Shades of Gray.

One of the most time consuming choices you make when decorating is choosing your wall color.  I have never met a neutral I didn’t like, so during our renovation I jumped into this searching specifically for cool grays.  Here’s what I learned.

 

Seek Samples

some gray samples in the living room.

some gray samples in the living room.

 

Grays are a tough color to pick out. There is a fine line between “modern” and “warehouse”.  The only way to know for sure is to bring home samples and paint them on the wall so you can really get a feel for the undertone.  I used 14 samples to find the winning colors,  each wall got brushed with samples so I could stare at them and see them properly in different light.  The funny thing was, it was almost always the color I least expected to like that was the one I ended up loving.

 

Mind the Temperature

 

The temperature of a particular shade refers to its coolness or warmth, and this case that temperature was most prominently shown as the undertone of the gray.  And picking the right temperature can evoke very different feelings and have an enormous impact on a room.  It is just as important to choose the right depth of gray to adjust the overall feeling: Light gray walls feel crisp and airy, while darker tones create a sultry, sexy, cozy mood.  Go into the search knowing what kind of mood you’re trying to create.

 

Keep it Flat

 

This is not the time to go with eggshell or any type of sheen other than flat, otherwise your walls will look like a dumpster.  Historically, flat white wall paint is often avoided because it shows smudges and fingerprints, but flat grays actually hides flaws.  We used Sherwin Williams paint for the whole house (which I loved) and they make a Matte sheen that absolutely perfect for our grays.

 

What we Picked

Master Bedroom: Essential Gray 6002

Master Bedroom: Essential Gray 6002

 

Bathroom: Snowfall 6000

Bathroom: Snowfall 6000

 

Dining Room: Summit Gray 7669

Dining Room: Summit Gray 7669

 

Everywhere Else:  Eider White 7014

Everywhere Else: Eider White 7014

 

What I Learned About Sherwin Williams

 

This was my first time using Sherwin Williams paint and I learned two things:

  1. Their Matte paint dries horrifyingly streaky at first- it made me very, very nervous.  But after it has fully dried and cured for 24 hours it is spot on to the sample and has perfect wall coverage.
  2. They always have a 30% coupon floating around online, so look for that.  And also, if you’re doing a big job, they can put a note on your file to just give you 30% off every time you go in (you just have to ask nicely).

It has been a year since we painted, and I am still obsessed with our wall colors.  Every room has the feeling I wanted to capture, so our gray journey was a success!