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Vancouver Colour Consultant: The Best Gray Paint Colours from the Experts

By 10/06/2011January 28th, 201753 Comments

Stacy Naquin from Stacy Naquin Interiors rounded up the best Grays for us in this post below:




What do you think of when you hear the colour Gray?


Dull – Dingy – Boring?!

Fresh – Dramatic – Clean?!

Open any shelter magazine or walk down Madison Avenue because GRAY is the trendy color of choice! From fashion to interiors, gray is all the rage, and if done properly, can create an amazing space!

We’ve asked several designers, bloggers and DIYers to tell us what their favorite gray is and why. Each featured designer participated in one of Maria’s True Colour Expert Workshops.

“One of my most adored grays is HC-169 Coventry Gray. My favorite color is blue and I love how this gray has such an evident blue undertone. It is modern, fresh, and can be used as a shy neutral or a pop of color.” Coley Hueske


BM Coventry Gray HC-169

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray HC-169

“I love HC-168 Chelsea Gray because it’s a warm, sophisticated gray with just the right amount of brown in it. Paint it on the walls in an eggshell finish for a sexy and dramatic bedroom. I’ve also used it on a ceiling paired with HC-170 Stonington Gray on the walls. Looks fabulous with pops of bright yellow or fuschia!” Kristie Barnett


Bm Chelsea Gray HC-168

Benjamin Moore HC-168 Chelsea Gray

“Kendall Charcoal is a rich gray with lots of depth and character and can be teamed up with so many different colours. Although it’s dark, when paired with light colours, it really shines – bringing a warmth and liveliness to all colors.” Jil Sonia McDonald

BM Kendall Charcoal HC-166

Benjamin Moore HC-166 Kendall Charcoal

“One of my favorite grays is Sherwin-Wiliams Urbane Bronze. It’s a dramatic, dark gray that borders on brown — so it’s a wonderful way to bring in gray into a room while still maintaining flow with existing beige and brown colors in other areas of the home. I’ve used it personally in my laundry room and bonus room … and the color always draws rave reviews. This bedroom by Catherine Dolen & Associates shows how Urbane Bronze can be used to create a clean, yet classic look. Urbane Bronze is also wonderful on cabinets!” Traci Zeller

SW Urbane Bronze

Sherwin Williams – Urbane Bronze SW7048

via Kimberley Wiens for Style at Home source

Edgecomb Gray is a soft, barely there gray that looks especially beautiful in a room with lots of natural light. I have used it so many times these past few months. It is beautiful and seems to compliment almost everything!” Linda Holt

BM Edgecomb Gray HC-173

Benjamin Moore – Edgecomb Gray HC-173


“This classic color of gray is very soothing. It has a perfect balance of undertones, making it neutral enough to use with most colors.” Stacy Naquin

BM Nimbus 1465

Benjamin Moore – Nimbus 1465


“What I love most about this room is the juxtaposition of rustic accents and classic details. It’s cozy without being stuffy and any of my guests would be quite comfortable staying in this room.” Jennifer Reynolds

BM Nightingale AF-670

Benjamin Moore – Nightingale AF-670


“Right now I am pulled toward the lighter, softer more reflective gray. The greys that hold more than a tinge of warmth. The colors that reflect nature deepen the connection like this room. What draws me into this living room wall color? The walls shimmer with a reflective, open feel. It makes me think about being on water, dreaming. There is light and depth. A story behind the color. A muted glow. I adore how the softer brights in this case, the numerous shades of apricot come to light in the reflective sheen of gray walls. Every shade and tone in the folds has presence. The yellow under the monks’ robe pops. The black pops with crisp certainty, and the white looks just right. Even the vines of the carved table look good against the gray light. A color for all seasons and all rooms.” Jennifer Duchene

BM Seattle Gray 2130-70

Benjamin Moore – Seattle Gray 2130-70


“Revere Pewter is one of my favorite grays. It’s such a soft, warm color. Plus it plays well with so many other colors!” Kelly Bernier

BM Revere Pewter HC-172

Benjamin Moore – Revere Pewter HC-172

Andrea Brooks Interiors

“Dovetail is a great charcoal gray with a hint of a blue undertone. I love using a deeper gray when I am using brighter colors in my fabrics, art or accessories. This color is best used in cozier room like a family room–you just want to wrap yourself up in it!” Andrea Brooks

SW Dovetail

Sherwin Williams – Dovetail 7018

Need help choosing the right neutral or colour?  My How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s all in the Undertones ebook takes the hundreds of choices down to 9 neutral undertones along with list of all my other go-to best grays, broken down into 3 undertones, green, blue and purple. The beige undertones of pink, yellow, green, gold, orange and taupe along with the best greens and blues. 

