So - you, the readers, have spoken!
Grey it is :)

Now the search for the RIGHT grey for MY apartment is officially on.

*insert loud exaggerated sigh here*

Grey, like most other neutral paints, is a hard one to nail.
Most, as far as I can tell from looking at various pictures and paint chips, have undertones of either green, blue, or purple. The ones with purple undertones are the ones I tend to like most.....
And while I want just a "normal" grey with no undertones - I've seen several WITH undertones that I do like. And having an undertone seems to make it more...complex - for lack of a better word.
More interesting.

BUT, as we all know, the type of light in the room, colour of the floors, and even the furniture will affect the way the paint looks on the wall.

And so, earlier this afternoon, I picked up tons of swatches.

I know...NONE of them look grey. But trust me.

What's in the running?
From BM:
A La Mode
Barren Plain
Stone Harbor (which may be too dark)
Ice Cubed Silver (which may be too blue)
Metro Gray (if I can find it...my BM store said they didn't make that colour...weird.)

And I still have to pick up chips for:
 Dolphin Fin (Behr)
Graytint (BM)

And Farrow & Ball Great White.

That's a lot of grey!

Here are what some of them look like in pics I've sourced online:
(plus it's handy for me to have them all in one place like this ;)

Behr Dolphin Fin via the blog Live Creating Yourself
(while it doesn't look like it in this pic I'm fairly certain this has greeny-blue undertones)

BM Metro Gray as seen in this sneak peek on Elements of Style
(seems to have purple-y undertones)

BM Stone Harbor as seen in Laure's Dining Room over on the blog At Home At Home
(another one with slight purple undertones)

BM Ice Cubed Silver as seen here on flickr
(seems to have slightly blue undertones)

BM Barren Plain as seen here on AT

BM A La Mode as seen in one of my fave AT tours ever
(pinky-purple undertones)

Farrow & Ball Great White as seen on Style at Home

Next step?
I'll put all the paint chips on my wall to see how they look.
Then, I'll narrow them down.
Then I'll go buy 2-3 small sample tins of what's still in the running.....
and actually test them on the wall.
THEN I'll pick 'THE ONE'

I have a feeling this is going to be a long process.

If any of you have used grey paint in your own space I'd love to know what colour you used and how you liked it...and if you have a picture, feel free to leave a link to it.
I'd love to see!


Margarita @ WestCoastMama.net said...

Grey is the absolute hardest colour to nail, seriously. I remember when I painted a bunch of walls different shades of grey in my first house, and we went back to the paint store a million times because in the day time a shade looked great but by evening or in the dark it looked horrible. I remember a darker shade of grey turning purple/blue at night. Awful.

My go to shade of grey, which is a true true true medium shade of grey (it's not light but not dark once a wall is painted) is Ralph Lauren's "EXPOSED"


Ralph Lauren also has a million greys.

I would make sure you can return the paint or get small cans or something. Grey is a bitch!

Anonymous said...

i painted my iving room dunn edwards baby seal..check it out. perfect shade

Decor I Adore said...

I used Tempered Grey from Valspar in our master bedroom and I LOVE IT! You can check it out here http://decoriadore.blogspot.com/2010/06/wonderful-things.html

Here is the color at another time of day

###### said...

i had a hard time with gray when i started this blog...but finally i got it right. i have grey sweatpants by ralph lauren in my sons room and love it.

Lori said...

I recently went through this over the winter. I had multiple samples painted on the wall and ended up going with "Light French Gray" by Behr. Honestly, Dolphin Fin was on my list and I could not find the chip in the store. I am very happy with my choice but if I could do it again I'd go slightly lighter, maybe BM Bunny Gray (?).

Here's a photo with all my samples up:

Here's a link to the room after painting:

Unknown said...

The thing about gray is that people who do work with color regularly assume its white with a little black. However, every color has a gray. One way to go would be to use a gray that goes back to one of your accent colors.

gia said...

I really like gray with pink undertones. Are you really going to let others decide? I could never do that, I'm way too controlling. A pink TAN or a pink GRAY I love.

Mandy said...

I can't wait to see the end result of this. I am pretty sure I would love the gray with the purple undertones.

gina said...

Hi! I had to comment on this one because I recently went through this exact dillema! I too geared more to the grey with purple undertones but I settled for Benjamin Moore's folkstone. I love how it looked when it went up. It wasn't to flat of a grey and the slight brown undertone makes it very earthy neutral and zen and a great backdrop to art. I Just thought I would share that with you. Good Luck!

gina said...

oops, I meant it was sherwin williams not benjamin moore :)

Anonymous said...

BM silver dollar is pretty great. Definitely a blue grey though.

Anonymous said...

Holy guacamole- you aren't kidding about a hard one to nail. Good luck chica!

Maggie said...

Sorry for the very late comment, but after your first post on grey vs tan/cream/ivory, I latched onto Dolphin Fin and decided in a second I would use it for my living room/entry way/kitchen in my new condo. I closed escrow on Wednesday, the painter started Thursday, and it's done! It was a huge roll of the dice given I've never painted anything before, thus have never selected paint colors, and did NOT test the color on the wall first since I officially became the owner of the property about 12 hours before the painter started (and about 24 hours after he purchased the paint). The color looks fantastic, and as soon as I replace the YUCKY carpet and have my futniture delivered I'll have pics!!

Kay* said...

@maggie - thanks so much for your comment. how exciting! congrats on your new home AND for taking the (sometimes scary?) step of painting! i can't wait to see pictures and hope you will post some - dolphin fin looks like a wonderful colour and i'm happy me and my little blog were able to give you some inspiration :)

Unknown said...

Transforming a small apartment with a tiny budget looks hard but you actually did nail it. I had lived in some short term apartment rentals, New York area, but never had I attempted to do some redesigning and makeovers. One thing was I had a very thin budget. Seeing your posts seem looking with different beautified short term apartment rentals, (NYC touch) and for one to do things like these, it requires such great talent.
Talent, wish I had yours.

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