10 Really Amazing Blue-Gray Paint Colors in action

August 29, 2019

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I feel like gray paint colors were so incredibly overused a few years ago, but then a lot of people accidentally chose cool grays to paint entire rooms and instead of a trendy living room, they got a nursery and kind of swore off the color. But now cool gray is having a resurgence. We learned from our mistakes–and these blue gray tones are showing up in the best best ways. I’m deeply inspired and wanted to share a few favorites with you.

1. Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore used in Rachel Parcel’s entry. The color is captivating. It has so much depth and is a welcomed surprise for a front door–right?!

2. Studio McGee used Platinum Gray by Benjamin Moore on their office cabinets and the slightly cooler tone feels light and fresh!


3. @amberinteriors used Manor House Gray by Farrow & Ball for these playroom shelves and it’s the perfect backdrop for the toys and accessories–right? I love that it feels warm and cool in areas and those chameleon paint colors stay interesting for a long time. It’s so good!


4. Mawr Design nailed the perfect grayed out greenish-blue cabinet color for this laundry area. Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay, mixed with that floor tile–I’m swooning!


5. @natashalevak brought the trend into the kitchen painting base cabinets Water’s Edge by Benjamin Moore for just a hint of color.

6. I’ve shared this image before so it’s no secret I’m a fan of @ispydiy’s use of Silver Celadon by Behr on their doors and trim. It’s sophisticated and interesting and just right.

7. Most of these examples have been on doors or trim because that’s where trends are going right now, but @benjaminmoore shared this photo of Metropolitan (their color of the year) on the walls and I’m here for it.

8. @jhinteriordesign shows how to do this light cool gray right. The cooler tones work if you’re aware of what they are and how to use them. Like playing them up as a pale, gray, blue-green with coordinating accents.


9. Francois_et_moi used International Gray by Kilz on this beadboard entry and mixed it with complementary golden colors to play up the blues! Genius!

10. Room For Tuesday mixed two gray-blues in her bathroom and the tone on tone is sophisticated and sweet–but not too sweet.


Lesson learned? If you’re looking for a perfect blue–look to the grays. And if you’re looking for the perfect gray, I mean, maybe check out the cool tones. I love it especially for trim and doors!


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What do you think?

  1. Deana says:

    I’m redoing my kitchen cabinets in Decorators White and Waters Edge by Benjamin Moore. I was wondering if you have a suggestion on what color O should use for the walls?

  2. I have always loved paintings but never been good enough to do it myself. I have a major problem blending colors, the lines looks really prominent when I color spaces. Hence the reason I never really pursued paintings as a hobby, even though I enjoy touching up some of the wall paint in the house when I get the chance.
    The paint by numbers has given me a chance to learn how to paint just a little bit better. It helped me with what I needed the most actually, it helped me develop a better understanding of color.

  3. Lana says:

    I was going for a warmer gray, although you describe it as cool. ????‍♀️ Anyway, all our natural light really lightens up the color; We’ve had family say we have a “white” kitchen, which is NOT what I was going for. ????‍♀️

  4. Candee Centner says:

    I just love the oyster bay color, especially with the mixture of tones in the fixtures. Can you tell me the name of the lights and where they are from? I am doing a kitchen and the color and finishes together are exactly what I am looking for!

  5. Brooke says:

    I have a bar area in my basement and the cabinets need updated. The walls are revere pewter. What color should I paint the cabinets?! I’m not too picky and would love your recommendation!

  6. Tanelle Smith says:


    When painting interior doors a different color, would you have to paint every single door in your house the same color? Or can you paint some and leave others white? Also.. dumb question but you paint both sides right?

  7. Amaia says:

    I really wanted to change my room into color gray. and you post helped me how. thanks for posting!

  8. Alison says:

    I’m painting my walls SW Alabaster and I’m looking for that perfect gray blue with a little depth. Any suggestions? I’m liking the look of waters edge!

  9. Angie says:

    Where is the rug from In the first picture with boothbag gray? I have to have it!

  10. Tracy says:

    I feel like quite a few of these are warm…? Maybe it’s just how the color reads on my phone. ????????‍♀️ All gorgeous regardless!

  11. Elizabeth Martinez says:

    I have a east/ west facing house. I am painstakingly trying to find a soft gray whole house paint color
    Everything I have tried is too blue or green or muddy looking. Is there a gray paint you can recommend that is a really nice shade for whole house color? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

    • Julia says:

      I have recommended Benjamin Moore’s Olympic Mountains to so many. It’s more of a light greige but is seriously gorgeous in every space.

    • Hannah Hewitt says:

      We just painted the exterior of our house with magnetic grey by Sherwin Williams and LOVE it. I think it looks great in both bright and low light. A grey/ blue that can pull green but doesn’t look muddy.

