Comparing Two of the Most Popular Gray Paint Colors: Undertones and More!
For those of you who’ve dabbled in paint colors, I’m sure you’ve heard of Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, THE go-to gray paint color.
Well, I’m here to turn the color world on its purdy lil’ butt and introduce my new UBER fave gray paint color…and I will preface this all by saying that I still have maaad love for Revere Pewter – but it’s more like my dirty mistress now as Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray is my new MAIN SQUEEZE!
If you looked at these two colors side-by-side, you might say, ‘hey you crazy Ginger, these are basically the same color’.
The keyword here is ‘basically’. They ARE basically the same color for the following reasons:
- They’re similar depths – sitting in between light and medium
- They’re neutral grays with a very slight greige feeling to them
- Both are warmer looking than many of their cooler cousins like Gray Owl and Stonington Gray
Read more: The 10 Best Gray and Greige Paint Colors
BUT (Kardashian sized…) there is one main difference, so let’s dive a bit deeper
Exploring Colonnade Gray and its undertones
Colonnade Gray will ‘look like gray’ – it just won’t look like a typical cold and icy gray. With its soft greige undertone, it will neutralize a space without changing the visual temperature of it.
This room had mostly northern light and some eastern
Colonnade Gray has a slightly warm base to it. As for undertones, every gray will have either blue, green or purple undertones – even warm grays. Colonnade Gray has a VERY mild tendency to favour green, however, more so than some other gray, it can EASILY wink at the other undertones, depending on your exposure.
This space gets MOSTLY southern light
When those subtle cool blue and purple undertones pop up, it’s more often in north or east-facing rooms, whereas Colonnade is more likely to favour that mild green in south or west-facing light. However, all said, the undertones are quite subtle.
The above photo really shows Collonade Gray and how it will act in a room with moderate lighting. Remember, when people take photos of rooms, they often add a TON of light so things look light, fresh and clear – personally, I think this photo is the best representation of Collonade and how it should look in an ‘average’ room.
Exploring Revere Pewter and its undertones
Just like Colonnade Gray, Revere Pewter CAN flex into any of the cool undertones, BUT – it has to try a lot harder. Most of the time, Revere Pewter heavily favours a warm, earthy green undertone and only rarely flashes into blue or purple. However, even with the green being more dominant, it certainly won’t punch you in the face – it’s quite passive…but it’s there.
Let’s look at it with a vague blue or blue-green undertone first…
Revere Pewter at its coolest in a north-facing room
Do not expect it to look this cool-toned for you, these rooms are the exceptions – not the norms. Of the DOZENS of times I’ve used Revere Pewter in my E-design, only three times has it come up more cool-blue toned. It’s like the perfect storm of exposure/trim color/lighting/etc…which can cause this and there’s really no fixing it short of picking a different color.
This next bedroom is an example of Revere Pewter at its best…
Ahhh, there it is – our green undertone. This is a great example of Revere Pewter at its greenest (left side of the photo). Notice that even when the undertones come to the surface, it’s STILL a beautiful color.
What is the LRV of Colonnade Gray?
Colonnade Gray has an LRV of 53. If you’re wondering what the HECK LRV is, I highly recommend you get out your reading glasses – it could save your color-pickin’ life.
An LRV of 53 means that Colonnade Gray sits nicely in the light-medium range. It’s not a fresh and light color, but it’s also not heavily weighted. It would be too dark for most hallways, but a great depth for a reasonably well-lit room.
What is the LRV of Revere Pewter?
Revere Pewter’s LRV comes in at a hot 55. It’s close. For all intents and purposes, they have very similar depths, but if you were to compare them side-by-side, you WOULD see a subtle shift with Revere Pewter looking a wink lighter.
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Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
- At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing for traditional paint sampling
- If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Revere Pewter (slightly darkened) on kitchen cabinets!
Which gray paint color is better for…
- Partnering up with marble: SW Colonnade Gray
- If you prefer warm, earthy grays: BM Revere Pewter
- For a north-facing room: BM Revere Pewter, if you want to try to balance the cool light a bit
- For a south-facing room: SW Colonnade Gray, if you want to balance the warm light a bit
- Mass flexibility: I’ve got to give it to Colonnade Gray, by a wink
So what do you think? Does Colonnade Gray give Revere Pewter a run for its money? I think so!
Want to learn more about Revere Pewter? Check out my Youtube video for more!
Check out my Online Color Consulting E-Design for your own Personal Consultation!
KYLIE M INTERIORS E-DESIGN VIRTUAL, ONLINE PAINT COLOR, DECORATING AND DESIGN CONSULTING SPECIALIST IN SHERWIN WILLIAMS AND BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT COLORS DIY DECORATING BLOG
Originally written in 2017, awesomely updated in 2019