Help Picking Neutral Color

Rob FlemingJune 24, 2012

Hi All:

I am new to this forum and am hoping for some help. House is a large Craftsman/traditional in Atlanta. We just bought it and are having the entire inside repainted. My DW has thrown her hands up and painter is very good but little help in picking colors and it is unfortunately falling in my lap, which I find overwhelming and so, I am hoping for some guidance/help. The house is fairly large (4400 sf) and two levels. The main floor is pretty much open floor plan and the front door opens to a two story great room which does not get a tremendous amount of light. The floors are being stained Jacobean (very dark and they have to be as they are dark now). I have picked Porter linen white which is already up for ceiling (flat) and trim (semi-gloss) and I think it looks great. I am at a loss though of picking a neutral color that is sufficiently darker than the linen white but light enough to go with the Jacobean floor which is run throughout the house and lack of light on main level. Painter suggested Benjamin Moore Grant Beige HC83 (which I think is way too dark); Tapestry Beige OC-32 (which honesly looks too white, almost as light as the linen white trim) and Rice Grain 6155 (which I like alot but have chosen to use in the master bedroom as it has a bit of green in it and goes well with some green in the tile in the master bath). I am not interested in a green for the main neutral. Can anyone suggest a light tan or similar to use thoughout the whole house that we can play off for the kitchen and bedrooms. Perhas a tan/kahki? Thanks for the help. Oh yeah, and of course, I am under the gun as the painters are waiting on me.

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Personally, I like the Grant Beige. On my monitor, it has less green than Tapestry Beige and I like its warmer tone.

I've linked to a site that has photos of rooms done in the HC83.....hope it helps.
If you're still not sure, ask your BM store if it has an in-house decorator/advisor. If so, they may be able to help you in more color choices, and especially colors that work best in your lighting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Examples of HC83

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Check out this site, nice colors.

Here is a link that might be useful: paint colors

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Rob Fleming

@annz. Thx. Very helpful. I think I like the Grant Beige too, I wonder if they can make it a shade lighter

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:21PM
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Take a look at BM Manchester Tan. It's a wonderful neutral.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:54PM
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I am really liking Muralo MW- Fine Silk as a neutral. The Michelle Winick Color Collection has a painted board of it the size of a letter size paper that is so beautiful, rich and neutral without being too dark.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Muralo MW- Fine Silk" is in the picture below when you click the link. I bought the 8.5" X 11" painted poster board at a local Benjamin Store for $2.99.

Here is a link that might be useful: Muralo MW- Fine Silk as a neutral Picture

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Is linen white a Porter paints color, or did you have another brand's color mixed in Porter paints? I tried to find an example of Porter linen white online so I'd have a better idea of what could be too light or dark next to it, and I didn't have any luck.

Since the other colors recommended here are Benjamin Moore colors, I might as well throw White Sand into the mix. I seriously considered it but decided I wanted to go even lighter. Manchester Tan is a nice, versatile color, too. Of course, you'll want to compare these to your trim to make sure you don't end up with weird clashing undertones.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 11:38PM
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I was considering White Sand also but then thought it was a little bit too gray but maybe I should also consider it again if someone would share some pictures.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Lynn, I sampled White Sand but gave DH the option between that and Sail Cloth; he picked Sail Cloth, trying to keep as much light as possible.

I found a nursery painted in White Sand that looks about like I remember it looking in my house, though (click through to see how it looks different in some shots):

And here's a pic from the radio free blog that convinced me to try Sail Cloth in the first place:

Generally, I love the Sail Cloth. Sometimes, though, it seems a bit too light and I wish I'd gone with White Sand. However, I like the Sail Cloth best on the side of the room with the white cabinets, so maybe I'll be happier with it over all when I finally finish painting my trim Cloud White. White Sand I could see having a faint hint of gray (greige, really) in some lighting. Sail Cloth doesn't, though; it's warmer; my contractor called it 'a kinda linen color'.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 12:58AM
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We used SW Grecian Ivory as a neutral for the rooms that needed a warmer color. Our floors are 75% Jacobean 25% walnut, so not too different than yours. Here are a couple of pics of it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Jessicaml, thank you so much for sharing the two pictures! I like like the nursery with the Sand White but I love the Sail Cloth wall color. I will go get some sample paint chips tomorrow and if it looks nice in my bathroom, I will try out a sample since that is the look I am going for which is very neutral but warm.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:07AM
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I like the White Sand posted above. Haven't seen that color before.

