From barely-there options to dark and moody shades, these hues are as versatile as they are elegant.

By Caroline Biggs
December 04, 2020
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You don't need to be an interior designer to experiment with paint color in your home—you just need to follow along with Fresh Coat. We'll help you tackle all of your home's painting projects, from choosing the ultimate color palette to perfecting your method. You'll be prepped, primed, and ready to roll (literally) in no time.

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Credit: Julie Soefer

When it comes to timeless interior paint colors, it doesn't get more classic than gray. Not only is the elegant earth tone extremely versatile, it brings warmth and sophistication to just about any style of space. "Gray is the perfect neutral tone," says interior designer Isabel Ladd. "It is super flexible, and can adapt to any aesthetic from traditional to ultra-modern." However, with all the gray paints available on the market, deciding which one will work best for a specific area of your home can be a challenge. "Gray paints have different undertones, which means that in different lighting, gray can read blue, beige, green, or even purple," New York City-based interior designer Emma Beryl explains. "It's important to sit with your paint swatch over the course of a few days and look at it on a few different walls in your home to see how you feel about it in different lighting." Luckily, the experts have their go-to favorites that work in just about any space.

London Fog by Benjamin Moore

Becky Shea says London Fog by Benjamin Moore has an understated tint that works beautifully in rooms outfitted with natural elements, such as wood, linen, concrete, and leather. "It's a warm muted tone that still reads light and airy, so it's the perfect shade for walls, baseboards, casements, and ceilings," she explains.

Seize the Gray by Clare

For a neutral shade of gray with minimal undertones, Candace Mary Griffin of Candace Mary Interiors recommends Seize the Gray by Clare. "It works with everything in any space," she says. "There are no undertones and it looks great in any lighting. What you see is what you get. In addition to the color itself being phenomenal, the paint is creamy and rich which gives you better coverage. And did I mention that it's toxin free?"

Cyber Space by Sherwin Williams

If you're looking for a deep shade of gray that is slightly softer than black, Beth Dotolo and Carolina Gentry of Pulp Design Studios suggest Cyber Space by Sherwin Williams. "It's a dramatic tone making a strong impact in a room, but the fact that it's gray takes the edge off," Dotolo explains.

Elephants Breath by Farrow and Ball

For a soothing shade of gray that will warm up the walls of your bedroom, Beryl recommends Elephants Breath by Farrow & Ball. "It's a luxe, warm gray that sets a serene mood in a bedroom," she explains. "It adds a layer of depth and personality to a space while still leaving a lot of room for any other color you'd like to layer in."

Agreeable Gray by Sherwin-Williams

If you're a fan of warm, soft grays that look almost like a nuanced beige in natural light, Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters of Forbes + Masters recommend Agreeable Gray by Sherwin-Williams. "Agreeable Gray is definitely a 'go-to' color," Forbes says. "Especially, in more intimate spaces. We love that is it has a beautiful warmer tone and reads less blue than your average gray paint." 

Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore

To create a dark and moody look in a room, Stefani Stein says you can't go wrong with a deep shade like Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore. "Try it somewhere unexpected, like a bathroom or on the walls and millwork in a den, for a space that feels both cozy and chic," she says.

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Credit: Julie Soefer

Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball

If you're searching for a versatile shade for a hallway or stairwell, William Cullum, senior designer at Jayne Design Studio suggests Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball. "When I look for a gray, I like ones that have a tinge of purple or brown, because it makes them changeable based on the light," he explains. "Purbeck Stone becomes pearl gray, lavender, and a cool white based on the time of day."

Ash Gray by Farrow & Ball

For an earthy shade with green undertones, Carneil Griffin of Griffin Direction Interiors says to consider Ash Gray by Farrow & Ball. "It was developed with The Natural History Museum using unique pigmentation blends and eco-friendly materials," he explains. "It also provides unbelievable coverage."

Graystone by Benjamin Moore

Marie Flanigan says gray walls make an excellent neutral base for layering varying textures, colors, and finishes. "Benjamin Moore's Graystone lends subtle sophistication, creating a calm backdrop that allows sophisticated furnishings and warm finishes to stand out against the coolness of the paint," she explains.

Gray Matters by Sherwin Williams

For a light shade of gray that will work wonders for your home office space, Nina Magon of Contour Interior Design says to look no further than Gray Matters by Sherwin Williams. "The lightness of the color produces a calming and peaceful aesthetic which is nice when work gets stressful," she explains. "While the blue undertones in the color stimulate the mind."

Willow Creek by Benjamin Moore

Julie Hawkins of Hawkins Interiors says you can always count on a timeless shade of gray to bring depth to a large space, like a living room. "Willow Creek by Benjamin Moore is one of our favorite gray paint colors because of its warmth, richness, and versatility," she explains. "It's part of Benjamin Moore's classic color collection for a reason."

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