Paint-Swatches

Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim & Cabinets – Six More Sherwin-Williams Colors

Every week, I receive emails and comments from people who need help picking paint colors to work with their honey oak trim and cabinetry. A few years ago, I wrote a post on how to go about choosing paint colors for honey oak trim, but I didn’t provide any specific paint colors.

So far in this series, I wrote about five light neutrals from Benjamin Moore that look beautiful with honey oak trim and six light beige neutrals from Sherwin-Williams that work well with medium to light honey oak trim, cabinetry, and flooring. In part three of this series, I am sharing three light grays from Sherwin-Williams and three pale yellow-green neutrals.

Here in Des Moines, there are thousands of homes built anywhere from the 80s through the early 2000s that still have honey oak trim, built-ins, paneling, and cabinetry. Sometimes, we will paint them white, but often it can be cost prohibitive. And sometimes, my clients like the natural wood oak, because it can be very beautiful, so we keep it.

As in the previous two posts, I chose the same two spots in our home that still have honey oak trim or cabinetry and photographed large swatches of the five colors next to the wood. These photos might not be very exciting, but they demonstrate these five colors in different exposures with varying shades of honey oak.

The set of photos taken by our kitchen cabinetry get northern light, and the set taken by our stair railing get more southern light. I took these photos around 9:00 in the morning here in Iowa. In the set of photos by the cabinetry, I also included a small piece of oak trim with a light stain for another variation on honey oak.

All of my walls and trim are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17, so that is the background you see behind the paint swatches. White Dove has a touch of cream and a touch of gray. I think it looks beautiful with honey oak if you have the right home for white walls.

Skyline Steel SW 1050

Sherwin-Williams Skyline Steel is a warm light gray found in the Timeless section of the Sherwin-Williams paint deck, and so it is easily overlooked when searching for colors to test.

It’s on a strip with other gray paint colors that aren’t the same hue, so it’s undertone isn’t easily understood at first glance. After comparing it to some other other popular Sherwin-Williams light grays, I concluded that it’s more green than Agreeable Gray and less green than Useful Gray, which can go quite green in the right light.

For lightness, it’s somewhere between the first color on the strip and the second.

Sherwin-Williams Skyline Steel SW 1015 with Honey Oak
SW 1015 Skyline Steel in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Skyline Steel SW 1015 with Honey Oak
SW 1015 Skyline Steel in Southern Morning Light

Agreeable Gray SW 7029

Agreeable Gray is a very popular Sherwin-Williams light gray, the lightest color on its strip. It’s a good substitute for the ever popular Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.

Anew Gray is one shade darker. In my Winston Circle project, we used Anew Gray in the master bedroom and Agreeable Gray in the master bathroom. We used Anew Gray on the whole lower level. 

Agreeable Gray has warm bronzey undertones that complement the yellow orange in the oak. If you must pair your honey oak with gray walls, Agreeable Gray is a good place to start.

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray in Southern Morning Light

Useful Gray SW 7050

Useful Gray definitely has a green undertone. If you compare it to the strip with Agreeable Gray, it’s even more obvious that it leans more strongly towards green while Agreeable Gray leans more strongly towards yellow.

I think your lighting situation and the particular tone of your honey oak will affect whether or not Useful Gray is a good choice.

Sherwin-Williams Useful Gray SW 7050 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Useful Gray in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Useful Gray SW 7050 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Useful Gray in Southern Morning Light

Dirty Martini SW 9119

The next three colors all look better with honey oak than the previous three. So many people email me asking for gray paint colors that look good with honey oak, but the best wall colors for honey oak are not gray.

First up, Dirty Martini. I love the name as this is my cocktail of choice, preferably with blue cheese olives and made by my dad. You can find this color on the next strip over from Ramie and Rice Grain, which I covered in my last post.

Dirty Martini is the lightest color on the strip. It’s a really pretty light yellow with a drop of green and a drop of gray, which makes it read more neutral than a true yellow. I can imagine that it would make a room feel like it was glowing and look beautiful with creamy whites.

Sherwin-Williams Dirty Martini SW 9119 with Honey Oark
Sherwin-Williams Dirty Martini in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Dirty Martini SW 9119 with Honey Oark
Sherwin-Williams Dirty Martini in Southern Morning Light

Cargo Pants sW 7738

Cargo Pants is a greenish beige that is on a strip in the Timeless section with a selection of other greens. I mention the location of the colors in the deck because the bulk of the Sherwin-Williams deck is organized by undertone. Most of the strips are organized from lightest to darkest gradations on the same hue.

