Know Your Neutrals

by Quinn Larson

You thought picking a neutral would be a cake walk, but curiously you find yourself staring at a purple wall, when you are sure you bought a gray.  Perhaps you are questioning why this is when neutrals are the recommended, no fail, go with anything and everything colors.  Here is a little insight to why neutrals can be fickle and some tricks for zeroing on the right ones for your home. 

I’m going to deliver some truths here, so brace yourself. I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’ve been lied to all this time regarding neutrals.

Neutral truth 1: Neutrals are not simple, in any respect.  

Neutrals are exceptionally complex colors that belong to color families. They are colors that have been mixed, muddied and toned down to the point where they can appear to have no color. The more colors we mix into a color the lower the chroma, and the more complex it becomes.

Take a look at the chroma scale below:

A color’s chroma is how bright or intense it is.  High chroma colors are what we would consider clean, bright and free of any kind of muddying. Low chroma colors are the opposite; they are not clean or pure and what we consider neutrals or neutralized colors.  Low chroma colors can be muddied to the point they are difficult to discern for what they are.  Recognizing their color family takes a little practice in undertone identification.

Neutral Truth 2: Neutrals can be warm or cool

All six color families have neutrals.  The neutrals of each family will retain thier color family attributes, though with diminished impact. Cool color families (green, blue, purple) will have cool toned neutrals with cool color properties. Warm color families (red, orange, yellow) will have warm toned neutrals with warm color properties.

Let’s compare a blue and red chroma scale,

and take a closer look at the two on the end.

The red family neutral, left, feels warmer than the blue neutral on the right.  A big step in the right direction for selecting neutrals is to acknowledge this and chose a neutral as you would a higher chroma color. For example, you want a neutral wall color, but you’d prefer a cozier feel over a spacious one.  If you were selecting a higher chroma color you might select an orange or yellow color to suit this need. The best place to select neutrals then would be from the yellow or orange family.

What about gray? Grays are achromatic right?

Neutral Truth 3: Grays are not achromatic

Colors can be so muted, washed out and neutralized that they don’t register as colors remember?  When a color reaches that point, we call it a gray. True, achromatic gray is the end of the road for the chroma of a color, and a last point that all color families will share.  However, before you reach that point, there are thousands of grayed colors.

I’ve pulled some examples of grays from each color family for comparison.

Greaceful Gray PPU18-12, Burnished Clay PPU18-09, Creek Bend 790F-4, Falcon Gray PPU26-04, Gentle Rain 790E-2

Red toned grays feel very complex.  Some lighting can make theses grays appear as mauves or to have a subtle pink tint.

Smokestack N220-3, Sculptor Clay PPU5-8, Eiffel For You MQ2-37, Elephant Skin PPU18-16, Griege PPU24-11

Orange toned neutrals make up the greige (beige + gray), and taupe families.  These tones, in warmer lighting conditions, can appear as browns.

Whitewash Oak PPU24-12, Arid Plains PPU25-07, Silver Drop 790C-2, Tanglewood N320-3, Silver City MQ2-59

The yellow family is, by far, the most forgiving and versatile as far as grays go.  In warm lighting conditions these grays can appear like tans or off whites.

Battleship Gray N360-4, Pumice MQ6-23, Old Celadon PPU25-05, Granite Boulder 790D-4, Brampton Gray PPU11-16

These grays can appear as sages or spruces depending on the temperature of the lighting.  Green undertoned grays are popular choices for exterior use.

Tin Foil N500-3, Dark Pewter PPU18-4, Rainmaster MQ5-22, Ocean Swell PPU25-19, Sterling 780E-3

These tones will impart a cooler feel to a room and can appear blue in darker conditions. Like the green family, blue toned grays are popular choices for exteriors.

