How to Choose Greige Color Paint In 3 Simple Steps
What color is greige you ask? The color greige is a gray paint with brown undertones that has a lot of versatility and has become a very popular color. 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 grey beige paint, aka greige paint.
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 right color greige for your home so you end up with a neutral wall color you love for years to come.
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What Color Is Greige?
If you haven't heard of the paint color greige, you've most definitely seen it.
Greige is a warm gray paint color. It's like beige paint from the 90's and today's more modern gray paint had a baby creating a gray beige color we now call greige!
Greige paint colors have become a very popular choice because they coordinate with a lot of different colors. Whether your home color palette includes warm colors, cool colors, or both, greige colors go with all of it.
The problem with beige walls
Now I hope I'm not offending, but the problem with beige paint 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 When you're not careful here these beige paint colors can make a room feel outdated or even a little bit dingy.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 they 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. Greige color paint solves that problem.
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Why Greige Paint Colors Are A Beautiful Choice
Greiges are the best of both worlds because they have both warm and cool undertones.
They take gray, which gives a current and updated feel, and add just enough brown (or beige) to it to give it a warm and inviting feel when applied to your walls.
Because a greige color is essentially a perfect mix of brown and gray, it's considered a warm gray and literally goes with everything, which is the key to a really great neutral.
The trick is to pick a warm gray which means you want a gray paint with some brown in it, but not too much red.
Easy Steps To Find The Right Greige Paint Color
Remember that we're trying to find the perfect grayish beige paint color for your specific space. How much brown you want to have in your greige color palette is totally up to you. Regardless of whether you choose from Sherwin Williams greige paint colors or another brand, these steps will help you figure out the right shade for you.
1 | Use the darkest shade on the swatch as your guide
The first step to finding the right color 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 gray beige paint color.
Let's look at an example.
The second beige gray paint color from the top (image below) would probably be one that a lot of people would consider 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. This is how people end up with walls that read too pink, when they were going for tan walls. You don't want that.
2 | Find a dark greige color with the perfect balance of brown and black undertones
Again using the darkest colors on the swatch, look for a dark gray paint with brown undertones to find the right greige color.
As an example look at the colors below (moving left to right.)
- The first brown has lots of red in it. - No good because pink will show up on your 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. This will be especially noticeable in rooms with a lot of northern light.
- 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 gray with brown brown undertones in the lighter shades, making these true greige colors.
From there you can narrow down your search for the greige color that's right for you.
3 | Determine if you want a light greige color paint or a deeper shade of greige
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 (SW 7027 Well-Bred Brown), but you can see the grey show up as you move up the swatch creating popular greige paint colors like Requisite Gray and going even lighter, Alpaca.
The other base color (SW 7020 Black Fox) is a cooler greige with more black than brown in its undertones. Moving up the strip into the lighter shades of this color you'll find popular Sherwin Williams choices like Mindful Gray and even lighter Repose Gray.
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.
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Examples Of A Greige Color Palette In Real Homes
The greige walls in my home are Requisite Gray by Sherwin Williams. I used this neutral color on 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.
The greige color palette in my home has a lot of gray and blue tones and the greige walls go perfectly with these cool colors as well as the warm wood tones on some of my furniture, tying it all together nicely.
Greige walls in our entry way
Our warm greige living room
Greige kitchen wall color
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.
Photos Of Greige Bedrooms
Greige bedroom paint can be really calming and allow you to use a mix of both warm and cool neutrals in your decor and allow your white trim and moldings to pop.
Photos Of Greige Bathroom Paint
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 of people 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.