Read all about Sherwin Williams Passive, plus see 20+ 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.
Feeling lost? I gotcha, boo! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
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!
The best way to be sure of any shade is…drumroll…to sample it! (Did you see that coming?) My recommendation for samples is using these re-usable, re-positionable, peel and stick samples that won’t damage your walls, and you can easily move around your room to see what the paint looks like on each wall ⤵
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!
A quick note here: don’t forget to consider picking the right paint finish…it’s not only about getting the color right! We have an in-depth explanation of choosing sheens here.
1. Light Hue in a Space with Much Light
Here’s a great example of how SW 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.
2. Cool Gray Paint Color
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.
3. Hints of Purple Undertones
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.
4. Wonderful with White Shiplap
You really can’t go wrong with white shiplap in a farmhouse-chic bathroom! And Passive is the perfect complementary shade on the adjacent wall.
5. Popular Gray Paint Color
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.
6. A Bit More Punchy Than Pure White
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!
7. Cool Gray Paint Color for a Soothing Living Space
Wow, check out the amazing lighting in this gorgeous living space from Erica at Designing Vibes! 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.
8. Cozy Looking Gray Color for a Sitting Room, or Reading Nook
How cozy is this adorable little nook found on Houzz? 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.
9. Cool Color to Balance Warmth
I’m totally digging the fun nautical theme in this comfy living space from DIY Playbook. In this room, Passive emulates the crisp coolness of a gray morning sky at sea. It also helps tone down the warmth of the wood floors.
10. Contrasts Well with White Trim
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.
11. Darker in Dimly Lit Rooms
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.
12. Varied Look Throughout the Day
Here’s another look at the same room from Designing Vibes (#7 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.
13. Marvelous in Modern Spaces
This modern, minimalistic vibe is so chic! In this room, Passive takes on an icy cool color 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
For kitchens, eggshell or satin are popular finish choices for walls. For cabinets consider semi-gloss or high gloss for the most durable finish (and a gorgeous glow).
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!
14. Works Well with White Cabinetry
Here’s an example from Decorpad of pure white taking center stage with the trim and cabinetry, using Passive as a contrasting accent color.
15. Awesome Kitchen Accent Color
Here in this beautiful example from Remodelaholic, 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.
16. Allows White Details to Pop
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 in this example found on Home Stratosphere.
17. Fresh Look for a Kitchen Remodel
How amazing is this modern kitchen seen on Instagram? 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.
18. Paired with Darker Gray
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
In general for bedrooms, and low-traffic areas, flat paint is fine. If you like something with a bit of shine (and more ease of cleaning) opt for eggshell or satin.
Gray is a wonderful choice for bedrooms thanks to its calming nature. Take a look at these serene bedrooms using Sherwin Williams Passive.
19. The Look and Feel of a Model Home
Look at all the gorgeous light in this relaxing bedroom shared at Home Bunch! Passive looks just beautiful on these walls, lending just the right amount of color without being overbearing.
20. Gender-Neutral Nursery
Passive is a perfect choice for a gender-neutral nursery, like this one shared at The Artisan Project. Its light gray shade creates a calming environment for a baby to sleep.
21. Rich Gray Bedroom
It’s really amazing how pigmented Passive can look in certain rooms! In this bedroom, this gray shade looks rich and beautiful.
22. Can Make for a Moody Bedroom Palette
This color blocking concept is so cool! Passive fits right in the middle between the striking black accent wall and white trim.
23. Pretty with Pinks and Purples
This feminine bedroom shows Passive’s softer side, and the pink decor brings out some rarely-seen purple undertones.
24. Beautiful in a Bright Bedroom
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 over 20 beautiful homes. Do you think Passive can be the right shade for your next paint project?
Seriously considering this shade? Make sure to sample first! I highly recommend these re-usable, re-positionable peel and stick samples👇
Pin this paint color for later! And if you use this paint shade, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others decide if they want to try this color, too!
Pssst…before you go, I sure would love to hang out with you again really soon! And before you’re on your way, make sure you grab your free copy of the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Picking Paint, so you can avoid the heartache (and hole in your wallet) when your paint choices don’t quite work out! Click here, and I’ll send your free copy right now!