Classy MQ5-4, Natural Gray PPU18-10, Silver Bullet N520-2, Smokey Wings PPU26-07, Suede Gray PPU18-17

Purple undertoned hues are probably the most challenging of the gray tones.  Not only can it be difficult to recognize the undertone, but their murky, complex nature reveals itself in a color that changes its appearance throughout the day.

Neutral Truth 4: Lighting will make or break your neutral

The color complexity of neutrals means they are very susceptible to the influence of lighting. Light is color, and different sources of lighting, natural or artificial, will effect how the neutrals appear.

Take this light gray room with standard midday light.

In the early morning with the bright warm morning sun it might look more like this:

In a home with the blue light of a north facing window it might look like this:

The only thing that has changed in the room is the light temperature.  You can see now how the percieved wall color is dependent on the light source.

You should have an idea now why the color you selected may appear so different than what you thought you picked out.  Let’s review some of the key takeaways about neutrals to help you choose the perfect shade for your home.

#1.) Neutrals retain the color attributes of their parent families, just on a softer scale.  For example yellow based neutrals will impart a warm feeling, blue based neutrals a cool feeling.

#2.) Neutrals have more color nuance than brighter, clean shades.  You’ll want to pay close attention to undertone when selecting shades.

#3.) Lighting plays a huge role in the perception of colors, and neutrals are particularly sensitive.  Be sure to test your color in your space to see how it will appear throughout the day.

We strongly recommend sampling colors on your walls before committing to a color.  This is especially true for neutrals whose appearance can be quite transitional throughout the day.

For more information, ideas, and inspiration on color visit our Color Studio at behr.com.  Our Paint Your Place tool is a great starting point for exploring, comparing and contrasting color within your own space.

Colorfully yours,

Quinn

105 responses to “Know Your Neutrals”

  1. Tina says:

    What is the color on the walls used in your example?

  2. Kathryn Foster-Martin says:

    I am painting my kitchen cabinets in Sweet As Honey. They are appliqued on the front with grape vines and the look is kinda country french/victorian vintage. The countertops are slate formica with rope edge trim. Backsplash is white subway tiles with black grout and black rope edge trim. White appliances. The kitchen is open to the family room, which has buttery yellow and oxblood upholstered furniture. The space measures 18′ x 22′.

    White for the walls is way too bright. Im looking for a gray green or green gray, whichever you might suggest. I want it to be soft and vintage. Morning light is plentiful, not so much in the aftrernoon. I tend toward warm colors, cooler tones are visually offensive although i love them for other people.

    Thank you so much in advance for your suggestions! I love Behr, it is the only paint I ever use☺️

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Kathryn,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR paint!

      A gray green or green gray will work perfectly. Here are some recommendations that will work nicely with your kitchen furnishings – Light Year N370-3, Eon N370-2, Heath Gray N380-2, Foggy London PPU25-09 or Soft Secret PPU25-10.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  3. Traci Ramirez says:

    Hello,
    I painted a couple of walls in my 2 story great room with Natural Gray (before finding this page) and testing it on 2 walls. Of course it looks light purple on one of the smallest wall that I didn’t test and of course I bought a 5 gallon bucket. Any suggestions? I want to lighten up my great room and have tried at least 10 different samples. I have tried BM revere pewter (too yellow), behr graceful gray, greige and classic silver, glidden pebble beach to name a few!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Traci,
      Thank you for your interest in Behr Paint!
      An option could be taking it to the Home Depot so they can see what to add in order to make is less purple. It is only appearing purple on that wall perhaps that wall can be a different color in an accent hue and remaining walls can be in the Natural Gray.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  4. Paintpixy says:

    A most excellent and totally helpful tutorial on grays. I love gray paint. They are complex but when you nail it, you’ll know it! I went through the process many times and it’s def all about the undertones. When you have that “ah-ha moment” do the dance baby!!

  5. Jennifier says:

    This was a very informative read. I’m looking to paint my master bedroom in the next few months a shade of grey. I haven’t even began to research yet, so I’m happy I found this. Hopefully it won’t be too overwhelming when the time comes. Thank you.

