Neutral Paint Colors We LOVE and Where to Use Them

Against a backdrop of Sherwin-Williams Dovetail, a collection of wooden cutting boards and woodfire oven paddles instantly draws the eye into this nook of the kitchen. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Six Winning Neutral Paint Shades

Choosing a neutral paint color may seem simple. After all, the thought of selecting a gray, white, or beige sounds pretty straightforward. The truth, however, is much more complicated. For every run-of-the-mill neutral, there are hundreds of similar neutrals that have slight differences in color undertones and warmth/coolness factors. Selecting the wrong one can be disastrous for a room. If you’ve ever just selected a white at random, then painted a room and instantly realized it was more of a purple, well, you know exactly what we mean.

The great news is that we’ve been playing with neutral paint for years, so we know a thing or two about getting it right. And since you’ve got a neverending to-do list between work, family, and upcoming summer activities, we’re making it easier than ever for you to choose the perfect shade for your space. We’ve pulled together a roundup of a few of our go-to favorites below with inspiration to help you decide which is the best fit for you. Just remember that before you purchase a gallon or two and slap it on the wall, do a large test sample first. The trick is to see it in person within the room, and to take inventory of how it makes you feel in a variety of light situations (natural light in the day and night, artificial light, etc.). Once you nail that down, the final look for your revamp will come together in a flash.

Sherwin-Williams – Dovetail

Ready to go bold, but still want to stay in the neutral family? Dovetail may be the shade for you. It’s a warm and saturated gray that is absolutely gorgeous – especially with a contrast of fresh white cabinetry or trim. It’s ideal for spaces that you want to feel cozy and ultra-comfortable, like a basement theater or a master bedroom, as well as a warm inviting color for a kitchen.

Sherwin Williams Dovetail SW-7018

Sherwin Williams Dovetail SW-7018

 

Against a backdrop of Sherwin-Williams Dovetail, a collection of wooden cutting boards and woodfire oven paddles instantly draws the eye into this nook of the kitchen. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Against a backdrop of Sherwin-Williams Dovetail, a collection of wooden cutting boards and woodfire oven paddles instantly draws the eye into this nook of the kitchen. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

The white trim, ceiling, and cabinets pop brilliantly against the Dovetail paint, while the satin nickel fixtures provide a soft transition between the two neutrals. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

The white trim, ceiling, and cabinets pop brilliantly against the Dovetail paint, while the satin nickel fixtures provide a soft transition between the two neutrals. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

A functional and stylish coffee nook blends together an array of neutrals, with white cabinets and dark countertops pairing beautifully with a hint of Dovetail paint on the walls. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

A functional and stylish coffee nook blends together an array of neutrals, with white cabinets and dark countertops pairing beautifully with a hint of Dovetail paint on the walls. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Sherwin-Williams – Anew Gray

Sherwin-Williams’ Anew Gray is a shade of gray that is reminiscent of foggy mornings and misty afternoons – it’s a hue that feels simultaneously muted, yet fresh, and it’s a great match for nearly any accent color or texture. Pair it with brick, wood, blue, gray, black, and more, and you’re sure to have a space that feels warm, but not too warm to fall into the beige category. 

Sherwin Williams Anew Gray SW-7030

Sherwin Williams Anew Gray SW-7030

 

Sherwin-Williams’ Anew Gray pairs perfectly with a bold blue basement wet bar and contemporary island seating. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Sherwin-Williams’ Anew Gray pairs perfectly with a bold blue basement wet bar and contemporary island seating. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

With warm infusions of brown and grey accents via brick, wood, and a faux taxidermy bull head, this basement’s use of Anew Gray is charming and sleek. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

With warm infusions of brown and grey accents via brick, wood, and a faux taxidermy bull head, this basement’s use of Anew Gray is charming and sleek. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Benjamin Moore – Revere Pewter

Revere Pewter is a stunning color that manages to retain both the warmth of beige and the drama of a gray. It is a fantastic “greige” if you are looking for a gray that is warmer and has more saturation, and of all of our go-to shades, this one tops founder Carla Bast’s list. It’s a favorite of hers that she’s used on many projects and throughout her own home.

