Read all about Sherwin Williams Passive, plus see 29 real homes that use it!
Sherwin Williams Passive (#SW 7064) is a light gray with cool undertones. It’s a great shade for those looking for a crisp, clean look in any interior room.
In darker spaces, you can really see its true gray nature, but in spaces filled with lots of bright, natural light, it can look almost white. Certain lighting brings out icy blue undertones, and occasionally purple undertones might peek through. While it is a bit of a chameleon, Passive will almost never look too warm.
Is Passive the Right Gray for Your Home?
By this point, I think we can all agree that gray is a versatile color that works for many homes. It’s a neutral background but adds more interest and color than plain white. You can even pair two different shades of gray together for even more dimension (we’ll see some examples later)!
The trick is to find the right shade of gray that will complement your decor and the unique lighting of your room.
In many spaces, Passive looks like a true gray. Since it’s on the cooler side of a lot of grays we’ve already explored, it may not be the best fit if you have a lot of warmer-toned or off-white furniture. However, it looks fantastic contrasted with pure white trim. It also lets certain colors and black accents pop.
So, is Passive the right shade of light gray for your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or living room? Let’s explore it together!
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LRV of Sherwin Williams Passive (SW 7064)
LRV = Light Reflectance Value: Rated 0-100 with 0 being pure black, and 100 being pure white. The lower the number, the more light the paint absorbs, and the darker it will look. The higher the number, the lighter the shade will appear.
With an LRV of 60, Passive is about as dark a neutral as I would personally go. It’s still considered a light gray, but with plenty of body.
Below, you can see Passive (60) compared to pure white (100).
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Sherwin Williams Passive Compared to Other Colors
Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Gray is a timeless neutral, sure to stand the test of time in almost any home. The tricky part is finding the perfect light gray for your home.
While at first glance, Sherwin Williams’ Passive looks like a versatile, true gray, to really understand its color profile and undertones, we’ll need to compare it to other shades.
Let’s take a closer look.
Sherwin Williams Passive vs. Repose Gray
Passive and Repose Gray are very close in LRV: Passive is 60 and Repose Gray is 58. This makes the pair great for comparison. The difference lies in their undertones. Repose Gray leans toward greige (a blend of gray and beige) when compared with Passive’s cool light gray.
This means that Repose Gray is warmer than Passive and has taupe undertones. If you have any warm white or off-white furnishings in your home, keep in mind these shades tend to bring out Passive’s cool blue undertones. If this is not your thing, you may consider Repose Gray as a warmer fit but still super close on the LRV scale.
Sherwin Williams Passive vs. Light French Gray
Passive and Light French Gray look pretty similar. Light French Gray is slightly warmer and has purple undertones. At 53, it’s a few points darker on the LRV scale, but depending on the light in your space and your personal preference, that might work for you.
While both of these shades can brighten up considerably in rooms with a lot of natural light, Passive can sometimes read very close to white. Light French Gray will still retain quite a bit of that gray hue.
Sherwin Williams Passive vs. On the Rocks
Passive and On the Rocks are closer in LRV than Passive and French Gray, but differ from each other in a similar way. On the Rocks has an LRV of 62, but to the naked eye, it only appears the slightest bit lighter than Passive.
The difference is that it’s just a tiny bit warmer with some taupe undertones. It’s still on the cooler side of greige but doesn’t have the iciness that Passive can show in some lighting.
Other Colors Covered in our Paint Exploration Series:
If you still aren’t sold on this color, or just want a few more options – here are several other colors to choose from.
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29 Real Life Homes Using Passive
Now for the fun part. The only way to really get a feel for the way Passive looks in a home is to see it in action!
You already know that any paint color can transform dramatically from room to room, and at different times of day as the lighting changes. This is especially true for gray paints!
While you’ll definitely want to try out a swatch in the actual room you want to paint in your home, here are some real-life examples of Passive to inspire you.
Bathrooms that use Sherwin Williams Passive
Passive is a great light gray shade for bathrooms because it’s crisp, clean, and super versatile. It fits right in with modern, farmhouse, and classic decor styles. Another factor that makes it perfect for bathrooms is that it complements pure white shades in your vanity and trim.
Let’s take a look at some gorgeous bathrooms painted in Sherwin Williams Passive!
1. Master bathroom Passive with white trim from Sherwin | Rugh Designs
Sherwin Williams’ Passive looks beautiful and sophisticated in this classic, craftsman-style bathroom. The white crown molding and wainscotting gives it a chance to stand out in all its true gray elegance. I am absolutely smitten with the way the black bathtub and window frames pop against this no-fail combo!
Here’s a great example of how Passive can look like a very light (almost white) neutral; in bright lighting. The result is fresh and clean and creates a perfect backdrop for these stunning, natural wood shelves.
This bathroom creatively plays with different white and gray shades, as well as varied textures. Passive ended up being a sound choice for the half wall. It’s neutral enough to let the backsplash tile detail and chalk-painted gray vanity be the stars of the show.
This bathroom proves that even neutrals can be beautiful! Here, you get a feel for how Passive looks in artificial lighting – it brings out the slightest purple undertones. The black-and-white framed art adds a sleek urban feel to the space.
