The Best Gray Paint Colors In the Universe

The Best Gray Paint Colors In the Universe


best gray paint colors

One day you are going to be standing in front of the paint chip section in the paint store…..paralyzed with indecision because you come to the undeniable conclusion….

…..that a gray is not always a gray.

I know….totally earth shattering.

And that sometimes a gray looks perfect in the store….so you gleefully order a gallon and rush home to paint your dining room…..

…..only to realize that it’s too pink.

Or too green.

Or too light.

Or too dark.

And you will hang your head and sigh with frustration.

That sigh is EXACTLY why I wrote this post.

Because all grays are not…..nor ever will be…..created equal.

And I’ve spent more hours painting grays on a wall than I even want to think about and along the way I’ve learned a few things.

So here….in no particular order….

….are 5 of the best gray paint colors in the universe.

ideas for best gray paint colors

1.  Mindful Gray SW 7016

When you look at the paint chip in the paint store….it will look khaki.

It’s not.

This is my go-to gray.  This is the gray that trumps all others when you just don’t know where to turn.  It’s the perfect not-too-green-not-too-pink gray…..just right in the middle of the color spectrum.

Otherwise known as the equator of grays.

best gray paint colors diy

2.  Jogging Path SW 7638

Start with SW Mindful Gray and add a hint of khaki and you have Jogging Path.

I love it as a base coat for any painted furniture project.

It looks amazing with navy and white and reminds me of the stones down by the lake.

hint:  when you paint it in a room with white moldings it looks darker than the paint chip.

best gray paint colors ideas

3.  Fawn Brindle SW 7640

This is the darkest of all of my favorite grays.

It’s perfect as an accent color to create the look of weathered wood and you can layer it with SW Rice Grain for the perfect gray/khaki combination.

diy best gray paint colors

4.  Sedate Gray SW 6169

This is my stripes paint.  It makes the perfect gray stripes when you paint it on a white background.

It also has a hint of khaki and it’s the perfect light gray when painted on a wall in a room with lots of sunlight.

hint:  when you paint it alone without the white it tends to go beige.

five best gray paint colors

5.  Accessible Beige SW 7036

This is really more of a beige than a gray….but I love it.  When you paint a wall….it takes on that perfect almond gray color that looks so fresh and current.

It’s a great option if you aren’t really sure if gray is your thing….and you like a hint of color without it being too overwhelming.

the best gray paint colors in the universe

And there you have it.

The best gray paint colors in the universe.

The honor roll of gray paint right at your finger tips.

So pin it and face that paint chip stand with confidence and remember….

….there’s no sighing in painting.  🙂

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  1. Hi KariAnn,
    Well I’m relieved. You gave us 5 shades of gray….and not 50 shades of gray…. Baadabing.

  2. I love the grays and I will definitely pin. Now, about the board in the background. Did you do the weathering on it? Gray and what other colors if you did? I hate to say this but I’m easily distracted that’s why I kept looking at the board in the background. I guess it’s because I’ve been looking for weathered boards. My neighbor has this really neat weathered sorta lean-to I’ve been tempted to sneak on over there and get some of the lower boards. I don’t think he’d miss them. He’s an absent minded retired doctor. That isn’t very nice of me is it?? I’d better just weather my own boards. So have you weathered boards??

  3. Great list! I just have to suggest a #6. Versatile Gray, also SW (but I don’t have the number in front of me). We’re building, and our contractor only left room in the price for ONE color. This was my choice.. and it goes with absolutely everything. I have all sorts of fan decks and their designer box. That color was my favorite.

  4. LYNDA Kling :

    Now I have to get those paint samples at SW and trot them over to Benjamin Moore to have them copy the colours!

  5. Thank you so much for this list!! I do have a question and wanted to pick your brain for a minute…we recently moved into a spec home and all of the moldings and doors are painted cream, not bright white. It has made paint choices more difficult, but i do love the warmth of the cream. Do you feel any of these grays would work with cream or just turn it more yellow looking?

    • I had Navajo White for a trim, creamy ivory color, beautiful. I paired it with SW Analytical Grey. I think I had sample jars of all the colors that Kari Anne just suggested plus Analytical Grey. They all had their merits in different times of the day and I just couldnt decide. I figured that I was being way to “Analytical” with my decision, so that was what I decided. It is perfect with the creamy trim!

  6. Thanks for this list Kari-Anne! I just pinned. Would love if you would link this to Friday Favorites ! It’s such a great post and I love the background of photos! laura

  7. PS who designed your blog? I need a facelift (my blog, i’m not there yet) ! laura

  8. Awesome choices Kari-Anne. There is one more I would add to your list…Repose Gray SW7015. Love Sherwin Williams paint. Now could you help me out with whites! Two rooms in my home are Repose Gray and one is Mindful Gray. Love the soothing effect.

  9. I found SW Knitting Needles to be a great gray color and will use in our new house. I’ll be using blues and greens in decor. It is very close to Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. Always love seeing new colors!

  10. Great list! Thank you so much for sharing. I am in the process of painting my entire house, and I spent hours last week sorting through colors trying to find a TRUE gray and colors that would transition well with it from room to room. This post could have saved me so much time! I am going to SW today to get these samples.

