Classic Gray: The Best Warm Gray Paint Colour (off-white)
Seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t done a review for this colour! Not only is it one of MY fave warm gray paint colours, but it’s also one of my READER’S faves too! That’s it, two slaps with a wet noodle.
It can be hard to find a good neutral gray or greige in the off-white range, as they all love to flash creepy undertones of blue, purple, or green – and Classic Gray is NO exception. But, the key to picking a paint colour you LOVE is to know what you’re dealing with BEFORE you slap it on the walls, which is why you have me (I’m not JUST good looks you know…).
What kind of paint colour is Classic Gray? Is it warm or cool?
Classic Gray is an off-white, warm gray with soft, muted, slightly feminine undertones. If you don’t like blue or green undertones, this could be right up your alley!
What’s the LRV of Classic Gray?
If you’re asking yourself ‘what the heck is LRV?’ then you need to read this, but here’s the gist: LRV refers to how light or dark a colour is based on a scale of 0-100 and EVERY paint colour has an LRV number. The closer the number is to 100, the lighter the colour is. The closer it is to 0, the darker the colour is. Done!
Classic Gray, darkened by 25%
Now that THAT’S out of the way, let’s get back to Classic Gray. Classic Gray has an LRV of ALMOST 75, which in my crazy lil’ colour world means it’s an off-white. And while it might be CLOSE to my magic LRV number, it gives a soft, easy contrast with white trim, while still lightening a room up.
However, if you have a dark room, Classic Gray could feel a bit dingy and flat. If you have a BRIGHT room, you can expect Classic Gray to wash out quite a bit. However, on a room with average light, it’s pretty darned gorgeous!
What are the undertones of Classic Gray?
Do you really want to know? Okay, I’m going to say it, but I’m going to say it lightly…Classic Gray has a passive purple undertone.
Don’t be scared. As while you might’ve focused on the one ‘p’ word, you might’ve easily missed the other one – passive. Every gray and greige has undertones of blue, green, purple or a mix of those. The key is to decide how much undertone you can live with and how sensitive you and your surroundings are to it. I don’t like a purple undertone at all, yet I find Classic Gray VERY liveable when it suits the products in a room (and have it in our guest bedroom).
Take a look at this next photo. There’s a reason why I taupe/greige tiles for the vanity wall – they had the same undertone as Classic Gray, just on a darker level.
Classic Gray darkened by 25%. See more of this AMAZING before and after HERE
Now, once in a blue moon (or a pink one might be more the point), I’ve seen it pick up the TINIEST wink of pink. This has usually been in south-facing rooms, but even then, it’s vague and is more about me being anal.
If I’m painting my walls Classic Gray, what’s the best white for my trim, ceilings and doors?
With Classic Gray, I like the following white paint colours…
- Benjamin Moore Oxford White or Chantilly Lace
- You can warm things up to Benjamin Moore White Dove, but that subtle warmth can play a bit more into the undertones that are hiding in Classic Gray
Shown above with Sherwin Williams Pure White cabinets
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
CHECK OUT SAMPLIZE AND SAVE MONEY ON SAMPLES HERE
Classic Gray in a north-facing room
Classic Gray holds itself pretty well in northern light. You’ll see it looking like a simple, soft warm gray as the northern light can slightly encourage the ‘gray’ in the colour, not the subtle warmth of it.
Actually, regarding the photos above and below, an E-Design client hired me because while she LOVED Classic Gray in the evening light, she found it a bit too cold in the daylight and was looking for a warmer alternative. Here is Classic Gray in the evening with only interior lighting…
It’s really interesting how Classic Gray went from being a soft slightly warm gray to being a warm greige, just with the lighting (helloooo metamerism)! Either that or I’m just easily amused and a colour nerd (true and true). Needless to say, I gave her some warmer greige options to consider so she’d love her room day AND nite!
Similar Colour: Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood
Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages
Classic Gray in a south-facing room
South-facing light is a warm light and can slightly enhance the soft warmth that’s tucked in Classic Gray.
Is Classic Gray a good colour for the exterior of my home?
Ermmmm, probably not. I mean, you can give it a go, but don’t be surprised if those purple undertones come up a wink more. At this depth (unless you live in a shaded area), you can expect it to REALLY wash-out in the sunshine.
Read more: 5 Steps to Picking Exterior Paint Colours
What Sherwin Williams paint colours are the same as or similar to Classic Gray?
When it comes to getting a perfect match, you won’t find one as there will ALWAYS be shifts in undertones, depth and temperature. For a similar approach, you can check out…
- Sherwin Williams Incredible White
Not sure if Classic Gray is right for you? Then check these bad boys out…
BENJAMIN MOORE PALE OAK
BENJAMIN MOORE BALBOA MIST
BENJAMIN MOORE GRAY OWL
Read more: Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Not sure which paint colour is best for you and YOUR home?
Check out my fun E-DESIGN – I’d love to help!
Written in 2019, updated in 2020