23 Best Sherwin-Williams Cool Gray Paints (Trend 2023)

23 Best Sherwin-Williams Cool Gray Paints (Trend 2023)

Have you ever wondered why some gray paints appear warm or cold despite being neutral colors? Gray paints come in different shades, but the cool gray hues that lean towards green and blue are the most popular.

Cool gray is relaxing, stable, aesthetically pleasing, and a versatile neutral shade that stands out in any theme. You can use it in contemporary modern designs for clean, oceanic, natural auras or as an anchor for your Victorian-era decor.

Knowing when to use light or dark, cool gray paint can be tricky, but it’ll be a breeze with the correct information.

Steps for Choosing the Right Sherwin-Williams Cool Gray Paint

Selecting the ideal cool gray paint includes a careful analysis of the intended space, its lighting, size, position, and the time frame of its usage.

Step 1: Analyze the Space and Lighting

Before choosing any cool gray paint, survey your space and the amount of natural lighting it gets. Use dark, cool gray shades for furniture (cabinets, tables, shelves), accent walls, and complete wall coloring in large spaces.

Small rooms with poor or dim lighting require high LRV cool gray paints for illumination and the illusion of being larger than its reality. Also, this is the time to analyze if the room already has some decor or if you’re making a fresh start.

The latter is easier since you can get as creative as you like, but with already-designed rooms, you must coordinate your cool gray shade with the existing colors.

Step 2: Measure the Room’s Size and Position

Get a tape rule, paper tape, and pencil to measure your room and establish whether it’s small, standard, or large. Standard room size is 14 x 20 ft making large rooms 16 x 24 ft and small rooms 12 x 14 ft.

Use a compass to get the room’s coordinates and identify the sun’s position on your windows and doors. North-facing windows receive a consistent glow throughout the day, so it’s the best position for maintaining a cool gray paint shade.

West-facing windows receive the least sunlight, while South-facing sunlight reflects the brightest in the morning. Once you’ve identified your room’s position and size, it’s time to decide whether you need additional lighting options.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Lighting Options

High LRV cool gray paints don’t need extra lighting, but you can augment the space with white, blue, or green light as their cool tones. Matching like hues to lighting helps to highlight its relaxing features and dim, cool gray paints.

If your interior decor is a contrasting theme, you can use warm lighting to intensify your cool gray paint.

Step 4: Conduct Sample Area Testing

Sherwin-Williams offers three sampling options for its customers depending on their economic strength. Ten 2” x 3” Color Chips come free for every customer before purchase, while you have to pay $3.95 for 8” x 8” peel & stick adhesive strips.

Color to Go paint sample is the most expensive yet affordable at $10.19 per quart tub. You can leave them on the desired surface for a whole day to see their reaction to light and wash it off the following day.

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Step 5: Analyze the Long-Term Value of a Paint Color

Don’t use high LRV paints in places with heavy traffic as it’ll easily attract dirt and lead to quick wear and tear. However, if you can afford to hire help, get someone to clean the cool gray paint daily.

Alternatively, use low and medium LRV paints for a longer-lasting look as they’re less tedious to maintain.

Step 6: Apply Finishing Touches

Your paint finish adds to the color’s beauty, maintenance, and translation. Satin, Silk, and Luster finish are shiny and ideal for highlighting spaces like front doors, accent walls, and trims.

Softer finishes like matte, flat and eg-shel work best in heavy-traffic spaces as they’re easy-to-clean and great backdrops for other colors to shine.

Understanding Cool Gray Paints

Cool gray paints come in three forms: neutral, blue-gray, and green-gray. These shades are the results of the undertones, which often come in either the two primary and secondary colors in the color wheel or a blend of green and blue hues.

Learn more about these types of cool gray paints and when to use them below.

What Are The Undertones?

Every color is a unique blend of red, blue, and green pigments into an absolute black hue resulting in the existence of secondary tints. These tints are called undertones as they are embedded beneath the color’s surface.

