OK, I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I wrote about finding the perfect gray paint for our family room! I’m sorry to have kept you waiting so long to reveal our final decision, but I hit some bumps along the road in my search. But, the search is now over…the new paint is on the wall…and it looks fabulous!
So, what did I end up choosing????? Well, it wasn’t what I expected, but the perfect gray paint for us ended up being…Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.
“But, wait,” you say, “you dismissed that one from the very beginning!” I know, I know. I can hardly believe it myself. You can read the entire back story in my two previous Perfect Gray Paint posts (Part I and Part II).
After I wrote Part II, I flipped back and forth for a while between Benjamin Moore’s Nimbus and Silver Chain, but then I found Mindful Gray from Sherwin Williams. It seemed like it was “in between” the two colors, and might work perfectly. We ended up painting Mindful Gray on the walls in the dining room, and it looked great in there. So, I started putting some of my leftover Mindful Gray paint on the walls in the family room, and it looked terrible…the walls looked almost lavender, and clashed horribly with the maroon cabinets and beige tile in our kitchen (which came with the house, by the way). I had fallen victim to competing paint undertones!!!
A quick lesson in undertones…
Every neutral color on the paint wheel has an identifiable undertone. Grays tend to have undertones that are blue or green, and sometimes even taupe or lavender. Once you know the color’s undertones, it’s important to compare the color with the fixed elements in the room (like the maroon cabinets and beige tile in our kitchen, or your flooring, or other furnishings in the room), to ensure that you don’t pick a neutral color that will “clash” with the other elements in the room. A beige with yellow undertones, for example, will not look good when painted next to a neutral that has blue undertones. So, you have to compare the undertones against each other before deciding on your wall color. And that’s where I went wrong. If you don’t want to repeat my mistake, Maria Killem has a great eBook on paint undertones and how to recognize them. I recently read it, and found it helpful.
So, to make a long story short, Revere Pewter has warm undertones rather than cool undertones (like Mindful Gray or Silver Chain), but it still looks gray. So, if you have lots of warm elements in your room, try Revere Pewter. If the fixed items in your room are cooler colors, then you may want to go with a gray that has blue undertones, like Stonington Gray or Silver Chain.
I hope you all learned something from my adventures in choosing the Perfect Gray Paint. I know I sure learned a lot along the way. I can see now why Revere Pewter is a go-to gray for so many designers, as it seems to go well with almost any colors in a room. Please leave a comment and let me know what your Perfect Gray Paint is.