Use this list of the best light gray paint colors to help you narrow down your color options and make it easier to choose your final winning color!
Gray paint has been a favorite go-to for home designers and homeowners for the past couple of decades.
Why? Because this one single color offers so many options! From light to dark, cool to warm, you can find a gray to fit what you want.
The term “fifty shades of gray” may sound impossible, but it’s really not off-base! When it comes to gray, there are lots of shades to choose from. And for many people, so many options can be, well, too many options.
However, instead of being overwhelmed by a plethora of choices, I want to encourage you to see the sea of gray paint options as an opportunity to find the perfect shade for your home.
And I’m here to help! I’ve been a busy bee publishing all sorts of paint color-related posts to help make the process of choosing paint colors easier for you. I have an entire series of paint posts that cover a range of topics.
Some take a deep dive into a single paint color to give you all the info you need to decide whether to keep it or shred it from your list. And I have several posts that simply focus on a type of shade to help you whittle down your list to a group of options that feel manageable and easier to research.
Today, I’m at it again with a group of only the very best light gray paint colors. If you are searching for the best light gray for your home, look no further than this list (unless you want to research each color a little further).
Let’s get started!
Best Light Gray Paint Colors FAQs
Is gray paint still in style?
This is a great question! Since trends change over time and gray has been popular for a while, it’s natural to wonder if the more modern-looking greige has replaced gray.
The answer: As of 2023, gray is still popular. It’s timeless which means it won’t look dated in your home. I’ve never been a fan of decorating according to trends because as soon as the trend changes, you just have to redecorate. I prefer using classics, and gray fits the bill.
What is Sherwin Williams’s most popular light gray?
Repose Gray is one of Sherwin Williams’s most popular grays. Designers everywhere recommend it for its versatility, and it has been featured on the show Fixer Upper.
Where can I use light gray paint colors?
Since light gray is neutral, it can shine in nearly any space or situation. Try it for:
• Living Rooms
• Home Offices
• Accent Walls
Undertones of Light Gray Paint Colors
Here’s a quick lesson in design terminology. The “mass tone” (also called “overtone”) is the main paint color that you notice (red, blue, etc.). Undertones are more subtle. Basically, undertones are nuanced differences in the main shade and are the elements that help distinguish one hue from another.
For example, the wink of blue you see when looking at a cool-toned gray would be an undertone.
Light gray paint colors can have a variety of undertones, including blue, green, purple, or beige.
Similar to whites, light grays can appear very differently in changing lighting exposures, thanks to the undertones of that particular shade. They can also be highly influenced by the surrounding decor, often picking up hints of those hues.
Utilizing large paint swatches is the way I highly recommend for testing any colors you think you like before buying them. Paint swatches give you the chance to check out those undertones before committing!
As far as sampling goes, I highly recommend these mess-free, re-usable, re-positionable peel and stick paint samples ⤵
Light Gray Paint Colors Lighting Considerations
I already mentioned that lighting can greatly impact how grays appear. But that can seem pretty ambiguous. Let’s add some clarity by pointing out the impacts of different types of lighting on light gray paint.
- North-facing rooms have cool, blue-toned natural lighting, which tends to cause all colors to look a little darker and pull out any cool undertones the color has.
- South-facing rooms have consistent bright warm lighting throughout the day, often making colors look their best, albeit a little lighter and softer.
- West-facing rooms have shifting exposures, with cool light in the morning but warmer light starting in the late afternoon. Most shades appear muted and cooler in the morning but give way to warmer undertones in the evening.
- East-facing rooms face the opposite scenario. For both east and west-facing rooms, the best way to choose a shade is to focus on how it appears during the time of day when you will primarily use the space.
More Colors To Consider
Although light gray paint is a mainstay in the interior decor world, it may not be quite right for your home. Gray paint generally leans neutral or cool, so if you want something warmer, greige paint may be a better fit for your home and preferences.
If this list of light gray colors isn’t grabbing you, check out some of the other similar shades in our paint exploration series!
- Agreeable Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a warm mid to light greige.
- Shoreline (Benjamin Moore) – a light gray-leaning greige.
- Drift Of Mist (Sherwin Williams) – a medium to light greige.
- Worldly Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a popular mid-toned greige.
- Alpaca (Sherwin Williams) – a cool, taupe-leaning greige.
- Dorian Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a warm, neutral medium gray.
- Anew Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a soft, light to medium warm greige.
- Revere Pewter (Benjamin Moore) – a popular, darker greige.
- Chelsea Gray (Benjamin Moore) – a rich medium-dark gray with creamy qualities.
The Top 9 Light Gray Paint Colors
I’ve gathered a variety of options in this list to provide a range of hues and show you different possibilities. To distinguish light gray paints from darker hues, I used an LRV of 60 and above as my guide.