I have Sherwin Williams Believable Buff and Camelback throughout my house, and they look very nice with our antique white trim and dark walnut stained floors. Whole Wheat is the color between the two.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:16AM
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Juddgirl2, any pictures of your paint colors? I still like the BM Sand White but I want a little less gray.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:00AM
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lynn, the color in my foyer is Believable Buff - this room gets lots of light so it's a bit lighter here than in the darker hallway. It's a pretty creamy yellowish tan.

I used Camelback in my dining and living rooms. It changes color throughout the day, but I'd say in my house it's a darker yellow based tan with a slight green undertone depending on the light.

My photography's not the best so I'm not sure these pics reflect the true colors.

Believable Buff:


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 2:45AM
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Here's the BM Manchester Tan.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:33AM
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I dont have a picture handy but BM SHAKER BEIGE is a wonderful neutral.After agonizing over neutrals being too brown, too pink, too gray, for me in my home this one was it. I have lived with it for a few years now and it continues to grow on me.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:21AM
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Sorry I'm a bit late posting, but have had out of town guests. Have you looked at BM Stone House? Most of my main rooms are painted in this neutral beige/tan color with Decorator White trim. For some reason which I can't recall, I didn't go with Shaker Beige. May have been lighter than I wanted.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 3:40PM
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My main rooms are White Sand. I've had that color for years. It goes with just about everything in the spectrum.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 4:01PM
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Rob Fleming

Hi everyone. I am the OP. Thanks for all of the great ideas. I decided to go with Elmira White for the main area with some of the rooms switching to Grant Beige (which is the next shade up from Elmira White). It's not up yet, but that is my decision and I'm sticking to it! Thanks again for all the help.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Juddgirl2, I really like the Believable Buff. Maybe I will try that paint color in my powder room downstairs. Thank you! All my bathrooms need to be repainted.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Auggie, I would love to see your pics of Elmira White and Grant Beige! These are the two colors I'm going with for trim and walls respectively and I would LOVE to see pics of your place!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Rob Fleming

Murphy66: I will try to take some pics and post. But, I will say that of the two, my favorite is Grant Beige. I wound up using GB in some rooms and Elmira White in others. The problem was that the Grant Beige was looking very dark and brown in some rooms because of lighting so in those rooms, went with EW which is a shade lighter. If you have nice lighting, I would go with the Grant Beige, it is a beutiful color that is a neutral but has a lot of depth and color in it. It did not occur to me to use the Grant Beige on the walls and EW on the trim, but that might look pretty cool.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Candice Olson's favorite: BM Pale Oak

Here is a link that might be useful: pale oak

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:17PM
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Bugbite, I love the BM Pale Oak with the BM Super White Trim. I will have to get a sample! Thank you. I also want to repaint my Master Bedroom that right now is Ralph Lauren Deep Cream. I would like less yellow.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:08AM
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Lynn2006, We are leaning towards Pale Oak as well. I came back this morning to delete the link because so many monitors will not show it correctly.
We were going to use SW Kilin Beige in the LR and DR. SW Kiliun Beige is their #1 color. But I am wondering if that type of beige is becoming yesterday's color. It seems current tastes are moving into colors that Darryl Carter picks. See link.
Candice Olson, in my opinion, is by far the most tasteful designer on HGTV. But I don't agree with all her colors at BM, like the rust in a kitchen. But Darryl Carter is right on, in my opinion. But his stuff can be very subtle. Bought all his chips home two days ago. If you want his colors you have to write down the DC number and your local store will convert it to their color.
I do really believe we will use Pale Oak somewhere in our house. Maybe LR, DR, Master bedroom.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Colors?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:57AM
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