My bonus book of  colours is worth the price of the ebook alone but you will also get my system of understanding undertones so you can stop making mistakes when sourcing tile, carpet, countertops, etc.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

What Everyone Should know About Gray

Gray Kitchen Cabinets; 4 ways to Know if you should Follow the Trend

When is Gray the Right Background for Your Space?

20 pins


  • Ah! The post we’ve all been waiting for! Greys, simplified! Thanks Maria!

  • Thank you for sharing one of my favorite grays, Maria! You are such an amazing inspiration 🙂


  • Page says:

    Woohoo! I picked up about 40 gray paint samples today from SW, BM and DE. Before I even got them home, I chose SW Urbane Bronze – it is the only warm, non-green gray I found. My walls are a warm golden color since we have live in a dark track home (our second story is the same level as our neighbor’s back yard behind us). I am putting it on my back wall for drama with its white kitchen cabinets and in my half bath above its white wainscotting on the same lower level. I am SO glad to see the Urbane Bronze in your post – choosing color is a mind bender for me – I am so excited that I nailed it this time and somehow I nailed the gold color too. I bombed on the green in our bedroom though ): I can’t wait to get this up on the walls! This is a terrific and timely post- Thanks! ~Page

  • Fabulous post, so informative! YES!

  • Jennifer says:

    Great job Maria and Stacy! Thanks for including me in it!! Love my True Colour Experts!!

  • Trell says:

    Generally speaking, I love Edgecomb Gray and Revere Pewter. However, I am so in love with Perspective from BM’s new line of full spectrum colors.

  • MicheleB@elementsofchic says:

    I have loved gray for the last couple of years since people have become aware of it and not so afraid to use it. This is a great post Maria showcasing how different this color can look in various settings and how it can transform a room. I myself love using Coventry Gray…thanks for the great info.

  • LiveLikeYou says:

    Great post! Grays are everywhere. I remember years ago I designed a big house where the owners already had painted every single room gray. I used to think it was horrible! We repainted each room, one by one in warm new hues and as my client said “got rid of the last of the Coleman grays.” It got named after them. I think of that today…because now I’m nuts for gray. However it’s was classic English design and I’m not sure the grays would have felt right.

  • Diane @ Color Harmony says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was so thrilled to see that I have used many of these grays for clients…it makes me feel like a pro! Most recently I have specified BM Revere Pewter and Nimbus with much success. I will refer to this post the next time I am looking for gray. PS I got the color boards and they are curing as I write. They look fabulous. Can’t wait to use them for my upcoming consultations!

  • wanda says:

    I’m so happy I found this post. My teen daughter is ready to do a room makeover and gray is her color choice!! Yay!

  • bruce barone says:

    Our study is painted Edgecomb Gray. I painted it a few years ago. But I have been thinking of changing it.
    Here is a so-so photo:

  • Cathy says:

    Urbane Bronze….Oh I like that colour. I think that it may be to dark for our whole house. As I am looking for one colour to start in the hall upstairs and end in the living room. I guess that it is just paint and I should try a wall or two and see what I think.
    Thank you for showing us some great colours.

  • Nancy B says:

    I read your blog everyday and love all the information you provide. Since I live in the Seattle area I am curious as to why there is no comment on the color “Seattle Gray” or did I miss something?

  • While I appreciate the details in this post, nothing will ever make me like gray! I totally don’t get why it’s so popular. It’s definitely not a happy color to me.

  • developer says:

    Hi Nancy,
    The commentary on Seattle Gray was right above the colour.

    Diane, I totally agree with you, all gray rooms are not my thing but lots of people love them!
    Thanks for your comment!

  • Yep, I think this post hit all of my favorites! My Urbane Bronze bonus room just got another color compliment today. 🙂

  • anna says:

    Lovely gray rooms. Lack of color is the rage …. I have so many persian rugs loaded with reds and blues….. I would love to see images of rooms with red or navy. Sadly I guess they are so totally out of style…..I’m at a loss on how to update my decor without ditching everything I’ve spent 20 years collecting.

