We’ve worked hard on renovating our 1902 Victorian house into our forever home. See all the before and after reveals here
Great picks for neutral paint colors:
Repose Gray Office
I get questions about my office & nursery colors all the time - Repose Gray! It's a really great gray with no blue/pink/purple undertones. Office Makeover (with Repose Gray walls)
Click “next” to be inspired by the best neutral paint colors out there!
By the way – these are my absolute must-have paintbrushes! I loooove them- they give great results without brush strokes, and they last a really long time.
Tips for choosing neutral paint colors:
I have a little bit of a problem with patience. OK, maybe a big problem with patience. See, when we decide to paint a room, I never
have make time to pick out paint options, get samples, and then test them. But this time I actually put samples on the wall -and wow, I’m glad I did, because I ended up loving the colors I thought I’d hate, and hating the colors I thought I’d love! Moral of the story: if you are able to be a little patient, testing paint samples on the wall is really really worth it! If you seriously can’t get paint samples and put them on the wall (I get it) then at least do me a favor and look the paint colors up online before you choose. DO NOT CHOOSE FROM A PAINT CHIP. I repeat –do NOT choose from a paint chip! They are usually dramatically different than how the actual color will look on your walls!
I’ve since updated this post to include allll of the best modern farmhouse paint colors around. They include lots of neutral wall colors for your home, and I love them so much! Come see lots of pictures & inspiration for these paint colors here:
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Denise Wright says
We are in the process of remodeling our bedroom and I was all set to paint one of the walls a terra cotta color….now you have me rethinking….those colors are beautiful…everyone….decisions, decisions. (found you Link Party Palooza)
awesome, Denise!! Picking paint colors can be tough – glad these could get your wheels turning!! 🙂
Thanks for rounding these up Christina!! We moved a few months ago and there are a few rooms and walls I want to paint gray so this was super helpful! Still undecided but at least these point me in the right direction 😉
Awesome, Kelsey!! So glad it was helpful for you!! 🙂
I saw that you have a home with beautiful dark woodwork, same here. Did theses cool neutral colors work well with them? I am (impatiently) about to paint 🙂 and worried about the grays against the dark trim.
We do, Michelle! We actually painted all of our rooms Benjamin Moore “White Dove” in our current house (the one with the dark wood moldings). We’re moving into a new house that has painted moldings, so these colors are my inspiration for the new space. But we did my son’s nursery in Martha Stewart Sharkey Gray (with the dark wood moldings!) and it looks great!! 🙂
Love your old house and the colors you have chosen for the walls! I also have a house which will turn 100 yrs old in 2017. What is the paint you are using for the trim? Semi gloss? Matt? Oil? Latex? And what are you using to prim? Thank you! Jan
Julie Myers says
I have been wanting to repaint my home for a while, but I would really like to get them painted in neutral colors. I especially like the gray color palettes that you have here, they all look great! It would be really nice if I could pick out some of these neutral colors and then maybe add in some bright pops of color in the decor. Now I just need to consult with my husband on what he thinks, and then hopefully we can find a painter to get everything painted. Thanks for the great post!
So glad it’s helpful, Julie!! I hope you love these colors as much as we do – I have used the Repose Gray in two of my rooms now and it’s the PERFECT “true gray”! The “Revere Pewter” is a great neutral – we’re using it in our family room and throughout our hallways. “Sea Salt” is a beautiful color, but it’s definitely a COLOR, and less of a gray. We used “Sharkey Gray” in our last kitchen, and we will have it in this kitchen again! 🙂
Bryan Foley says
What would you say the undertones that come out of repose gray are?
Good question Bryan – I love Repose Gray because it’s honestly a TRUE gray. Maybe slightly more on the cooler side – but it doesn’t have blue/purple undertones.
yes it does, it all blue very little gray
Hmm not sure why yours showed up blue, Lucy! Ours are a very true gray in all of the rooms we’ve used it in.
Hi there! I too saw a lot of blue undertones with Repose but I painted in a room with lots of light. I always love the color in pictures so decided to use it. I ended up repainting SW Collonade because its a warmer color and I love this choice.
We are in the process of painting our kitchen cabinets Sharkey gray and I am having a terrible time deciding on a wall color. I was all set on Sea Salt, until my husband said it was too green and thinks I’ll get sick of it. So, we talked about going with a gray on the walls, too, with white trim. But there are SOOOO many grays – just when I thought I found one, I’m not sure. Any suggestions for a pairing with sharkey gray cabinets?
I am painting my new house and want to do the gray pallet. Unfortunately I don’t think Gray will go with my brownish goldish tile and brown carpet that is already in the house now. Do you think the color of the floor should affect what colors I put on my wall?
good question, Angela! Would you be able to “disguise” the brown on the floor with some area rugs and furniture that went with your desired gray color scheme a little more? I find that the more you draw attention to the pretty things (and cover up the other colors), the less you notice the less desirable 😉
Julie B says
We are redoing our whole house. The kitchen, living area, dining area are all open to each other. The office/ kids tv room you can see with french closed doors. It is right of the living area. I am thinking of doing repose grey or Ogami White through out the house, and now maybe reverse pewter in the office. We have two bathrooms for the kids and were thinking of a blue. I like the sea salt do you have any other recomendations, and what are your thoughts about repose grey through out the house as the neutral color? We were also looking at pussywillow sherwin williams for the masterbath. What are your thoughts about that color? I am not sure if it is to dark of a gray Thanks, Julie
Amy @ A Cup Full of Sass says
Gray is such a hard color. I love it but it just does not look good in my current home. I painted two of my rooms in gray and ended up having to repaint. But other homes it looks great. 🙂
Sally Summerfield says
One of the trickiest parts of interior decorating is getting the right paint color. It’s something that’s going to be on for a long time, so you definitely want to do it right the first time. I agree that choosing a neutral color is a safe bet. It gives you the freedom to change decor styles and color schemes whenever you want without having to repaint every time. You can still get creative with neutral colors, though, like you’ve so elegantly shown. Great post!
