I have to admit, when I hear people saying that they are going to paint their room grey, I tense up a little and get a little anxious. Hey I've been there before too, you think you're getting this nice light French grey and what ends up on your walls is something completely different than that. Honestly, greys are the hardest color to pick! There are so many tones of grey that all have different amounts of purple, orange and green. Being in the industry for 8 years now, I've lived and learned the tricks to truly finding that perfect grey color.
Get some larger paint samples
Lets face it, those little 2x2 swatches are not doing you any good! With the color being so small, our eye really can't focus on solely that color. So, when we are looking at the color, its going to look a lot different based upon if its on a white desk, or a black wall. Sherwin Williams (my go to, but feel free to use whatever brand you wish!) sends out free samples, or you can pick them up at your local showroom or Home Depot.
Daylight is your friend
All too many times I see people looking at colors at nighttime, or under a reading lamp. I hate to admit that this is not what your paint is going to look like my friends! There are going to be parts of the room that are lit more near the windows, and other parts in the corners that are going to be darker. Wait until the daytime and then start on the journey.
Hold the sample up vertically
In my mind, there's no reason to go out and buy a bunch of sample paint buckets. Save yourself the time, hassle and money and just order a few 8 x11 samples and tape them up on the wall. (I like to get 4 for each color to make a big box). I know its tempting to look at colors on your kitchen table or sofa, but holding or tape them up vertically is how the paint is actually going to hang, so why not do the same? This way you can see the shadows that will be cast down on the paint.
Compare to other colors!
You've finally found it! The perfect grey! You go out, buy the paint, get your ladder out and get to work. A few hours later, and you're starring at a purple-toned wall. Been there, done that. Like I was saying earlier, greys have so many undertones, and it can be hard to detect. The best way I've found is to compare to a bunch of other greys. You'll start to see how one grey is more blue (cooler) or another almost looks beige with orange undertones (warmer).
Now that you are an expert on pick out greys, here are some of my favorites from Sherwin Williams.
Repose Gray SW7015
Software Grey SW7074
Eider White SW7014
Light French Grey SW0055
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