I haven’t read “Fifty Shades of Grey” or seen the movie and really have no desire to know what E L James is referencing in the novel. If you’ve ever been to the paint aisle of your local hardware store, you know the fifty shades of gray that I’m talking about. Crayola’s big box of crayons has nothing on the colors in the paint aisle.
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 an still looks great today. But, I’m a momtographer and I love taking pictures of my kids and taupe walls cast an awful yellow glow on their beautiful faces. So, 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 varying responses, 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.
I decided on “the best gray paint color to your whole house” based on my exhaustive research and knew I had to have it. Once my new house was completed, I decided to pick up a few samples and paint some swatches on the wall and I stumbled into a huge lesson.
How do you pick the perfect gray paint color? Paint a large sample on the wall and look at it during the day and in the evening to see how it looks.
It’s amazing how different the paint samples I chose looked on the paint chip, on Pinterest and in real life on my wall. Once I had my samples painted, “the best gray paint color to your whole house” was actually my least favorite paint and I immediately ruled it out. I still love the color and it looks stunning in other people’s homes, but on my walls it just didn’t work.
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 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.