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How to Decorate with Gray Paint

Liz MassonI love decorating with gray paint in coastal homes because there are so many warm and inviting gray tones in nature. When we pull the outside hues in, we do a better job of connecting the place we call home to what’s around us. Consider the array of gorgeous rocks and pebbles along Rhode Island’s shoreline and you quickly see the thousands of pleasing gray tones there are to design with. 

Why Decorating with Gray Paint is Tricky

What makes decorating with gray challenging is that gray is not a color! Rather, gray is a delicate blend of white and black, combined with hues of red, blue, and yellow. Add too much black and you’ll end up with an undesirable stone cold cement-like look. Go too heavy on blue and your gray walls look unpleasingly purple in certain light.Liz Masson

Here’s the Secret to Choosing Gray Paint:  Brown it Down

Most homeowners I know want a warm and inviting gray color in their homes. If you find yourself lost in a paint store and not sure what gray paint color to choose, you can’t go wrong by browning it down. In other words, choose a gray paint with more beige tones and you increase the chances that you will select a gray color that can mix successfully with other natural colors of stones, shells, sand and those beautiful brown plum hues. For texture in decorating with gray paint, add in some wicker, burlap, mercury glass and chunky rope and now you’re talking terrific beach house design!

I always recommend you test test test your color choices before committing. It’s never been easier to buy a sample and put it on the wall at home. Study it over a period of time and in all hours of light and darkness. Testing several color selections side by side helps you appreciate how the space itself and the light it receives will impact the color impression.

Liz MassonLiz Masson’s Go-To Favorite Grays

  • Benjamin Moore Nimbus 1465
  • Benjamin Moore Classic Gray 1548
  • Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray 7029
  • C2 Wellspring C2-977
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl 2137-60
  • Benjamin Moore Silver Song 1557

Once you get the hang of it, gray becomes the neutral you turn to often because of the way it brings a fresh warmth & crispy modern vibe to your space. I recommend it as a versatile color palette for a Green Hill Beach kitchen, living room or bedroom!

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