HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBENJAMIN & SHERWIN: Paint Colour ReviewsPaint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Big Chill is a BIG DEAL!

Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Big Chill is a BIG DEAL!

Posted on May 6, 2021 by KylieMawdsley

Big Chill: A popular gray paint colour for GOOD REASONS! 

While Pinterest has been paying homage to the warmer end of the gray world with colours like Sherwin Williams Repose Gray and Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, there has been one colour that’s been patiently waiting for its time in the sun (or in the shade more appropriately) and its time has COME!

The best gray paint colour, Sherwin Williams Big Chill, a popular neutral. Kylie M Interiors paint color review of grey. Edesign, online and virtual paint colour consultant

What Type of Paint Colour is Big Chill? Is it a warm or cool gray?

Sherwin Williams Big Chill is a soft, cool-toned gray and one of the TOP FIVE gray paint colours I refer to in my Online Colour Consulting. HOWEVER, just because it’s COOL, doesn’t mean it’s icy cold. Big Chill can have an almost soft, slightly stormy approach compared to more icy crisp gray paint colours. With many of my clients looking for gray paint colours, it really is as close as we’re going to get to the ever-elusive ‘perfectly neutral gray’ (which doesn’t exist btw).

Why doesn’t the perfect gray exist? Because there is NO SUCH THING as a fail-proof neutral (BOOM – the bubble is officially burst). You know, that ONE COLOUR that works everywhere, every time? Nope – it’s ALLL a lie. There are so many things to take into consideration – exposure, flooring, countertops, light bulbs, personal tastes and how much wine you’ve been drinking. A colour that is PERFECT for one room can be terrible in another, just based on a change in the environment or personal perception.

Anyway, let’s get back to Big Bad Chilly.

What’s the LRV of Big Chill?

With an LRV of 62, Big Chill is considered a light colour. There are light colours that can totally wash-out when hit with natural light and light colours that lean to the heavier side. This one sits RIIIIIGHT in the middle. Sherwin Williams Big Chill. One of the best cool gray paint colours with subtle undertones. In dining room. Kylie M Interiors E-design and online colour consulting services

It will hold itself well in a darker, more shadowed room (that has enough artificial light) as well as a reasonably well-lit room, only washing out a bit at the height of the day.

Home staged living room Sherwin williams big chill. Kylie M Interiors E-design

Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.

What are the undertones of Big Chill? Will it look gray, blue, green or purple?

If you like cool, neutral grays, you’ll like the undertones of Big Chill. If you prefer obviously warm grays, you need to get the heck outta Dodge and go to this blog post instead.

Sherwin Williams Big Chill, best gray paint color. Marble countertop and walk in shower tile in bathroom. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consulting blog

Big Chill has a very passive blue undertone. And while it can politely nod at the other gray undertones, it’s not as flexible as other gray paint colours. Some blue undertones are crisper and lean easily into the other gray undertones – not Big Chill. This beautiful gray paint colour usually favours a soft stormy look – not traditionally warm, but not icy cold either.

Sherwin Williams Big Chill with oak floor, stairs, white wainscoting with light bulbs off and on. Kylie M Interiors E-design

See how lighting can play a BIG part in how a colour looks? The picture on the left with the lights on shows how Big Chill can flash a cool gray-blue. The photo on the right with the lights off shows Big Chill at its natural best.

Read more: The 12 Best WHOLE HOME Gray and Greige Paint Colours

Big Chill in a north-facing room

While there are always other factors to consider, you can expect Big Chill to look a wink cooler in a north-facing room as the gray-blue light slightly enhances the cool tones of this colour.

Sherwin Williams Big Chill in a north or south facing room. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and E-design

Big Chill in a south-facing room

In a room with southern exposure, Big Chill may wash out a smidge at the height of the day, but most of the time should act like a soft, cool, but generally neutral gray.