The Timeless section is not organized this way and so it can be harder to understand the properties of the colors when they are in this section.

I loved Cargo Pants next to the honey oak. I thought it felt very harmonious, natural, and fresh.

Sherwin-Williams Cargo Pants SW 7738 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Cargo Pants in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Cargo Pants SW 7738 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Cargo Pants in Southern Morning Light

Polar BEAR SW 7564

My last color selection for this post is Polar Bear. Polar Bear is located on a strip in the Whites and Pastels section, and it is a very light shade of yellow with a touch of gray. In my photos, you can see that it’s only a little deeper than the Benjamin Moore White Dove on the walls.

Incidentally, if you had trim or cabinetry painted White Dove, this would be an amazing color to choose for an all white look that didn’t feel cool and gave you a little bit of contrast.

Sherwin-Williams Polar Bear SW 7564 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Polar Bear in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Polar Bear SW 7564 with Honey Oak
Sherwin-Williams Polar Bear in Southern Morning Light

For these six colors, I put together a comparison chart with both the northern and southern exposures so you could easily see how they compare. I think it’s also more noticeable how different conditions affect the light when you see them together.

Comparison of Sherwin-Williams Light Neutral Paint Colors with Oak
Comparison in North Facing Light
Comparison of Sherwin-Williams Light Neutral Paint Colors with Oak
Comparison in South Facing Light

In these comparison photos, I think you can see how much better the warmer neutrals look with the honey oak than the gray. If you have honey oak trim, you should embrace it and not fight it or try to make it work with the all gray trend.

Remember, this post only addressed how these colors work with the wood tone. You still need to consider any other fixed elements in the room such as tile, countertops, stone, or any upholstery, drapery, or rugs that you don’t plan to replace.

If you want to learn more about how to pick the perfect paint color every time, I wrote an e-book with my best tips for getting right on the first try.

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Light Neutral Paint Colors for Honey Oak
Paint-Swatches

Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim & Cabinets – Six Light Beiges from Sherwin-Williams

Every week, I receive emails and comments from people who need help picking paint colors to work with their honey oak trim and cabinetry. A few years ago, I wrote a post on how to go about choosing paint colors for honey oak trim, but I didn’t provide any specific paint colors.

Last week, I wrote about five light neutrals from Benjamin Moore that look beautiful with honey oak trim. Today I am sharing five more light beige neutrals from Sherwin-Williams that work well with medium to light honey oak trim, cabinetry, and flooring.

Here in Des Moines, there are thousands of homes built anywhere from the 80s through the early 2000s that still have honey oak trim, built-ins, paneling, and cabinetry. Sometimes, we will paint them white, but often it can be cost prohibitive. And sometimes, my clients like the natural wood oak, because it can be very beautiful, so we keep it.

As in the Benjamin Moore post from last week, I chose the same two spots in our home that still have honey oak trim or cabinetry and photographed large swatches of the five colors next to the wood. These photos might not be very exciting, but they demonstrate these five colors in different exposures with varying shades of honey oak.

The set of photos taken by our kitchen cabinetry get northern light, and the set taken by our stair railing get more southern light. I took these photos around 9:00 in the morning here in Iowa. In the set of photos by the cabinetry, I also included a small piece of oak trim with a light stain for another variation on honey oak.

All of my walls and trim are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17, so that is the background you see behind the paint swatches. White Dove has a touch of cream and a touch of gray. I think it looks beautiful with honey oak if you have the right home for white walls.

CanVas Tan SW 7531

Sherwin-Williams Canvas Tan is a very light beige that looks beautiful with the honey oak. To me, it reads as one shade deeper than my White Dove walls. The color is very  neutral but warm.

Canvas Tan is located in the Whites section of the Sherwin-Williams deck right below Neutral Ground, which is another favorite of mine for cabinetry.

Sherwin-Williams Canvas Tan SW 7531 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
SW 731 Canvas Tan in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Canvas Tan SW 7531 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
SW 731 Canvas Tan in Southern Morning Light

Wool Skein SW 6148

Wool Skein is a light beige with warm bronzey undertones. It is less green than the other colors I’ve chosen below. I like Wool Skein because it does not go pink, nor should it read as a green. It’s slightly more neutral than a true beige but not as cool as a true gray.

Sherwin-Williams Wool Skein SW 6148 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Wool Skein in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Wool Skein in Southern Morning Light

Grecian Ivory SW 7541

Last Fall, I specified Grecian Ivory for the majority of a first floor in a traditional West Des Moines home with way too much honey oak to consider painting it all out. 