  • Daca says:

    Wow, this looks amazing.
    I like gray, it’s very elegant.

  • L M says:

    I can see it working in a chic urban loft, but suburban me will be counting the days until “gray is over.”

  • True Color Experts, you ladies rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it:)

  • Barbara says:

    Beautiful shades. I wish I could change paint colors daily…weekly…monthly? Sort of like how I wanted to always be like the doll who could have short hair one day and long hair the next…I love change!

  • Coley says:

    Thank you for featuring one of my favorite grays! What a wonderful post 🙂

  • jamie says:

    I recently painted a client’s dining room in Urbane Bronze… that color is a rock star! I have Ashley Gray in my bedroom (which is in the basement of our home) and love the warmth the color provides. I feel like another gray could have easily made the room dungeon-esque 🙂

  • Julie says:

    This article with the many pictures is exactly what I have been looking for.
    I went to a model home and took alot of pictures of the decor and it was in all these gray colours with white furnishings.
    I want to duplicate it in my new house. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  • Jenny says:

    LOVED this blog as I am so loving gray right now. One of my favorite picks for a true silvery-gray with no undertones of blue, brown, green or purple…March Wind by Sherwin Williams. Fabulous! Thanks for all your great posts Maria!

  • beautiful post, love the wide variety of grays shown and each of their nuances. interesting to see too how well the small touches of color (yellow pillows, pink flowers…) show up so dramatically.

  • Cris Angsten says:

    My favorite gray at the moment is Heather Gray – it has such a dull, overexposed name (think of all the clothing in catalogs in the 90’s and 00’s) that I almost passed it over when it jumped at me as being the right color to go with a client’s fireplace. I am now in love with this shade of gray! It changes (at least in their space) all day long – from gray-green to gray-blue during the day and a warm, deep green-gray at night. It looks incredible!

  • Matt says:

    CRIS ANGSTEN SAYS: “My favorite gray at the moment is Heather Gray”

    We where told a Heather Gray was the color in a hotel bathroom we stayed at in Asheville NC. We where also told it was a Sherman Williams color but they have no such color. Can anyone help?

  • Heather says:

    I used Urbane Bronze on kitchen cabinets and used a linear cream tile stacked instead of staggered but I cannot for the life of me get the color right to use on the walls – I had a husband agreement not to use in ‘yellow’ based colors. We agreed on a very light color for the look we wanted but I have tried SW silvermist, SW Sea Salt and they CLASH with the Urbane Bronze. Personally, I wanted to use Citrine for a bright but warm color but it doesnt fall into the ‘blue gray’ that husband is pleading for…any advice is appreciated!!!

    • Cathy says:

      I saw your post about painting your kitchen cabinets the Urbane Bronze, and wondered what you ended up doing with the walls.
      If you have time post a response or email me. I think the Citrine sounded awesome.
      Cathy / [email protected]

  • Mary-Cristin King says:

    Great article!! Any advice for a light gray, dark gray, and blue that all coordinate/go together? We are looking for a light gray to paint the main common areas of our new house (hall ways, entry, open spaces etc) and then a coordinating blue/gray for the large dining room. We are also looking for a dark gray for the powder room that is across from the dining room. Thanks in advance for any ideas 🙂

  • sha says:

    lu luv luv gray, the darker the better. but have a terrible time with undertones. no purple no green no blue. i just can’t seem to find a REALLY neutral warm geay at BM. but i lyv their paint.any ideas?

  • Susan says:

    Have been using gray for so many years. One of my favorites at the moment is BM Thunder AF-685 from the Affinity collection. So warm…….looks amazing in hallways.

  • Heather says:

    I am having such a hard time picking a warm gray in a low natural light room. Edgecomb Gray is the closest, but I am wondering if there is a better gray that reads a little warmer in this low light.

  • Marilyn says:

    I just tried the Edgecomb Gray in my light filled master bedroom and while it is a pretty color, it doesn’t read Gray at all! It just looks like a nice tan to me…just like the paint chip shows. I tried Stonington and it reads more like a natural light stone grey, a bit greenish gray (and maybe more so tonight), but not overly so….not like Gray Mirage is. It goes very well with the California Gold multi-colored slate in one of the other rooms actually…so it has a real earthy natural grey tone.

