Suggestions for a gray that will go with golden oak

pesky1February 15, 2011

I'm asking this on behalf of a friend. She's tried 3 different samples of gray paint, each with the wrong tone. One was too green, another too blue, the 3rd too muddy. She's got golden oak trim in the room she wants to paint, and the adjoining rooms all have blue paint.

She's looking for a gray that isn't too blue, but I'm just not sure what would work with that trim. I guess painting the trim is out of question right now. She also wants to use some bright greens as in this color scheme.

She's just picked up a color deck at SW, and tomorrow we're going to go thru it to see what we can find on it. Any suggestions?? Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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maybe go into the greige family of colors?

I have Pittsburgh Paints "Moth Grey" .. they say it's a grey, but it looks a lot more warm than that in my home.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:50AM
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Can't really offer any advice unless we know which grays she tried.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:13AM
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laura mcleod

Don't know about oak trim - but we have natural oak floors (with white trim) and have BM Revere Pewter in our master and love it. The grey is warm enough that it jibes with the floor - HTH!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:07PM
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I was always told grey's and taupe's are oak's worst enemies. Anyone else hear this?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Like laurainlincoln, we have natural oak floors (not stained), white trim, & BM Revere Pewter.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 4:22PM
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I wouldn't use that colour scheme with golden oak. Not the grey, anyhow.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 4:54PM
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I agree with Prairiedawn - gray is in but I would use it with BM Dove White woodwork.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 7:14PM
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I've never heard GreatGollyMolly's rule of thumb about grays and taupes being oak's worst enemies, but I can see where that would be true. I would steer clear of using any gray with oak, no matter how popular grays are at the moment.

What style/era is your friend's house? Natural oak was widely used in Victorian and Craftsman houses, so you may get some ideas for compatible colors if you look at historical color palettes for these styles, even if your friend's house is more modern. Every major paint manufacturer has a collection of historical colors.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 7:23PM
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Our 1904 4-square's color scheme is: golden oak floors, white-painted trim and brown/tan/red/beige walls. Mix with any shades of green or yellow, touches of any shade of blue. We have a blond brick FP that has cement gray-colored joints. I think grape-y grays can look dated, but the cement gray with a warm camel color looks very sophisticated. Is that what griege is?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:34PM
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greige = gray and beige :) a color that has hints of both...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:49PM
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Are you looking for a grey like the background in your "color scheme" pic? I used Ben Moore "Hot Spring Stones" in several rooms with oak floors and it's a lovely combination...

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 8:19AM
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Benjamin Moore San Antonio Gray coordinates nicely with blues,
and another vote for Revere Pewter.
If she wants to go taupier -
Benjamin Moore Baja Dunes or Pismo Dunes

Sherwin Williams - I like Anew Gray and Requisite Gray and Mindful Gray.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Isn't there a funcolors color, Powdered Pebbles, she recommends for wood trim?

Here is a link that might be useful: Ellen Kennon's Designer Palette

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 1:46PM
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I don't think any color of gray and golden oak will ever achieve anything more than an uneasy truce.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 3:37PM
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I have natural oak floors and am also considering a gray color. I'm wondering if it makes a difference if the oak in the room is furniture, trim or floor? I've always thought of the floor functioning more of a neutral--esp. if there is white trim separating it from the walls. Perhaps that is why some posters above find it works well in their homes with oak flooring and white trim and others who are of the opinion it does not work, are thinking more of combining oak furniture and gray or oak trim and gray. I think it makes a difference both how much oak is in the room and where it is located.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 10:03PM
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Any greyish color looks horrid with golden oak. Had the same situation and wound up painting the trim white. Looked beautiful.

I used BM Shaker Beige with golden oak, in the kitchen, which was filled with golden oak and it looked decent. I tried so many different colors and hated them all. Sold my house a year ago but here's a shot of the kitchen with all the golden oak with Shaker Beige Walls. My old house had golden oak everywhere.

Here's a shot of our Master painted Silver Sage. You can see the oak door and trim which looks terrible against the SS. We had painted the window and base trim white. We wound up painting the bedroom door. The room looked good after painting white. This shot was taken before we finished the painting and decorating but gives you an idea how greyish blue looks with golden oak.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 11:00PM
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Thanks for the pix of the grey with the oak. Her house was built in the early '90's, so the trim is that builder grade stuff. She's currently living with what she calls McDonalds colors...a deep gold with a red accent wall.

They have one of those huge cathedral windows in the bedroom which takes up most of one wall. It's trim is white, but the doors are that oak color, and I think the baseboards are also the oak.

She brought the color wheel in to work today but we didn't get a chance to sit down and go over it. Her DH now says he wants to go turquoise! She's about to give up! I'll give her all your suggestions, personally I think she'd be better of with another choice than gray, but we'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 12:01AM
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I think something along the lines of the silver sage would look good. BM's gray wisp is an exact match. I have that color and think it would look good with the oak. Wouldn't go with an all out gray color.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:26AM
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I'm a lone dissenter here, I guess. I love a nice moody gray -- sometimes I think it's the only color that can deepen the significance of/update golden oak. We have white oak floors and we chose greyed-out colors throughout the house. I love the juxtaposition--together they're way more than their individual parts. So please tell your friend that all may not be lost with the golden oak -- grey and gold do wonderful things together. She may end up loving it!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 6:44PM
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I agree with flyleft. Tell your friend to keep an open mind and try at least one dark, moody gray. I think Behr's Squirrel is a divine color, and so is Benjamin Moore's Chelsea Gray.


your question made me seek out one of my Kelly Hoppen decorating books. To quote her:

Taupe Loves:

*Pure white paint
*Dark stained wood
*Purple undertoned natural linens
*Stones that contain gray or blue, such as blue limestone
*The companionship of gray or brown
*Metals such as silver or chrome
*Dramatic accents of green, purple or red
*Clear glass

Taupe Hates:

*Anything that contains yellow such as buttery paint
*Golden woods, such as oak
*Yellow-hued linens
*Tan leathers
*Stones that contain beige
*Accessories that hint at yellow, such as dark cream porcelain

However, shades of taupe vary widely, so I don't believe in hard and fast rules about a color like that. And there is a difference between taupe and gray. Gray/yellow and gray and golden brown woods pair very well together. I agree with flyleft again--gold can do amazing things paired with gray.

I've linked to a room painted in Squirrel, a word by the way which has been totally ruined for me by the movie Up. It must always be said now in a talking dog voice with an upward doggie head tilt. ;)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:10PM
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We have organy oak, not sure how close it is to golden oak.

I use BM Taos Taupe in our bedroom and love it with the wood (and wood floor).

Plan to use Revere Pewter in the kitchen/dining room.

I think gray goes with a lot of colors. I've seen stunning combo of gray and yellow.

Now I'd say beige is more difficult since it has so many different undertones.

We also have RH Silver Sage in our office, while it's not my favorite color in the house (i prefer deeper than light color), I think it goes fine with our orange oak, though it looks better with the Ikea birch furniture we have.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:51PM
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bluemoon, it's the taupe I was thinking about. Thanks for that list, very interesting.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:33PM
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