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 June 2019 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.

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.

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.

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.

How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color

Free PDF Guide: 13 Tips For Picking the Perfect Paint Color Every Time

How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color

Looking back over the years, I can admit that I have picked a lot of bad paint colors.

In my very first apartment, I thought a yellow kitchen would be bright and cheery. I had to buy a six foot ladder to reach the top of the walls, and after a very long weekend, I stood back and admired my handiwork. It was yellow all right. Bright Big Bird Yellow. I could see it glowing from the street even when my curtains were closed.