Color Cheat Sheet: The 15 Most Perfect Gray Paint Colors — The Modern Palette


Picking paint for is no easy feat. First, you have to decide what color family with which you want to grace your walls. “A dark blue? Maybe a bright green? Oh wait, no….blush! Actually, let’s go with gray.” You can go up, down and side to side on a color wheel, inevitably going cross-eyed with all the options. Secondly, you have to pick how light or moody you want to go, and whether you want something that’s warmer or cooler. The specific shade can make all the difference in ending up with a crisp, modern space or something that just feels… off.

Don’t even mention figuring out what these colors will actually look like on a swatch as large as your living room wall (because the variation between what you see online, in store on a paint chip, and then IRL in action can sometimes be quite shocking).

But, fear not! We have rounded up fifteen of our very favorite gray paint colors. These have been tested and approved (by us, by designer friends, by known bloggers, by homeowner friends) and are sure to not disappoint

Plus, we put each paint color on its own next to the online swatch and the provided hardware store paint chip so you could easily see and compare the shade against itself.

Ultimately, you’ll always want to test a paint color in your home (ideally on several walls in the same room—the way sunlight and incandescent light can change everything!), but consider this your little color cheat sheet.

Okay, before reading another word, make sure to pin this. Go ahead, we’ll wait, because you will need to reference this eventually, and you’ll be glad you saved it when you did!

Now, to take a look at each of these individually:

Seagull Gray is a great middle-of-the-road gray. Not too dark, not too light, not too cool, not too warm. It’s crisp and modern without demanding too much attention.

Similar to Behr’s Seagull Gray, Shoreline by Benjamin Moore is just a tad warmer and perfect for a whole house.

Try something a little cooler and moodier, though don’t worry, it’s not that dark. It’s an amazing color for furnishings or cabinetry, as well!

Coventry Gray is part of Benjamin Moore’s Historic Color collection. It was released in 1976 to celebrate the US bicentennial, but still feels completely fresh. This is a shade that will likely last in your home without feeling tired for decades to come.

An interior designer favorite. Pick up any shelter magazine, and you’ll likely see Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White (which is actually not white at all, but a lovely, taupe-y shade of light gray) mentioned numerous times.

This mid-range rich gray is another favorite of the design crowd (obviously, including us). Wonderful for a small bathroom or bedroom to add a little mood. It feels lived in and traditional.

A personal favorite, Cloud by Dunn-Edwards is cool and just the right amount of tint.

If you’re looking for a nearly white gray (that’ll still pop against white base boards), this is your color.

This putty-like gray looks fantastic with crisp white paneling throughout your home!

On the cooler end, and still light enough to feel totally unobtrusive.

Nearly beige, but with just enough gray to feel modern (hence its name!), this is the ideal paint color for anyone looking for a warm, welcoming color that isn’t beige.

This warm shade is a great all-around mid-range gray and works with tons of different styles.

About a shade lighter than Rocky Bluffs, but with all the same warmth (without going too warm).

For an easy-to-manage deep, blue-ish gray, we recommend Valspar’s Vessel Gray.

Donald Kaufman Color may be a new brand name for you, but the New York-based company makes fantastic quality paints. DKC-7 is one of their customer’s favorite neutrals.

Do you have any of these colors in your own home? Do you have another favorite gray you can vouch for? Chime in in the comments!

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