The Perfect Gray Paint – Part II

In a previous post, I wrote about my search for the perfect gray paint for our family room.  I had bought samples of two  popular Benjamin Moore gray paints to try the first time around – Stonington Gray and Revere Pewter.  Neither of those ended up being “the perfect gray paint.”  So, I headed to the paint store for more samples on Friday.  I wasn’t going to be defeated this time around, and I had the paint guy mix up 6 new samples.  These are the paints I chose (labeled in the picture below):

  1. Rockport Gray
  2. Nimbus
  3. Silver Chain
  4. Smoke Embers
  5. Gray Husky
  6. Gray Owl
  7. Revere Pewter
  8. Stonington Gray

benjamin moore gray paint, perfect gray paint, Stonington Gray, Revere Pewter, Rockport Gray, Nimbus, Silver Chain, Smoke Embers, Gray Husky, Gray Owl


And the winner is????  Well, I think I’ve narrowed it down to a decision between Nimbus (#2) and Silver Chain (#3).  Nimbus is more of a taupe, or a “greige,” while Silver Chain is more of a true gray.  They look the best out of all the others in our house in both daylight and at night.  The others have either too much blue or green undertones, or are too dark.  What do you think?  Please feel free to leave a comment and vote for the one you like best.

I also looked through some internet pictures of the two colors to see if that could help me make a decision. Here are a few that I found…

Nimbus (BM 1465)

benjamin moore nimbus




Silver Chain

benjamin moore silver chain

Source: Jen Chu Design

benjamin moore silver chain

Source: The Decorologist

Tonight I think I’m leaning toward Nimbus.  Tomorrow may be a different story.  Stay tuned for a future post to see what we finally choose.

Jump to Perfect Gray Paint Part III.

By | 2016-09-12T20:06:29+00:00 April 13th, 2014|Family Room, Inspiration, Paint|27 Comments


  1. heather kenalty November 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for your post! I am stuck between the same 2 grays (Nimbus and Silver Chain. Which did you end up with?

    • Melissa December 1, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Well, I was all set on Silver Chain and just about ready to paint, when I visited the Sherwin Williams store and found another candidate…Mindful Gray. It’s another beautiful gray, and it derailed my painting plans for a bit. Mindful gray is my top choice right now, and we’re gearing up to paint again soon. I’ll post the final pictures. Good luck with your gray paint search!

  2. Christina December 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm


    I just came across your post while looking for grey colours to paint my home. You are so right it is such a challenge! Did you end up choosing one of those greys?

    • Melissa December 30, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Hi Christina! I was going to go with Silver Chain, but then I visited the Sherwin Williams store and found another candidate…Mindful Gray. It’s another beautiful gray, and now our top choice. We just haven’t gotten around to painting that room yet, but we will soon, and I’ll post the pictures when we’re done. Good luck with your gray paint search!

  3. Roberta Sbrocco January 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    im really looking myself for a gray gray…so many when you get them dont look gray…to much blue or other colors in it…i really want a gray color with no others in it…when you look at it …you know its gray…so what color did you pick and if you have samples which one fits my choice

    • Melissa January 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Grays are not easy to pick out virtually because one gray paint will look completely different in one house (due to lighting differences) than in another. I really wanted a true gray color for my house, as well. Of the colors I looked at, the truest looking grays were Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Embers and Nimbus (Nimbus is one shade lighter than Smoke Embers), and Silver Chain. I’ve also looked at Sherwin Williams of late, and they have a nice gray called Repose Gray (Mindful Gray is also pretty, just one shade darker). We decided on Mindful Gray for our house.

      The best advice I can give you is to get a sample of several of these different grays, and paint them on some white foam board (painting them directly on the walls could alter the color a bit). Mount the foam board up on the wall of the room you are planning to paint, and stare at the colors in the morning and at night until one of them jumps out as the winner. And if none of them seem to be perfect, there might be one that’s close, and you can use that as a starting point for your next round of samples. I wish you best of luck in your search for a perfect true gray. My neighbor went through 25 samples to find hers!

      • Amanda January 30, 2016 at 12:47 pm

        We painted stonington in my son’s room. It looks like a pale blue.
        I’m in search for the right gray for my kitchen.
        I’m on 15 samples right now and counting as it shows the undertones a lot. Lots of purple blues up there.

        • Melissa February 10, 2016 at 9:20 pm

          My neighbor painted her walls Stonington, and it looked great, but in my house it looked blue. Lighting is everything. I agree with Jno that Gray Owl would be a good one for you to try.

        • Molly March 7, 2016 at 10:06 am

          You sound like me! I have 12 samples on my wall and not completely satisfied with any. All I see now are greens, blues, and purples (the main gray undertones). I don’t have the paint sample for Collonade Gray by SW, but am leaning towards it through a color swatch and Pinterest and blog articles. Any opinions? It is for the master bedroom.

          • mwelsh September 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm

            We have Collonade Gray in our new house and we love it! What did you decide?

