THE MOST POPULAR (& BEAUTIFUL) GRAY-BLUE BLEND PAINT COLORS
Blue-green blends have had a good run. And while they’re certainly still running (Forrest Gump style), I’ve been getting a LOT more requests for blue-GRAYS in the last few months.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BLUE-GRAY & GRAY-BLUE?
The first word is the DOMINANT color, so a blue-gray shows up as BLUE on the walls, with a degree of gray to calm it down. Gray-blue shows up as a GRAY paint color with a blue undertone to add some interest!
Sherwin Williams Mineral Deposit is a gray with a blue-green undertone
But whether a color is blue-gray or gray-blue, why is it suddenly one of the popular kids? I think that psychologically, a lot of us are looking for calm. We’re pining for colors that bring our heart rates down and help us relax in our homes. Gray-blue seems to be a magical blend that hits a certain happy place (not THAT one, you dirty bird). Personally, my happy blend is a mixture of white wine, red wine, and Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn, but each to their own.
The thing to remember with blue-gray is that it’s rarely just blue-gray. Just like gray will have undertones, blue also loves to flex its colorful muscle (which I wrote MORE about HERE if you’re curious). So, even when the blue in your gray is an UNDERTONE, it can also have an undertone of its own tucked inside its deep lil’ pockets.
Shown here, Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, a gray with a SUPER PASSIVE blue (blue-green) undertone
AND REMEMBER, when it comes to choosing a gray-blue, don’t just choose the one that YOU like, you also need to consider the ones that best suit the products, exposure, and finishings in your room, even if they fall a bit outside of your personal comfort zone.
BLUE-GRAY WITH A GREEN UNDERTONE
A blue-gray with green is STILL a cold color, as blue and green are traditional cool colors, however, green can soften the look of blue. This influx of green won’t make your blue-gray any WARMER, but it can look a bit more inviting compared to a colder blue blend (however, that IS open to perception).
- add a reasonable amount of green to your blue and you’ll get colors like aqua, robins egg, and teal
- add even MORE green and you’ll get sage green, which is a COOL green (literally and figuratively)
- these types of gray-blues are often referred to as beachy, coastal or spa-inspired
BLUE-GRAY WITH A PURPLE/VIOLET UNDERTONE
A blue-gray with a violet hue tends to look a bit cold, which makes sense, as purple is most often viewed as a cool color. When you add purple to blue (technically you’re adding red, but I’m pretty meat n’ potatoes around here), you’re going to shift your blue, making it look a bit cooler.
Shown here, Sherwin Williams Jubilee
- add ENOUGH purple and you’ll get periwinkle
- add even MORE purple and you’ll get a purple with a blue undertone (or a cool-toned purple)
- a gray-blue with purple is often seen as more romantic and slightly more traditional than the coastal vibe found in gray-blue-greens
And while these are ALL COLD COLORS, you can definitely adjust the type of blue you see by choosing which way it leans!
Now, in my experience doing Online Paint Color Consulting, the requests for a blue-gray with a GREEN undertone greatly outweigh the blue-purple end of things. Why? Well, I think generally, blue with a green undertone is a bit easier to coordinate products and furnishings with, having a bit more flexibility compared to blue-purple undertones. I’ve also found that with blue-purple, the purple seems to take over really quickly, whereas the green can seem much more passive when tucked inside of blue.
Now that we have THAT out of the way, let’s check some of these bad boys out!
THE BEST BLUE-GRAY PAINT COLORS
While Farrow and Ball offers a gorgeous selection of blues, this blog post is dedicated to Benjamin Moore and Sherwin William’s top shades.
1. BENJAMIN MOORE GIBRALTAR CLIFFS 1587
Hands-down, my FAAAVE blue-gray blend. Gibraltar Cliffs is a gorgeous, stormy blend of blue and gray with a decent green backdrop. This is one color that’s REALLY open to interpretation as I’ve had people say it’s GRAY and others clearly see the blue. So, it will be up to you as to how it sits in your eyes!
