones in most lighting conditions.
This medium-light gray is another one of my favorites. Repose Gray is a well balanced paint color, and it has just a touch of warmth which makes it perfect for bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms.
Warm Gray Paint Colors
Painting your home with warm gray paint colors creates a relaxed, cozy vibe. This category is the best place to start if you love warm color palettes, and don’t want to select too dark of a gray paint.
Warm colors have stronger red and green color profiles, with less blue. Because of this red / green bias, gray paint colors tend to have a yellow, or brown hue. Depending on the exact mix of color, warm grays can also have orange, or olive undertones.
All the warm gray color selections in this category are ‘medium-light’ with LRV’s ranging between 48 and 63.
Colonnade Gray (SW 7641) by Sherwin Williams
Colonnade Gray – LRV: 53 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Color Collections: Timeless Color Wall
Colonnade Gray is a medium-light gray with RGB values of R: 198 G: 192 and B: 182. The weak blue in this color profile gives Colonnade Gray its warmth, and the prominence of red is responsible for some brown undertones.
This is a great choice for painting the walls of nearly any room, but my personal favorite use for Colonnade Gray is in the kitchen. The beautiful kitchen cabinets in the image below are Colonnade Gray by Sherwin Williams.
Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore (HC-173)
Edgecomb Gray – LRV: 63.88 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Edgecomb Gray (HC-173) is relaxed, creamy and warm. The paint color has medium depth with a LRV of 63.88. Edgecomb Gray’s subtle elegance makes this paint color a favorite for many interior design professionals.
The color is a well balanced true gray, and doesn’t have strong undertones. These attributes make it a top contender if you’re looking for a warm-neutral gray that wants to be seen but doesn’t have to be the center of attention.
Benjamin Moore discribes Edgecomb Gray as:
A go-to gray that’s timeless with a modern edge, this earthy, organic neutral is soft and stylish, creating a setting that feels distinctly personal.
The walls and cabinets in the sitting room below are Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray.
Farrow & Ball – Elephant’s Breath (No.229)
Elephant’s Breath – F & B Color Description: ‘a warm mid grey’
If you’re looking for a unique warm gray paint color, Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball is worth taking a serious look at. It’s a beautiful color, but be warned – Elephant’s Breath has strong magenta undertones.
I always recommend purchasing a sample pot, and testing paint colors on your walls before coming to a final decision, but this is especially important with Elephant’s Breath. The magenta hue can clash with other color palettes in your home. But when it works, it REALLY works – this is a beautiful paint color.
The following is Farrow & Ball’s description of Elephant’s Breath:
This warm and contemporary grey is renowned for its characterful paint name, originally created by John Fowler, the notable English interior designer. Elephant’s Breath reads as an uplifting mid grey with its hint of magenta, but can become almost lilac in the cooler light of west facing rooms. Try offsetting with Charleston Gray and London Clay for an invitingly earthy scheme with more intense accents, or pair with other Contemporary Neutrals such as the softer Strong White for a sense of neutrality and calm
The walls in the lounge below below are Elephant’s Breath.
Worldly Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7036)
Worldly Gray – LRV: 57 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 206 G:198 B:187 Hex Value: #cec6bb
With a medium-light LRV of 57, Worldly Gray (SW 7043) by Sherwin Williams sits right in the middle of the warm gray category for brightness.
Worldly Gray is just warm enough to make it feel relaxed, and homey. It’s an all around great color. I recommend Worldly Gray in almost any room – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms and more!
The image below features a living room with Worldly Gray walls.
Thunder by Benjamin Moore (AF-685)
Thunder – LRV: 48.05 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Thunder (AF-685) by Benjamin Moore is quickly becoming a popular gray paint color – it made the Benjamin Moore ‘Color Trends Palette for 2020’.
With a LRV of 48.05, Thunder is a medium to medium-dark paint color. However, Benjamin Moore designed the color to come across appearing much lighter than actually it is.
Benjamin Moore’s color description:
This color is part of the Affinity Color collection. A sophisticated palette of harmonious hues designed to express your color vision with confidence. Our most recent introduction of 144 beautiful colors was designed expressly so that each color works seamlessly on its own or in combination with any other color in the Affinity palette.
Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams (SW 7036)
Accessible Beige – LRV: 58 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 209 G: 199 B: 184 Hex Value: #d1c7b8
Color Collections: Bold Invention
Accessible Beige (SW 7036) by Sherwin Williams is an interesting gray paint color option. If you can’t quite decide between gray and beige, this hybrid greige might be exactly what you need!
With a LRV of 58, Accessible Beige has an appealing medium depth that isn’t too light, or too dark. This gray paint color profile is strongest in red (R: 209 G: 199 B: 184) which provides warmth, and a muted brown undertone.
If you aren’t quite sold on any of the other colors in this gray paint guide and you want something a little more unique, this is your color.
The living room in the image below has Accessible Beige (SW 7036) walls.
