Need help with selecting paint colors in the gray family

VaBeachGirlApril 3, 2011

I guess it's my fault for bragging too soon - but the paint colors I selected for our downstairs remodel are just not cutting it after seeing samples painted on the wall. (Thank goodness my contractor insisted they only purchase one gallon each and paint samples before beginning!)

I had selected BM-173 Edgecomb Gray for the main color to be used on all walls in the open family/living room, kitchen, laundry, and back hall; and BM-172 Revere Pewter for a darker accent color one the east facing wall in the living/family room and the breakfast nook and downstairs bathroom.

Now that they are on the wall, they seem 1) too beigy and 2) much lighter than I had expected from the sample card.

I am looking for a truer gray in medium light for the main color and medium to medium dark for the accent color. Our trim will all be painted off-white, the floors will be natural brazilian walnut with a gray/green tile in the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets are a light stain maple with walnut stain on the island.

BM Colors I am considering:

Main color: fieldstone, cape may cobblestone, horizon gray, silver chain,

Accent color: sabre gray, silver fox, bear creek

Any suggestions and/or pictures are greatly appreciated!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Might this help?? If you go to the website posted w/each picture, it might give the brand/color of paint used. ;o)

Here is a link that might be useful: gray rooms

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've painted a bedroom with Silver Fox. I love it and thought that the lighter versions would be pretty also.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My kitchen is BM stonington gray (a medium-light gray) with cloud white trim. My master bath is BM coventry gray - one down on the color strip from stonington. A true darker medium gray. They don't look like much on the paint chip but beautiful on the walls and true grays.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did BM ozark shadows and it reads as a true medium grey in the lighting in our dining room. I plan on going up and down a shade for the surrounding rooms. We tried BM pigeon grey first and it totally looked blue in our lighting.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After reviewing suggestions and pictures of rooms found from various decorating web sites, I have decided to get samples of the following colors and then let the chips fall where they may :-)

Light tone: Gray Wisp and Stonington Gray
Dark tone: Sabre Gray and Coventry Gray

Painters are supposed to start (ceilings first) on Tuesday so I need to buy the samples and paint swatches tomorrow before making a quick decision.

Thanks for all your help!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 12:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't have any paint color suggestions, just stopping by to say hi! I live in VB too. Nice weather we're having this morning, yes?

Good luck with your selections. I've always liked Stonington Gray, but I tend to gravitate toward the HC colors. Who is doing your painting?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just my two cents -- Gray Wisp is really blue, not a true gray.

I have heard (somewhere) that Horizon Gray is a "true" gray. If that's too light, you might look at the darker colors on the strip.

I am painting my bedroom Revere Pewter. I already have it in our master bath, and love it. I was looking at gray blues (hence my familiarity with Gray Wisp and many others) but decided to go with the RP.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have gray wisp, coventry gray, and silver fox in my house.

Gray wisp has alot of blue-green in it. Coventry gray is really pretty too-there is a little blue in it as well, but it's grayer than gray wisp.

Silver fox in definately a greige.It has a tint of purple that's more apparent in natural light.

Someone on gardenweb used revere pewter but had the paint store darken it- I wish I had done that. It was really pretty.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have BM Stonington Grey in my half bath and love it!!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whew! This has gotten quite crazy... I currently have 7 different 'grays' on my walls right now. I had started with Revere Pewter and Edgecomb gray thinking I was pretty spiffy having made a paint decision in a snap. I had even painted small samples - but apparently, they were either not big enough or I did not view in the correct light because I really wanted a 'grayer' gray and was not happy with them after the painter painted large swaths on the walls.

So this morning I purchased four sample colors. After talking to the young man at the paint store about my dilemma he had suggested a gray with blue undertones. I was not quite certain this would work and so also purchased 2 other more neutral grays (or so I thought.) The colors I painted from that expedition are: Winter Solstice/Englewood Cliffs and Harbor Gray/Galveston Gray. Winter Solstice is pretty - but comes across very blue-gray and Englewood Cliffs is *very* dark. I had read a post about grays appearing lighter on the samples and so I tried a shade slightly darker than I wanted hoping it would even out... well - that was sure a miss :-/

The Harbor Gray is pretty much a true light gray where it was painted but the Galveston was very dark - almost a muddy charcoal like color - again I had overcompensated.

So, back to the store I went again and got lots of samples, took them back to work so I could take a bit more time before deciding and could get some opinions. It seems to have done the trick because I believe I have settled on two colors - Stonington Gray and Sea Haze. Oddly enough, I expected these to read a bit greener than they actually do in my rooms. Either way, I am pleased and have colors for the painter - just in time. I will try to post pictures once the rooms are painted.

Thanks to all for all the advice :-)

@stinky-gardener - Hello! Yes - it was a lovely day! Wish I could have been outdoors more. The painter is a sub-contractor for my GC. I think the name is Saldana.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 6:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just following up with some pictures. I chose the BM Stonington Gray (HC-170) and the BM Sea Haze (2137-50)

The pictures show a slight hint of green, but in person it really does look a truer gray. I am very pleased with how it turned out.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just learned how to add the pictures - so here they are...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 1:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The grays look lovely, calm and soothing.......please post a picture when your furniture is in.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This bathroom is not-quite-stonington gray (they mis-mixed it...but I liked it so well I kept it) with Mascarpone trim:

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I recently painted our MB gray and I am pretty upset at how purple it is. I held the sample cards up to yellow toned browns, I wanted to avoid green grays. It showed very true brown gray, which was what I wanted.

Up on the's almost lilac! I'm so frustrated. I can't recall the paint name (purchased at Lowes) but I tell you, I've never, ever had so much trouble picking out a color. It is HARD to get the right shade of gray.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

VaBeachGirl -

Your stonington gray looks great. What a beautiful color. We chose it for our kitchen renovation a few years ago and that - along with the coventry gray in our master bath - are the two color decisions I have never regretted. I can't imagine getting tired of them. I am now in the process of repainting the entire downstairs in an effort to achieve the same vibe I get from the kitchen (although with ivory, not gray.)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HondaGirl - I will definitely post more pictures as things progress. The tile floor in the kitchen is now in and just needs to be grouted. The cabinets are supposed to go in Tuesday - but I don't think the floor will be done in time - so probably Wednesday.

Overall, I am very pleased with the grays - which really look much less greenish in person. I still have many decisions to make before we are fully complete with this remodel. Lighting for foyer as well as other decorating details.

Pesky1 - one thing I found was that there is no substitute for trying the colors out in the room in varying lights before painting the whole thing. And the amount on the wall really needs to be at least 12x12 inches - and preferably a bit larger to get the best effect.

Here are a couple of links on selecting grays which you may find helpful:

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:29PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Open Floor Plans: Will The Pendulum Eventually Swing The Other Way?
What do you think? Yes, I realize that there are many...
Help me find a new coffee table
Just before the Houzz migration, GWers helped me decide...
MBR has been painted Wheeling Neutral!
Here's an update on our MBR paint color. Earlier this...
Anyone watch Fixer Upper on HGTV?
Some of the wife's decorating choices are a little...
Could we talk about living with white walls?
I'll admit it. I'm really drawn to pictures of rooms...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™