50 Shades of Gray Paint and How to Choose

Amazing Gray by Sherwin-Williams | Flowers Painting

Shades of gray have been a popular go-to for wall paint for many years and it’s no surprise why. Shades of gray paint are great alternatives to white and beige walls, providing a blank slate to add personal style with decor and art. Gray hues are a fantastic foundational color to create a personalized space, or even used to make a bold statement. With more than 50 shades of gray to choose from, you really can’t go wrong.

Gray paint is a versatile neutral tone, which, unlike white, hides imperfections while complementing most colors used in decor, furniture, art, and accent paint. With so many shades of gray on the spectrum, choosing the right shade for your project can be tricky. So how do you know you’re picking the right one, the truest gray? While there is no such thing as “pure” gray; there is a perfect gray for you. This guide will help you choose from the abundant shades of gray for your perfect match.

Gray, You’re Hot Then You’re Cool

The temperature of your gray influences the overall atmosphere and feeling of your space. Color temperature refers to the coolness or darkness a shade will have on the room in which it is being used and directly correlates to how much light a room gets. Cool grays, with blue undertones, are great for crisp spaces, while warmer grays bring a soft cozy feeling to any space regardless of the size or amount of light.

This year, there has been a subtle shift in gray paint trends, as more people are choosing warm gray tones over the previously favored cool grays. Grays with rich, warm undertones of red and yellow are changing the way we feel about gray in general, bringing a new perspective to a tried-and-true shade.

Understanding Undertones

Before you choose a specific gray paint color, first, decide on one of four paint categories: Neutral Gray, Warm Gray, Cool Gray, and Dark Gray. Each of these categories houses a collection of gray shades with varying undertones from blue-gray, green-gray, to red-gray, and yellow-gray. Each undertone conveys a different mood and while still remaining overarchingly neutral, will play better with certain accent colors, styles, rooms, and feelings.

Neutral Gray- Comprising your basic shades of gray without a strong influence of either cool or warm temperature, these neutrals “play well” with others. These shades have a yellow undertone and appear the most neutral yet appear warm and bright. They fit best in minimally lit rooms and complement a wide range of decor and fit into most homes with ease.

Warm Gray- As we gravitate away from the cool grays to warmer, cozier grays, these tones have a red undertone, which can be affected by the lighting of a room as to how they appear within a space. Red-Gray tones can often look pinkish, or even purple and perform best in warm, incandescent lighting. Balanced shades of gray will have a perfect amount of both blue and red undertones and appear to be the most like a “true gray”.

Cool Gray- Most people associate gray with cool gray, or gray with a blue undertone as the truest form of gray. Cool grays work well in south facing rooms, or warm rooms where these cool tones can hold their value without appearing dull or dreary. Blue undertone grays when paired with green undertones will give a warmer, energetic feeling to the shade while still keeping the light, cool, airy feeling from the blue undertones.

Dark Gray- These bold, eye-catching hues bring all the drama to make a statement. Shades of deep gray and charcoal give a modern, even industrial look to the space. These grays pair well with bright whites, natural wood, and soft furnishings for a sophisticated, yet modern aesthetic.

50 Shades of Gray and Counting: How to Use the Hue

Choosing the perfect shade of gray really depends a lot on personal preference, style, and of course, the space. The most popular gray paints tend to be the most versatile; shades such as Agreeable Gray from Sherwin-Williams and Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore are popular grays right now. Implementing more than one gray throughout your home offers a complete and cohesive look while adding depth and flow from room to room. When using an all gray palette, layering materials is important to keep the look comprehensive and sophisticated. A monochromatic gray palette can be just as stimulating as bolder color choices when properly done.

A color specialist from Lick Home advises, ‘ Gray plays as a beautiful neutral with earthy tones and pairs perfectly with dusky pinks and rich greens. Gray is also the perfect backdrop for stronger colors, like rich yellows and blues, helping to balance the scheme.’

Whether you opt for the barely-there light and airy gray or go for a more daring charcoal, gray remains a go-to versatile paint color that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Understanding the different tones and shades of gray and where they work best and how to pair them with accent trim, furniture, and accessories before choosing your perfect paint color is vital. This guide just scratches the surface of the many shades of gray and how to use them. For more information or help from an expert, contact Flowers Painting for a consultation.

About Flowers Painting

Flowers Painting is a full-service interior painting company that services the entire Charlotte metro area including Mooresville, Huntersville, Davidson, Concord, Rock Hill, and more. We recently added our second location in Winston-Salem, NC, and service the entire Winston-Salem area, including Kernersville, High Point, Clemmons, Rural Hall, Tabaccoville and more. Flowers Painting provides full painting services including color consulting, interior painting, faux finishing, textured walls, cabinet refinishing, interior stairs, handrails, and more. To see pictures of our finished work be sure to visit our website gallery.