You really can’t go wrong with white shiplap in a farmhouse-chic bathroom! I love the rustic accessories. Passive is the perfect complementary shade on the adjacent wall.
Against a pure white trim, Passive looks like a true light gray. The variations of light in this bathroom show off the beautiful versatility of its shading.
Similar to astoldbyjennyann’s bathroom above, Passive takes on a very light, almost white, neutral role. The result is clean and sophisticated, but with a little more interest than pure white.
Living Rooms that use Sherwin Williams Passive
You’re sure to swoon over these beautiful living spaces using Passive on the walls!
8. My Review of Sherwin Williams Passive | Designing Vibes
Wow, check out the amazing lighting in this gorgeous living space! Again, in this bright lighting, Passive looks almost white but adds just the right amount of dimension against the white trim and built-in shelving.
How cozy is this adorable little nook? In this unique corner, the pure-white built-in bench and window frames take up most of the space. There’s just a sliver of the wall above where Passive adds a little bit of contrast.
10. Top 12 Neutral Paint Colors | Hire a Helper
I’m totally digging the fun nautical theme in this comfy living space. In this room, Passive emulates the crisp coolness of a gray morning sky at sea.
This fresh, bright living space is mostly evenly lit, making the entire room look like it’s painted in a very light shade. If you look closer, the white trim brings out the contrast of color against the Passive walls.
In this sweet living space, Passive acts as a neutral paint shade. It’s unassuming, but if you’re observant, you can notice and really appreciate the subtle color. I love how the light coming in through the windows adds a soft glow!
In this cool, sleek basement living area, you get a chance to see how strong Passive can be in a darker space. It’s still a true gray, but looks especially pigmented, allowing the art and decor to really pop.
Here’s another opportunity to see Passive transform with subtle variations of light. As we’ve seen before, it adds interesting contrast against white built-ins.
Here’s another look at the same room from Designing Vibes (#8 above) with different decor and at a different time of the day. The lower lighting not only brings out more pigmentation in Passive, but it also makes it look considerably warmer.
This modern, minimalistic vibe is so chic! In this room, Passive takes on an icy cool shade with blue undertones. Notice how the color deepens in the corner and subtly morphs with the light, creating an ombre effect over the slanted wall.
Gorgeous Kitchens using Sherwin Williams Passive
These kitchens using Passive as a wall color are particularly interesting. Many of them have pure white cabinetry that takes up a lot of wall space, leaving Passive as an accent color. Check out the way the following kitchens creatively used this shade!
17. Paint Gallery – Sherwin Williams Passive | DecorPad
Here’s an example of pure white taking center stage with the trim and cabinetry, using Passive as a contrasting accent color.
18. Choosing A Whole Home Paint Color | Remodelaholic
Here again, there’s not a lot of wall space in the kitchen itself – most of the square footage is taken up with built-ins and backsplash. However, the walls beyond the kitchen add dimension and help to separate the kitchen from the adjoining rooms.
19. 25 of the Best Gray Paint Color Options for Kitchens | Home Stratosphere
I just think it’s so cool how they painted the back of the cabinets in Passive so that the gray shade pops against the white shelves!
I’m blown away by how icy-blue Passive looks on the walls of this kitchen! It makes for just the perfect pop of color against the white backsplash and cabinets.
How amazing is this modern kitchen? It’s not often you see two different shades of gray next to each other like this. I happen to really like the way the warmer gray subway tile backsplash looks next to Passive’s cooler shade on the wall. It really helps to jazz up the classic white cabinets.
Here’s another gray backsplash and gray wall pairing, but the shades are closer together in terms of undertones. It almost looks like the backsplash is a darker version of Passive. However you look at it, this combo looks great with the white open shelving.
Another gray-on-gray combo for the win! This Sherwin Williams-painted kitchen features Passive on the walls and the darker Dovetail on the cabinets. What do you think of this pairing?
Bedrooms that use Sherwin Williams Passive
Gray is a wonderful choice for bedrooms thanks to its calming nature. Take a look at these serene bedrooms using Sherwin Williams Passive.
24. Custom Home with Artisan Craftsmanship Interiors | Home Bunch
Look at all the gorgeous light in this relaxing bedroom! Passive looks just beautiful on these walls, lending just the right amount of color without being overbearing.
25. Gender-Neutral Nursery | The Artisan Project
Passive is a perfect choice for a gender-neutral nursery. Its light gray shade creates a calming environment for a baby to sleep.
It’s really amazing how pigmented Passive can look in certain rooms! In this bedroom, this gray shade looks rich and beautiful.
This color blocking concept is so cool! Passive fits right in the middle between the striking black accent wall and white trim.
This feminine bedroom shows Passive’s softer side, and the pink decor brings out some rarely-seen purple undertones.
This may be my favorite look for Passive: bright lighting, white trim, and black-and-white art. It’s soft, clean, crisp, and cool.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed exploring Sherwin Williams Passive with me and seeing real examples of it in 30 beautiful homes. Do you think Passive can be the right shade for your next paint project?
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