  11. Hi Kari Anne!
    I know that feeling of “oh the pressure to choose the right color”!
    When we built our lake house, we painted all of the open interior Sedate Gray. We had lots of light and it was a great restful color I could live with.
    Now I’m in another home and have to start choosing color again : )
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jerri C. TN :

    My main living areas are painted in Accessible Beige & I LOVE it…. it soft and soothing with just the right blend of greige. I just painted our master bath in Gray Owl (BM color mixed at SW) @ 75% and it is GLORIOUS mixed with the marble accents & white subway tile.

  13. these paint colors what paint company are you using?

  14. Thank you so much for this post! I have been struggling to decide on a gray-greige for my living room and just couldn’t make up my mind. Your comments about each color were so helpful. Again, thank you for the insight!

  15. Ahhh gray the color we all want to achieve, the one we slave over and when it’s right it’s perfect! LOVE!

  16. Where was this post 2 weeks ago? Yes, I am the one who bought a gallon of the “perfect” gray from the little chip in the store, only to end up with a room that is basically purple. Sigh. My poor son.

  17. This is SO helpful, KariAnne. I’ve painted whole rooms gray to discover that it wasn’t at all what I wanted and had to repaint. That’s about the time I found you and your tips for choosing a paint color post. Didn’t think I was a gray fan until I tried KariAnne’s Mindful Gray (that’s what I call it!). Now I love gray and will be anxious to try the others you list. Thank you so much!

  18. What timing! I was just reading about grays in your forum two nights about, and yesterday during my errand-running, stopped by three paint stores to collect sample cards of all the grays. 🙂 Thank you!

  19. Thanks for the color choices, especially the color for the stripes! Is it just me, or do you also see a person in the the little house on the paint chip with mindful gray? It looks like a woman with black hair looking out! 😀

    • Oh KariAnne, I wish I would have asked for your advice on gray paint two months ago when we thought we were painting my teenage sons room gray! It looks grayish certain times of the day and then it look lavender the rest of the time ;-(.

      Thank you for this post…I would like to try one of your suggestions next time.

  20. Thank you. We will almost certainly be starting some remodeling projects soon. I want a clean, neutral look with specific pops of color in accents only. I have custom curtains already made (previous home) and I believe you just saved me a ton of time looking for the paint to match them.

    FYI-Winter Mood is a great soft white for anyone looking for a white.

  21. Thank you. I’m so dreadful with picking paint colors. The last gray I picked for my kitchen had lavender tones that I could of sworn weren’t there on the paint chip at the store, lol.

  22. I have accessible beige in my kitchen. I loved it so much, I painted our dining room….the livingroom is next! We used both accessible beige and jogging path in the Syracuse Parade of Homes a few years ago…perfect warm grays.

  23. I will join the chorus and say … where were you 8 months ago? I had no problems picking out cabinets or countertops for my kitchen reno, but paint colors??? SOO hard. I wanted a subtle greyish/beige-ish color. I’m actually pretty happy with what I ended up with (sorry, don’t remember what it was and am too lazy to go check right now) but the agony of choosing …. arghhh! I will bookmark this post for future reference. Love it when you help us out like this.

  24. Almost my whole house is painted in Modern Gray and I love it! It really is the perfect gray.

  25. I have 3 of the 5 in my house and I couldn’t agree more.

  26. Thank you so much! I love the exterior color of your home also. Is it one of those grays?

  27. We recently painted our living room, after waiting almost 8 yrs due to my inability to decide on a color. I kept changing my mind. We happened to go into TJMaxx and I found some curtain panels on sale. They are a almost light bluish gray with white damask design all over them. For some reason this hit me right so I bought the curtains, only 2 pkgs of 2 panels each left.
    I usually make my own curtains but they seemed to really hit a note with me. Then I had to find paint. Got low voc paint at True Value, lovely very light almost white gray, what an incredible difference in our living room. Sigh. Our l/r tends to be a bit dark at times of day so the gray lightened it up so nicely, looks so pretty now. I’ve used couple shades darker gray on some picture frames, also 2 shades of aqua and it looks so beach/cottage. I’m so glad I found that color, it was on sale and close to home to get it, we live few miles west of Grand Junction but the True value is about 5 miles from us, yeahoo. We have a single wide (16×80) mfg. home so living room, kitchen and mud room share a common wall.
    This post will be extremely helpful with helping me plan other rooms. Finally. When we first bought this place I bought paint but since have totally changed what I like, thanks to two years of being exposed to extremely talented bloggers. Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks. we’re in our early 70’s. Since we didn’t use the paint it got put out in shed, frozen so not useable any longer. Glad I can’t use it, don’t think I’d like it at all.
    Thank the dear Lord for so many extremely talented bloggers, I have learned so much. Pinning this wonderful post. Happy summer days

  28. Hi KariAnne…thanks for the info! Question…do you have any rooms painted with the jogging path? I’m trying to find some real world examples and I’m coming up short. I’m thinking I like this for a bedroom.
    Your help would be appreciated!