Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray: the most POPULAR greige-taupe/warm gray
If there is ONE paint colour that’s lit MANY fires this year, it has to be Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. And while I’ve touched on it briefly in other blog posts, I figured it was time to hammer down some finer points on this bad boy.
IS AGREEABLE GRAY STILL POPULAR?
You bet your BOOTY it is. Agreeable Gray has claimed a top spot for several years, and it’s still going strong.
WHY IS AGREEABLE GRAY SO POPULAR?
There’s a long list of reasons why Agreeable Gray is one of the best. For brevity (which isn’t normally my strong suit), here’s a short list…
- Agreeable Gray is a great transition for those not quite ready for the warmer beige trends
- Agreeable Gray NODS at the gray world while not being as traditionally cold
- this flexible greige-taupe/warm gray suits a WIDE variety of interior finishes, even more so than most traditional gray paint colours
- its undertones are relatively non-committal and can flex in their environment
- its moderate LRV parks it right near the sweet spot of the light range (you’ll read more on this shortly).
In fact, not only is Agreeable Gray popular in the greige-taupe worlds but in the GRAY world too. Agreeable Gray is often referred to as ‘the most popular light gray paint colour‘. It’s not gray, but I get it.
WHAT TYPE OF COLOR IS AGREEABLE GRAY – IS IT MORE GRAY OR BEIGE?
The quick answer is that Agreeable Gray is a wee bit tipsy towards GRAY over beige – but it isn’t TOTALLY gray. Agreeable Gray is a greige-taupe hybrid that can EASILY pass as a warm gray (which we’ll get into shortly). It’s open to perception based on the room/surface it’s on and the person looking at it – some call it greige, others call it gray (but it sure as heck isn’t beige)!
This next image shows how Agreeable Gray favours gray over beige – the walls look more beige in comparison…
In this next image, you can see how Agreeable Gray COULD lean into some considerable warmth under the right circumstances…but it ain’t beige.
And one more image, showing Agreeable Gray in its most natural state (and I miiiight even see a wink of green undertone)…
Notice that the previous THREE photos are taken in the same room, just in different spots – WHAAAT? That’s right – same colour, same room, different walls. This is exactly what you should do when sampling paint colours, as suggested in the above link.
Overall, Agreeable Gray is one darn non-committal neutral paint colour with minimal undertones.
WHAT’S THE LRV OF AGREEABLE GRAY?
Agreeable Gray’s LRV comes in at 60, which is DAAMN close to my magic number of 62. If that whole ‘LRV business’ goes RIGHT over your head, that’s okay. If you’re curious, it’s super simple to learn. The gist is that every paint colour has an LRV number on a scale of 0-100. 0 is black, and 100 is white (although our useable range only goes up to 94).
A colour’s LRV number lets you know how dark or light it is.
See more of this ‘Agreeable’ project HERE
With an LRV of 60, Agreeable Gray is light, but not a ‘washed-out bordering on off-white’ kinda light. I have a great article on the topic of LRV if you want to learn more (it’s saved MANY lives…and marriages).
In the previous dining room photo, notice where the light hits the wall. Anything short of a DARK colour will wash out like this with a direct hit of light. However, you’ll see on the other walls that it holds itself well. This is pretty normal for an LRV of 60.
In this next dining room, Agreeable Gray is a great complement to the vintage-style wood cabinet and dining set. If you look from trim to wall, you’ll see what an LRV of 60 gives you concerning contrast…
WHAT ARE AGREEABLE GRAY’S UNDERTONES
For those of you who are sensitive to the USUAL cool undertones, Agreeable Gray is one of the more NEUTRAL greige-taupe paint colours.
Why do I refer to Agreeable Gray as a greige-taupe/warm gray?
Agreeable Gray is flexible and not that committed to an undertone. Greige tends to favour a green undertone; taupe loves a touch of violet. And sure, in some lights, Agreeable Gray picks up a very vague violet, and in others, a wink o’ green. HOWEVER, a lot of the time, Agreeable Gray registers as having NO undertone at all (perception can be at play).
For example, put Agreeable Gray in a room with violet-pink (taupe) undertones, and it can look a bit green ‘in comparison’…
However, because it’s not that committed to its undertone, given the right environment or exposure, it can flash into violet or blue as well.
Remember, every gray or greige will grab undertones – you can’t run; they will find you.
Natural light, exposure, and light bulbs can affect how a paint colour looks – how could they NOT? And Agreeable Gray is definitely sensitive to its surroundings, as shown in this next photo…
As for whether it’s a warm gray or greige-taupe, it depends on which camp you’re in and how you see things. I like to cover my bases, even though, in MOST situations, Agreeable Gray looks greige-taupe – not gray.
DOES AGREEABLE GRAY EVER LOOK PINK?
Agreeable Gray doesn’t NATURALLY want to look pink, so that would be more about its surroundings. Another way that Agreeable Gray could look pink is if you don’t get it mixed by a Sherwin-Williams technician (try not to colour-match).
WILL AGREEABLE LOOK VIOLET-PURPLE?
I’ve seen Agreeable Gray go overly violet ONE TIME in my many experiences (coming up shortly). This is an exception as Agreeable Gray is more likely to read as a relatively NEUTRAL warm gray or greige-taupe paint colour. Any undertone should be SUPER subtle.
WILL AGREEABLE GRAY LOOK GREEN?