Sherwin Williams Big Chill with white wainscoting, oak flooring and stair railing, white doors in hallway. Kylie M INteriors E-design and Online or virtual color consultant

The best gray or grey paint colors for your room. Benjamin or Sherwin. Edesign, online paint colour services Kylie M Interiors. diy home decorating ideas blogger.market

Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages

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 needed for traditional paint sampling
  • If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE

You can also jazz Big Chill up with the use of a feature wall. Check it out in this GORGEOUS bedroom. MAD LOVE!

Sherwin Williams Big Chill and Ellie Gray feature wall. Best gray paint colours. Bedroom, beige carpet, natural light. Kylie M Interiors E-design, Online Paint Consulting

What’s the best white trim colour if the walls are Big Chill?

When I’m using Big Chill, I’m most likely to refer to Sherwin Williams High Reflective White, but also like Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

SHOULD You Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets WHITE? A Questionnaire

What Benjamin Moore paint colours are the same as or similar to Big Chill?

You won’t find an exact match for ANY colour between brands, however, there are some with similar intentions…

  • Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. Big Chill is a lighter and ALSO a bit more ‘neutral’ looking, whereas Stonington has just a wink more stormy blue undertone.
  • Benjamin Moore Moonshine has a similar approach but undertones that can easily go green.
  • Within Sherwin Williams, you can also check out Sherwin Williams On the Rocks, which cuts back on the blue undertone a bit.

And if you’re thinking of colour matching between brands (ie: getting BM to make an SW paint colour), you might want to read THIS first.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray hallway with white trim and Chelsea Gray painted door. Kylie M Interiors Colour Consultant online

Read more: Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Big Chill is also in the running with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl as one of the TOP cool gray paint colours. Compare the two and see how Gray Owl picks up a touch of green (as well as blue) undertone in comparison to Big Chill. Big Chill MIGHT pick up a green – if you have grass, trees or Kermit outside your window which can reflect their green tones slightly onto the walls.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl one of the best gray paint colours for a dark hallway or staircase by Kylie M Interiors. With photo gallery wall of kids and dark wood and metal stair railing. Kylie M Interiors e-design

Read more: Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

There are SO many beautiful grays to choose from! Deciding which one is BEST for you and your home involves looking not just at your exposure and landscaping, but also at the hard and soft surfaces of your home such as flooring, countertops, linens and of COURSE – personal taste! 

What are the best paint colours to put with Big Chill?

Welllll, Big Chill is a WEE bit fussy but does have a few good partners…

Not sure if Big Chill is the colour for you? I’ve got more!

Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice

The Most TRUE GRAY Paint Colours with No Undertones

Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams On the Rocks

Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Silverplate

Need help picking YOUR perfect gray? 

Check out my affordable Virtual Colour Consulting packages!

The best gray paint colors for your room. Benjamin and Sherwin. Edesign, Kylie M Interiors online paint colour services. Home decorating and diy ideas blogger.market

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2018, UPDATED IN 2021



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Comments

  1. Love this helpful breakdown on color selection! It’s quickly becoming apparent that I need professional help picking out color for my new (not terribly well-lit) condo. Also love that light fixture in the second pic above the dining table!! Can you reveal where that’s from?!

    1. Hi Suse, thank you for the note! Unfortunately, that was my clients choice (via E-design) so I’m not sure where the light is from, but I do know that Wayfair has a GREAT selection!
      ~Kylie

  2. Love your reviews. If you are taking suggestions, would love to see a review of Sherwin Williams Riverway – thinking of doing the dining room in this color.

  3. Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for. I want a cool and fresh gray for my open floorplan, I was almost ready to go white. The walls are all connected and visible from anywhere in the main floor so I want all the same color (I have different accent colors now on the center wall, which does not go to the ceiling, and hate the chopped look. What white trim goes best? North south east west facing I have it all.

  4. Hi Kylie,
    I have light wood floors like the above photo but all my windows and interior doors and stairs are light wood as well. My question is if I use this paint will it work with a sage green couch in the Family room. My kitchen is the biggest problem as the countertop is Karadon in sage green color with a blue undertone to it. I’m having difficulty finding a color that will work without competing with the counter the cabinets are light maple. Will this color on the walls conflict with the countertops? Any suggestions would be extremely helpful.

