If you’ve ever been to the paint aisle of your local hardware store, you know that there are way more than fifty shades of gray! Trying to choose the perfect shade of gray for your home can be completely overwhelming.
Gray is here to stay
Gray is THE neutral color of choice in the interior design world right now, or at least that’s what Pinterest tells me. When we sold our old house I knew that I wanted gray walls in our new home.
Our old house had a warm, medium shade of taupe which was very in-style when we picked it and still looks great today. But I was ready for a change.
The best gray paint color for your whole house
Perfectly neutral gray walls were a must in our new home.
A Google or Pinterest search for the perfect shade of gray comes up with a ton of options. But some favorites pop up again and again.
I scoured the paint aisles for weeks while my house was under construction staring at paint chips and picking up new ones each time trying to decide on the perfect gray.
I pinned endless picture-perfect rooms on Pinterest painted with each of the paint colors I loved.
The “BEST” gray paint color
My search landed on Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, which is often touted as “the best gray paint color to paint your whole house.” It looked amazing in magazines and on so many blogs, and I knew I had to have it.
I let our contractor know the color I choose, and he asked if I wanted to paint a sample first. I was so sure of the color I told him just to go ahead with painting the whole house.
Always paint a sample
Our contractor kind of insisted we paint a sample, and boy am I glad we did!
It turns out that paint swatches can look totally different than what the paint color looks like in real life.
I chose my top 5 gray paint colors to test out. From the swatches, they all looked to be in the same general color family. I was looking for a gray, but almost a greige. I didn’t want anything too cool, but I also didn’t want anything as warm as our previous taupe paint color.
The five paint colors I sampled were:
- Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
- Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray
- Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
- Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
- Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
How to sample paint colors
Isn’t it amazing how different all of these colors look?! I was honestly shocked. When I looked at the paint chips from the store, you could barely tell them apart. And then on my wall, we had 5 distinct colors.
Painting your whole house is a big commitment. It is totally worth it to get a few $3 samples at the hardware store to make sure you’re making the right decision.
Some tips for painting samples:
- Paint a large area- the swatches I painted are about 2.5 ft tall and 1 ft wide.
- Paint samples in different areas of your house- small and large, bright and dark- to get a feel for house it will look throughout the house.
- Look at your paint samples in the morning and in the evening to see how the direction of the sun affects the color.
Making a final decision
I painted samples of Sherman Williams Agreeable Gray, Sherman Williams Colonnade Gray, Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and Sherman Williams Mindful Gray.
Here are my initial thoughts on them:
- Sherman Williams Agreeable Gray: This one was really light when I painted it on and looked almost white against the existing creamy colored paint. Once it dried, it was definitely a light gray but had a hint of warmth to it.
- Sherman Williams Colonnade Gray: This gray was subtle and pretty and I loved the tone of it, but it seemed a tad too dark to paint my entire house.
- Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter: This was “the best gray paint color to paint your whole house” that I had decided on before painting any samples, and I am SO GLAD I decided to test it out. This was definitely the warmest of the grays I sampled, and while I wanted warm, it looked too beige and muddy for my taste. It was also much darker than I anticipated since most places classify it as a light gray.
- Benjamin Moore Gray Owl: This gray seemed cold and a bit harsh. I could see it in a little boy’s room or on a patio, but not something that would work for my whole house.
- Sherman Williams Mindful Gray: I liked this gray, but it was much too dark for painting the whole house.
After painting my samples, the right color was totally obvious. I’m a big believer in listening to your inner voice, your gut so to speak. And my gut definitely knew that option #1, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray was the right choice for our house.
Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Our house is on the smaller side at 1600 sq ft and only has 8 ft ceilings. There aren’t many windows which means some parts of the house can be pretty dark. Agreeable Gray turned out to be the perfect color to create the bright and airy feel I wanted.
Agreeable Gray was the perfect color for our living area.
The color looks amazing against our DIY shiplap.
This light gray is a perfect complement to our metallic stencil wall.
The color provides just enough contrast to our antique white painted kitchen cabinets.
It even looks great in a little boy nursery and in my kids’ playroom.
I found the perfect shade of gray for MY house, but yours may be different. The key is to paint samples and find the right gray for you. Go with your gut and you won’t be disappointed!
Love what you see? Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our home!