  6. Harriet says:

    Please help! I have very old oak flooring throughout my home, which of course has yellowed a lot! I would like to paint hallways a soft grey perhaps, so would i use a yellow based grey? or stick to a cooler blue based grey? What do you recommend? thank you.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Harriet,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      Either color gray will work nicely.
      Here are some recommendations that will coordinate.
      Planetary Silver N460-2, Evening White N460-1, Seagull Gray N360-1, Evaporation N450-1, or Toasty Gray N320-2.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  7. Anne says:

    So if I have a home with blue toned gray exterior paint and white trim, what door color do you recommend??

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Anne,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      We will recommend the following colors for your front door.
      Precious Stone M470-6, Royal Gold M280-4, Valley of Glaciers M480-6, Amiable Orange M230-6, or Antique Tin PPU18-03.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  8. Donna Barry says:

    I have a deep red dining room that I want to leave. I want to paint the room adjoining a grey. As well as the kitchen and family room a shade of grey. What colors would flow well with red? Thank you!!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Donna,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      Here are some shades of gray that will work with a deep red.
      Ashen Tan N220-2,Doeskin Gray N200-2, Graceful Gray PPU18-12, Classic Silver PPU18-11, Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26, or Nightingale Gray N200-3.
      Also we offer 8oz samples for purchase so you can test these marvelous shades of gray on your walls prior to making a big purchase.
      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  9. Mary says:

    How can I tell which grays are yellow toned, or blue toned, etc? Is there something about the numbering system, or some other way, besides being able to see the undertone with your own eyes? Because I have the equivalent of tone deafness with respect to color. 🙂

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Mary,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      The cooler blue/purple/green toned grays will be throughout N320 to N570.
      The warmer red/yellow/brown toned grays will be from N200 to N310.
      If there is a certain gray you are having a hard time deciphering the undertone please let us know and we will be happy to help.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  10. Monta says:

    Have blue tinted windows and a lot of natural light. What undertone would you suggest for a nice true light gray?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Monta,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      We will recommend the following light grays.
      Evening White N460-1, Seagull Gray N360-1, Drizzle PPU26-14, Silent White PPU26-13.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  11. KE says:

    Hi! I love the light greige walls with white trim. I’m trying to paint a tall room with large windows (lots of light) this modern “farmhouse” color. The problem is the current walls are light mustard yellow (90’s) BM revere pewter looks really silver, SW perfect greige looks eggplant.
    Would I go with a yellow base grey? Which of your paints would you recommend? Thanks!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello KE,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      We will recommend the following light greige hues – Ashen Tan N220-2, Spun Wool N220-1, Greige PPU24-11, or Moth Gray N200-1.
      Also we offer 8oz samples for purchase so you can test these marvelous shades of gray on your walls prior to making a big purchase.
      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  12. Nadine Fernandez says:

    what darker blue-toned grays are good for exterior of a 2 story colonial house?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Nadine,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Paint!
      Here are some perfect blue-toned grays – Antique Tin PPU18-03, Dark Pewter PPU18-04, Intergalactic N450-5, Charcoal Blue N490-5 or Moonquake N450-4.

      Also we offer 8oz samples for purchase so you can test these marvelous shades of gray on your walls prior to making a big purchase.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  13. Amy schwantz says:

    Hello I have a small home and I would like to make it look bigger! Right now it’s a yellow gold color in the entry hall, kitchen, dining room, and living room! And when you are in the living room I have a small hallway on both sides that you can see. They are both a deep red right now! I want to paint the whole house a light grey color, my trim is white! I don’t like the blue and green under tones that I’ve sampled so far in the sliver bulet and one other gray color! I just can’t find the gray I’m looking for! My cabinets are oak and my floors are dark also! Please helpThank you!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Amy,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Products!