With each color, I share a short description and a photo to show an example of how it can appear in real life.
NOTE: I have published more in-depth paint color reviews on many of these shades. If you want more information about them (including undertone information and more real-life examples), simply click the provided links!
1. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Gray Owl (OC-52) is a gorgeous light gray paint color that also happens to be one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular grays.
It has some cool blue undertones and sometimes a hint of green that can peek through.
With an LRV of 65.77, it can wash out in bright light (while still offering contrast against white trim), but it won’t make a room feel small or dark.
Take this living room from DIY Playbook – not too light, not too dark.
2. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
Repose Gray (SW 7015) is a warm gray due to its brown undertones and occasional wink of purple and smidge of green.
Although this shade lives in the gray family, the brown undertones are enough to cause it to straddle that line between gray and greige.
With an LRV of 58, just a hair below my line of 60 (ok, it wasn’t a hard line), it’s still light enough to appear as a light gray paint color in certain lighting situations.
This inviting space from Home Taylored shows why Repose Gray is one of Sherwin Williams’s most popular grays.
3. Sherwin Williams On The Rocks
On The Rocks (SW 7671) is a light gray paint color with an LRV of 62 that tends to read either neutral or slightly cool.
Depending on the lighting, it can wash out to a pale gray or appear more medium-toned, or even a nice light gray like this living room from Z Design at Home.
Any way you slice it, this beautiful, livable shade makes a room feel light and airy, and timeless.
4. Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice
Some people call Crushed Ice (SW 7647) off-white, while others call it a soft, neutral gray. What would you call it in this room from Girl Loves Glam?
As far as I’m concerned, with an LRV of 66, it’s kind of like saying “potayto” or “potahto.” This balanced light gray paint color has slightly warm undertones that make a space feel both airy and inviting. That’s no easy feat!
It tends to lean toward green undertones but has a hint of violet that will peek through occasionally.
As you can see from this example from South Harlow, this color can be an outstanding choice as a cabinet color, and much more.
5. Sherwin Williams Big Chill
Big Chill (SW 7648) is a cool-leaning light gray paint color that frequently reads as true gray and sometimes features blue undertones.
With its LRV of 62, it can help make a small dark space feel spacious and lighter.
If you’re looking for timeless elegance, you’ll find it with Big Chill, as you can see in this dining space from Petrucci Homes.
6. Sherwin Williams Passive
Passive (SW 7064) is a wink darker than Big Chill, but with its LRV of 60, it’s close enough that you probably wouldn’t even notice the difference unless they were right against each other.
What you probably would take note of is Passive’s blue undertones are milder than Big Chill’s, and it can sometimes throw a hint of green or purple into the mix.
See how neutral and light gray it looks in this family room from Erica at Designing Vibes?
7. Benjamin Moore Calm
Calm (OC-22) is a shade that can cause confusion. Its LRV of 78 puts it into the off-white family, but in real life, it usually appears as a light to pale gray.
Its subtle brown and purple undertones give it a hint of warmth that makes it look “soft” rather than truly warm.
Here’s a perfect example from Pinteresting Plans that shows how Calm flexes between the light and shadows.
8. Sherwin Williams Drift of Mist
Drift of Mist (Sw 9166) is another shade that straddles the line between off-white and light gray paint colors. However, with an LRV of 66, I would put it in the light gray category.
This warm-leaning soft hue creates a beautiful unobtrusive cozy background but can flash a hint of green undertones in certain types of lighting.
In this dining room from What Jess Wore, Drift of Mist just appears as a soft pale gray.
9. Sherwin Williams Eider White
Eider White (SW 7014) is another line straddler. With its LRV of 73, I don’t think you could go wrong calling it either off-white or light gray.
But what I notice when I see it in pictures is that it often looks more gray than white to me, so I think of it as a pale gray that can wash out into off-white.
If this shade appeals to you, make sure to use color swatches because it can sometimes surprise people with a hint of pink/purple undertones.
In this living space from The Spoiled Home, you can see how much Eider White can wash out in the light. But it does appear light gray where the light isn’t hitting it.
That’s a wrap on my collection of the best light gray paint colors. I hope it helped you narrow down your list of favorites.
Thanks to their timeless nature, they can definitely be the right choice for many homes. No wonder they’re so widely loved by both homeowners and interior designers!
Remember, if you’re considering any of these paint shades, it’s better to sample than be sorry! These are the best type of samples to try because they are just big stickers…no fuss, no mess…
Pin these light gray paint colors for later. And if you decide to use one, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others decide whether one of these paint colors is a potential winner for their home, too!
Ready to show those boring, beige walls who’s the boss at home? Grab my free guide to help you sidestep the mistakes that almost everyone makes when it comes to picking paint! You’ll be on your way to perfect paint promptly…pinky swear.
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