How to Choose the Perfect Greige Paint Color
What color is greige you ask? It's a warm gray that has a lot versatility and has become one of the most popular colors. But in order to find the best greige color for your walls it's important to understand the various shades of greige and the undertones that affect this paint color.
The first thing we did when we bought our home was paint the walls a nice neutral shade of greige.
Since then, "What is the gray beige paint color on the walls in your house?" has become one of the most commonly asked questions by both blog visitors and the guests in our home.
So today I'm answering that very question, but more importantly I'm going to explain how to choose the perfect greige paint for your house so you can find the best greige wall color for your home.
Ever ended up with the wrong paint color on your walls?
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Exactly What Color Is Greige Anyway?
If you haven't heard of greige, you've most definitely seen it. It's become a very popular paint color because it goes well with warm, cool, and even mixed color schemes.
Greige is a perfect mix of gray and beige. It's like the perfect beige from the 90's and the perfect grey had a baby! Greige paint colors have become my go-to neutral for walls because it goes with everything - and doesn't make me want to hurl like most beiges do.
The problem with beige walls
Now, I hope I'm not offending, but the problem with beige is that it's really hard to pick the right one and oftentimes people end up choosing a beige wall color that turns out looking pinky beige, or even orange! You know what I mean?
Just like we avoid light that's too yellow or orange because it's not attractive, we need to avoid wall colors with those same undertones. When you're not careful here these beige paint colors can make a room feel outdated or even a little bit dingy.
The problem with gray walls
On the same note, gray paint colors can also be really unattractive because the often end up looking too blue or even purple. And often the complaint about truly gray painted walls is that they can make a room feel cold or uninviting.
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Why Greige Paint Colors Are A Beautiful Choice
Greige paint is the best of both worlds. It's a grey with paint with brown undertones.
It takes gray, which gives a current and updated feel, and adds just enough brown (or beige) to it to give it a warm and inviting feel when applied to your walls.
The trick is to pick a warm grey which means you want a grey paint with some brown in it.
Because greige is essentially a perfect mix of brown and grey it's considered a warm grey and literally goes with everything, which is the key to a really great neutral.
Examples of greige color paint in different rooms
I've used Requisite Gray by Sherwin Williams paint on the walls in most of the main living spaces and hallways in my home and it's acted as the perfect backdrop for my home's color scheme.
Greige color walls in our entry way
You can see that the greige wall color we chose goes really well with warm wood tones and is just dark enough to make the frames of our gallery wall stand out.
This space doesn't get a ton of natural light, but the gray beige paint in here here doesn't make it too dark.
Our warm greige living room
The greige color palette in my home has a lot of grey and blue tones and the greige walls go perfectly with these cool colors too.
Even recently when I updated our living room and added a lot more pops of color, the greige living room walls still act as a perfect neutral backdrop for all of the colors I have going on in here.
Greige color in the kitchen
You can see here in our kitchen, where a lot of activity happens, that the greige paint goes with everything and makes the white trim pop. This room gets a lot of warm natural light and the light greige paint is a perfect background for everything from the warm tones on our kitchen table to the cool tones of our kitchen cabinets and countertops.
Ready to figure out the best greige paint colors for your home? Let's dive into the easy steps to choose the perfect greige paint color for your home.
Ever ended up with the wrong paint color on your walls? My free guide, How To Choose The Right Paint Color Everytime, will walk you through simple steps (and tricks) so you never end up with the wrong paint color again! >>Get it here.
How To Identify Undertones In Greige Paint Colors
Remember that we're trying to find the perfect greyish beige paint color for your specific space. How much brown you want to have in your greige color palette is totally up to you. These steps will help you figure that out.
1 | Use the darkest shade on the swatch as your guide
The first step to finding the right warm greige is to look at the darkest shade of the color on the color strip. This will give you an idea of the true undertones that will show up even in the lighter shades of the color.
Let's look at an example.
The second color from the top (image below) would probably be one that a lot of people would grab as a good neutral.
But look at the darkest hue on that swatch. There's a lot of red in that brown. And so as the color gets lighter, there will be red or orange undertones that show up in your wall color. You don't want that.
2 | Find a dark greige paint with the perfect balance of brown and black
Again using the darkest colors on the swatch, look at colors below (moving left to right)
- The first brown has lots of red in it. - No good because pink will show up on our walls.
- On the next one you can see a lot of purple show up in the darkest shade, so a slight purple tint will show up even when you use the lightest color.
- The next swatch has green in it which you can't see by looking at the lightest shade. But we know better. Looking at the darkest shade tells us there's a hint of green in this color.
- And finally in the last two you can see a lot of black in the darkest hue, so these will read more grey with just a hint of brown in the lighter shades, making these true greige colors.
From there you can narrow down your search.
3 | Determine the shade of greige you want
Once you narrow your search based on the darkest color to identify the true undertones, you'll move up the swatch to determine the greige color you'll use on your walls.
You can see that I have two base colors below. One is a true brown, but you can see the grey show up as you move up the swatch. The other base color is a cooler, more true grey and you can see a lot less brown show up as you move up the strip.
Looking for the true color in darker colors is important because these undertones will show up even in the lightest shades of a greige paint and will help you determine how cool or how warm you want your greige color palette to be.
What is the greige color paint I chose for my walls?
After following those steps I decided on Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray (SW 7023) as the perfect greige paint color for my walls. It is just the right amount of grey with a slight warm undertone that works perfectly with my color palette.
And that is the simple trick to finding the perfect greige for your walls!
By looking at the darkest hue first, you'll be able to instantly see which undertones will show up in the lightest shades of the color!
What Colors Go With Greige Walls?
As you've seen, greige paint goes with both warm colors and cool colors, so it's a great neutral paint color regardless of what accent colors you're using in your home.
Greige interior paint can give a cool color palette just enough warmth to not feel stark or cold and a warmer color palette just enough coolness to give it a really updated feel.
Over the years I've helped hundreds key in on the perfect paint colors for their homes and have honed the skill of picking the perfect greige paint color.
If you're interested in exploring other neutral paint options I broke down 12 perfect neutrals into undertone colors for you. It will give you another run through of this process to choosing the right paint color but with more variation and give you 12 neutrals beyond greige to try as a starting point based on your color scheme.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing Colors For Your Home
A lot of factors go into selecting colors for your home, and it goes way beyond paint color.
Things like your home color palette, existing colors in your home (that you may not be able to change), and the color of the natural light, or lack of natural light can change the way a color shows up in your home.
In my self-paced online color course, Color Made Clear, I walk you through all the steps to choosing and using color in your home to create a pulled together and cohesive look, even if you have things like cabinet color or floors you can't change.