Big Chill: A popular gray paint color for GOOD REASONS!
While Pinterest has been paying homage to the warmer end of the gray world with colors like Sherwin Williams Repose Gray and Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, there has been one color that’s been patiently waiting for its time in the sun (or in the shade more appropriately) and its time has COME!
What Type of Paint Color 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 colors I refer to in my Online Color 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 colors. With many of my clients looking for gray paint colors, 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 COLOR 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 color 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 color. There are light colors that can totally wash-out when hit with natural light and light colors that lean to the heavier side. This one sits RIIIIIGHT in the middle.
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.
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.
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 colors. Some blue undertones are crisper and lean easily into the other gray undertones – not Big Chill. This beautiful gray paint color usually favours a soft stormy look – not traditionally warm, but not icy cold either.
See how lighting can play a BIG part in how a color 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.
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 color.
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.
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!
What’s the best white trim color if the walls are Big Chill?
What Benjamin Moore paint colors are the same as or similar to Big Chill?
You won’t find an exact match for ANY color 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 color matching between brands (ie: getting BM to make an SW paint color), you might want to read THIS first.
Big Chill is also in the running with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl as one of the TOP cool gray paint colors. 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.
Read more: Paint Color 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 colors to put with Big Chill?
Welllll, Big Chill is a WEE bit fussy but does have a few good partners…
- some grays that are darker than it with a blue undertone
- navy blue can be gorgeous with Big Chill!
- Big Chill doesn’t love many strong cream, beige, tan or greige paint colors – there are only a few exceptions (mostly in the off-white range)
Not sure if Big Chill is the color for you? I’ve got more!
Need help picking YOUR perfect gray?
Check out my affordable Virtual Color Consulting packages!
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2018, UPDATED IN 2021