Jodi Blackmon says
How does sea salt compare to Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage? Is it about the same? I love, love the sea salt, but I’m afraid it might be too close to SS, which I have in my bedroom. It’s hard to say if it is close because it looks baby blue in my bedroom, and dark green in my laundry room.
Emily Smith says
Christina, my husband and I just moved into an older house and want to change the paint colors. The tip about testing out the colors on the wall sounds like a good idea. I love the sharkey gray! I will have to test it out. If we like it I will give it to the painters we hire and hopefully they will do a good job!
Yes- I definitely recommend testing on the walls first!! 🙂 We really love Sharkey Gray – we used it in our last 2 kitchen remodels 🙂 Best of luck with your painting!
I need to paint my living room and hallways. I have always gone with a similar color to my furniture. I am finding that there may not be enough contrast in the room if I continue with this safe but boring theme. My new furniture will be chocolate brown recliners with a creamy light tan couch and love seat. The pillows have blue, mauve and light brown colors. I am considering Comfort Gray, what do You think?
Hi Linda! I haven’t used Comfort Gray in my own home, but I love the pictures of other people who have used it! It seems to have greenish undertones to it, so that may look nice against your tan couch and brown recliners. I personally love to have a neutral “base” or furniture and walls so I can easily change out accessories & decorations in a room. I love changing my pillows and decor for the seasons and not have to worry about things clashing! 🙂
I hope that helps!
Palma Ferrell says
I live no where near a Home Depot. I would love to have the paint formula for Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray. because I LOVE it! Where can I get the formula for it besides Home Depot. Thanks.
Stephen Brown says
I want to paint my living room, but I’m so indecisive! It makes sense to choose a neutral color because this gives me more options to decorate my home with different furniture. I’ll definitely follow your example and paint test samples of paint on my wall!
Janelle Winters says
Thanks for these tips, Christina! We just moved into a new house that has crazy paint on the walls (red, greens, yellow, etc.) and we need to get them fixed but I’m just not confident in my ability to choose a color we’ll love. I like these suggestions, and I’ll be sure to try that tip before we get painters in.
Ah painting over the crazy paint colors with the crisp neutral colors is truly therapeutic! Thanks for commenting, Janelle – I’m glad this was helpful for you!
Aaron Kriegerson says
Thanks for your tips about how to choose neutral paint colors, Christina. You make a great point about how you will always want to do test paint samples on the surfaces you want to paint. I really like the sea salt color in one of your pictures. Another thing to consider is hiring professional painters for certain jobs. They will be able to paint those hart to reach areas without getting paint everywhere. Thanks.
absolutely, Aaron! Testing out small areas is really important! We love the sea salt color in our bedroom 🙂
Christina. This site has been extremely helpful. I just found it this morning after several days of paint frustration. I love your comment not to trust the paint chips. They do not tell the truth until you paint the samples. You were spot on.
My question. With the repose gray, what trim color for the baseboards are you using and what finish for the trim do you prefer? Thank you! Bill.
I LOVE this post!! I have almost all of these colors in my home too! Your home is gorgeous!!!
Vonda Gunnells says
Love it all, especially the paint color!
Please help! My wonderful sons wanted to do something nice for me while I was away on vacation and offered to paint the main living areas, i.e. kitchen, dining, living room, entrance, hallway, staircase (we have a rancher and the rooms pretty much run into each other.) Not having much time and loving the color schemes used by Joanna Gaines, I chose SW Oyster Bay. Beautiful color but a bit overwhelming. The only room they didn’t do was the LR. Was thinking maybe Sea Salt. Also, am going to have our maple kitchen cabinets painted. Our ceiling and trim is swiss coffee. What color for the cabinets? ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
It’s hard for me to do this without seeing the colors in your home – but I’d say go for white cabinets? And then you could do sea salt or if you’re looking for something that’s lighter gray, then I’d go with SW Repose Gray. Best of luck with your renovations!
I’ve painted almost my whole house is Repose Grey. So perfect. Mindful Grey is a shade darker and great for southern exposure rooms.
Have used Sea Salt, Revere Pewter and painted my dining room today in Repose Gray.
Thank you for showing your color choices. We have an old Victorian with the original dark wood trim widows and molding.
We are in the middle of a paint crisis trying to paint downstairs before our floors get refinished.
Any suggestions on a blue tone gray for a living room color? We like the SW Aloof Gray in my foyer/hallway that opens to the living room, but my husband wants the living room to be a different color.
Thanks for your help!
I recently chose Repose Gray for my living and I am loving my decision.