Quick Tips # 4 How to Pick Gray! My super power.

You didn’t know I was a super hero?? That’s so sad for you! I kid.

But I do have this strange ability to pick grays… gray paint.

Here are a couple things to consider that you need to answer…

1) Are you a blue gray person?

2) Are you a purple gray person?

3) Are you a greige person?

4) Are you a true gray person?

Everyone is going to like a different gray. It is a fact of life. So, not only do you need to know what kind of gray paint you like but you also need to consider what kind of colors are in your room.

Let’s start with blue and purple gray paint hues:
If you have blue or purple accents and pick a blue or purple gray color it will more or less look like the color instead of gray. If you are wanting it to look more gray but still want the tint of color than you need to pick the blue gray color that you almost can’t see the blue anymore in it and I promise it will look blue gray in the room. Also, I tend to stay away from the lightest color because it tends to look icy or pastel and much more bright than you will anticipate. Almost like it belongs in a nursery or hospital…I pick the shade darker than what I think I like to save myself the shock of the ice blue incident of 2012.

Some of you may have no idea how to see the tints of color because you pick something out of the gray section and expect it to be gray so this is how I started: 

My trick when I go into a paint store is to literally pull every single “gray” they have and look at them all next to each other. I am always the person with 50 colors in front of them.I am a true gray or greige person and in order to see what grays fall into that category the best thing to do is look at all your grays together because that is when you really start to see the blue and purple tints. This also works in reverse if you are looking for those colors. So if you want a blue or purple gray….You are done. You can stop reading. This was easy.

 If you are greige person keep going….

Greige- Possily my favorite. I think Artichoke by Valspar is the perfect Greige. To find the greige color you like you need to actually look in the brown sections too but only select the samples that look like they have gray’s in them. Look at these vs your grays you picked earlier and see what one looks the most brown. In my Valspar deck the two sheets I like the best are not with the gray’s, they are with the browns but one of them is called Gray Silt and it kind of looks like clay. Perfect. Definitely a gray but when you go down the color chart the darkest color in the strip is a dark brown. Tricky, huh?

True Gray– What everyone wants and is the hardest to get. This is what I am going to tell you. You want NO undertones. Line up all your grays…throw out the purples, blues, greens, steels, and silvers. They will all look NOT GRAY. Don’t grab any of the grays out of the tan section. Only work within the grays.

Now, go to the bottom of the deck or the bottom of your color sample strips. When you look at my valspar wheel, they are mostly dark purple and dark blue.

gray paint hues

Gray paint and it’s many hues

Seriously, almost every gray has a blue or purple base. There are only two in my deck that are acceptable to me. They almost look like a slatey choclately color. Basically you are looking for the brown based gray that is in the GRAY section and not the brown section of the paint samples. Does that make sense? This will give you a neutral true gray.

I have my valspar deck in front of me so I want to tell you….Filtered Shade, Rockly Bluffs, Cathedral Stone, Rugged Suede, Ocean Storm, Hazy Stratus, and Mark Twain House Ombra Gray…. all of them are great true gray paint colors. Towards the top of the picture above there is a color called City Storm…if you walked into the store and saw that sample and had nothing to compare it took it would look gray.The colors on that strip all look like true grays and they are nice colors but be careful because they do easily pick up on the colors in your room….They are trick grays. Trick grays – it’s a thing trust me. 

Most of you know for furniture I stick with General Finishes. I love their grays. They have Seagull, Driftwood, and Queenstown. They are all great, however the Driftwood lends itself to a more purple/bluish gray so I tend to stick to seagull and queenstown or mix my own.

Here  is a quick video where I show you more about this!

Do you have any tricks for picking grays? Hope this was helpful for you! It is a process of elimination so you can learn what you are looking for but it really helps to not have to paint 10 squares on your wall to find the right one!