Gray is one of the most popular paint colors when it comes to home renovation. It’s neutral, stylish, and soft while versatile enough to work well with light and dark-colored walls, flooring, and other surfaces.
The truth is that there are seemingly endless gray shades of paint to choose from, and it’s all about finding the right one for the specific surface you need to coat.
It can be overwhelming trying to navigate through all the gray shades out there. However, to make things simpler and to help figure out which gray paint hue is best for you, I’ve put together a list of the COOLest and WARMest gray colors to choose from.
Each of these colors comes from the well-known brand Sherwin-Williams. These shades are quite popular and seem to work well in most homes and with any kind of furniture or flooring.
So, let’s dive into them to find the right shade for your next project…
Sherwin Williams Cool Grays
Gray works remarkably well with darker hardwood flooring and lighter hardwoods alike.
Especially, the cooler tones of this color (that comes with blue undertones) make it remarkably versatile, easy to incorporate, and incredibly trendy.
Here are some of the most popular shades of cool grays from Sherwin Williams available…
1. Olympus White (SW 6253)
(R:212 G:216 B:215 LRV:68)
Olympus White is probably the lightest of all of the gray shades to come. This is a great one if you want something subtler and won’t stand out too much.
Though it is light, it still remains dark enough to contrast nicely against white base molding and offer a crisp, fresh look.
If you are looking for something to contrast against it, Morning Fog and Serious Gray are good options. These colors will be explored below in my list.
2. Morning Fog (SW 6255)
(R:168 G:174 B:177 LRV:42)
This shade is a little bit deeper than Olympus White, and it features undertones of blue and tiny hints of lavender that give it a one-of-a-kind look.
For optimal pairing with this bluish-gray paint color, you may consider cool whites, lighter beiges, darker grays, lemon yellows, etc. An Olympus White accent wall complements this color beautifully, and it can also serve as a versatile base color for Serious Gray.
3. Serious Gray (SW 6256)
(R:125 G:132 B:139 LRV:23)
As its name might suggest, this is a darker and bolder gray hue that’s considered complete with both slightly purple and blue undertones. It features distinct blue undertones that are gradually visible as the color gets darker.
Since the shade is quite sophisticated and cool it can make any space look more formal if applied with the right accent pieces like golden ornaments, deep navy furniture, and a few pops of vibrant colors.
4. Passive (SW 7064)
(R:203 G:204 B:201 LRV:60)
SW’s Passive is a neutral, light shade of gray that works well with almost any kind of accent color. It borders on being a warm gray hue, and for this reason, it usually blends in well and complements just about any color.
Passive is just a bit warmer than some of the other gray hues in the Sherwin-Williams collection of gray paints and is also a bit lighter. But it still is a cool gray color I love most.
Since the color is so neutral, even if gray eventually becomes a trend of yesteryear, this color is unlikely to go anywhere. Its timeless appeal makes it quite the popular choice among many homeowners no matter what style of home they have.
5. Gray Screen (SW 7071)
(R:198 G:202 B:202 LRV:59)
Gray Screen is a cool gray hue that is thought to be the “true gray.” When most people think of the color gray, this is often the one that comes to mind. Though many might consider it a light gray, it is actually the darkest “light gray” in the collection.
It has blue undertones, which means it is a cooler shade of gray. And because it has a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 59, it reflects over half of the light that shines on it and is light enough to be used in almost any room.
Since Gray Screen is a cooler gray, it pairs perfectly with mid-toned brown and dark floors. It also looks great with marble colors and any other cool grays you might have in your house. This includes dark gray cabinets, stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel hardware, and various types of area rugs.
6. Online (SW 7072)
(R: 176 G: 181 B: 181 LRV: 45)
Online gray by Sherwin Williams is a mid-toned hue in the same line of colors. Compared to Gray Screen it is a little bit deeper in tone
SW’s Online gray color coordinates particularly well with Software and African Gray (discussed below) if you want to get a good accent color to go with it. Also, if you want to create an accent wall this hue can achieve a soft and calming atmosphere without being too dark or too light.
7. Network Gray (SW 7073)
(R:160 G:165 B:167 LRV:37)
This color is a medium to dark gray that stands out with its obvious blue undertones. These undertones give the shade more drama and depth, perfect for anyone who wants to make a bolder statement with a deeper cool gray.
It continues its usefulness by working well in a south-facing room or other well-lit areas in the home, thanks to its richness. But be aware it can look a bit too heavy in darker rooms.
You can also use it as an accent wall against a Gray Screen if you are using the latter as a base color. Furthermore, if you are using Network Gray as your base hue, then Online Gray or Software is a great option. This will give off a deeper, richer accent hue.
8. Software (SW 7074)
(R:127 G:132 B:134 LRV:23)
Software by Sherwin Williams is a cool-toned gray paint color and is perhaps the deepest color in the whole series. It is a little bit lighter than charcoal gray but is still rich and dark.
