gray or grey?

July 30, 2009 |  Category:   home


We’re gonna do it. Finally after all these years of wanting to paint the apartment but flaking out because it seems like such a huge undertaking, we’re gonna tackle it when we close down our shops for vacation in a few weeks. I’ve always been a white walls sort of person but for a few years I’ve been wanting to paint the living room a light gray. We have one narrow panel painted a chalkboard black that separates the kitchen from the living space so we have taken babysteps in breaking up the whiteness. Also to be painted: the girls’ room and the kitchen backsplash.

SO the big question…which gray? There are too many choices! Does anyone have a gray on their walls that they love? We’re looking for a gray that doesn’t skew towards blue, purple, beige or green (as neutral as possible), that’s light but still reads like a “color” on the walls, so not too light. Is this asking too much? Help!

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  • Yolande July 30, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Check this out:
    They always suggest great colours.

  • Sara M. July 30, 2009 at 8:46 am

    We have Revere Pewter from B. Moore on our living room walls and love it.

  • jennifer July 30, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Oh, grey. My favorite color. I love a slightly warm grey myself. It’s a little easier to live with.

  • unha July 30, 2009 at 9:05 am

    i love our grey in the bed room.Classic Gray OC-23. this was helpful post.

  • emeline July 30, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I also love that Revere Pewter by BM… BUT may I suggest in using the sample pots? We did grey in our bedroom and it’s quite purple. Also will echo the tendency toward a french/warm grey- it reflects light a better! Can’t wait to see the results!

  • Shannalee July 30, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I never forgot this Apartment Therapy house tour of a place in Cambridge – they used Silver Fox from Benjamin Moore, and I think it’s gorgeous. Here are photos:

  • Jane Flanagan July 30, 2009 at 9:39 am

    These are my top 3 greys!
    Benjamin Moore
    – Sweatshirt gray
    – Thundercloud gray
    – Trout gray

  • Kristen July 30, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Benjamin Moore’s Grey Timber Wolf is my vote! We have it on our bedroom walls and it’s just perfect.

  • lesley July 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

    i feel your pain. we always always have grey walls at our place, it’s really hard to find a totally neutral one, especially with the different lighting everywhere. we’re about to paint our new place, i’ll let you know how the grey works out, it’s one we’ve never tried before – benjamin moore AF-695

  • Aimee July 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

    We have Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist in our living room, dining room and kitchen and it’s wonderful. Light, neutral and warm.

  • michelle July 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

    revere pewter is a great color.

    we just painted our living room walls silver drop from behr and I love it but it might too light for what you are looking for.

  • Lara July 30, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I painted my bedroom walls Ashely Grey by Benjamin Moore and I love it! You can see a picture here

  • k July 30, 2009 at 11:34 am

    We have Valspar 94-39A Montpelier Ashlar Gray…… but it might be too dark for your purposes but it is awesome.

    I also really like Sherwin Williams SW7632 Modern Gray. It reads very neutral but is on the warm side.

  • Janet Rhoads July 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I have Olympic Paints D17-3 Silver Dollar in my house and I absolutely love it! Bonus….its No VOC!

  • Brenda Elizabeth July 30, 2009 at 11:47 am

    We just finished painting our guest room/office the moat beautiful shade of grey I could find: Valspar’s “Voyage.” Especially since our rooms get a lot of natural light, this grey is both a true grey, not lighter, which is what I’ve wanted for years (though in the living room), but it’s actually brightens up the room so much more. It looks incredily clean and almost like it glows from underneath. I couldn’t be happier with it, and, come pay day, I am buying more to paint our master bedroom too. I’m so glad grey walls are finally getting attention! Everyone I’ve ever told “I want my living room/bedroom” grey with white accents” thinks I am odd and possibly depressed 🙂

  • Jackie July 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    We painted our open plan living room/kitchen Chrome by Ralph Lauren. It’s dark, but I love it. Our bedroom is a Behr grey, but I can’t remember the name of it!

  • naomi July 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    It’s sooo hard to choose. It took me forever. BM_silver satin OC-26. Slightly warm. Grey really changes depending on your lighting situation.

  • Meg July 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I second the BM “Silver Satin” we have it in our bedroom and it’s just perfect.

  • courtney July 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I painted several rooms in my apartment Behr’s Dolphin Fin. It is very neutral and looks great as the light changes throughout the day. Good luck finding your very own perfect grey!

  • ChantaleP July 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I love greys! Make sure to get a small pot of the paint and paint swatches on your wall. Check the colour during the day and night and see what the effects are. I mistakenly painted my basement what I thought to be a warm grey (in the light upstairs) but ended up with an even gloomier basement because the lighting was different. Luckily we sold the house before we had to repaint it! ; )
    Good luck! Can’t wait to see your updated pics!

  • Annie From Seattle July 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Oh, I love grey. My only problem with grey is that I tend to pick shades that wind up looking purple-y in certain lights. I think ChantaleP and others give good advice to put up swatches and watch them through the day. It’s a tricky color but once you get it right…so beautiful.

    This is not what you are looking for right now…but I’d also mention the exceptionally beautiful Benjamin Moore “Iron Mountain”, which is a deep, robust charcoal with lots of depth. It looks almost black on the chip but dries to a beautiful true charcoal. I painted my entire bedroom, including the ceiling, this color and love it but it’s also fantastic as an accent wall.
    Please post before and after pics!

  • Courtney S July 30, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I have Glidden’s Manatee Grey on my basement walls (but it skews green) and Glidden Ruffled Feathers and Glidden Eastern Lighthouse upstairs. I really like all of them…

  • Annie From Seattle July 31, 2009 at 12:05 am

    @Countney S LOL. Manatee Grey is the best name for a paint ever! Hilarious!

  • Sheila July 31, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I had gray walls in my bedroom when I lived with my parents. It was the neutral gray you’re talking about and on the darker side. It looks about the same as the dark gray swatch (with the three rows) you’ve got in the center of your photo. It’s funny because I think it scared guests a bit because I think it looked too modern for them. I recommend going lighter so the room still feels bright and airy.

  • amber of July 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    pick one shade that’s too dark and one that’s too light for comparison purposes. that helps so much!

  • wendy July 31, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    hi jenna! how exciting! i love gray – but yes, a very tricky color to paint indeed. our master bedroom is painted with benjamin moore’s gray horse and i really like it. i guess you’ll have to see what works with the lighting in your living room though. good luck!

  • anna August 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Pratt & Lambert’s Winte’sr Gate mixed with Wraith

  • A August 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Grey is my favorite! We used Behr’s Sparrow–perfect. 🙂

  • Kristen August 7, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I love “Sharkey Gray” from Martha Stewart for Valspar (you can find it at Lowe’s).

  • elizabeth October 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    You probably already did your painting, but it’s worth telling you! I have Revere Pewter all over my house- hallway, foyer, guest bedroom, also in my dining room (accent wall is midnight navy). I picked it because it is half gray and half tan, depending on your light. It’s definitely warm and beige-y and not a pure or cool gray. Oddly enough I also have Balboa Mist in my master bedroom, which definitely has more of a “color” to it. Neither of these colors is pure gray. They are both definitely as much tan as they are gray, and they both have a lot of life in changing light. I love them with Decorator’s White woodwork.