    • Nicole-Marie June 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Gray Owl is a “light true gray” and Stonington Gray is a “true gray” as well. Stonington Gray is just darker than Gray Owl. I hope this help anyone with this dilemma. Happy painting!

      • Melissa June 28, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        Good to know. Thanks for the info!

      • Carole October 28, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Gray Owl is a grey green. Wouldn’t recommend it as “true”. I am considering Silver Lining at this point. Don’t want something too dark or too light.

        • Melissa November 4, 2015 at 8:15 pm

          Thanks for your input. Benjamin Moore’s Silver Lining is very pretty! Good luck to you.

  4. Kim June 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Looking for a beige/tan paint color with a darker grey accent wall. Any good combinations you know of?

    • Melissa July 4, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Great question! I would recommend choosing a gray accent color that has warm undertones, like Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray. It will blend nicely with beige/tan paints. A good combination to try is BM’s Chelsea Gray paired with BM’s Sandy Hook. You might also consider pairing Revere Pewter with Chelsea Gray, although it might trend more gray than you are after. Good luck!

  5. Andrea November 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I’m having an aweful time with my grey paint!!! Did my bathroom and wanted a light true grey…ended up looking blue. In my living room used Sherwin williams less brown as accent wall. Other walls started with truly taupe and way too purple!!! Need something that does not have purple undertones!! Thank you:)

    • Melissa November 4, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Oh no! I had the same problem in my house. I used SW Mindful Gray in our dining room, and loved it. But, when I painted it in the kitchen, it looked like lavender…big bummer. SW Less Brown and Truly Taupe both have purple undertones, so that explains why you’re seeing purple. You might try SW Collonade Gray or Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. These are very similar colors that tend a little more green than purple. Another good one to try is SW Analytical Gray. Good luck to you!

      • Tammy November 11, 2015 at 5:46 am

        We are completely renovating the entire house and I’m on the fence with my kitchen cabinets. Right now I have a sample done up with BM 1465 Nimbus but I’m not sure if it’s grey enough for me. Granted I have a feeling with this color you can put many different colors with it which is also great as my family room is attached to the kitchen. Any thoughts? I’m also putting a glaze on the cabinets.

  6. Carla November 5, 2015 at 7:31 am

    So ironic Melissa bc i have been searching for the perfect grey as well for my living room and i have the exact Pottery Barn rug that u have wth the same wall color, and a dark brown sectional! i just purchased a new rug from PB in grey and cream and looking for the perfect wall color too. Greys are so very difficult with so many hues???

    • Melissa February 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      I’m in search of a new rug for that room. It seems to attract my chocolate lab’s fur like nobody’s business, and it ends up looking super dirty (and hairy). Good luck with your gray paint search!

  7. Sara February 24, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I’m planning on painting the majority of my house Stonington and Coventry Gray, but would like something lighter for the hallways. Wickham gray is on the same palette but I don’t really like it. Any suggestions?

  8. Emily April 12, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I just painted an accent wall in my basement BM Owl Grey. It looks a very feminine blue-green shade under the halogen pot lights. I’m disappointed the colour was not grey under these lighting conditions. Pretty, but not what I had hoped for. However, I am investigating changing the halogen bulb in my pot lights to LED bulbs that might change the paint colour. There appears to be 3 types of LED bulbs that provide a range of lighting from white light to warm light. Home Depot has a display in the light bulb section with the 3 bulb types set up so I can try the colour chip under each lighting condition before I purchase the new bulbs. I think it’ll be less work than repainting the walls.

    I am thinking of painting my dining room grey but am gun shy now. My dining room is normally dark day and night as it does not get much natural light. I am wondering if anyone can comment on their experience with a medium grey that works well in rooms with little natural light and good with incandescent light from a chandelier.

  9. Anne Scott May 6, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    We are currently remodeling a home in Colorado where our blue skies strongly influence paint colors. Nimbus was our first choice because it seemed more neutral & leaned toward taupe. However many places it picks up the blue sky light and seems to look bright baby boy blue. If walls are close together this effect is even stronger.
    I am now having to select some walls to be repainted an off-white just to remove the intense result. In small test areas this wasn’t apparent. The Benjamin Moore rep was just as shocked.

  10. Corinne June 25, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Anyone ever try BM Metro Gray or Cement Gray. I like the purple undertones but don’t want a purple wall.

  11. Sheila Nebel July 9, 2016 at 5:15 am

    On my second round of grey samples. I have tv wall painted black and I love it. I ants to paint the whole room black since it has lots of natural light and is only 2 more walls. But I’m cautious so am looking for a grey now. I’m overwhelmed and can’t find III. PS what do I do w all the samples ?

    • mwelsh September 12, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      One year we held a garage sale, and someone saw all these paint samples in our garage and asked if he could have them. He wanted them because they were neutral colors and he was making a huge train set with a train town. Go figure! You could try posting them for free on Craigslist or on Nextdoor and see if anyone bites.

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