See more of this HERE
LEARN MORE ABOUT GIBRALTAR CLIFFS
- Gibraltar Cliffs has an LRV of 30.63, so while it’s got some depth to it, it’s not a terribly heavy color. Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – Read HERE
- If you love the idea of blue but aren’t quite ready to commit to it full-time on your walls, Gibraltar could be the answer – makes for a GORGEOUS feature wall!
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO GIBRALTAR CLIFFS
- Sherwin Williams African Gray, which calms things down CONSIDERABLY and removes almost all of the green
- Benjamin Moore Stonybrook, which we’re going to hit next…
2. BENJAMIN MOORE STONYBROOK 1566
Stonybrook is definitely a color ninja. Not that it can go legit purple, it’s definitely a blue-green blend, but the green can take over OR it can settle back down, leaving more blue on the table (or on the wall might be more the point).
You might see a bit more of the gray-blue here…
Any color can change its tune (or tone) based on the exposure of the room, which goes back to one of my most POPULAR blog posts – North, East, South, West: Which Paint Colors is the Best? You may want to brush up on your exposures before finalizing your paint color choice.
LEARN MORE ABOUT STONYBROOK
- With an LRV of 28.23, Stonybrook sits in the solid medium-toned end of things.
- Stonybrook is like a darker Mount Saint Anne, which we’re going to touch on shortly. However, as this color darkens the green starts to rise up more, ALMOST crossing the line between gray-blue with a soft green to being a relatively balanced gray-blue-green blend
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO STONYBROOK
- If you want a blue-gray with less green than Stonybrook, check out Benjamin Moore Shaker Gray. Mmmm, I’ll shake it any day for some Shaker Gray.
- Benjamin Moore Gibraltar Cliffs, which we talked about earlier. I’d shake it for Gibraltar Cliffs too, but the cliff is pretty high and I don’t want to fall off (once this booty gets a goin’, there’s no stopping it – wink wink).
3. SHERWIN WILLIAMS NETWORK GRAY 7073
Network Gray is a popular gray with a blue undertone. And while Network Gray’s blue undertone can lean JUST slightly into green, it can also wink the other way, especially if you have north-facing light.
LEARN MORE ABOUT NETWORK GRAY
- Network Gray has an LRV of 37, so it’s lighter than Gibraltar, more of a standard medium-depth color
- Network Gray really is a gray with undertones, the color isn’t obvious enough to take over unless you’re sensitive to color
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO NETWORK GRAY
- Sherwin Williams Uncertain Gray, which is a touch lighter, grayer and bluer
- Benjamin Moore Marina Gray, just a bit softer
- Jubilee, which we’ll look at shortly!
4. SHERWIN WILLIAMS LULLABY 9136
While I don’t have photos of this one yet, Lullaby is a GORGEOUS color that leans MORE on blue and a bit less on gray compared to the others.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LULLABY
- Lullaby has an LRV of 65, parking it nicely in the light range
- Lullaby is a great shade of blue if you want something soft and subtle, but not traditional ‘baby-boy blue’
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO LULLABY
If you want to learn more about Lullaby, read its FULL COLOR REVIEW!
5. SHERWIN WILLIAMS JUBILEE 6248
Jubilee is one of the best blue-gray-violets as the blue still shows up enough to the party without the violet going too dominant.
LEARN MORE ABOUT JUBILEE
- Jubilee has an LRV of 45, so just a nice moderate medium-toned paint. If you still haven’t read up on LRV – TWO SLAPS WITH A WET NOODLE (here’s the link)
- Jubilee has quite a lot of color in it. Some people would still say it’s gray, while others would say it’s quite clearly a color
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO JUBILEE
- Sherwin Williams Uncertain Gray. Uncertain Gray is a bit grayer and slides back to being a blue with a very minor green in it, although in the right light, it’s a bit of a swinger and could switch partners, leaning a touch purple
- Sherwin Williams Let it Rain
- Benjamin Moore Gray Timber Wolf, which is lighter and softer, but again, watch as it can swing more into purple
- You’ll also want to compare Jubilee to this NEXT gray-blue blend – STARDEW!