The blue undertones add to its coolness, which is ideal for painting a man cave, media room, or other space where you want something darker and moodier.
More often than that, you’ll see it used as an accent wall paired with aqua, mid-toned blue, or even a lighter shade of gray.
9. Reflection (SW 7661)
(R:211 G:213 B:211 LRV:66)
Reflection is a light cool gray color with some cool blue undertones, free from any purple like some other shades. In some light settings, it will look like a soft gray, while in others, you may notice that it takes on a bluish color instead.
The overall shade is neutral, calm, and reflective, which makes its name quite appropriate.
This shade works well in places with crisp white trim, such as base molding or trim areas. If you pair it with an off-white or warmer white, it tends to bring out the blues in it.
10. Steely Gray (SW 7664)
(R:144 G:151 B:155 LRV:30)
As the paint’s name might suggest, this is a deep steel gray that shows off blue undertones.
This deep cool gray is usually thought too dark to be used as a color all on its own. That is, of course, unless you want a very dark aesthetic in the room. Otherwise, it’s a good choice for accent walls, especially when you pair it with a color like Reflection.
11. African Gray (SW 9162)
(R:147 G:152 B:153 LRV:31)
Last but not least, we have African Gray on our list of coolest gray colors by SW. This is a dark gray that is on the same color strip as Network Gray.
It is believed that darker grays and blue even tend to lend themselves to better sleep, so it’s a good choice for anyone who wants a deep, peaceful, relaxing color for a bedroom;
You can also use it as an accent wall for Online or Gray Screen. Though it is a dark gray, it isn’t overwhelmingly dark so long as it is used in moderation.
Sherwin Williams Warm Grays
Warm gray hues (with brown, yellow, or red undertones) are versatile enough to be incorporated into rooms as accent walls, furniture finishes, cabinetry colors, and beyond.
These warm shades work great for north-facing rooms without making the room look too dark or gloomy.
However, because there are so many shades of warmer gray paint, it may feel difficult to pin down the best ones for you. Below, I’ve outlined my nine favorite warm gray paint colors available from Sherwin Williams for your consideration.
1. Repose Gray (SW 7015)
(R:204 G:201 B:192 LRV:58)
Repose Gray is a warm gray that has beige notes its appearance makes it one of Sherwin Williams’ best sellers, making it important to mention straight off.
Repose by SW features taupe and brown undertones that show the slightest hint of purple. The purple here is so subtle that it’s difficult to notice, but customers report that it does bring a sense of peace.
This color of gray goes especially well with any darker hardwood flooring, but it also looks good with light hardwood flooring. Because of the taupe undertones, which blend brown, gray, and green, this color also looks good with dark brown flooring that has red undertones.
Red and greens are complementary colors, so the ease with which they pair is expected.
2. Mindful Gray (SW 7016)
(R:188 G:183 B:173 LRV:48)
Mindful Gray is thought to be a greige shade—a blend of gray and beige.
This color is very well balanced and has a neutral appearance, so neutral that it doesn’t even have any undertones of anything else.
It makes a great contrast hue for use against Repose Gray, making it ideal for applications such as kitchen cabinets or accent walls.
3. Agreeable Gray (SW 7029)
(R:209 G:203 B:193 LRV:60)
The Agreeable Gray has a name that almost speaks to its purpose; it is neutral and versatile enough that it works well for use with just about any other color and in any room in the house.
The overall appearance of it on a wall is a light, soft gray, but one that is a little warmer than some of the others on this list.
Because of its appearance, it is good for adding a nice base color to a room without taking it over, visually speaking.
4. Worldly Gray (SW 7043)
(R:206 G:198 B:187 LRV:57)
Worldly Gray shares similarities with Agreeable Gray, as they both have a foundation of brown and beige.
However, this particular shade of gray possesses a subtle touch of green, lending it a more refined and gentle appearance despite its darker hue. Also, it complements both “greige” and beige tiles, making it an excellent choice for kitchens or bathrooms adorned with such tiles.
5. Useful Gray (SW 7050)
(R:207 G:202 B:189 LRV:59)
Useful Gray is a hue that has both green and yellow undertones which looks particularly good with natural wood in furniture and flooring thanks to its fresh, light color.
This hue is both sophisticated and warm and is probably among the warmest of the products shown in this list. Also, it is a cozier color than most grays, so it is commonly used in living rooms and dens.
6. Ellie Gray (SW 7650)
(R:170 G:169 B:164 LRV:40)
Ellie Gray is a darker version of Silverpointe, which we will look at below. It works especially well as an accent wall, even if you want to turn the entire wall this color.
It also looks nice for walls with a chair rail; Ellie Gray on the lower portion of the wall and Silverpointe on the upper portion tend to lend themselves to beautiful results.