      We will recommend the following gray tones – White Moderne PPU24-14, Close Knit T17-01, Chic Gray PPU26-10, Evening White N460-1 or Seagull Gray N360-1.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  14. Erica Barkshire says:

    Could you please tell me what under tones are in fast as the wind. I’ve tried so many samples….but so far they’ve been blue and lavender! Or can you recommend a color? I painted a blue gray in my guest bath and love it but I don’t want it for my main floor which is an open floor plan. If I didn’t paint stripes on my walls I wouldn’t paint at all! Lol Thank you!

  15. Gina says:

    Can you please tell me which undertones are in Baja? I recently bought it to paint most of my hallways and open plan rooms.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Gina,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Products!

      Baja has beige yellow or a green undertone depending on lighting.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  16. Hi
    I would appreciate your suggestions on a Greige paint for the walls of a small “Coach House ” 16 ‘ X 24′ but the space included a bath, kitchen, and large open living area that is multipurpose TV, dining, cabinet Murphy bed. The structure is being built. For the kitchen cabinets I have chosen Diamond in Cloud.
    It is important to note that this is in FL on a small lake and has on the back wall an 8 foot sliding glass door and on the side 6’ sliding glass. door, with cathedral ceiling. I was thinking I might be safe going with a darker Gray but I’m very unsure.
    Thanks so very much

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Sharon,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following greige colors – Chic Gray PPU26-10, Smokestack N220-3, Ashen Tan N220-2, Greige PPU24-11.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Could you please tell me what the undertone of Doeskin Gray N200-2 is? I’m wanting to use it with Hilo Bay PPU15-09 and want to know if they share undertones/temperature. To my eye the samples looked good by each other but on a larger scale that’s harder to tell.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Products!

      Doeskin Gray has a warm brown undertone therefore they will coordinate with one another.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully yours,
      Deanna

  18. mary p says:

    I was looking for a true soft gray color for a bedroom. Store rep recommended white metal which looks too blue on the walls. I also purchased a sample of silver bullet which looks purple. can you please recommend a soft natural gray with minimal undertones.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Mary,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Products!

      We will recommend the following grays with subtle undertones Classic Silver PPU18-11, Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26 or Silver Marlin N360-2.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna T.

  19. Krys says:

    I’m looking to paint our new home a transitional shade of gray. Fire place is red brick, decor is brown/beige tones, but bedroom is white furniture with gray accents. Was thinking greige but worried the orange undertones will clash with the reds. Any suggestions?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Krys,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Products!

      Orange/Red will not clash as they are warm tones so they will flow.
      Here are some grays that will flow – Graceful Gray PPU18-12, Classic Silver PPU18-11, Greige PPU24-11 or Ashen Tan N220-2.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  20. L says:

    I recently spent a bit of time looking for the perfect gray. Rolling Pebble was represented on Behr’s website as gray. I got a free sample at a store and it is totally green. Confused!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello,
      Thank you for your interest in BEHR Products!

      Rolling Pebble does have a green undertone. The colors online are not the truest representation. Please read below.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully yours,
      Deanna

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello L,

      Truly Sorry about that, Rolling Pebble is not a gray. It is a brown with a deep green undertone.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,

  21. Hilary says:

    Hi! I found what I think is a light gray gray – not blue, purple or green. It’s Chic gray. I love it, but my husband thinks it’s too dark after we put samples on each wall. What would you call it? And do you think it has an undertone? Thanks!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Hilary,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Chic Gray is a neutral gray, under certain lighting it may have a beige undertone.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  22. Jenna Katouzian says:

    Hello,
    What wall color do you recommend if I have cool gray tone hardwood floor’s and beige couches. I painted the living room and antique white and didn’t know that undertone was yellow! Help please!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Jenna,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following tones – Spun Wool N220-1, Seagull Gray N360-1, White Moderne PPU24-14, Ashen Tan N220-2 or Cotton Knit PPU7-11.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  23. Natalie says:

    Great article! Can you suggest a light gray exterior paint color for a 2-story shake shingle home in sunny coastal San Diego? It’s been hard to find a color that’s not too icy or too tan…what undertone family should I be looking into?
    Thank you!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Natalie,

      We will recommend the following grays to coordinate – Lunar Surface N460-3, Cosmic Quest N460-4, Graycloth PPU2609 or Chic Gray PPU26-10.
      I found some options that are in between, hope one of these work!