When I first saw the home, it was faux painted in many of the rooms and terribly outdated. I spent a lot of time looking at paint swatches in different rooms and different light and ultimately settled on Grecian Ivory.

The slight yellow-green undertone in this light pretty neutral looked stunning with the rick oak trim and floors but also with all of the greenery visible through the home’s large windows.

When I saw the house painted for the first time, it was like a breath of fresh air. It will never be a modern or even really a transitional home due to its architecture and detailing. But, the new color transformed the interior and brought it into the current decade while providing a lovely backdrop for the owners’ collection of antiques and artwork.

Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory SW 7541 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory SW 7541 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Grecian Ivory in Southern Morning Light

NaturEl SW 7542

Naturel is a light-medium beige with a yellow-green undertone. While it’s number indicates it’s one shade deeper than Grecian Ivory, it isn’t found on the same paint strip, so it might be easily overlooked. Naturel is located in the timeless section of the Sherwin-Williams paint deck.

Naturel and Grecian Ivory do look lovely together and would be a good pairing for an adjacent bedroom and bathroom or hallway and living area. 

Sherwin-Williams Naturel SW 7542 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Naturel in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Naturel SW 742 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Naturel in Southern Morning Light

Rice Grain SW 6155

Rice Grain has been on my radar since I very first started in interior design in 2007. We used it in a client’s bathroom, and I loved the way it looked with the travertine tile we used and the creamy white trim.

Rice Grain is a very light beige (first color on the Sherwin-Williams paint strip) with yellow-green undertones. It looks beautiful when paired with cream, ivory, and brighter yellow greens. It is versatile enough to work well in more traditional or transition spaces as well as modern homes, depending on the materials you use. It would look stunning with a natural Calacatta marble that has gold and gray veining.

Sherwin-Williams Rice Grain SW 6155 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Rice Grain in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Rice Grain SW 6155 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Rice Grain in Southern Morning Light

Ramie SW 6156

Ramie is one shade deeper than Rice Grain, so it’s the second lightest shade on the Sherwin-Williams strip. A good trick for making a room feel more unified and cohesive is to paint your walls the second shade from the top on the strip and paint your ceiling the lightest shade on the strip. Then you will avoid the feeling of having a white lid on your room, and your ceiling will feel higher.

Similar to Naturel, I like how Ramie has less contrast with the oak trim than the lighter colors. If your oak trim is darker light my cabinetry, the second shade on the strip might be a better option than the first.

Sherwin-Williams Ramie SW 6156 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Ramie in Northern Morning Light
Sherwin-Williams Ramie SW 6156 Light Beige Paint Colors Honey Oak Trim
Sherwin-Williams Ramie in Southern Morning Light

For these six colors, I put together a comparison chart with both the northern and southern exposures so you could easily see how they compare. I think it’s also more noticeable how different conditions affect the light when you see them together.

Comparison of Sherwin-Williams Light Beige Paint Colors with Oak
Comparison in North Facing Light
Comparison in South Facing Light

This is the second post in my series on paint colors for honey oak trim. In my next post, I will share several more colors from Sherwin-Williams – three light grays as well as four other light colors in with yellow green undertones.

Remember, this post only addressed how these colors work with the wood tone. You still need to consider any other fixed elements in the room such as tile, countertops, stone, or any upholstery, drapery, or rugs that you don’t plan to replace.

If you want to learn more about how to pick the perfect paint color every time, I wrote an e-book with my best tips for getting right on the first try.

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benjamin moore paint colors for honey oak trim and cabinets

Five Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim & Cabinets

Every week, I receive emails and comments from people who need help picking paint colors to work with their honey oak trim and cabinetry. A few years ago, I wrote a post on how to go about choosing paint colors for honey oak trim, but I didn’t provide any specific paint colors.

Today I am sharing five light gray neutrals from Benjamin Moore that work well with medium to light honey oak trim, cabinetry, and flooring.

Here in Des Moines, there are thousands of homes built anywhere from the 80s through the early 2000s that still have honey oak trim, built-ins, paneling, and cabinetry. Sometimes, we will paint them white, but often it can be cost prohibitive. And sometimes, my clients like the natural wood oak, because it can be very beautiful, so we keep it.

I found two spots in our home that still have honey oak trim or cabinetry and photographed large swatches of the five colors next to the wood. These photos might not be very exciting, but they demonstrate these five colors in different exposures with varying shades of honey oak.

