A Few of My Favorite Neutral Paint Colors

The number one question I get asked by blog readers, Instagram followers, Facebook friends, and In Real Life friends is “What is that paint color?” I love getting asked any question about decorating, but especially that question because it is one I have personally researched with blood, sweat, and tears. ¬†Okay, maybe just lots of sweat and a few tears. ūüėČ I have painted and repainted too many rooms to count so I can speak from experience on this topic.

This is an updated and edited version of a post I did several months ago but I have reorganized it and added¬†new pictures and links. ¬†Hope it helps if you’re looking for some great neutral paint colors or just some inspiration to get out those brushes and rollers!

Grays

If you’re looking for a perfect light gray paint color, my hands-down, absolute favorite is Olympic’s Silver Dollar. Olympic is sold at Lowe’s so I know its not your designer Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams brand. ¬†Is it okay that I just said that on a blog about interior design? Haha! ¬†Its a bit cheaper, which is nice! And if you buy Olympic One, which has primer and paint mixed together, it goes on quite smooth and lovely.

Its not a cool gray, it is a taupe-y kind of gray, so it doesn’t come across blue or purpley. ¬†But its not super warm or golden either. ¬†I feel like its perfectly in between. ¬†We used it all over the interior of our old house, which you can see here.

In our new house its on our kitchen cabinets, bannister, and mantle. ¬†We had the cabinets professionally sprayed with oil based paint before we even moved in. ¬†I mixed my own chalk paint for the bannister and mantle. ¬†I’ll blog about that process one day (no sanding, super easy, hooray!)

Cabinets painted Olympic's Silver Dollar

Mantle painted Olympic's Silver DollarBannister painted Olympic's Silver Dollar

We also decided to use it on the walls in our master bedroom and bathroom.

Paint Color- Olympic Silver Dollar

Its amazing how different it looks in the new house compared to the old. I’ve already mentioned that this house has much more natural light.

Even though it is my all time favorite color, I still HIGHLY recommend that you purchase and paint a sample of it first before committing to it! Or purchase 10 different samples and paint them all over your house if you’re crazy like me and just want to be SURE.

If you’re looking for a darker, more saturated gray, one I’ve used several times and love is Olympic’s Dover Gray. ¬†Right now we have that color in our dining room. (See where I blogged about that room¬†here).

Here’s the view from the dining room looking into the kitchen. You can see the Silver Dollar on those lower cabinets.

Wall Color- Dover Gray

And one of my favorite views in the house, from the kitchen, looking into the dining room:

Wall Color- Dover Gray

We also used Dover Gray in the baby’s room. ¬†You can see the full post with more pictures¬†here.

The House of Figs Nursery, Dover Gray

Whites

In this new house I knew I wanted Silver Dollar on the cabinets, so I didn’t¬†want it on the walls too. ¬†We¬†went with the top color on the same card as Silver Dollar, called Willow Springs, for the walls. ¬†You can see glimpses of it in a few of the above¬†pictures, as well as in my living room.

Olympic Willow Springs Paint color

The kitchen cabinet & trim color we are using on The Montgomery House is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. ¬†I researched that one a lot and found that a lot of designers prefer it because it is a “true” white. ¬†Neutral colors are¬†so much trickier to choose than saturated ones¬†because the slightest little tint of green or blue or red or whatever can change the feeling so much.

I’ve also found that the colors outside your home can affect how it looks inside. ¬†Several years ago I painted a nursery in a client’s home this steely gray-blue and it looked lovely. ¬†I used the same color in my daughter’s room when we first moved here and didn’t sample it because we were painting so much at the time and in a hurry. ¬†Her window is very close to our neighbor’s red brick house. ¬†Something about the sunlight hitting that red brick and bouncing into her bluish gray room made it look completely purple. ¬†I wasn’t too happy about that and she was only two, so I repainted it.

My biggest piece of advice when painting a room is to buy samples. ¬†Lots of them. ¬†It is so worth it. Paint them in lots of different spots and look at them during lots of different times of day. ¬†Something you love in someone else’s house may not work the same way in yours. ¬†But there’s a next step too…

There does come a time when you just have to take a risk. ¬†Can I tell you something, as your friend here? ¬†Please don’t let those sample swatches sit on your wall for more than a week. ¬†You eventually have to decide and just go for it. ¬†Its just paint, you’re not making any life or death decisions here. ¬†It can always be repainted for the cost of some money and time. ¬†And chances are it will be better than that wall color that you didn’t like to begin with! ¬†It will definitely be better than that wall color with all those paint samples on it that has maybe been that way for a month… or two? ¬†All grace for you here, I know life gets busy. ūüėČ Just maybe this is the inspiration you need to get painting.

takearisk

I found this on The Nester’s pinterest board. ¬†She’s big on taking risks & not worrying about being perfect or making mistakes.

Do you have any go to favorite paint colors? What have you painted recently?

Thanks so much for reading!!

Bethany

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5 Responses to A Few of My Favorite Neutral Paint Colors

  1. Jennifer Budrick May 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi, I love your blog! I think I seriously “oversee” colors… when others don’t see purple in greige paint, I do, for example. Anyway… I’ve painting my country kitchen 3 times, put 30 sample paint swatches on the wall and left it for weeks and am still unhappy with the finished color. I was going for a greige but that didn’t happen, I really need help, I just don’t know what to do. It is a room basically with only one picture window that see’s out into a sunroom and that is the only natural light in the room. We have can lights throughout to keep it bright, but the bulbs are the newer fluorescent ones that cast a bluish hue on the walls, or at least I think that’s what I’m seeing. There is one wall of built-ins and another of kitchen cabinets that are all white. I have a greige toned couch in the room that matches the wall color exactly… but that is not what I was going for… The wall color is cappuccino color by restoration hardware. Do you think the Olympic Silver Dollar color you mentioned above, would work? Thank you for any advise you may have!

    • Bethany May 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi Jennifer! Thanks so much!! I’m so sorry you’re having color trouble. There’s no way for me to say for sure, except that you might as well try it! I looked up Cappuccino by Restoration Hardware and it looks like a much warmer color than Silver Dollar. Silver Dollar seems to be a more true gray compared to that. I don’t ever see purple in it, but you never know- colors truly look different in different lights/homes. If its the light bulbs causing the problem you could try changing those. I generally stay away from fluorescents because I just love the warm glow of incandescent. They are making LEDs now with a warmer glow and I have a few of those in my home now- I would stay away from any lightbulb that says “outdoor” or “cool.” Indoors, I like a warm light. I hope that helps!!

  2. Karen July 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi! Where did you get the shelves going up your stairs? Love that look!

    • Bethany July 12, 2016 at 9:46 am #

      Hi Karen! They are from Ikea, but I don’t think they sell them exactly like that anymore. There are some different ones though that you might like! Hope that helps!

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    […] gotten some questions about my bannister recently. ¬†I mentioned it briefly in this post about my favorite paint colors and you can also see it here in the post about my art nook but I […]

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