Light interaction with cool gray paints determines the degree of undertone reflection you’ll get from the color known as Light Reflectance Value. Some shades absorb light (3 – 49 LRV) while others reflect it (50 – 97 LRV).

Types of Cool Gray Paints

The final step in choosing the perfect cool gray paint is deciding which type you want, and that’s a question of taste. If you want your color to create an airy and relaxing aura or a moody and calming vibe, you must curate your palette based on LRVs.

Light Cool Gray Paints

Light cool gray shades range from 60 – 70, as the color is typically mid-toned. If the light shade exceeds 70 LRV, it becomes white or any of its undertones, as that’ll overtake the charcoal element that makes it gray.

Use light cool gray paints as trims or complete wall coloring as they reflect enough light and illuminate spaces without additional lighting. Popular Sherwin-Williams shades include Intrepid Gray (SW 9556), Drift of Mist (SW 9166), and Windchill (SW 9636).

Light Cool Gray Paints

Dark Cool Gray Paints

Unlike light cool gray paints, dark shades often absorb light with the exception of medium-dark tones which have bright undertones. This shade of gray is moody thus adding elegance and eclectic energy to its surroundings.

Use dark cool gray as accent walls and furniture to add style in your homes and offices. Examples of Sherwin-Williams dark cool gray paints include Night Owl (SW 7061), Cyberspace (SW 7076),  Sea Mariner (SW 9640) and Forged Steel (SW 9565).

Dark Cool Gray Paints

Soft Cool Gray Paints

Soft cool gray paints can either be dark or light, as their defining factor is the subtle look of their overtone. They’re the best types for soothing themes, as the hues often satisfy your senses and keep you relaxed all day.

Some options to use include Gossamer Veil (SW 9165), Evening Shadow (SW 7662), Silverplate (SW 7649), Unusual Gray (SW 7059) and Magnetic Gray (SW 7058).

Soft Cool Gray Paints

23 Best Sherwin-Williams Cool Gray Paint Colors (2023 Trends)

We’ve taken the liberty of breaking the 23 best Sherwin Williams cool gray paint colors into 3 distinct categories based on the intensity of the undertones

  • Neutral Grays
  • Blue Grays
  • Green Grays

Neutral Gray Paints

Undertones add character to gray paints, but sometimes you want a dependable clean slate with little to no undertones. Neutral gray colors provide that untainted backdrop you need for your modern or vintage-themed home.

Check out the top gray shades from Sherwin-Williams.

All pictures sourced from Sherwin-Williams

1. Drift of Mist (SW 9166)

1. Drift of Mist SW 9166

Drift of Mist (SW 9166)
Drift of Mist blends seamlessly in this minimalist living room

Brighten your space with Drift of Mist (SW 9166) ‘s 69 LRV outlook, which has an airy and inviting presence. This color is a great blank canvas for creative expression through interior decoration.

Keep your bathroom classic with a Drift of Mist wall paired with white tiles, or switch up the design by adding a darker hue like Perle Noir.

2. Guild Grey (SW 9561)

2. Guild Grey SW 9561

Guild Grey (SW 9561)
Guild Grey in the bathroom creates an airy presence

Using Guild Grey (SW 9561) gives you a breezy, light, neutral gray background with an LRV of 63. This color is clean without definite undertones hence its preference as an alternative to traditional crisp white trims.

See also  26 Best Green Gray Paints Colors In 2023

Curating a palette with Guild Grey as the centerpiece is a walk in the park as it’s a versatile shade. Your only limit is your imagination.

3. Gossamer Veil (SW 9165)

3. Gossamer Veil SW 9165

Gossamer Veil (SW 9165)
Gossamer Veil is a blank canvas for teal and tan decor in this living room

Gossamer Veil (SW 9165) has a filmy exterior like a cobweb hence the name. As a medium-light tone with an LRV of 62, this hue ranks among the Top 50 Sherwin-Williams colors.