I’ve seen a green undertone pop up once in a while in Agreeable Gray, ESPECIALLY when it’s partnered with finishes with a soft violet or violet-pink undertone.
This next space, which is SO well-decorated (I have such great clients), shows how Agreeable Gray has a slightly green hue compared to the violet in the flooring (she hired me to fix it)…
AGREEABLE GRAY IN A NORTH-FACING ROOM
You can anticipate Agreeable Gray cooling down slightly in a north-facing room. Northern light is a gray light that can further encourage the gray tucked in Agreeable Gray, which is probably why it isn’t called Agreeable Greige.
AGREEABLE GRAY IN A SOUTH-FACING ROOM
A south-facing room is where Agreeable Gray is at its best, or ‘most expected’ – as a soft, light greige-taupe with a minimal undertone. This next photo makes me ALL kinds of happy. However, it’s ALSO as warm as you can ever expect Agreeable Gray to look – you’d almost think it was Edgecomb Gray!
And yes, I know there are east and west-facing rooms too. However, those buggers change their light SO much throughout the day that it would add MANY paragraphs to my blog post (I have separate blog posts on them here).
The gist is that in an east-facing room, you can expect Agreeable Gray to act a bit more like a north-facing room but perhaps a touch flatter. In a west-facing room, in the morning, it can fall a bit flat and dull. However, in the afternoon, it will warm up nicely, especially in the later hours.
Here are a few more shots of Agreeable Gray in random rooms, giving you a well-rounded look at this gorgeous neutral colour…
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SHERWIN WILLIAMS ANEW GRAY vs AGREEABLE GRAY
Anew Gray is the slightly darker version of Agreeable Gray, so more of a light-medium depth (LRV of 47 for all of my colour nerds). Anew Gray has a similar approach to Agreeable Gray, being a gray-beige blend. However, Anew Gray leans just a WINK warmer.
And while Anew Gray can lean a bit cooler in some lights, it doesn’t go as far as Agreeable Gray…
And just like Agreeable Gray, Anew Gray isn’t very married to a particular undertone and can flex its muscles on a per-room basis.
WHAT WHITE TRIM COLOR SHOULD YOU USE WITH AGREEABLE GRAY?
Agreeable Gray isn’t TOO fussy when it comes to white paint colours, but I would focus on…
- Sherwin Williams Pure White (the best)
- Sherwin Williams Alabaster is BORDERLINE too warm – I’d rather see…
- Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
- Benjamin Moore White Dove is about as warm as Agreeable Gray wants
WILL AGREEABLE GRAY LOOK GOOD WITH CREAM CABINETS?
Generally speaking, NO, Agreeable Gray won’t work with many cream cabinets or wall paint colours. However, this is open to opinion (isn’t everything, though?). My PERSONAL opinion is that it’s a very touchy combination that isn’t usually in the best interest of either colour or the surrounding finishes.
As shown in this next photo, a warm, soft white/off-white is really STRETCHING Agreeable Gray’s comfort zone. If these cabinets and trims were any warmer, it would be a hard-no for this combo…
Notice how BLUE Agreeable Gray looks ‘in comparison’ to the creamy warmth of the cabinets. This is a great example of Agreeable Gray shifting its look and undertones based on its environment.
IS AGREEABLE GRAY A GOOD COLOUR FOR THE EXTERIOR OF A HOME?
Agreeable Gray can be AWESOME on exteriors, either as a siding or trim colour. It’s well-suited to many of the popular stone and brick coverings. However, be aware that in reasonable natural light, it can look lighter than expected.
This next photo is the one I alluded to earlier – where Agreeable Gray grabs a TON of violet undertone. This is more of an exception than a rule. Agreeable Gray usually comes off WAY more neutral than this, with minimal to no undertone at all…
However, the above is a professional photo, so the colour is likely edited.
On this next exterior, look at HOW MUCH MORE MUTED Agreeable Gray looks…
The stone on this exterior is pretty common. If your stone has MORE violet than this one, be careful with Agreeable Gray. Instead, you might shift to Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray or Knitting Needles.
Surfaces with a more noticeable violet or violet-pink undertone may demand more violet than Agreeable Gray can offer.
WHICH PAINT COLOURS ARE SIMILAR TO AGREEABLE GRAY?
Remember, paint companies CAN’T match each other’s colours perfectly. However, there are several colours with similar intentions regarding undertone and LRV…
- Benjamin Moore Collingwood
- Benjamin Moore Rodeo
- Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray
- Sherwin Williams Anew Gray
Once you’re done with this blog post, check out THIS bad boy – Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray vs Repose Gray, Revere Pewter & More
Benjamin Moore Collingwood
WHAT COLOURS GO WELL WITH AGREEABLE GRAY?
Agreeable Gray will be a bit fussy about some warmer beige, tan and cream paint colours. However, there’s still a WIDE range of other colours to explore, such as…
- Some soft and subtle off-whites like Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White
- Gray-green-blue blends can be stunning with Agreeable Gray, i.e. Sherwin Williams Argos and Comfort Gray
- Gray paint colours with a bit more depth than Agreeable Gray, i.e. Sherwin Williams Dovetail
- a wide range of white paint colours, as long as they aren’t too warm
Not sure if Agreeable Gray is the colour for you? Check these out…
Not sure which paint colour is the best for your room?
Check out my affordable and fun E-Design!
Originally written in 2019, updated in DEC 2022