Battle of the Grays

Home Builder with West Magnolia Charm

The other day while I was helping my client pick a paint color I realized how there is a constant battle of the grays happening. What I mean by this is what I consider to be the best gray may not be what you consider to be the best gray. Each person perceives color differently. So when you may think Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray is the greatest gray paint color, I may think Benjamin Moores Thunder is better. 

Gray is 100 % one of the trickiest colors to choose. The sneaky undertones are what you need to watch out for. And the thing is that all grays do have those sneaky undertones, whether they decide to come out and play depends on lighting situations. It can downright be truely exhausting trying to find a gray paint color you love.

I have a few rules I like to follow when choosing a gray paint color.


First, decided on what tone you want your gray paint color to have. 

This means deciding on whether you want a warm or cool-toned gray?  Not sure what to tone to choose? Look at the fixtures, cabinetry, floors, and the trim in the home. A brushed nickel faucet pairs well with a cooler gray, whereas a red brick fireplace, is complemented beautifully by a warm gray. A good rule of thumb is you want to have the undertone of your home interior elements match the undertone of the gray paint color you choose. Narrowing it down off the bat will eliminate a number of grays you will choose from.

Second, pick no more than 4 gray paint color options.

There are so many gray paint colors out there that it becomes so overwhelming trying to find the right one for your space. Choose 3 or 4 grays that you love and stop there. having more to choose from will only make your choice more difficult. And the more you have the more they'll all start to look the same. I find that the magic number of samples to choose from is 3.

Finally, make sure you swatch your 3 or 4 gray choices.

Unfortunately, you do have to purchase the paint samples but I'll tell you ifs worth it. The small paint chips that are free are dyed to look like the paint colors. They aren't 100% accurate and this is where people get into trouble. Swatching the colors directly on your walls will help you get an accurate representation of the colors. You can also paint the swatches on white poster board. This will allow you to move the swatches around the room do see how the color will act on different lighting. Or you can purchase samples from a company like Samplize. They are the same idea of the poster board swatches but they are peel and stick paint samples.  If you want to learn more about them check out my Samplize Review.

I find that going through these 3 steps helps with the gray color choice. It's still going to be a difficult choice but it will help you feel less overwhelmed by all the gray paint colors. And if you are truly struggling ask a professional for help, that s what they are there for. At the end of the day, you want o to choose a color that makes you happy. You are, in fact, the one that will have to live with it.


Comments (1)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Cate,  I have been trying to get my wife to pick a gray to repaint out living room but she has so many samples up and can not make up her mind.


Feb 07, 2020 07:08 AM