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  24. Nancy says:

    Very helpful article! I use Behr paint exclusively in my home.

  25. Trish Hutchison says:

    I’m having a difficult time finding a white to go with gray that isn’t too bright but doesn’t look dirty either. We are going back and forth between antique tin and legendary gray though I’d love a suggestion for a more pure gray with less undertones. Thank you for any suggestions!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Trish,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend Polar Bear 75, Silky White PPU7-12, or Swiss Coffee 12. I will more so recommend Legendary Gray PPU26-03 since Antique Tin has a blue metal undertone. Other recommendations include – Cosmic Quest N460-4, Chic Gray PPU26-10, or Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  26. Millison says:

    Glad I found this article before I painted – but I am currently about 8 paint samples in and I’ve tried them on my wall. My great room flows into my kitchen with an open floor plan. I have greys in my kitchen, and creams and blue in my Great Room. Some of the greys looked really dark and I don’t want them too dark because my home is already overcast since I don’t get much sun. I have a lot of windows, but the sun hits the back of my house which is where the kitchen and great room are. Even with all of the lights on during the day, the home still has a slight darkness to it. Which grey would most complement kitchen/great room area? Thanks

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Millison,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following grays – Chic Gray PPU26-10, Seagull Gray N360-1, Silver Marlin N360-2, Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26, White Moderne PPU24-14.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  27. Joy says:

    Hello! I have sampled Chic Grey and had the darkness reduced down by about 50%. What undertone does this grey have? I am trying to pair a nice neutral grey with my accent wall which is painted with Binary Star. Want to make sure I avoid a lavender looking wall. Thanks!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Joy,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Chic Gray has a beige undertone to it.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  28. Hilary says:

    I love Drizzle – PPU2614. I bought a charcoal grey couch. What color would be good to accessorize? In the yellow/gold family or the blue family? Thanks!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello there Hilary,
      Thank you for visiting our blog! 🙂

      Either color for your accessories will work perfectly. If you want to add some warmth then go with the yellow/gold. If you want the mood to be calming and relaxing then blue tones will coordinate.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  29. SG says:

    Hi – I have recently selected Silver Bullet for my home, Can you recommend accent colors that can go with silver bullet? it’s just for the fireplace wall, can Pencil Sketch be an option?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello SG,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Yes Pencil Sketch can definitely be an option. As well as Iron Mountain N520-5, or Charcoal Blue N490-5.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  30. Tonia says:

    I have a room which hardly gets any natural light. It does, however have open ceiling. There is lots of red oak trim. Presently the paint color is appearing too dark in the room most likely due to not enough natural light. What gray paint color could I use to brighten up the room without it looking purple or blue?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Tonia,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following gray hues – Classic Silver PPU18-11, Evening White N460-1, Seagull Gray N360-1, or Silver Marlin N360-2.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  31. K says:

    I’m looking to paint my living room white with gray undertone. I’ve tried different samples and they look purple or blue. My living room faces West and there is not much natural ligh, especially during the morning. I have a teal colored TV stand and wood floors with a variety of shades of brown. I’ve spent time and money looking por the perfect white/light gray and I am overwhelmed. Any suggestions?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello K,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Sorry about that! We will recommend the following white/grays: White Moderne PPU24-14, Painter’s White PPU18-08, or Silver Polish BL-W13.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  32. Julissa Pozo says:

    I’m looking to paint my living room a shade of gray. Decor is brown/beige tones, Any suggestions?

