Friday Finds: Gray, Grey, Greige

metropolitain color of the year grey greige gray
Walls painted Black Pepper by Benjamin Moore 2130-40
Black Pepper by Benjamin Moore



Sunday Stroll paint color by Magnolia Home
Sunday Stroll is a mouse-gray dusted lightly with beige for a touch of warmth.



gray paintis Texas Storm by Magnolia HOme Paint
Deep slate gray with a blue undertone.


Weathered Windmill by Joanna Gaines
Weathered Windmill is an overcast gray with hints of pale blue and greens.


The color gray is a gray area. It is a complex color. “That’s not gray, that’s…”

It’s been 10 years since gray first popped up on our radar. Back then no one was using gray as their primary wall color. That’s all changed. So many choices. When asked about customers’ preferences, Michelle from Hirshfield’s Edina store had this to say,  “people usually shy away from the cooler grays and gravitate to the brown grays.” When selecting a gray paint color, pay attention to the undertones. Are you seeing a blue-gray, a purple gray, a green gray? Pearl grays can be iridescent and have purple and pink in them. A good charcoal gray is closer to black, but much softer than black.

If you are searching for a gray you may find these comments found “out there” helpful.

Black Pepper is definitely not as dark as a black tone would be, and actually has a lot of navy undertones but almost looks flatter and more faded. It feels really really sophisticated in person. YHL

… my dining room is Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan AF-690, from their Aura paint line. It’s a nice bluey grey as well…

A few years ago I painted the entire inside of my house BM’s Balboa Mist 1549. It’s a soft grey that changes with the light. Decorator white woodwork and black doors with brushed silver knobs. Loved it every day. Very fresh….I’m addicted to gray!

I recently painted with Benjamin Moore Feather Gray 2127-60, and it’s gorgeous. Depending on the light, it can look sort of blue or silver, and it’s just such a soft shade, like a bird’s wing…

                        The moment I put this color on the wall, I was taken. Sunday Stroll by Magnolia Home Paint

I love gray and found BM Stonington Gray HC-170 here on Apartment Therapy. Everyone said it was the most neutral gray and did not take on purple, green or blue the way some grays do. Oh, how right they were…

Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog 976 is a color offers a wonderful chameleon-like background for other colors. I had it with a white sofa and chair and smaller accents of bright, light green — also had deep brown. It also looks fabulous with red and with black…

Currently, my bedroom is Gray Owl 2137-60 and OC-52 (Benjamin Moore). It’s really subtle, with a hint of green. (I also have a bathroom painted Pigeon Gray 2133-50 (BM). That’s a nice deep gray with purple undertones.

We did our powder room in this. I was a bit hesitant about the depth of the color but decided to take the plunge and go for it! SO glad we didn’t go ‘safe’ and use a lesser color!!  Texas Storm by Magnolia Home Paint

When looking for paint colors remember to bring in fabric samples, flooring, or whatever you have available, so Hirshfield’s sales staff can assist you with your paint and wallpaper selections. If you can’t see the difference in a purple gray vs. a green gray, not to worry, that’s when our sales staff can be of assistance. They work with color every day, all day. Grab some samples and audition them with your finishes, your lighting, your husband (not really), in your home. Need more one-on-one assistance, think about a color consultation.


15 Responses
    1. Marsha

      Look at Hirshfield’s Zen Retreat 0535 for a darker gray and Benjamin Moore Barren Plain 2111-60 and Stone Harbor 2111-50 for two lighter grays. Do not judge by viewing them on-line.

      Send me your address and I will be happy to send you out samples.

      1. sha smith

        Thanks for the reply. I am looking at B-M color wheel(in hand) and I see GREEN in Stone Harbor and Barren Plain. I cannot finish my dining room/kitchen until I get the perfect gray. I can go dark or medium. Any other suggestions? I hate green! I have never even owned a green piece of clothing.

  1. Marsha

    I asked Becky from our Roseville location to look at Stone Harbor and Barren Plain. She can see no green in the Stone Harbor, a little brown, but no green. She also inquired about your lighting and thought that might be throwing off the colors.

    She suggested you look at 2112-60 Cement Gray and 2112-50 Stormy Monday. She sees a brown hue, but no green.

    1. sha smith

      you have been so patient! at the B-M store I met a woman who is on the same quest. Her husband said she has one more chance to get it right! I don’t feel so all alone:) It is the light. It is a room with glass walls and is facing east. I may have to move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Becky

    I received a request for the paint color in the Ideal Home photo. It is a Dulux color from England and I had no luck crossing it over. Here are a couple suggestions from Hirshfield’s and Benjamin Moore:

    Look at Hirshfields #0525 Marseilles. It is difficult to tell color from a photo. The color I see in the photo is a gray blue with a bit of green. If you would like a true gray Hirshfields #0511 Cystern is a great color.
    You can also look at Benjamin Moore colors, Blue Heather #1620 or for a bit deeper color, Little Falls #1621. Blue Springs #1592 has more of a gray cast.

    Hope this will help you.
    Colorist Hirshfields Roseville

  3. Julie

    Hello~I stumbled upon this discussion while researching BM’s Barren Plain and Stone Harbor. I need a light, clean gray with no purple, blue, or green undertones for our teens’ rec room in the basement. I want to do wide horizontal stripes on one wall (behind the sofa), and I thought these two colors would work. I keep revisiting Barren Plain, and sometimes I think I see hints of pink/purple. Has anyone else noticed this? I do not want lavender walls! The search for a gray has been endless! Many thanks for any feedback you can provide!

    1. Marsha


      All grays have an undertone. Barren Plain and Stone Harbor are almost “true” grays, but they do have a slight red undertone. These colors are warm grays and very pretty looking. I recommend buying a sample pint, put it up on the wall and see how it looks with the lighting in the room. If you also have natural light coming into the room, you can see how the light plays with the paint color. I hope you found this helpful and good luck with your painting project.

      Hirshfield’s Roseville

    2. sha

      Oh JUlie, I know what u r going thru! it’s been 2 years for me looking for the perfect gray still haven’t found it. I see the purple too! have u looked at platinum gray b-m ext rm?

    1. Becky

      Try these colors: From Color Stories CSP505, Affinity fandeck AF-590, and from the Preview fan deck, Sea Life 2118-40. All are Benjamin Moore colors; they may look too purple but when you put them next to a real purple they are gray. Good luck.

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