Why does it work so well? Well, not only is it beautiful in the common spaces of your home, but it’s also the perfect match for home theaters and bedrooms.  Each of these spaces come to life with a coat of this shade, and it works seamlessly with pops of both lighter and darker colors. If you long for the simplicity of a neutral-based home, but aren’t ready to go the beige brown or cool grey route, this is the color you’ll want to consider.

Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172

Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter HC-172

 

Revere Pewter paint provides a simply stunning backdrop, allowing the creamy white and gray cabinets in this kitchen to come to life. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Revere Pewter paint provides a simply stunning backdrop, allowing the creamy white and gray cabinets in this kitchen to come to life. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

With a vaulted ceiling, exposed beams, plenty of natural light, and an open floor plan, Revere Pewter is the perfect paint shade to make everything in this space feel cohesive. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

With a vaulted ceiling, exposed beams, plenty of natural light, and an open floor plan, Revere Pewter is the perfect paint shade to make everything in this space feel cohesive. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

With pops of deep brown stain and charcoal as bold accents, this home theater gets an extra dose of elegance with a coat of Revere Pewter on its walls. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

With pops of deep brown stain and charcoal as bold accents, this home theater gets an extra dose of elegance with a coat of Revere Pewter on its walls. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Benjamin Moore – Balboa Mist

A touch lighter than Revere Pewter, Balboa Mist adds a brightness to a space that simply cannot be beat. Especially in rooms flooded with natural light, it’s the perfect way to add a sense of vibrancy and wakefulness to an area. Use this shade in rooms where activity is high and gatherings are the norm (like a poolside lounge area or a basement bar) – the light hue will feel happy, contemporary, and extra chic.

Benjamin Moore, Balboa Mist OC-27

Benjamin Moore, Balboa Mist OC-27

 

This lounge space that opens up onto the pool gets a splash of contemporary style with a coat of Balboa Mist and chic black-and-white accessories. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

This lounge space that opens up onto the pool gets a splash of contemporary style with a coat of Balboa Mist and chic black-and-white accessories. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

Paired with reclaimed wood and cowhide-upholstered stools, this basement bar stuns against walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Paired with reclaimed wood and cowhide-upholstered stools, this basement bar stuns against walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Benjamin Moore – Collingwood

Collingwood pulls a bit more cool tones into the mix with a shade that feels like a true light gray. It works like a charm with medium-to-dark grey decor and warm brown accents, so if you’re drawn to classic black and white combos (and shades in between), then you’ll want a can of this color, stat.

Benjamin Moore, Collingwood OC-28

Benjamin Moore, Collingwood OC-28

 

A mix of gray cabinetry, furniture, and fixtures pull out the gray undertones in the wall paint thanks to a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

A mix of gray cabinetry, furniture, and fixtures pull out the gray undertones in the wall paint thanks to a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

 

Black and white are a classic duo when set against a wall painted with Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Black and white are a classic duo when set against a wall painted with Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)

Benjamin Moore – Snowfall White

Finally, for lovers of ultra-bright homes and the crispness of a true white shade, Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White is your cup of tea. It’s not too abrasively bright like you typically see in primers, but it instead has a touch of warmth and a yellow undertone, making it the perfect blend for an all-over neutral home. For a completely streamlined aesthetic, this paint works particularly well as wall and trim color together with pops of blue and woven textures added to the decor to complete the look.

Benjamin Moore, Snowfall White 2144-70

Benjamin Moore, Snowfall White 2144-70

 

Fresh and crisp, this entryway feels contemporary, yet classic thanks to an all-over coat of Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. (Credit: Studio McGee)

Fresh and crisp, this entryway feels contemporary, yet classic thanks to an all-over coat of Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. (Credit: Studio McGee)

 

Paired with a large blue kitchen island, this all-white space has the perfect balance of neutrals and color infusion. (Credit: Life on Virginia Street)

Paired with a large blue kitchen island, this all-white space has the perfect balance of neutrals and color infusion. (Credit: Life on Virginia Street)

 

Have your perfect shade chosen? Ready to see a transformation come to life? Then head to your local shop and order a can because we guarantee that with any one of these neutrals, your home will be a simply stunning work of art in no time.   

 

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By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Sneak Peek Design

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Hi, I'm Carla and I've been creating unique and creative spaces all over the USA for over 20 years.Read More

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