  5. I love your color advice and always google you first with any color color I’m considering for my home, or a house I’m flipping, hoping you’ve reviewed it. I painted my living room Big Chill last winter (unfortunately you hadn’t reviewed it yet), but I have to say I love it! It’s a great color if you are looking for that seemingly impossible to find blue gray that doesn’t turn baby blue when you get it up on the wall. I went through five samples before I found this beauty. The light enters our living room from the west, and most of the day it reads as a pale blue gray (but not in your face with the blue) and at certain times a true gray. It’s pretty no matter what, and it definitely brightened up our space compared to the dark beigey color that was there we bought the house.

  6. Thank you for this review! It may be my answer 🙂 I’ve read MANY of your color reviews and think this may be perfect. I have a fairly open floorplan and have painted my kitchen/family room with SW Rainwashed. Now, I’m looking to paint my formal living/dining room a complementary gray color. The rooms are divided with an archway that I have painted a Swiss coffee. Would Big Chill be a nice complement to Rainwashed?

  7. I just painted my son’s room Smoke Embers by Benjamin’s Moore (color matched by Sherwin Williams) but I see strong lavender undertones. I am wanting to repaint it and thinking about SW Silverplate. What undertones should I be aware of with it?

    Abigail

    1. Hi Abigail! Yes, that can happen with Smoke Embers as in the ‘gray’ world it leans more to the purple side than the blue/green. I actually LOVE Silverplate. It has just a very vague blue undertone, but it’s not too icy. I find it’s more what people ‘expect’ when they think of a typical gray colour.
      I hope that helps!
      ~Kylie

  8. I made a mistake and used the Big Chill in my great room and in half of the room it reads a purple undertone. It looks best with natural light and stay away from reddish orange tones because you willl see a lavender hue.

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      Hmmm, that is odd for Big Chill, if anything it’s cousin On the Rocks would be more inclined to do that – thanks for letting me know!
      ~Kylie

  9. Thank you for this article. I had been looking at Big Chill, and then googled the name and found your article. Your thoughts and photos confirmed this was the color for my newly renovated bathroom. I just LOVE it – I am not a huge fan of the all-neutral color schemes that are so popular now, because I love color and colorful art, but Big Chill is fantastic. It is soft and goes with so much. It is not icy or blue (north facing windows), and not a blah grey at all. It complements my ceramic ‘calacatta’ tiles and trim in “SW Pure White” perfectly. I painted my cabinets a smoky blue – “SW Bracing Blue” . I am enjoying your other blog posts too. Very informative!

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  10. Hi! Have chosen Big Chill and Pure white for walls and trim. Would Pure White also work if I continued it on the ceilings and cabinets? Great blog and informative. Thanks for any help you can give.

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  11. Hi. We were debating between BM Harbor gray and grey owl for our son’s room(5 yr old) that’s north facing withh very terrible natural light. The room looks dark and dull. Somehow came across Big Chill and love the color.
    We are now planning to go with Big Chill on three walls with SW “Scanda”, a blue shade as the accent wall. Hoping this will go for years to come as it’s a color a boy of any age will love to have or can live with????..
    I know you recommended Pure White for trims, ceiling and door but I was wondering how Extra White will go with this color, or for all the doors/trims for that matter.
    What’s the biggest difference between Pure White and Extra White? Thank you so much.

    After we decided, the first thing I did was to come to your site to see if you have reviewed this color. So happy to see that it’s one the color you love. Thanks again.

  12. LOVING your blog. I’m officially obsessively checkonf LRV now! I’m planning on going with Big Chill for our kitchen, foyer and upstairs hallway. But will a cool gray like this work with Beige carpet? Or should I go with something warmer like Repose?

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      Hi Lori, I’m glad it’s helping! Now there are many different types of beige, but off the top of my head I’m inclined to say that it MIGHT be a touch too cool and a slightly warmer gray might be a better choice…I wonder if even SW On the Rocks might be an interesting thought as it takes a touch of the blue out.
      If you want me to take a look at things, I do E-design that is affordable and fun, and that way I don’t need to guess! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/product-category/interior-paint-palettes/

      ~Kylie

  13. I read tons of your blogs and plan to use big chill in my open floor plan dining room, it’s north facing and has tons of walnut stained furniture, I used mindful gray before, it literally made me depressed, do you think big chill will do better job in this room?

