A SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT GREY

 

Grey Swatches

I always envisioned that the main living area of the house would be painted grey. I know it seems that everyone is jumping on the grey train these days and here I am doing the same. Personally, I am just sick of beiges and tans and since I have always quite liked silvers and greys, it wasn’t a hard decision. I wanted a nice neutral grey – not too light, not too dark, not too beige, not too silver, not too sterile looking and warm but not too warm. Also, I’d prefer it didn’t have any undertones of blue, mauve, pink, or green – not really too much to ask for right?

The first colour I had chosen early on in my search was Alpine Ash from the Origins by Benjamin Moore selection, a nice medium shade of grey. However, over time I decided it lacked warmth and being almost silver, I worried it would make the space look cold especially with the glossy white cabinets that would be going in the kitchen. So, I moved on.

Origins by Benjamin Moore Alpine Ash OR-420

Origins by Benjamin Moore Alpine Ash OR-420

I was sure the next colour I chose was ‘the one’. Beauti-Tone’s Through the Looking Glass was a little darker shade of grey but still a fairly true grey that didn’t seem to show signs of blue or green or pink when I compared it to other paint swatches. I was happy to have decided on a grey and for months this was the grey of choice until about a week before painting was scheduled to begin. I happened to show the swatch to a few people at a family get together and the general consensus was that it was a bit dark and that I could find a better grey.

Beauti-Tone Paint Through the Looking Glass R149-0

Beauti-Tone Paint Through the Looking Glass R149-0

So, I accepted their feedback and agreed that maybe it was a bit dark so that night I started a new search for a better grey, a lighter grey…the perfect grey. I ran a few swatches by my husband but he, like many men, didn’t really see all the hue’s of colour I saw. I’d say ‘does this one look a bit green to you?’, and he would just give me a shoulder shrug. He was leaving the decision in my hands.

So a couple of days later, when the painter texted me telling me he needed the colour for the main area of the house…by the next morning! I panicked. I grabbed all of my grey swatches from my shoebox of unwanted paint colours I’d gathered over the year along with my mother-in-law’s Benjamin Moore paint chip fan deck she’d loaned me and off I went to meet a friend. I told her my dilemma and we narrowed it down one by one. We finally came to the conclusion that Behr’s Gentle Rain was a lovely grey, definitely soft and warm, and I liked the name of the colour (which is important.) I texted the painter that night and he was ready with a five gallon pail of Gentle Rain the following morning. I had to head to work so I only saw a dab of it on the wall before I left. All day I hoped that Gentle Rain was the right choice. When my family and I stopped by the house later that afternoon to check out the first coat we all saw it – mauve. Somehow, we hadn’t seen mauve in the tiny one inch swatch the evening before but it was there alright. The laundry room, kitchen, dining room, living room and hallway were all a pretty mauve grey. A nice shade if that was the colour you were going for.

Behr Gentle Rain 790-2

Behr Gentle Rain 790-2

I quickly texted the painter telling him we’d have to pick a different colour for the second coat and sorry, but I’d have to let him know the new shade that evening. So I was back on the hunt for the perfect grey. After once again dumping out my stash of grey paint chips they all seemed to blend into one shade of grey. I decided I needed some help so I started scouring grey paint colours on Pinterest and reading blog posts of other people’s similar challenges. For hours I searched and searched and definitely could relate to one blogger saying her search for the right grey was making her go ‘grazy’ – how clever.

One grey that kept popping up with great reviews was Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl. I quickly found it on the paint fan deck and it looked like a lovely grey. At this point I was falling asleep so I decided to just go with it and texted the painter the new colour – Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

I knew that this being the second coat of paint would be the colour that would be staying on the walls even if it ended up being an ugly green. Luckily when we stepped foot in our house the next afternoon I breathed a sigh of relief, the colour was perfect! I don’t have a great photo of the colour on the walls since it is still a big mess in the kitchen and dining room with cabinet boxes everywhere, but you can get an idea of the grey against the ceiling white.

2016-04-01 13.57.46

We liked the colour so much we decided to go ahead and paint the basement in the same colour.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation trying to find a true light grey with no obvious undertones of mauve or green, take a look at Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, I think you’ll like it.

Stay tuned for our other room colour choices…

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