    Great read by the way

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Julissa,
      Thank you for visiting our Blog!

      Here are some great shades of gray for your living room – Doeskin Gray N200-2, Graceful Gray PPU18-12, Graycloth PPU26-09 or Chic Gray PPU26-10.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  33. Erica Desai says:

    Hi! I have painted my entire home graceful gray and I am ready to paint the kitchen cabinets. Our countertops are eternal calacatta gold by silestone. Our backsplash is a crackled pewter arabesque design. I want the cabinets to be light but not quite white so I was looking at Spun wool. Does that play well with Graceful Gray? Any other recommendations?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Erica,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Spun Wool pairs very nicely with Graceful Gray. As well as Moth Gray N200-1, Chic Gray PPU26-10.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  34. Cat says:

    Is there a grey suitable for a north facing bedroom?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Cat,
      Thank you for visiting our blog! 🙂

      North facing rooms can often be cooler and lighter colors may appear more subdued.
      Here are some recommendations of grays you can sample on your wall. Classic Silver PPU18-11, Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26, Chic Gray PPU26-10, Silver Marlin N360-2.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  35. Laura says:

    It looks like I’m not alone in getting a blue/purple when trying to find a neutral. My room is open floor plan with kitchen, dining, and family room. The walls are currently gold which i want to brighten up to a nice neutral. The Kitchen cabinets and baseboards are painted Navaho White which I want to keep. Floors are Bruce oak hardwood stained in gunstock, which has a lot of gold and red tones (I think). I have an area rug with sage green and burgundy in the family room along with a brown couch with burgundy in the print, also a brown leather chair. There is also black accents in the room, including a console and black dining chairs. I had painted SW Shitake (which supposedly has taupe undertones) but stopped, as it looks like a purple and clashes with the Navaho White baseboards as well as the yellow sage green in my area rug. I am looking for a nice neutral in Behr. Not a grey, but something warmer, but not a beigy pink either. My room has medium light, and often leans more on the dark side. Any recommenation would be greatly appreciated’

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Laura,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!
      Also thank you for the great information it is very helpful to envision what you want.
      Here are some neutral tones that will coordinate – Roman Plaster PPU7-10, Baja PPU7-08, Cotton Knit PPU7-11, Vintage Linen PPU7-16, or Casual Khaki N300-3.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  36. Madison says:

    Could you please tell me what the undertone of Evening white is? I’m looking for a light grey to brighten my house that doesn’t have and blue or purple undertones.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Madison,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Evening White may have a cool undertone with a hint of blue depending on lighting and such. You can get an 8oz sample to see how it appears on your wall. Other grays you can test are Moth Gray N200-1, White Moderne PPU24-14.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  37. Tasha says:

    This article has been very useful, thank you. What color undertone does Toasty Gray N320-2 have?

  38. Sue Tunstell says:

    looking for a grey with purple undertones, is this a warm colour of gray?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Sue, Thank you for your interest in Behr paint! a purple toned gray will be more on the warm side.

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  39. Judi says:

    Thank you so much for this article. After reading it, we used Burnished Clay to coordinate with warm gray furniture and accents of burgundy and rose pink. The red undertones in the Burnished Clay paint are perfect! The paint has hints of warmth that blend beautifully! Thank you for teaching me how to finally pick out the right shade of paint!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Judi!
      You are very welcome, thank you so much for being a Behr fan! 🙂 We are always here to help with Color Advice!

      Happy Painting!