7. Silverpointe (SW 7653)
(R:209 G:210 B:203 LRV:64)
Silverpointe is one of Sherwin-Williams beloved colors because it is so versatile. It’s especially popular in upscale homes, as it is both trendy and classic all at once, making it quite timeless.
The color reads gray, but it has a slightly warmer appearance because of the subtle undertones of taupe that can be seen throughout.
This color is light enough to look beautiful with dark hardwood floors but dark enough to beautifully contrast against light hardwoods. For this reason, this paint also tends to blend right into any room it is in and complements any furniture or color scheme of the room you apply it to.
8. Stamped Concrete (SW 7655)
(R:160 G:160 B:154 LRV:35)
Stamped Concrete is a dark, rich color that looks especially good when applied as an accent wall.
Those who want something that contrasts more against its surroundings or with colors such as Silverpointe will certainly appreciate the charm and versatility that the Stamped Concrete hue can bring.
9. Popular Gray (SW 6071)
(R:212 G:204 B:195 LRV:61)
Last but not least is Popular Gray which features some undertones of brown making it look almost more beige than it does gray.
If you continue down the color strip that Popular Gray is found on, you’ll quickly notice that the tones grow increasingly warmer and brownish.
This hue looks beautiful with Perfect Greige and Versatile Gray in the Sherwin Williams line if you want to create accent walls with it.
Besides the above, a few other popular Sherwin Williams gray shades worth mentioning are:
- Amazing Gray, SW 7044
- Analytical Gray, SW 7051
- Anew Gray, SW 7030
- Comfort Gray, SW 6205
- Dorian Gray, SW 7017
- Dovetail, SW 7018
- Gauntlet Gray, SW 7019
- Light French Gray, SW 0055
- Requisite Gray, SW 7023
Cool vs. Warm Grays: What’s the Difference?
Although often overlooked, the distinction between warm and cool grays can have a significant impact on the atmosphere of a space. This is due to the fact that the subtle variations in these shades can influence the overall ambiance of a room, making it feel either cozier or fresher.
Warm grays are blends of warmer tones, which makes them appear slightly muted and more inviting. They usually have yellow, taupe, brown, beige, and red undertones. With more red added, it gives a more “hot” feeling. They also give the impression that the space is cozier, as they make for more subdued lighting – think candlelight versus bright sunlight.
When choosing warmer grays, remember that warm hues naturally evoke images of heat, fire, and the sun; therefore, they tend to be more energetic, inviting, comfortable, stimulating, passionate, and intimate.
Cool grays, however, tend to have bluish (along with purple and green) undertones. With more blue, it gives a more “icy” feeling.
Unlike warm gray undertones, they feel much cooler to the eyes. They also tend to be more calming, soothing, and refreshing while evoking feelings of safety, peace, and serenity. For this reason, these shades are often preferred in interior design to create a relaxing atmosphere.
The easiest way to determine whether a color is warm or cool is to look at the color wheel. Warm colors are located on the red, orange, and yellow portions of the wheel, while cool colors are located on the green, blue, and purple portions.
What about Greige?
Greige, as the name suggests, is a unique blend of gray and beige hues. It can be perceived as either a cooler version of beige or a warmer variation of gray, depending on your perspective.
The term “greige” is commonly used to describe many shades of gray paint colors. In reality, it encompasses a spectrum of colors, ranging from those that lean closer to beige to those that lean closer to gray.
Many people enjoy greige because it is so neutral and comforting without being bland. Many people tend to lean toward the grayer aspects of greige when choosing it as their color scheme due to this reason.
Can I Use Warm and Cold Colors in the Same Room?
Absolutely! Utilizing a color wheel can greatly assist you in crafting a harmonious color scheme that incorporates both warm and cool colors. As a general guideline, aim for a composition of 60% cool colors and 40% warm colors within your living space.
It’s worth noting that color holds a significant influence over our emotions. Warm hues exude an inviting and energizing vibe, while cool tones promote a sense of calmness and refreshment. Therefore, when selecting colors for your home or a specific room, it’s crucial to consider the desired atmosphere you wish to create.
Also, keep in mind that white is considered a neutral color, but it can lean towards being either warm or cool.
By adding white to a room, you can create different feelings depending on the colors you pair it with. For example, blue undertones in white paint can give a room a cooler feeling, while yellow undertones can make a room feel warmer.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to painting, Sherwin Williams Grays are currently the most popular and timeless.
Various shades of grays by Sherwin Williams are expected to remain trendy for many years to come – thanks to their warm and cool undertones that bring with them virtually endless opportunities for mixing and matching.
Whether the color is used on walls or cabinets, these shades can bring dimension and depth to any area, especially when you compare them to the effect white has on a space.
So, keep your shade cards handy and check these varieties when shopping for your favorite gray colors next time.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.