Choosing the right grey wall paint colour

Choosing the right grey wall paint colour

I’m a big fan of walls that are not white.  Not just feature walls but all the walls in a room. I have worked with clients who wanted to explore this option with amazing results. But if you’re not sure about going bold with colour on your walls then you might be interested in choosing the right grey wall paint colour for your home.

Choosing the right paint colour for your walls whether white or another colour is dependent on a couple of key factors.  Firstly, your design strategy, that is your style goal and overall colour scheme. And secondly, the type of light the different rooms in your home receive.

In a previous post I wrote about choosing the right white wall paint colour where I mentioned that for all sorts of technical reasons without light there is no colour. The same is also true when choosing the right grey wall paint colour.  Light is the most important consideration when selecting any paint colour.

When bold paint colours work

When I’ve recommended bold colours for clients, it’s been where the space received a lot of natural light and the client wanted to make a statement. Instincts also play a part.  In a project I worked on a few years ago I felt the space could cope with a deep blue colour.

I felt this because of the natural light the space received, the colour of the kitchen, the client’s colour scheme which included blue. And after getting to know my client in the brief stage of the interior design process, I understood there was a connection to the Mediterranean sea I wanted to communicate in the space.  After conducting a paint test I recommended the colour Dulux True Blue which worked beautifully in the space, see blow.

Most recently I used Dulux Teahouse in an apartment project in Southbank.  From the very first call I had with the client I knew I wanted to use a dark grey and he also expressed an interest in exploring this colour.  The key factors for such a dark colour working, include the natural light, the view of the Art Centre spire in Melbourne and the client’s vision for a Batman inspired aesthetic.

Choosing a grey paint colour

But if you’re not keen to work with a bold colour then a lighter, neutral grey could also be really interesting. Like white colours, grey paint colour could be warm or cold. Casual or elegant. Which makes it an ideal alternative neutral colour to consider.

The key with grey paint colour is that it can throw off a blue tint.  In fact some cool whites like Dulux Lexicon can do the same. So it’s important to test at least thre different greys against each other and in different rooms with different light conditions before making a selection.

When a client tells me they’re open to choosing a grey paint colour for their walls there are three greys I always look at first.  They are Dulux Tranquil Retreat, Dulux Pensive and Dulux Timeless Grey. In different strengths I think these grey colours suit a wide range of interior styles, architectural styles and light conditions.

The right grey for the right style

All paint colours are a combination of tints or tones, this can be another technical aspect to selecting a paint colour that you might find confusing.  Which is why some greys might throw off blue, look like they have beige in them or possibly even green.

There is no perfect grey, just like there is no perfect white.  Everyone has a different idea of what grey actually is.  So start by picking the colour swatches of what you think grey is. Then compare them against each other.  Do you notice any other hints of colour? Compare them against other colours in the space as well. A wide colour comparison will help you narrow down your selection.

As a starting point I’d thought I’d share my thoughts on which grey paint colours to consider for a particular interior style.  For Hamptons you might want to consider Pensive or Tranquil Retreat, in any strength, with white trims.

For French Provincial style consider Timeless Grey at a lighter strength.  This colour has depth and drama which suits to classic styles. Timeless Grey is also suitable for Industrial interior styles.  This is a strong colour to work with strong materials such as wood, brick and concrete.

Try Pensive for Mid-Century Modern interior style and Tranquil Retreat for Scandinavian interior style. Luxe styles also suit grey, try Timeless Grey in a quarter strength.

Your style goal and colour scheme

You may know that I start all my projects with a design strategy.  An interior design strategy comprises of defining and confirming an interior style goal and colour palette.  Making this decision at the outset of any project helps with decision making during the interior design process.

So, if you’re thinking about choosing a grey paint colour for your wall, know your style goal and include grey in the colour scheme.  Remember a good colour scheme starts with three colours.

There are many online resources to help you select colours but the key is to observe how the colour responds to different light situations.  Both natural light such as morning and afternoon sun. As well as artificial light both soft, such as a floor lamp and task lighting such as kitchen lighting.

Don’t be put off by what other people say about the colour, because everyone sees colour differently. Also, everyone has different colours in the space that impact the colour of the paint samples and light is so variable.

But to be 100% secure in your choice work with an interior designer or colour consultant. This will be an invaluable exercise.  This way you’re guaranteed a beautiful outcome and will save money on expensive painting mistakes. Working with a professional will also alleviate stress and confusion and help you make a decision faster.

Seeking professional assistance with choosing the right grey colour for your walls is smart. Especially, given walls make up a large volume of the surface area that constitutes a space. It will also be a solid foundation to build and develop the rest of your interior design.


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