      Colorfully Yours,

      Deanna

  40. Cara Meeks says:

    Hi Deanna,
    I am trying to find the perfect gray for my bedroom. We have dark brown (espresso) furniture and the trim of the room is white. I don’t want to go too light or too dark but I want it to be calming. We have 2 large windows for natural light and the room is not that big. Any suggestions? Also, I am looking for a gray to paint the walls in our coming soon baby boy’s nursery. The décor will be red, white & navy baseball theme and the crib and furniture are dark brown (espresso) color. Any suggestions for that too? Also, would like a calming gray but not too dark as the room is on the small side. Thank you for having this blog and taking questions!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Cara! Thank you for your interest in BEHR paint! 🙂
      Here are some calming grays that you can choose from for your bedroom and nursery.
      Classic Silver PPU18-11, Evening White N460-1, Seagull Gray N360-1, Silver Marlin N360-2, Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26 or Planetary Silver N460-2.
      Any of those will coordinate in your room and also the nursery.
      Congratulations and Happy Painting! 🙂

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  41. Lida says:

    Great information, thanks! I am searching for a neutral that will complement the existing soft, buttery yellow walls throughout my home. It feels like a cool yellow not warm. You can see the room I want to paint from the yellow entryway so I want them to flow. If I could describe the color I want it’d be light, gray brown taupe, with no pink undertones. I think the yellow and pink undertones would clash. Can you recommend a color family or undertone or paint colors that would work? Thanks!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Lida,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following gray/brown taupe to flow with your existing soft yellow.
      Almond Wisp PPU5-12, Spun Wool N220-1, Ashen Tan N220-2, Chic Gray PPU26-10.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  42. Felice says:

    Hi ! What color is the front door on this page? Thank you, Felice

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Felice,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Are you referring to the small icon to the right of the web page?

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  43. Mary Lou Brown says:

    My husband &I always use Behr paint inside. I would like to know if Siberian Ice and Treasure Map are compatible colors. I am going to use Treasure Map in the kitchen area and Siberian Ice in the larger portion of this open floor pan.
    Thank you for your advice.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Mary Lou,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Those two colors work perfectly and harmoniously together. 🙂

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  44. Tami says:

    I have warm sage green walls with organey oak wood trim. I want to paint my kitchen cabinets a gray (preferably lite). What color gray would work best.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Tami,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following grays – Classic Silver PPU18-11, Silver Marlin N360-2, Still Gray N360-3, Lunar Surface N460-2, Chic Gray PPU26-10.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  45. Mary Lou Brown says:

    Thank you Deanna,
    I have applied sample colors and am happy with the look.I understand about the light at different times of the day. We have a room painted a light shade of gray, on cloudy days or later in the day the color appears to be blue.

  46. Alexa Williams says:

    This is so helpful! My husband and I just started looking at samples for our living room/front room. We did some samples of Tin Foil, Pencil Sketch, and Dark Pewter on different walls but they’re all too close in shade to our blue toned furniture we have– now I know why! What gray would you suggest we use so we still have that gray look but it’s not so matchy matchy with our furniture?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Alexa,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!
      Those grays have a blue tone to them so perhaps a gray that is not so blue such as Lunar Surface N460-3, Chic Gray PPU26-10, Silver Marlin N360-2, Classic Silver PPU18-11, Greige PPU24-11.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  47. Jenni says:

    Wow. Wish I had this blog before posting my entire interior burnished clay. I have one room that this color actually looks grey but in every other room it has a mauve/purple look in certain lighting.
    I am ready to redo and want a grey/white color that does not have a mauve or blue look in certain lighting. I just want it to look white with hints of grey. My house is a one story, in the woods and it looks dark all the time. So I want a color that will brighten the entire house but not be stark white. I’ve tested just about every brand and color and cannot get past the blue tones and mauve tones. Any recommendations on a color that will work with my grey laminate and tile floors with acorn colored wood furnishings? Going for mid century modern which tends to be white walls most of the time.