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      Well, I’m usually hesitant to recommend too much without seeing a room, but it sounds to ME like this could work for you. Mindful Gray, being a warm gray is a bit of a heavier (some might say drab) feeling. Big Chill is by far more fresh and cool and ‘should’ do a much better job for you!

  14. I just wanted to tell you how helpful this post was in choosing a paint color for our beach condo. I feel like I owe you a free night, or week! It was a tired yellow that I’m sure was the bomb diggity in the 90s. I needed to paint the entire place in one color, that would hold its own in the light and in the dark. At first I fought Big Chill because I thought it would be too dark., Based on the samples I painted. Boy was wrong! When we got back down there after they painted it, I was in love.. It’s so beautiful! I wish I could attach a before and after pictures for you to see. Thank you for your blog – you are the best-est!

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      Author

      This is just a fantastic note! I recieve so many questions in a day that it was just AWESOME to read your note – THANK YOU! And seriously, I’d LOVE to see it (you can send it to [email protected]) If it’s clear enough/quality I could even use it on my blog – you’d be FAMOUS! You can seriously send as many photos as you like as I LOOOVE flipping through and seeing (and I can always edit to a degree).
      Anyway, THANK you again 🙂
      ~Kylie

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      Hi! Big Chill can suit both. Pure White has a weee tiny wink of warmth in it, but it’s barely noticeable. It would contrast ever (like ever) so slightly with Big Chill. Extra White is more clean/crisp/cool, but I can’t say which one is more modern or makes the most sense with your home in particular – both are valid!

  15. The wife and I took the plunge and decided to do Big Chill in the whole interior of our home; including the ceiling. Now we’re thinking to add contrast and have the ceiling be a white. Does anyone have a recommendation on a great coordinating white that will complement Big Chill?

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      Hi Damian, good choice! Now if you want a clean look, hit SW High Reflective White. You can also check out SW Pure White which has literally 1 WINK of warmth in it, just enough to stop it from being totally white, really. Hope that helps!

  16. Does this color have any purple undertones? Silver bullet & white metal from Home Depor have an obvious hue of lavender. Tried SW big chill on the wall, but can’t get purple out of my mind!! ????

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      Hi Jessica! While any gray CAN pick up any cool undertone given encouragement, Big Chill is more of a gray with a vague blue undertone 🙂

  17. Hi, Kylie! I’m so pleased to have stumbled on your review. We are building a new patio home – very open plan. I had already selected Big Chill for the whole house with white trim – there are wood floors (natural finish – very light) throughout except bedrooms & bathrooms. (I’m putting gray carpeting in bedrooms). Now I need to purchase area rugs and upholstered furniture for the living room and sun room…any suggestions on color to gravitate toward or to avoid?

  18. Kylie,
    Thank you so much for your thorough reviews! I spent weeks trying to pick a color for the majority of the walls in our new house (that I hadn’t seen in person). It’s easy/west light with a LOT of honey oak in it. We redid the kitchen cabinets in white, painted the built ins SW Peppercorn (which look great) and used big chill on the main room, kitchen, dining, hallway, master bath and two bedrooms.

    Big chill is perfect! It’s light, so when the sun is shining in it does wash out a little, but it’s such a versatile color. In the evening it’s the perfect gray, in different rooms it has a touch of blue or the faintest purple. But I love that it’s light enough to not be a drag. It looks crisp and clean and definitely toned down the honey oak.

    Thank you for the blogs! You’re a life saver 🙂

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  19. Thank you so much for this post! After 2 months of agonizing over whole-house light grays that didn’t look baby blue or purple this post gave me confidence in picking Big Chill over BM Graytint and I couldn’t be happier!

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      This is an AWESOME CHOICE! Graytint is NOT for the faint of heart, whereas Big Chill is SOOOOOO much easier to work with and settles in rooms so much better!

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