The set of photos taken by our kitchen cabinetry get northern light, and the set taken by our stair railing get more southern light. I took these photos around 10:00 in the morning here in Iowa. In the set of photos by the cabinetry, I also included a small piece of oak trim with a light stain for another variation on honey oak.

All of my walls and trim are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17, so that is the background you see behind the paint swatches. White Dove has a touch of cream and a touch of gray. I think it looks beautiful with honey oak if you have the right home for white walls.

Senora Gray 1530

Senora Gray 1530 is a medium-light gray green color that looks beautiful with the honey oak. It is one shade deeper than Stingray, which I show below. This would be a good choice for you if you like Stingray but want a little more pigment.

Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Benjamin Moore Senora Gray 1530
Benjamin Moore Senora Gray 1530 in Northern Morning Light
Benjamin Moore Senora Gray 1530 in Southern Morning Light

Inner Balance 1522

Inner Balance 1522 is a light green beige, three swatches down on the Benjamin Moore Classics color strip. This color is on the next strip over from Senora Gray and Stingray, and it is slightly warmer (less gray). This was my second favorite of the five colors I chose for this post.

Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Inner Balance 1522
Benjamin Moore Inner Balance 1522 in Northern Morning Light
Benjamin Moore Inner Balance 1522 in Southern Morning Light

Elmira White HC-84

Emira White HC-84 is from the Historical Collection, so it isn’t shown on a strip with similar shades of the same hue. It’s a very light beige with subtle orange undertones that make it a good candidate for honey oak trim.

But, be careful. I didn’t love this color in the northern light, but I did think it was quite pretty in the southern light.

Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Elmira White HC-84

StingRay 1529

If you are looking for a light gray to pair with your honey oak trim, then Stingray 1529 is an excellent option. Stingray is a warm green-gray, one shade lighter than Senora Gray. Depending on your lighting, you may see more green or more gray at times.

As with all of these colors, it looks warmer in the southern photos by my stair railing and cooler in the northern photos.

Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Stingray 1529
Benjamin Moore Stingray 1529 in Northern Morning Light
Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Stingray 1529
Benjamin Moore Stingray 1529 in Southern Morning Light

Delaware Putty 240

Did you know that warm neutrals and beiges are coming back in a big way? I think people are tired of all gray everything, and are looking for color palettes that feel warmer and cozier. We’re all busy nesting at home right now and want our spaces to feel inviting.

Delaware Putty was my favorite of the five colors I tested for this very reason. It’s a light beige color (second from the top on the swatch strip), and its undertone is a neutral yellow that leans more towards green than orange.

By the way, this color looks amazing with White Dove OC-17 as the trim color and honey oak flooring. If you’re looking for barely any contrast from white trim to your wall color, try Ivory Porcelain 239, which is one shade lighter.

Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Delaware Putty 240
Benjamin Moore Delaware Putty 240 in Northern Morning Light
Benjamin Moore Paint Colors for Honey Oak Trim Delaware Putty 240
Benjamin Moore Delaware Putty 240 in Southern Morning Light

For this post, I chose to share Benjamin Moore colors that pair well with honey oak trim. Next week, I will share five colors from Sherwin-Williams that are also pretty choices to complement your oak cabinetry or trim.

Remember, this post only addressed how these colors work with the wood tone. You still need to consider any other fixed elements in the room such as tile, countertops, stone, or any upholstery, drapery, or rugs that you don’t plan to replace.

If you want to learn more about how to pick the perfect paint color every time, I wrote an e-book with my best tips for getting right on the first try.

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Bay window dining nook, Sherwin Williams SW9165 Gossamer Veil

The Best Light Gray Paint Colors for Walls

This post was originally published in March 2015. It was updated in February 2020 to reflect my new favorite light gray paint colors for a fresh and updated interior.

The gray paint trend is still going strong, and I am often asked about my favorite light gray paint colors for walls. In this post, I’ve rounded up some of my top choices from both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.

It’s very important to read through the descriptions so that you can understand the undertone of each color and how it might work in your home. The other day I did a consult with a client to select paint colors for her open living room / dining room / kitchen. The home had been a builder spec home in a new development, and the client had re-painted when they moved in but felt the color, which was a very cool blue-gray, wasn’t quite right.

Her instincts were right, and I could definitely see how she’d had trouble selecting the right paint color. The builder had used a pretty stone on the fireplace with warm gray undertones, tan carpeting, medium dark wood floors (not too red, which was good), espresso colored cabinets, and then granite countertops that were mostly gold with flecks of burgundy. The fixed finishes were all over the place, and the gray they’d picked was too cool to coordinate with any of them.

