Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 Tips to Selecting the Right Gray Paint

I am certainly no expert when it comes to picking out paint. However, in the process of transitioning from an all brown house to adding in some gray I have learned a few things and have narrowed down my process on how I decide exactly which shade gray to go with.

Today I'm sharing a few helpful tips. 

I will say that one tip I won't touch on below is actually buying some paint samples at the store and testing out various colors directly on your wall. This option works great for some people! However, for me...basically I am too cheap to pay for the samples (not to mention the time that it takes to go back and forth to the store as well as prep & dry times. Ain't nobody got time for this home anyway.Let's just say that the following 4 tips are how I come to a decision on which shade to pick...the quick way.

4 Tips to Selecting the Right Gray Paint

1) Grab multiple swatches to compare various underlying tones. I highly recommend grabbing lots of paint swatches to compare when you are picking out a gray. Gray can vary so much and have underlying shades of blue, green, purple, etc. I've made the mistake of picking out a single swatch of gray and then discovering once it was on the wall that it was very blue. If you fan out the various shades next to each other it is a lot easier to pick up on how different from each other they really are.

shades of gray

2) Research online (using Pinterest & other blogs) to find out what other people are using & recommending. I came across a pretty popular "not too light, not too dark" gray on Pinterest that a lot of people were using by Benjamin Moore called, Revere Pewter. I started researching online and found that Young House Love was also using this color in some of their current spaces. I liked how it looked online and it was actually one of my key contenders, but once I brought the swatch home and compared it to some other grays I realized that it had way more beige in it than I wanted. While this step didn't give me my perfect color it did help me realize that I wanted an in between shade that wouldn't be too light or too dark, would pop with our white trim and that didn't have any beige undertones (I've gone a little overboard on brown in the past and I'm still recovering.) Below is the Revere Pewter swatch next to some gray colors that I had originally narrowed it down too. 

Revere Pewter

3) Hold the swatches against the finishes in your room. In a living room you might only have the trim and floor color to consider. However in a bathroom or kitchen you might have quite a few other finishes that may help you decided. In the case of our bathroom that we are remodeling, I had quite a few finishes mixed together and I wanted to make sure that they all blended nicely. I laid out my cabinet door, backsplash, floor tile and used white as a background (the color of the trim) to help me decide which shade of gray wall paint would work best. 

picking a gray paint color

4) Enlist the opinion of others if you are having a hard time narrowing it down to the winning choice! Once I had my choices narrowed down to a few I had my husband and parents let me know what they thought worked best. In the end it was just what I needed to make a confident decision on which gray color to go with. Can you guess which one we picked?!? Click here to see!

How do you decide on paint colors for your home? Do you have other tips to share? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below for others to use!

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  1. Love the bathroom colors you've chosen. I've got the Revere Pewter in one bath. Thinking of going to the
    in another bath. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Great tips! We went with Revere Pewter in our is indeed very beige...I wanted a cooler, GRAYer gray, but that was what worked with our existing counters and cabinets, sadly. I do often buy samples and paint swatches, but my first step is googling pictures of rooms with the color, and then I narrow down from there. Stopping by from the Inspiration Gallery :)

  3. I guess number 2!

  4. These are great tips! I used to work as a color consultant for Benjamin Moore and my husband owns a painting company. Grey's can be tricky. I love Revere Pewter... Edgecomb Grey is also nice, and slightly cooler - less beige than Revere Pewter. ~Simone


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