Cool Gray Paint Colors
This is the best place to start looking if you’re a fan of cool color palettes. Cool gray paint colors have a bright feel that gives your home a happy, seize the day vibe.
Cool white is the ultimate paint color for boosting your mood, but it can feel too sterile, stark, and serious for a residential home. However, add a little bit of gray into the mix and – voila, perfection!
Cool gray paint colors have blue, purple, or green undertones. If you’re thinking of selecting a paint color from this category, be sure to test it out on your walls. Nuanced cool undertones can be an asset – but when they’re too strong – they dominate in an unappealing way.
The gray colors in this category have a large brightness range spanning from ‘medium-dark’ to ‘medium-light’ with LRV’s from 39 to 66.
Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore (OC-52)
Gray Owl – LRV: 65.77 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Gray Owl (OC-52) by Benjamin Moore a medium-light gray paint color that sits just outside the middle of the color temperature spectrum (on the cool side). It’s mostly neutral with a pleasant, slightly cool color temperature.
Gray Owl is versatile, and looks great anywhere. However, I recommend this paint color as a top choice for kitchens, home offices, or a reading nook. Gray Owl is a light, vibrant gray. In a room with plenty of with natural light, this color inspires productivity!
Benjamin Moore has the following to description for Gray Owl:
This color is part of Color Preview. A collection of bold, saturated colors that brings spaces to life for those looking to illuminate their world with pure, extraordinary color. A great complement to Classic Colors, Color Preview offers a collection of 1,232 hues that excite and inspire with pure, deep, clear colors that create striking combinations.
Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7030)
Anew Gray – LRV: 47 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 191 G: 182 B: 170 Hex Value: #bfb6aa
Color Collections: Acute Care Cool Foundations, Curiosity, Minimalist, Cool Neutrals
Anew Gray (SW 7030) by Sherwin Williams falls on the darker side of medium brightness with a LRV of 47. Like many gray paint colors, Anew Gray is a chameleon – it presents different color undertones with different types of light.
This color has mild olive undertones when illuminated with well balanced natural light. However, beware of warm artificial lighting, and the soft warm light that pours in from North facing windows. Warm light tricks the eye into seeing Anew Gray as a warm gray with orange or brown undertones.
The bathroom below has Sherwin Williams Anew Gray walls.
Strong White by Farrow & Ball (No.2001)
Strong White – F & B Color Description: ‘a gray based white’
Strong White is a hybrid color that walks the line between off-white, and light gray. I love how light and airy this gray paint color is.
Here’s how Farrow & Ball describes Strong White (No.2001):
This cool white is both strong by name and strong by nature. One of our Contemporary Neutrals, the subtle urban feel of its light grey undertones add a contemporary twist to period homes, while staying in keeping with modern properties. Pair with Skimming Stone, Elephant’s Breath and All White in any combination for an effortlessly cohesive scheme.
Pike’s Peak Gray by Benjamin Moore (2127-50)
Pike’s Peak Gray – LRV: 39.56 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Cool might be an understatement on this Benjamin Moore gray paint color – it’s COLD! With a LRV of 39.56, Pike’s Peak Gray (21-2750) is a cool medium-dark gray paint color with a strong blue hue. If you want to make a bold statement, this paint color can get the job done.
Pike’s Peak Gray is a little on the extreme side – it’s the darkest and the coolest paint color in this category.
In my opinion, Pike’s Peak Gray is a little too aggressive to use as the primary color for ALL the walls in a room. I recommend breaking things up by using the color to make a bold accent wall that catches the eye. Just make sure the blue undertones don’t clash with the other color palettes in your home.
Here’s how Benjamin Moore describes Pike’s Peak Gray:
Capturing the beauty of the Colorado mountain for which it is named, this tranquil shade of gray suggests a soaring, snow-covered summit.
Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 0055)
Light French Gray – LRV: 53 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 194 G: 192 B: 187 Hex Value: #c2c0bb
Color Collections: Luxe, Purely Refined, Teen Space, Historic Interior Color Wall, Minimalist
Light French Gray (SW 0055) by Sherwin Williams is a lovely medium-light gray paint color with good balance. The color could easily be considered a cool-neutral because the cool tendencies are understated.
The colors’ LRV of 53 is dark enough to stand out, but not to the point where things start to feel gloomy.
Light French Gray has been an extremely popular color in recent years. It’s currently included in five different Sherwin Williams color collections (Luxe, Purely Refined, Teen Space, Historic Interior Color Wall, and Minimalist) which is the most of any color in this gray paint color guide.
Chalky by Dunn Edwards (DEC793)
Chalky – LRV: 75 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Munsell: HUE=5.06GY VALUE=8.8 CHROMA=0.4
Color Collections: Cool Neutrals, Neutrals, Perfect Palette®
This gray paint color is part of the Dunn Edwards Perfect Palette® series of curated colors. Chalky is one of Dunn Edwards’ most popular paint colors, so you know it has to be good!
