Dreamy. Soft. Calming. Tranquil. These words are spot-on when describing the color gray. Interiors that are swathed in the neutral hue have the ability to ease nerves and banish stress. And while it's an incredibly easy color to design with, it can be tough to sift through the thousands of swatches and paint samples as you attempt to track down the perfect shade of gray.
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But like all paint colors, some gray hues can display warm (yellow, beige, or brown) or cool (green, blue, and purple) undertones. Believe it or not, these color variations can make a world of difference in your space. This begs the question: Are there gray paint colors without undertones? Well, unfortunately, the answer is no because the base colors of gray (black and white) are both created by mixing other colors together. Red, green, and blue create white, and red, blue, and yellow make black. So it's no surprise that gray paint colors have undertones. However, the news isn't all bad, there are shades that have very minimal undertones. Just keep in mind that lighting and surrounding colors can affect how each shade of gray will look in your house.
Sara Hillery of Sara Hillery Interior Design is partial to Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore and agrees that there are "seemingly hundreds of variations of gray thanks to its rise in popularity in recent years." She says these can include blue-gray, green-gray, greige, "and the list goes on."
“When searching for the perfect true gray, consider comparing it to a white surface,” Hillery advises. “The contrast tends to reveal the hidden tones within the darker gray paint.”
If you're on the hunt for the best gray paint colors, little to no undertones included, we're here with this helpful list.
10 Gray Paint Colors With Little to No Undertones
1. Farrow & Ball Mole's Breath
Ashley of The Gold Hive turned to Mole's Breath from Farrow & Ball for a "true" gray paint color that's a bit darker, to highlight the wainscoting in this bedroom. The blue decorative touches throughout the room, such as the bedding and books, contrast perfectly against the cool gray backdrop sans blue undertones.
2. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
A neutral shade of gray is always a good choice for a living room, as proven by this space from Erin of Sunny Circle Studio. The light gray paint color aptly named Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore plays nicely with the natural light pouring into the room. With no blue undertones, the shade offers an ideal juxtaposition against the blue area rug.
3. Benjamin Moore Graystone
For a light gray paint color that will make your built-in cabinets pop, look no further than Graystone, the Benjamin Moore shade that Kristen and Erin of House of Jade Interiors used in this charming setup. It acts as a lovely neutral alongside other subtle hues, not to mention how stunning it looks paired with antique brass cabinet pulls.
4. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
The perfect gray does not ex… oh wait, the perfect gray does exist! Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore is always a home run for interiors walls, and there's hardly a single undertone in sight. And while the paint color happens to look idyllic in every space, from kitchens to living rooms, we are especially fond of it in this dining nook designed by Jillian Lare.
5. Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray
Looking like the pinnacle of traditional gray paint colors, Brady Tolbert transformed his living room with the help of Pavilion Gray from Farrow & Ball. Choosing such a trend-proof shade means you'll be less likely to tire of it any time soon. Plus, you'll never have to worry that it won't complement your decor.
6. Farrow & Ball Lamp Room Gray
Perhaps you're searching for a "true" gray for your kitchen cabinets? Allow us to introduce you to Lamp Room Gray by Farrow & Ball. Christina and Renee of Park & Oak Interior Design paired the cool hue with a bright white subway tile backsplash and white marble countertops, resulting in a winning combination.
7. Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray
For a dining room accent wall that won't overpower your space, you simply can't go wrong with Sherwin-Williams' Aloof Gray. Interior designer Emily Henderson paired the subtle wall color with stark white picture frames, so you can see that there are hardly any undertones of green, blue, or purple.
8. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
Gray can also be used to highlight doors throughout your home à la this space by Lauren and Robert of Bless'er House. Just keep in mind that when you pair a paint color like Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore next to a white surface, you will really be able to the blue and purple undertones.
9. Sherwin-Williams Functional Gray
For a darker shade of gray, look to Functional Gray from Sherwin-Williams. Haneen of Haneen's Haven used it as the backdrop to this gallery wall. And since it has green undertones, it works well with the green and blue colors in the oil paintings.
10. Valspar New York City Winter
Cassandra of Coco Kelley went with a whisper-soft shade of gray, New York City Winter by Valspar, for her living room. You can just barely see the gray wall color when it's placed alongside the gleaming white trim, keeping the space feeling light and bright, yet far from boring.
Things to Consider Before Committing to a Gray Paint Color
When considering various shades of "true" gray, there are a few elements that you also need to think about before you head to the paint store:
- overall color scheme
- floor, countertop, wall tile colors
- amount of natural and artificial light
No matter what elements are present, Hillery believes that gray paint with little to no undertones can be an "instant grounding element" in a room full of neutrals.
"The cooler reflection of gray mixes well with warm neutrals to create a play of warm and cool tones to keep the room from falling flat visually," she says. "The varying neutrals work well with an array of colors, whether you have a beautiful view out your window [that] you want to highlight or [you] just like to switch up your art for the seasons."
"True" Gray Paint Colors
Gray paint colors with very minimal or subtle undertones are no-fuss options that will work in any space. They partner well with every design style, can act as an accent wall, and will provide an idyllic backdrop for art.
Remember, if you want to find out if your gray paint has any warm or cool undertones, compare it to a white surface. This will help you spot those pesky undertones immediately.
Before you commit to a color, take the time to paint a sample on the wall in your space, and live with it for a few days. Pay attention to how the color changes at different times of the day and night.
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