The Perfect Gray Paint – Part III (the final reveal)

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!

revere pewter perfect gray paint


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.

By | 2016-09-22T10:26:31+00:00 April 9th, 2015|Family Room, Paint|4 Comments


  1. Dana February 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Hi, do you think Revere Pewter on the walls would compliment Chelsea Gray cabinets in a bathroom, or should I go for more of a beige.undertone?

    • Melissa February 10, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Yes, those two colors work really well together!

  2. Caitlin April 4, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Hi, we just moved into a lovely airy 1950s PNW house that had a previous love for brighter versions of pastels (think every room is baby pink, lavender, or baby blue) we are having a heck of a time finding a good clean gray that looks gray over our blue walls (despite priming…a lot). Stoning ton gray worked wonderfully in “The Pink Room” but this darned blue room is making me blue in the face! Any suggestions?. We just finished it in Silver Lake…but I’m hating it. Thanks!!!

  3. Stella May 11, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Do you have a hallway or foyer open to family room? Just wondering what color would you used to complement revere pewter? Was nimbus much grayer than rp? I was considering it in my dining room just not sure if it is warm enough go with my darker wood furniture? Thank you.

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