Gray is the IN color right now or so it seems, but I have such a hard time liking it!  It all stems back to when I first met my husband.  Gray is his favorite color (I guess b/c it’s manly [insert man grunt here]).  So, when I first met him and went to his house – it was a bachelor pad with actual flannel sheets hanging as curtains instead of curtains – getting the visual now?  And I found that he painted the entire house a light shade of gray and the baseboards were a darker shade of gray.  I’m not going to lie, it kind of made me think of a prison.  I called that shade of gray “prison gray” from then on.  And, after that, I couldn’t bring myself to paint any rooms of the house gray – I developed an aversion.

Before I moved in, I repainted every single wall to a non gray color.  But then what happens – gray is now IN.  So, I’m forced to reconsider.  I have tried out a few shades of the HGTV Sherwin Williams line at Lowe’s.  And I fell in LOVE!  Gracious Greige and Stone Isle are my favorite.  It seems the lighter shades of gray remind me of prisons or mental patient facilities (not that I’ve ever been in one, yet – there’s still time! :-p) because they can come across as cold. Though, I did do another post on Lighter Shades of Gray in which I found some that aren’t cold – here’s the link: Lighter Shade of Gray   But here’s my current review of these shades:

5 shades of gray.  I didn’t quite have the finances or energy to try 50. :-p And no I’ve never seen that movie and don’t plan on it.  That’s just not something I’m into.  I’d rather men be good old-fashioned nice, you know?  Nice is sexy.  I’m not so much into crazies or encouraging crazies:

1.) Icy Avalanche (lighter shade on same paint card as Stone isle): I think this was the exact color of prison gray that my husband used on his first house.  I don’t recommend this one.  Though I used it in a bathroom where the tile was grayish so it might have just been a little overwhelming – still don’t recommend.  I’ve found that the trim, tile, etc in the room really effects the way the paint color comes across.

2.) Stone Isle (slghtly blue-ish gray but more on the gray side – still very neutral): I LOVE this color.  It kind of reminds me of like a beachy kind of gray – my brother called it cape cod.  It’s still on the neutral side.  It looks very modern and classic.  I wouldn’t paint an entire house in this color, but one or 2 rooms would be good.  I actually painted the common area of our four-plex building in this color b/c I’m using some artwork that has red in it and it will go really nice with red.  It’s also very neutral but still modern and stylish.  I’ve gotten alot of comments on this color from the tenants – they really like it.  It comes across as warm even when paired with red/brown brick.  LOVE this color.

3.) Repose Gray (little darker than what I was looking for): This was a little darker than what I was looking for in a rental house.  I needed more neutral and light.

4.) Basalt Powder (HGSW2457 – lighter shade on same paint card as Gracious Griege): I painted the other bathroom with this color and it’s not bad – not great either but not bad – just kind of meh neutral.  It looks very close to white though so it depends what kind of look you’re going for.  If you want an almost white color, then this might be for you.  It might come across as a little cold though in a living room – I think for a bathroom it was alright.  UPDATE:  I tried this in the living room in a different unit and I really like it!  It looks very modern.  See other post Lighter Shade of Gray

5.) Gracious Greige (HGSW2456): LOVE this color.  I would paint an entire house in this color and not think twice.  We painted the kitchen of our rental unit with this color and it looks great.  This is a very neutral color and it’s also light enough – not too dark.  Plus, it’s got a little beige in it so it’s not all gray – more like grayish.  Good for those of us who are still walking the line on whether to like gray or not.  This is my new favorite neutral.

Here’s the gracious greige in the kitchen:

Gracious Griege Kitchen

Here’s the Stone Isle in a bedroom:

Stone Isle Bedroom

Here’s the Icy Avalanche in the bathroom (don’t recommend – I just felt like it was kind of blah and seemed very masculine to me – think garage.  Maybe b/c of the colors it’s up against – that makes a huge difference):

Icy Avalanche Bathroom

Here’s the Basalt Powder in the other bathroom (again not my favorite – very close to white – but it is neutral).  Sorry you can’t really see the wall that much in this picture – the door is in the way and the lighting’s not great.  It’s such a small bathroom – hard to get good pics:.  This one kind of made me think of a dentist office or a pharmacy :-/:

Basalt Powder Bathroom

See this next post on lighter shades of gray: Lighter Shade of Gray

9 Comments on 5 shades of gray

  1. Does the gracious greige have any hint of green? I love it on the card, but fear I might see green in it…

    • I don’t see any green in it. It’s very neutral – exactly like beige and grey (a more neutral warm grey – not blueish or greenish grey) mixed together.. So, if you’re not all in for grey, this is a good color b/c it’s not overly grey.

      • Thank you for responding! I think I’ll give it a try. I was going between Agreeable Gray and Gracious Gray. I have Agreeable Gray in another room and it’s too cold for me (and everyone calls it a warm gray). Gracious Gray may be the answer. Thanks again!

    • What’s wrong with Icy Avalanche? It’s a lighter brighter but very similar version of both repose gray and stone isle which you seem to like, and looks nice in the photo. I don’t Understand why you wouldn’t recommend it if you like those darker versions? I feel we need a lighter version of repose and holding it up to our walls painted in repose it looks almost the same just slightly lighter. Please advise!

      • I am adding this that I think perhaps the problem with your husbands walls was the dark gray trim. Bright white trim which we have makes a huge difference.

      • You know it might have just been the room that I used it in – up against that tile it just felt masculine to me. But I bet it would be nice if you had white trim all around. I think you are right that I didn’t like my husband’s walls because the trim was a dark gray – the trim color makes a big difference as well as the room you are putting it in. In this case, because the tile was next to the paint – I think the tile just didn’t go well with the paint – it kind of overwhelmed it. It wasn’t bad like I wanted to repaint the walls but I just felt like it wasn’t the perfect color for that room so I couldn’t recommend it. I should probably try it again in another room to see because I do love Stone Isle ALOT – I always find a room to use Stone Isle in when I’m painting a rental. Let me know how it turns out for you! I may have to try again with that one..

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