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. 😉 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!
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!)
We also decided to use it on the walls in our master bedroom and bathroom.
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.
And one of my favorite views in the house, from the kitchen, looking into the dining room:
We also used Dover Gray in the baby’s room. You can see the full post with more pictures here.
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.
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. 😉 Just maybe this is the inspiration you need to get painting.
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!!