It’s ideal for bedroom and living room walls when paired with earthy tones from alternate colors to wooden furniture and floorings.

4. Vessel (SW 9547)

4. Vessel SW 9547

Vessel (SW 9547)
Using Vessel keeps a steady aura in bathrooms and family rooms

Maintain a modern yet minimal look with Vessel (SW 9547) ‘s aura, which stays unchanged at a mid-toned 58 LRV. This neutral tone is ideal for family and dining room walls in homes with young children.

As a soft gray shade, it’s best to pair Vessel with other soothing and pastel hues, especially cool ones like cornflower blue, lavender, lilac, and green.

5. Sweater Weather (SW 9548)

5. Sweater Weather SW 9548

Sweater Weather (SW 9548)
Sweater Weather’s coziness keep the office mood soothing all day

Keep your bedroom cozy yet bright with a medium-light gray paint like Sweater Weather (SW 9548). It’s the perfect gray shade for modern minimalist home decor as it presents an effortless aura in its surrounding.

This color has an ash undertone which shines when paired with cool paints like teal, blue, and even dusky hues like plum.

6. Bedrock (SW 9563)

6. Bedrock SW 9563

Bedrock (SW 9563)
Bedrock is a classy color for modern bathrooms

Bedrock (SW 9563) is a medium-dark gray paint with an LRV of 34 and a cloudy exterior. This beautiful gray paint remains neutral at all times of the day, making it a mood stabilizer for managing stress.

Use Bedrock on your bedroom walls and kitchen cabinets against faint white walls. Alternatively, you can use this gray paint on your outer walls and porches.

Blue-Gray Paints

When you think of cool grays, blue-grays are often the leading shades as they’re the most popular among designers. This shade could be soft, as is seen in light grays, or intense, as you’ll get with darker hues.

Whichever shade you choose, know that the best ones are often versatile and unique.

7. Evening Shadow (SW 7662)

7. Evening Shadow SW 7662

Evening Shadow (SW 7662)
Give your vintage-themed hallway a clean finish with Evening Shadow

Crisp gray paints exist, which you’ll get with Evening Shadow (SW 7662), with a soft blue undertone that keeps it clean. It mimics the sky’s appearance on a bright summer evening.

Evening Shadow reflects some light into the surrounding as its LRV stands at 60; hence it doesn’t need additional lighting to brighten a room.

8. Lazy Gray (SW 6254)

8. Lazy Gray SW 6254

Lazy Gray (SW 6254)
Lazy Gray in the dining room keeps the space looking cool and fresh

Is it blue or gray? That’s the question your guests would always ask once they gaze upon your Lazy Gray (SW 6254) paint. It’s a beautiful two-toned 53 LRV hue that flits between a cool blue in the morning and soft gray as the sun sets.

Use Lazy Gray in a blue-themed palette on your bedroom and pool walls, bathroom cabinets, or accent walls.

9. Light French Gray (SW 0055)

9. Light French Gray SW 0055

Light French Gray (SW 0055)
Keep the theme vintage in your bathroom with Light French Gray cabinets  Source: The Creativity Exchange 

Most cool gray paints are exclusively so, but Light French Gray (SW 0055) fuses a warm brown tint beneath its bluish-gray overtone. At its natural state, this color stays neutral with an even-toned LRV of 53.

Light French Gray is a pale and soft historic hue used for overall coloring and as trims for darker shades.

10. Online (SW 7072)

10. Online SW 7072

Online (SW 7072)
Moody can be pretty with Online walls in the bedroom

Take a modern approach to decorating with gray using Online (SW 7072). It’s a clean, attractive shade with a definite blue undertone that seeps out under dim lighting.

Most designers pair this bluish-gray with white trims for light palettes and foggy gray decorations for darker themes. Paint Online in your bedroom for a perpetual relaxing vibe and in your office juxtaposed with black furniture to keep your daily decisions level-headed.