  • Janice says:

    Love this website. I am currently using Revere Pewter HC 172, looks amazing in the light filled family room. Looking forward to painting the kitchen, dining room and master bedroom in the same color.

  • Kimmer says:

    Thank you for your post, I went with edgecomb gray on 2800 sq ft of interior open concept. I could not be more pleased. A very beautiful color!

  • Beth says:

    I’m driving my family crazy with my indecisiveness about gray colors for our adjoining, though separated by BM White Dove moulding, DR and LR. We’ve already been enjoying Revere Pewter in our kitchen and back entry, but we’re looking for new gray(s) in the above mentioned rooms. Love our samples of BM’s Coventry Gray, Stonington
    Gray, Grey OWl, Harbor Gray and SW’s Passive. The question is: Which undertone works best in an old home with White Dove trim and oak flooring with an orange/red undertone? I need an expert’s guidance! (old furniture leaving/new, undetermined pieces/colors coming!). Thank you!!

  • Beth says:

    Ah! So I’m on the right track with grays that have a blue or green undertone with those orange/red oak floors! If Coventry Gray were picked for the DR color, would you stay in the cool tones for the adjoining LR, or a warmer color such as Revere Pewter be okay? Thanks and happy weekend!

  • Kersey says:

    I Love conventry gray but I’m afraid it will be too dark, I have an open space and I want to use one color thru out the whole house except the bedrooms, what do you guys think? Would it be too dark? Would it make my house look smaller? HELP!!!

    • Maria Killam says:

      No it will not make your house look smaller it’s a blue gray so it’s cooler than I would go. Stonington would probably be better.

  • Kersey says:

    Maria, I try the stonington but it look a little gray green I didn’t like that, I’m going crazy with all this shades of gray and I want to choose one that I really like, I purchased at least 5 samples of gray and still not convinced :/

  • Beth says:

    Revere Pewter has become our all-over house gray (with the exception of that DR…Any suggestions?) because of it’s complexity and versatility. In our north facing entry, Revere Pewter looks like a light cement gray; in the LR with southern and western light exposure, it’s a bit warmer; in our kitchen with east light, white dove cabinets, dark wood floors, stainless counters and matte black skateboard ramp (yes, you read that correctly) counters, Revere Pewter looks fresh and modern. A perfect neutral to make our bowl of oranges or vase of sunflowers pop! I can see why Revere Pewter is so popular. What would be z nice color with that Revere Pewter??? That’s what I’m confused about!

  • I’m trying to choose a grey for the exterior of our home and it’s difficult because the roof shingles have to be considered. I’ve bought some large colour chips from Ben Moore and that’s helpful, but I’m going to call in another pair of eyes for the project. Can’t afford to make a ‘big’ mistake and with all the undertones in greys, it’s a nightmare. I’m leaning towards BM Thunder as it seems most compatible with the blue/green/grey of the shingles… it’s so much harder doing this for myself. I have no problem choosing for my clients???!!

  • Cindy says:

    Can anyone suggest a perfect grey/gray for my sons bathroom. I don’t want a blue undertone. Thanks for any suggestions.

  • Suzanne says:

    We just renovated an older house and used BM Balboa Mist extensively. It’s light gray with a lavender undertone and it goes with everything! The trim is BM Chantilly Lace. The floors are all hardwood stained medium brown. We’ve had lots of compliments.

  • Julie says:

    Perfect timing. I am in process of painting 1500 sq feet of living space. My 2 sample boards I’m leaning with is edgecomb or collingwood. Question my house is a open floor plan with low light most of the day. I’m thinking of something darker perhaps the urban bronze any thoughts ? My floors and furniture are dark gray with blue and purple undertones. Too much gray??? Thinking of pops of orange for color.

  • claire klein says:

    Used Coventry Gray for exterior of house with white trim and very happy with it.

  • Christina says:

    My favorite grays in this article are the Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray & Kendall Charcoal. I love them both for different reasons. The first is that perfect shade of blue-gray that isn’t too light or too dark. It’s just enough color for the wall to be soothing. Can gray be soothing? lol I love the Kendall Charcoal exactly because it is a darker color but not oppressive. It shows such good contrast with the lighter colors without being overwhelming.

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