Chalky is the lightest, brightest gray paint color you’ll find in this guide – it has a high LRV of 75, which makes it an excellent choice for areas with limited natural lighting.
The brightness of this paint color will keep rooms feeling light and airy, while the understated gray color adds visual interest and complexity to a room color palette.
Dark Gray Paint Colors
Dark gray paint colors stand out proudly and distinctively. You can’t miss the dominate grey in these colors. This category has the kind of loud paint colors that you build a color palette around.
With LRVs going all the way down to 14 – you’ll notice right away when exploring this category – these colors are significantly darker than all the previous grays in this paint color guide. If that’s the look you’re going for, dark gray paint colors are for you!
Worsted by Farrow & Ball (No.284)
Worsted – F & B color description: ‘a rich gray’
Worsted (No.284) by Farrow & Ball is a medium-dark gray paint color can read with blue undertones, especially when illuminated with cool light. The slight blue bias keeps this paint color from feeling too heavy.
Farrow & Ball says this about their paint color Worsted:
This rich mid grey conjures memories of city suits made from flat woven fabric, so was named after the Norfolk village where the yarn was originally woven. For devotees of our Easy Neutrals, Worsted is stronger in tone than its counterpart Purbeck Stone, but lighter than Mole’s Breath. It has an understated richness with no cold tones, making it the perfect background to make clean accent colours pop.
Dovetail by Sherwin Williams (SW 7018)
Dovetail – LRV: 26 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 144 G: 138 B: 131 Hex Value: #908a83
Color Collections High Voltage, Cool Neutrals
Dovetail by Sherwin Williams is a well known dark gray paint color. With an LRV of 26, this gray is flirting with the bottom of the brightness scale – it’s the second darkest color in the category.
Sherwin Willams includes this color in their High Voltage color collection, which is a fun loving, well saturated, bold group of colors. Here’s how they describe the ‘high voltage’ colors:
Electronics, alternative rock and digital technology – plug those influences into one socket and you get a blast of high-voltage look-at-me colors. We’re not shying away from them; we’re splashing them across everything from cars to appliances to upholstery…
Arctic Seal by Benjamin Moore (CSP-15)
Arctic Seal – LRV: 14.96 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
Arctic Seal by Benjamin Moore is DARK! It has a LRV of 14.96, which makes it the darkest color in this gray paint color guide (by a significant margin). This cool dark gray could also be classified as a gray-black hybrid color.
Benjamin Moore personifies Arctic Seal in their paint color description:
In his chilly underwater playground, a graceful shadow darts and twirls among the polar ice flows.
Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7016)
Mindful Gray – LRV: 48 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 188 G: 183 B: 173 Hex Value: #bcb7ad
Color Collections: Nurturer
Sherwin Williams says that the Nurturer color collection is for bringing people together. Mindful Gray (SW 7016) fits in perfectly with this color collection’s inviting nature. It’s a comforting color that makes your home feel ready to entertain guests.
Mindful Gray (SW 7016) is a medium-dark bodied gray paint color with mild warm brown undertones. It has an LRV of 48 and is lighter than most of the paint colors in the Dark Gray category.
I recommend Mindful Gray for bedrooms, and common areas like the great room in the image below.
Dorian Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7017)
Dorian Gray – LRV: 39 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 172 G: 167 B: 158 Hex Value: #aca79e
Color Collections: Senior Living Cool Foundations, Acute Care Cool Foundations, PBteen – Fall/Winter 2019
Dorian Gray (SW 7017) by Sherwin Williams is a medium-dark gray paint color with a LRV of 39. It’s neutral, with a slightly cool appearance. The pleasing dark gray color contrasts nicely against true white trim, and ceilings.
If you choose Dorian Gray, I recommend sticking with a cool color pallet for the rest of the room as well.
Summit Gray by Sherwin Williams (SW 7669)
Summit Gray – LRV 30 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)
R: 149 G: 148 B: 145 Hex Value: #959491
Color Collections: Timeless Color Wall
Summit Gray (SW7669) by Sherwin Williams is a strong dark gray paint color with a LRV of 30. The color has a balanced color profile. It has extremely close to equal parts red, green, and blue (R: 149 G: 148 B: 145).
This makes the color neutral with very minimal cool or warm tendencies, and no inherent undertones. Summit Gray will read very true on your walls, unless your artificial lighting has a large warm or cool bias.
Tips For Choosing A Gray Paint Color
- Make sure to buy small sample size pints of paint and have it mixed to the colors you want to test. Paint test splotches on the walls of the room you plan to paint.
- If you don’t to commit to painting test areas on your walls, buy large poster boards and make gigantic color swatch cards that you can hold up or pin to the wall.
- Check out your test areas samples at different times of the day (and also with the lights on and off). This way, you’ll know if certain colors have
- Paint your trim, ceilings and other walls with an amazing white paint color. This help bring to life the gray color you choose. To find the perfect white paint color, check out the guide I created: Best White Paint Colors | The Ultimate Guide.
Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve used a gray paint color that you think should have made this gray paint color guide.