I brought my Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore paint decks along with loose swatches of some of my favorite colors. I also brought drafting tape and a piece of white foam core. I like to tape the loose swatches to the foam core and then move the foam core around the room. Plus, the white of the foam keeps the existing wall color from distorting the color of the swatches.

We eventually settled on three options for the living area that were all warm grays and then three options for blue-greens in the kitchen and dining area. We discussed painting the cabinets ivory to better coordinate with the cottage style the client prefers.

These are my go-to, warm, light gray paint colors and my starting point in just about any room where I know I’m not doing a color or a beige.

Keep reading for my favorite light gray paint colors for walls…

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW7029

Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams is definitely one of my top favorite colors for walls. It’s a warm stony color right in between true gray and beige. The undertone of the color leans more towards yellow-orange than toward green.

Patterned tile floor, master bathroom walk-in shower, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Bathroom design by Jillian Lare

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172

I know that everyone (on Pinterest) is loving Revere Pewter these days and with good reason. It has a little more pigment in it than the Sherwin-Williams light grays (second swatch down on the strip) and has a more yellow-green undertone

Light stacked stone fireplace with Samsung Frame TV
Living room design by Jillian Lare

I used Revere Pewter on the board and batten wainscot in my modern farmhouse bathroom remodel and paired it with Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist on the drywall above.

corner bathroom vanity with wall cabinet asymmetrical vanity caesarstone vanilla noir
Bathroom remodel in progress by Jillian Lare

Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray SW7043

Worldly Gray is cooler than Agreeable Gray with more green in the undertone. It’s a beautiful color that looks lovely with natural wood.

Since so many of you have asked, the print in the photo below is actually a tea towel. You can purchase one online.

Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray Jillian Lare Des Moines Interior Designer
Kitchen remodel by Jillian Lare

Sherwin Williams Gossamer Veil SW9165

Without a doubt, Sherwin Williams Gossamer Veil is my new favorite go-to light gray paint color. I feel like it’s a well-kept secret, and I have been shamelessly using it on repeat for the last several months.

I love this particular shade of gray with slightly creamy white trim for creating a fresh and light space that isn’t all white. It has no strong undertone that I can perceive, but is probably a green gray. It’s stunning with natural wood tones.

Modern marble fireplace with built ins on each side, linear fireplace with Samsung Frame TV by Jillian Lare Des Moines Interior Designer
Living room design by Jillian Lare

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray 1548

Classic Gray has become another staple of mine lately. It’s lighter than Revere Pewter and doesn’t tend to go as green. It’s a warmer light gray with a touch more pigment in it than Gossamer Veil.

Dining Nook Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
Kitchen Remodel by Jillian Lare
interior designer des moines south of grand bathroom remodel
Bathroom remodel by Jillian Lare

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray HC-173

Edgecomb Gray is right below Revere Pewter in the Benjamin Moore paint deck, but Edgecomb Gray has more yellow in it than Revere Pewter and less pigment. It’s a wonderful alternative to beige and much more versatile.

Sherwin Williams Useful Gray SW7050

Useful Gray has a yellow-green undertone to it and also looks great with natural wood. It’s light and fresh feeling.

Sherwin Williams Repose Gray SW7050

Repose Gray is another versatile gray that is slightly deeper than some of the other grays on this list. It has a warm stoney undertone to it, and I particularly love it for bedrooms.

Sherwin Williams Drift of Mist SW9166

Drift of Mist is another new favorite of mine. It’s on the same strip as Gossamer Veil in the Sherwin Williams paint deck, but the two colors are not variations on the same hue. Drift of Mist is ever so slightly cooler.

All of these grays work really well for rooms with lighter hardwood floors and for rooms with wood trim. If you prefer darker colored walls or just a little more pigment than these light grays, you can always use the third swatch down on the Sherwin-Williams paint strip or the fourth or fifth swatch on the Benjamin Moore strip (for the non HC colors). I like to use the lightest color on the strip for the ceiling instead of stark white.

If you’d like a free printable PDF download with all of the paint colors I shared in this post with their respective numbers, click the button below. It’s a handy reference to take with you the next time you are headed to the paint store.

If you’d like to learn more about how I choose colors for my interior design clients, I’ve written an ebook with my best tips. These are the exact steps I use to reduce mistakes and do-overs when choosing paint colors for both interiors and exteriors.