Are Silver and Gray Colors?

gray paint swatches

grey color

Some time ago there was interesting banter on a Color Marketing Group site about whether silver was a color and opinions were flying around like bees on honey. I don’t think there was a clear winner as experts from all over chimed in with their views on the subject. There was the opinion that silver was a finish not a color and from left field was thrown the idea that silver was a neutral like gray and therefore not considered a color. So now we have two controversies, are silver and gray colors?

A neutral is defined as “being without color” and you would think that gray falls into the neutral category. However, most grays in the paint industry are made with lamp black, a very blue cast black. Since it is blue cast any amount of it will add blue to the formula or will make it a “cool” gray. Another source of black colorant is carbon black which is less blue than lamp black but used less frequently. I have found the most neutral grays are found at the junction of red violet and blue violet, being a neutral between a warm and cool color family. There can only be one gray family that is a true neutral as any addition of color changes that color into a definite hue even though it may be imperceptible to the human eye.

Silver, in my opinion, is a gray with a metallic finish. If there is such a thing as warm silver and cool silver, or even a green, blue or whatever silver then how can silver not be a color? Stainless steel can be anything from a cool hue to a warm hue depending on the manufacturer, but since they are all silver they are considered neutrals, which is why they fit so well into all environments.

– Guest post from Pat Verlodt, president of Color Services & Associates, Inc

If you’re looking to add some touches of silver or gray to your home, stop in to your local Twin Cities Hirshfield’s paint supply store and let their expert staff help you pick out the perfect color!

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