DARK Greige & Taupe Paint Colors for Walls, Exteriors & More
Are you looking for the perfect DARK greige or taupe for your cabinets, walls or exterior? You’ve come to the right blog! Today we’re exploring the DARK side of things with Sherwin William’s most popular dark neutrals. But before we start, as per usual, we need to have a little chat (insert wine here).
THE TRICKY THING ABOUT DARK GREIGE & TAUPE PAINT COLORS
Depending on your color religion, you either think greige and taupe are the same thing (three gentle slaps with a wet noodle) or are different colors entirely. From this side of the great color wheel, while they both have similar INTENTIONS (to be warmer than gray and cooler than beige), it’s their UNDERTONES that set them apart.
THE BASICS OF GREIGE
Greige is one of my FAVOURITE neutrals. Sandwiched between gray and beige, it’s also more likely to survive the various trends as it doesn’t entirely commit to one or the other (referring to the gray and beige/trends of the last 20 years). Some greiges cater to gray, making them look a bit cooler, whereas others lean into the warmth of beige, making them look warmer. But regardless of which way they lean, they ALL favor a green undertone (and more rarely, a wink o’ violet).
But whereas you can find some pretty darn neutral looking greiges in the LIGHT end of things (their undertones are just SUPER subtle), you’ll find that as greiges get darker they grab MORE undertone. This means there are very few dark greiges that make the cut as they’re often more of a ‘color’ than a ‘neutral’.
THE BASICS OF TAUPE
Just like greige, taupe sits between gray and beige and can also lean a bit warmer or cooler depending on its particular blend. However, taupe’s undertone of choice is VIOLET (violet-pink) and more rarely flashes green.
Taupe is EQUALLY as challenging as greige when it comes to darker options and you WILL find that the darker taupe goes, the more VIOLET and BROWN it picks up – consider yourself warned.
The key to figuring out whether you need greige or taupe is to decide which undertone – green or violet, best suits your finishes! Remember, just because YOU prefer one undertone over another, doesn’t mean your home agrees with you.
BTW, pay attention to the LRV of each color to make sure you’re getting the DEPTH you want. Not sure what LRV is? It could save your PAINT LOVIN’ LIFE – read all about it HERE.
1. SHERWIN WILLIAMS ANONYMOUS SW 7046
GREIGE – GREEN UNDERTONE
Being a greige, Anonymous has a soft green undertone. If you DON’T like green undertones, it might make you a little twitchy, but it could give a polite but not OVERWHELMING nod to finishes that demand this particular undertone.
2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS MINK SW 6004
WARM GRAY/TAUPE – VIOLET UNDERTONE
As far as dark taupe goes, Mink (& the darker Folkstone) are my FAVES. However, with the degree of gray they have in them they could arguably be called warm grays. These two colors have slightly noticeable violet undertones while still acting as neutrals.
Mink has an LRV of 21 and is a popular choice for exteriors when a particular stone/brick/roof caters to a violet undertone – same with Folkstone (LRV 14). In the above photo, it’s much easier to see how Mink could be seen as taupe, not warm gray.
This next photo shows how quickly a color like Mink or Folkstone can swing warm with a good dose of southern or afternoon western sunshine…
3. SHERWIN WILLIAMS KEYSTONE GRAY SW 7504
WARM GREIGE – GREEN UNDERTONE (VERY PASSIVE)
When it comes to DARK greige, Keystone Gray isn’t the first one that comes to mind due to its depth. However, seeing as it’s on the EDGE and is such a friggin’ fantastic color, I want to take a closer look with you.
Keystone Gray is a solid medium depth greige. And while this means it has a green undertone, the reason it’s so great is that the undertone is VERY hard to see and hardly worth mentioning.
TOP: Keystone Gray BOTTOM: Sherwin Williams Dovetail (a warm gray)
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
4. SHERWIN WILLIAMS URBANE BRONZE SW 7048
GREIGE – GREEN UNDERTONE
I love Urbane Bronze, and if it didn’t exist, not only would my home be slightly lacking in oomph, but Sherwin Williams wouldn’t have a great DARK greige for us to explore! Urbane Bronze has the most WICKED passive warmth and green undertone, as shown on these stair railings…
Looking for something with a BIT more warmth/richness? Check out Benjamin Moore Dragon’s Breath.
5. SHERWIN WILLIAMS SPALDING GRAY SW 6074
TAUPE – VIOLET UNDERTONE (SLIGHT VIOLET-PINK)
Spalding Gray is another gorgeous taupe that will seem WARMER if you compare it to the previously discussed Mink. Spalding Gray is like a darker version of the ever-popular and aptly named, Popular Gray (LRV 61), but with its LRV of 22, it carries a lot more visual weight.
Because I’m dedicated to showing you REAL HOMES and only refer to my Online Color Consulting clients photos, I don’t have any great examples of this beautiful color (some photos just come through too low-quality to use). Thank you to those who’ve sent their photos in!
Now you might be thinking, ‘Kylie what about Garret Gray and Chateau Brown, the colors that are RIGHT BENEATH Spaulding Gray on the color strip, aren’t they great taupes too?‘ OH, you’re good…but not THAT GOOD (wink wink)! While Garret Gray has a great approach to taupe, by the time we get to Chateau Brown, well, the name says it all.
6. SHERWIN WILLIAMS WARM STONE SW 7032
WARM GREIGE – GREEN UNDERTONE
Whether on Pinterest or on Sherwin William’s website, Warm Stone looks brown – I won’t deny it. However, in REAL-LIFE that brown warmth has a good shot of gray in it and a weeeee tiny wink o’ green (some people don’t even notice it). If the usual greige and taupe paint colors are too gray for you, this could be the ticket.
What’s the most POPULAR greige or taupe paint color (Sherwin Williams)?
When it comes to Sherwin William’s LIGHTER range, it has to be Agreeable Gray. However, in the DARKER end of things, you’ll see Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze pop up QUITE often on everything from front doors and exteriors to feature walls and cabinets!
A FEW MEDIUM-DEPTH GREIGE & TAUPE PAINT COLORS…
I want to show you a few more greige and taupe paint colors, which might be handy if you didn’t find QUITE what you’re looking for in the above list. There are TWO reasons why these colors aren’t included above…
1. They’re not QUITE in the dark range, which is the main focus of this blog post
2. I’m waiting to get some good AFTER photos from my E-Design clients to show you how they look in real-life!
Sherwin Williams Fawn Brindle
SHERWIN WILLIAMS STICKS & STONES SW 7503
Sticks & Stones is a TAUPE as it has a minor violet undertone (LRV 31). It has a similar approach to Keystone Gray but is a bit lighter and softer with a slightly duskier look.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS REDEND POINT 9081
Redend Point, Sherwin Williams 2023 Color of the Year is a mauve paint color. It has STRONGER undertones than the other neutrals on this page.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS MEGA GREIGE 7031
SHERWIN WILLIAMS FAWN BRINDLE SW 7640
SHERWIN WILLIAMS ELEPHANT EAR SW 9168
Elephant Ear is a PERSONAL FAVE when I’m looking for a warm gray/taupe with a muted violet undertone. With its LRV of 28, it’s a great choice for a wide range of surfaces.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS FELTED WOOL SW 9171
With its LRV of 28, Felted Wool is just SHY of having some really good depth. But it IS a fabulous greige with a glorious green undertone.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS PERFECT GREIGE SW 6073
CHECK OUT MY ONLINE PAINT COLOR CONSULTING, COURSES & E-BOOKS!