11. Morning Fog (SW 6255)

11. Morning Fog SW 6255

Morning Fog (SW 6255)
Let the soothing mist of Morning Fog grace your living room walls

Curb your anxiety and nerves by waking to Morning Fog (SW 6255) daily. Its soft gray overtone shrouds a cyan and blue tint miming a misty cloud. Use this color in your bathroom for a vacation mood, bedroom, and living room.

Highlight Morning Fog’s 42 LRV mistiness with crisp white and blue-white trims like Ice Cube and Extra White, or keep it gray with Sedate Gray.

12. African Gray (SW 9162)

12. African Gray SW 9162

African Gray (SW 9162)
Make your home the star of your street with African Gray paneling

Inspire tranquility in your environment with the stoic blue-gray look of African Gray (SW 9162). It’s a steely hue with cooling blue tints that take over in the dark hence its ability to create a calming vibe.

13. Gibraltar (SW 6257)

13. Gibraltar SW 6257

Gibraltar (SW 6257)
Gibraltar’s charcoal gray hue stands out against clean white walls

Gibraltar (SW 6257) is a beautiful charcoal gray paint with a rich blue tint that presents a cool 14 LRV surface. Highlight this color’s beauty with light tans like Folksy Gold on complementary furniture and accent walls.

See also  23 Most Popular Interior Paint Colors in 2023

Accentuate Gibraltar with light wood floorboards and island tables.

Green-Gray Paints

Using green-gray is a great way to switch up gray themes since the traditional cool undertone is blue. You can pair this shade with blue-grays for a cool mixed feature or stick to green pieces to highlight its lush nature.

14. Conservative Gray (SW 6183)

14. Conservative Gray SW 6183

Conservative Gray (SW 6183)
Merge warmth with the cool aura of Conservative Gray

Open up your space with the airiness of Conservative Gray (SW 6183), which illuminates an area without additional lighting. Its 63 LRV makes this color ideal for highlighting dark walls and rooms, whether as an accent wall or a trim.

Conservative Gray is a soft neutral shade for overall interior coloring and a blank canvas for imaginative designers.

15. Austere Gray (SW 6184)

15. Austere Gray SW 6184

Austere Gray (SW 6184)
Austere Gray harmonizes two other gray shades in the living room

As a 51 LRV paint, Austere Gray (SW 6184) is often unchanging in its tone, but it has a unique green-blue undertone that reflects under South-facing light. Once the sun sets, the color transforms into a severe gray fitting for your study, library, and office.

Use Austere Gray if you struggle with anxiety; its steady tone will stabilize your mood throughout the day.

16. Mineral Deposit (SW 7652)

16. Mineral Deposit SW 7652

Mineral Deposit (SW 7652)
Mineral Deposit paneling on this house exterior blends with the greenery

Create a restful vibe with the 43 LRV Mineral Deposit (SW 7652), which combines cyan and green tints. Without adequate lighting, Mineral Deposit appears as a stable, gray hue. Still, its dual-toned nuances make it a recipe for nature-themed decor.

Add potted plants inside your bedroom or bathroom to accentuate Mineral Deposit. Plant a full garden around your house to beautify your exterior walls.

17. Escape Green (SW 6185)

17. Escape Green SW 6185

Escape Green (SW 6185)
Promote a fruitful nature-themed vibe in the kitchen with Escape Gray cabinets

Escape Green (SW 6185) creates a utopia of coolness in your space, as its green undertone also has a subtle blue tint. Its teal nuance thus appears as mid-toned gray (41 LRV) color underneath bright morning sunlight.

Paint your living room and bedroom Escape Green to get a space for unwinding daily.