6. SHERWIN WILLIAMS STARDEW 9138
Stardew is flat-out gorgeous. It’s more blue than it is gray, and while it’s pretty flexible, it could nod just a wee wink into green (a serious stretch of the imagination).
On a side note, did you know that the photos on my blog are 100% powered by my Online Color Consulting clients? Thank you all for sending them in! This is also why I might not ALWAYS have photos of just the color I want to tell you about, but will add them as they come in.
LEARN MORE ABOUT STARDEW
Stardew has an LRV of 43, putting it somewhere between the light-medium and medium depths
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO STARDEW
- If you want a similar look, check out Sherwin Williams Tradewind
7. SHERWIN WILLIAMS TINSMITH 7657
Tinsmith is one of the more muted and lighter shades on this page. Tinsmith is a light-medium super STORMY gray with a soft blue undertone. And just like Network Gray, you’ll find it to be a BIT of a ninja re: the purple/green factor, meaning that it naturally has a tiny touch of green, but in some lights, it can flex.
Look how much it changes with the lights on!
LEARN MORE ABOUT TINSMITH
- Sherwin Williams Tinsmith has an LRV of 57, so it’s a light depth paint color, but it’s a HEAVY light, not a fresh bright one
- Tinsmith has slightly more noticeable undertones than what you’d see in a traditional gray paint color
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO TINSMITH – GRAYS WITH A BLUE UNDERTONE
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 the 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
8. BENJAMIN MOORE MOUNT SAINT ANNE 1565
Mount Saint Anne is one of the good ole
boys girls. Anne is a soft, medium-toned blue with a good shot of gray in her and a passive green.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MOUNT SAINT ANNE
- MSA has an LRV of 42.28, so she’s a medium-depth color
- Mount Saint Anne is a great color for a moody, beachy vibe
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO MOUNT SAINT ANNE
- Benjamin Moore Beach Glass, the lighter, softer and juuuust slightly greener version
- Benjamin Moore Adagio has a softer look with a bit more gray and very little green
- Brewster Gray, by Benjamin Moore, is another beautiful gray-blue hue
In this next photo, look at how much green Mount Saint Anne picks up, compared to how it looks in the previous photo…
9. BENJAMIN MOORE COLORADO GRAY 2136-50
Colorado Gray is the more COLORFUL blend on this page, making it more of a dominant BLUE-gray. And it does lean into green, not drastically, but enough to be slightly noticeable.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COLORADO GRAY
- Colorado Gray has an LRV of 44.4, making it a nice moderate, medium-toned color
- Colorado IS A BLUE PAINT COLOR, no foolin’ around with this one thinking it will look gray
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO COLORADO GRAY
- Benjamin Moore Soft Chinchilla, which is a bit lighter and softer, with a bit less green for sure
- Sherwin Williams Rain or Interesting Aqua – definitely good comparables
10. SHERWIN WILLIAMS NIEBLA AZUL 9137
LEARN MORE ABOUT NIEBLA AZUL
- With an LRV of 53 and a slightly higher chroma, this is a great color for a secondary room, but it would be too much blue for a ‘whole home‘ application
- Niebla Azul commits to its blue and doesn’t HEAVILY favor blue-purple or blue-green (only MINORLY blue-green)
COLORS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO NIEBLA AZUL
- Sherwin Williams Jubilee – leans slightly more blue-violet
- Sherwin Williams Lullaby – similar idea, but lighter
WHAT ABOUT DARK GRAY-BLUE PAINT COLORS?
For those who want to nerd out a bit with me, a dark gray-blue color is called Perse or Gunmetal.
For the rest of you, I’m working on a blog post SPECIFIC to this topic – stay tuned!
The Best Navy Blue Paint Colors for Cabinets, Island, Front Doors and More
Not sure which GRAY-BLUE is right for YOU?
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting; I’d love to help!
Originally written in 2020, updated for you in 2022