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Jenni,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Sorry about that, under certain lighting it could appear as a mauve. We will recommend the following colors white-grays to brighten. White Moderne PPU24-14, Painter’s White PPU18-08, Seagull Gray N360-1.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  48. Emily says:

    Hi Deanna! Hopin you can help me. I’m looking for gray paint for my living room, dining room and second floor hallway which connects to the dining room so perhaps the dining room and second floor hallway should be the same or close colors? The issue I’m having is my I have dark accent furnitures when we painted the house to resemble old Italy feel and now we want modern farmhouse but warm, not muddy paint. My dining room furniture is dark wood, with dark wood blinds and gold curtains – this room will flow into the staircase for the second floor hallway. My living room has brown microfiber sofas,dark wood blinds, and wine curtains. No trim on the ceilings and the living room floor is covered with a Persian rug which has wine, light blue and gray in the design. The dining room floor is white tiles and the stairs and second floor hallway is dark wood floors. the samples I’ve painted on the wall are either too cool, muddy or do not complement my warm accents and furniture. Please help!!!!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Emily I will be happy to help! 🙂
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Yes you can indeed do the dining room and second hallway in the same color. So you would need two coordinating grays. One being for living room and other dining/hall.

      Greige PPU24-11/Chic Gray PPU26-10
      Graycloth PPU26-09/Smokey Wings PPU26-07
      Halation PPU26-15/Elemental Gray PPU26-06

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  49. Jessie says:

    Hi Quinn!
    I’m dead set on painting my master bathroom Graylac. Do you have any suggestions for a coordinating bedroom color? My floor in bedroom is a dark wood almost black. Thank you for your feedback and I love this post!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hi Jessie!,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      We will recommend the following colors for your bedroom to coordinate. 🙂
      Silver Bullet N520-2, Flannel Gray N520-3, White City N140-1 or Roman Plaster PPU7-10.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  50. Rachel says:

    Hello, i painted two bedrooms with sharkskin suit and hailstorm grey. i like the sharksuit …it looks grayish blue. Do you think Graceful Gray would be a complementary whole house color for LR, den and hallways? Planning to use wheat btead in laundry and bathrooms and smokestack in master bedroom. Thoughts, recommendations on the color scheme?? Thank you in advance!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Rachel,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Graceful Gray will work in your home. Although it does not have blue tone to it like Sharkskin Suit. If you would prefer more of a cooler gray then I will recommend Planetary Silver N460-2 or Classic Silver PPU18-11.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  51. Tama bradley says:

    We have a great room with tall ceilings,and painting Silver Bullet in the kitchen above our very very white cabinets,black appliances,black and white countertop ..Want to continue to paint the living room and dining room..What colors are super modern and clean to go with Silver Bullet? Our frontroom has a gray sectional couch and modern fireplace…afraid of more gray in the room..looking for a modern and clean look..ideas?? Does more gray look Good? White colors? Confused

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Tama,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      You cold carry on a darker version of the Silver Bullet into the dining room that is Flannel Gray N520-3 and paint the front room in a white such as White Moderne PPU24-14. This will also a good flow throughout your home.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  52. Melissa says:

    I have medium warm gray shower tiles in my small bathroom with no natural light. The floors are a slightly lighter “watercoIor” warm gray. I want to paint the walls in a very light warm grey color. What do you suggest? The color Greige blended well with the tile but it is too dark. What would be a few shades lighter with the same undertone?

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Melissa,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!
      We will recommend the following gray tones – White Moderne PPU24-14, Evening White N460-1 or Moth Gray N200-1.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

  53. Eric Torres says:

    I’m painting a bedroom I’m thinking about the color anonymous. What is the under tone? What are your thoughts on this paint color? Thanks!

    • Deanna Torrez says:

      Hello Eric,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!

      Anonymous is a great choice! it is a gray with a cool undertone to it.

      Due to differences in monitors and technical factors, the colors here cannot be represented with
      their true qualities. These color samples should only be considered a guide. Please refer to actual swatches for true color. We strongly recommend beginning with an 8 oz. sample container of the color you choose and apply it to a small area on your wall to ensure your satisfaction with the color choice. It is always a good idea to see how the light and ambient conditions affect the color at different points in the day.

      Colorfully Yours,
      Deanna

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