  12. Maureen says:

    Color wheel question- sort of. I want to do the contrast trim with a greyish- but we have a huge sectional that leans purple grey. I love the metropolitan color and celadon. Since they’re not yellowy- would they down play the purple hint fro
    the grey sofa?

    (Why can’t I wrap my head around this ????????‍♀️????????‍♀️)

  13. Savannah Perry says:

    I love these colors..mostly because I am partial to the ocean! Do you have white shades your recommend with these colors? For example would #1 or #2 work with Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore? Do you do any design work for others? I looked on your website but didn’t see anything?

    • Julia says:

      I’m using Alabaster by Sherwin Williams everywhere right now.

      • Robbie Terry says:

        Hi Julia! What is your opinion of using SW Alabaster for walls and trim? I’m already committed to the color on several baseboards/doors and want a clean look for my walls? Paint is the HARDEST for me! I love your style and your love of family makes me love you even more!
        From Paris, TX

      • Chris Loves Julia says:

        Hi, Robbie. We’ve used SW Alabaster on the walls throughout our entire house. It’s a beautiful, clean, warmer white. We went with SW Accessible Beige for the trim.

  14. Wenndy Pray says:

    How do you paibt the door? Do you paint both sides? Forgive the ignorance. But I love the look with the painted door. I don’t want to mess it up. ????

  15. Heidi says:

    We painted our kitchen cabinets BM Moonshine! I was going for a warmer gray, although you describe it as cool. ????‍♀️ Anyway, all our natural light really lightens up the color; We’ve had family say we have a “white” kitchen, which is NOT what I was going for. ????‍♀️

  16. Jenna says:

    I was just wondering if my blue-grey living room needed a new colour and now I am glad to see it does not!

  17. Sara Lyn Smalley says:

    Perfect Timing!!!! We just bought our first house and are doing a total remodel (thank you indoor smokers…not). I have been looking at grays to paint the trim in our house and I am loving all these options!!!

  18. Meg says:

    This is soooo timely! We are getting the entire exterior of our house painted and I have been looking at gray-blues! I’m overwhelmed with samples and my house looks like it has spots with all of my “testing” ????. Any color you recommended for an exterior with shutters?!

    • Heidi says:

      Holy cow, I have this same question! Except we have red-orange brick to consider too. Needing the perfect gray-blue exterior color and a coordinating color for shutters and front door!

  19. Katie says:

    These colours are my fave! We painted our living room BM Moonshine when we bought the house almost three years ago. It’s the perfect compliment for the white tin ceiling and light-toned hardwood floors that are both original to our 1890’s home. It feels so welcoming.

  20. Julie says:

    Ooh ! I wish I saw this post a few months ago . We did board and batten in our rec room . I love the color but turned out more blue than I wanted .
    Will use this for painting restroom cabinets though !

  21. Christina says:

    Hi Julia, great post as always! I have a color-theory question for you. I recently painted all the walls in our living/dining room a fresh white, and now I’m considering going back to do an accent color trim, something soft and textural without being too bold. I’ve been loving your accessible beige at 75% but I also am now considering some of these pretty greys (the Moonshine picture stole my heart!). The only problem: I have original hardwoods, refinished, and I want to keep them from going too orangey. What are your thoughts?

  22. Kate S. says:

    Interesting so many of these were on doors. That seems like a trend in and of itself.

  23. Megan says:

    Oh these are so beautiful! I’m more of a fan of green-grays, personally, but these are some great examples of blue-grays that work.

  24. M says:

    I love cools grays, and painted the main living areas in my condo Sherwin Williams Evening Shadow

  25. Shannon says:

    I love all of these blue grays you posted. I am looking for a bathroom color that has no natural lighting with no windows. Any suggestions? Do you think a blue gray would work well for that? All of these are shown in natural lighting, so it’s hard to know how it would fare without any. Have you ever painted a room like this?

  26. Tracy says:

    Hi Julia! I’m pretty sure #9 is from Francois et Moi. I have that picture saved and love it! Your blog is my favorite and I look forward to reading it everyday!

    • Julia says:

      Thanks you so much! I updated it!

      • Julie says:

        Hello! Love your blog. We arecdoing a new build all my walls are painted bm Swiss coffee. Looking for a gray for cabinets in kitchen with lots of light. I have an open concept home. Was considering gray owl then saw your post. Love the boothbay I am local do you guys ever do consults?

      • Chris Loves Julia says:

        You’re on the right track with your grays! Did you make a final decision? We really wish we had the time for consults — maybe in retirement :)

      • Beth Navarro says:

        In the picture with the Waters edge bottom cabinets what color are the cabinets Butting up too the white ones? Love them

      • Beth Navarro says:

        In the kitchen picture with the Waters edge bottom cabinets what color are the cabinets Butting up too the white ones? Love them

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