18. Homburg Gray (SW 7622)

18. Homburg Gray SW 7622

Homburg Gray (SW 7622)
 Stay green with the dual-toned goodness of Homburg Gray

No other Sherwin-Williams gray paint is unapologetically green like Homburg Gray (SW 7622). This calm tone has a prevalent cyan tint amounting to a reflective strength of 15.

Hence, Homburg Gray wouldn’t absorb every ray of light it catches but would subtly reflect it into your space for a mysterious aura. Your bookshelf would stand out when painted Homburg Gray against a tan wall with wooden and dark brown leather accessories.

19. Night Owl (SW 7061)

19. Night Owl SW 7061

Night Owl (SW 7061)
Vintage themes look beautiful with Night Owl furniture

Charcoal has a delicate face with Night Owl (SW 7061), which embeds tints of cyan and green beneath its gray exterior. Make its 13 LRV presence stand out with mid-toned gray paints like Drift of Mist or deepen its moodiness with a darker color like Carnelian.

Use Night Owl as a complementary wall in your living room, particularly on the fireplace or TV organizer, and elevate its beauty with warm wooden trims.

20. Cityscape (SW 7067)

20. Cityscape SW 7067

Cityscape (SW 7067)
Cityscape bathroom walls make a good canvas for wooden trims

Get classy and embrace contemporary themes with Cityscape (SW 7067). Its 22 LRV overtone is layered over a cool green hue which reflects faintly as the sun rises. Don’t let its steady dark look discourage you from exploring the possibilities of this color.

Paint Cityscape in well-lit rooms to highlight its deepest green undertone in your bedroom and an accent wall in a family room, dining room, or guest lounge. It’ll indeed have your guests guessing as the green hue gently seeps through its gray surface.

21. Cast Iron (SW 6202)

21. Cast Iron SW 6202

Cast Iron (SW 6202)
A Cast Iron accent is a minimalist and nature enthusiast’s dream

The solid green content in Cast Iron (SW 6202) almost eclipses the slate gray undertone. At 12 LRV, this color mainly retains light, but underneath a hot South-facing sun, it transforms into a cold gray.

Use Cast Iron on your kitchen cabinets and exterior walls for a sturdy backdrop to softer and brighter pastels like Champagne (yellow) and Smoky Salmon (Rose pink).

22. Grizzle Gray (SW 7068)

22. Grizzle Gray SW 7068

Grizzle Gray (SW 7068)
Make the bedroom moody with Grizzle Gray walls

Create a moody, dramatic vibe with the elegance of Grizzle Gray (SW 7068)‘s green-gray presence. Its 13 LRV overtone is the perfect background for your bedroom, especially when you’re looking to avoid black.

Accentuate Grizzle Gray with light green grays for a minimalist theme, or get creative with lighter green paints from sage to mint. Use the high LRV hues for your decor, including bedding, floorings, drapery, and art.

23. Laurel Woods (SW 7749)

23. Laurel Woods SW 7749

Laurel Woods (SW 7749)
Sunlight’s reflection on Laurel Woods highlights its gray elements

Laurel Woods (SW 7749) is a game-changing gray paint blending cyan, green, and charcoal into an exotic gray paint. This combination creates a 6 LRV lush neutral paint used ideally as an accentuating tone.

You can highlight its three undertones with lighter neutrals on the upper part of the half wall or as a complementary wall. At the same time, Laurel Woods shines on your furniture. This shade of gray would have guests talking about your space for days.

Conclusion

With this guide, your only dilemma should be deciding between neutral, green, and blue-based cool gray paints. Remember that neutral shades have undetectable undertones, bluish grays are cooler and greenish grays favor nature-themed styles.

Use blue-gray paints for contemporary designs, green-grays for vintage themes, and neutral gray for both styles. Step into your fairytale relaxing utopia with cool gray and experience a new zen mood in your daily activities.

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Hello, my name is April and I'm the creator of blacksburgbelle.com. I'm passionate about colors and painting, and my website is dedicated to exploring the world of paint and color.

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