PAINTED CABINETS: The Top 4 Shades of Gray & Greige
Hands-down, gray is the most popular colour for cabinets these days (with navy blue coming in a hot second), but how on EARTH do you pick from all of those grays? Warm gray, cool gray, blue- gray, greige-gray, green-gray – HELLS BELLS! Thank goodness you have your own personal decorator tucked in your back pocket (and don’t worry, I don’t pinch…unless you ask nicely).
Today we’re going to look at three of the best gray paint colours for cabinets and vanities. And there are TONS more that I’d love to explore with you, but these four are a great place to start your search…
1. BENJAMIN MOORE AMHERST GRAY HC-167
Amherst Gray is a solid, medium-toned charcoal paint colour with an LRV of 17, so it has some weight behind it.
Like ANY gray, Amherst Gray can AND WILL pick up undertones from its environment. But generally speaking, it will look like a nice, medium-toned charcoal paint colour that doesn’t have that typical taupe-purple undertone that a lot of today’s grays have. However, it can grab a wee wink o’ green at times.
And while this is a fireplace surround, not a cabinet, it’s a GREAT example of the undertone that can pop up in Amherst Gray…
This next photo shows how neutral Amherst Gray can look, but don’t be fooled, it USUALLY picks up a more green than this…
See how wicked it looks with stainless steel appliances? Just agree with me, Tim says it’s easier that way (wink wink).
See more of this project HERE
AMHERST GRAY CABINETS WORK GREAT WITH
- grays with a very vague green undertone
- some tan, beige and greige paint colours
- stainless steel appliances
PAINT COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO AMHERST GRAY
- Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, slightly lighter
- Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal, a wicked dark charcoal
- Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray
2. BENJAMIN MOORE METROPOLIS CC-546
Metropolis is for those of you who want to take a slightly softer, warmer approach to painting your cabinets. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Metropolis is a SUPER warm gray, but it’s definitely warmer and more taupey (taupey not being a real word) than Amherst Gray. Metropolis has an LRV of 23.
Metropolis can look gray, without the cool edge.
See the before and after photos of this project HERE
This is the bathroom in our previous home with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on the walls and Metropolis on the vanity.
METROPOLIS CABINETS WORK GREAT WITH
- slightly warmer grays, but nothing TOO greige
- soft whites and some off-whites
- stainless steel/polished nickel
PAINT COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO METROPOLIS
- for a touch less warmth, check out Sherwin Williams Dovetail
- you can also go a bit lighter and softer with Benjamin Moore Escarpment
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Metropolis
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
- 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
3. BENJAMIN MOORE KINGSPORT GRAY HC-86
Sure, it says ‘gray’ but this one really is more greige than anything as it sits in between gray and beige – slightly favouring the warmer side of things.
If you’re looking for a warmer neutral, this one could work well for you. Kingsport Gray does the job of being a diehard ‘neutral’ with more warmth and softness than the previous options.
Kingsport Gray is shown below with a beautiful (and affordable) Formica countertop. A soft and subtle way to neutralize a space, while giving a bit of personality.
The NEW Era of Laminate Countertops and Why They Rock
KINGSPORT GRAY CABINETS WORKS GREAT WITH
- warm-toned countertops
- cream and off-white paint colours
- almond tub/toilet (more here on that tricky topic)
- bone or almond coloured kitchen appliances
PAINT COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO KINGSPORT GRAY
- I love the slightly grayer approach of Sherwin Williams Keystone Gray
- Sherwin Williams Mega Greige is also pretty, sitting a bit lighter than Keystone Gray
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Kingsport Gray
Benjamin Moore’s Best DARK Taupe & Greige Paint Colours
4. SHERWIN WILLIAMS GAUNTLET GRAY SW 7019
Gauntlet Gray is a wicked dark gray with a slightly warm, but VERY vague purple undertone.
GAUNTLET GRAY WORKS GREAT WITH
- a lot of popular quartz countertops
- tile floors that have a mix of warm gray and beige
- some beige and tan paint colours
FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray
PAINT COLOURS THAT ARE SIMILAR TO GAUNTLET GRAY
- while Sherwin Williams Dovetail doesn’t have the same DEPTH, it is a similar-looking colour, just a bit lighter
Sherwin Williams 8 Best Dark Gray Paint Colours
How to Pick the Best Paint Colour for Your Cabinets
The 10 Best Gray and Greige Paint Colours by Sherwin Williams
Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Web Gray
The 4 Best Paint Colours for Your Kitchen Island or Lower Cabinets
Wondering which gray is best for your kitchen or bathroom?
Check out my affordable Virtual Colour Consulting Packages!
Originally posted in 2017, updated in 2020
I absolutely LOVE the way you explain colors. Your posts are always so informative. I pin each of your color descriptions so I can keep the information. Wish you could explain ALL colors!!! If paint companies explained their colors the way you do it would benefit us all. Guess they make more money from our mistakes, lol!!
Been wanting to move to more neutral colors, but they just don’t feel right even when I pick from those listed in the pictures I love. Just finished re-painting a newly planked wall for the third time and still don’t like it. My problem is I’m trying to use the pictures/decor I already have and they don’t work with the colors I want to use. Budget constraints limit changing things. Most of my stuff is either red/golds of Tuscan decor or creams/dirty greens of cottage/floral. Oh well, am using up a lot of old paint by mixing colors! I love greens and would like to get rid of any reds, perhaps I’ll try the golds next and see if that helps my stuff work.
Keep up these excellent explanations!!
These are all gorgeous colors for cabinetry. I wouldn’t have thought to put Amherst with Grant Beige, but it looks like it works well. Thanks for another great post!
Thank you Beth! I think Grant Beige is a greatly underused, but super awesome colour. I find so many beige/tan colours overly yellow and this one is just so grounded.
Chat soon 🙂
Perhaps you should consider investing a few minutes of your time to take photos…and then a few dollars to get superb ideas from Kylie. it would ultimately save you a ton of time, money and grief! … AND produce results you will love…and will have learned from.
What type of finish would you use for these paints in a kitchen when painting over oak cabinets? Gloss? Semi? Matte?
Great questions Rose! My FAVOURITE paint for cabinets is Benjamin Moore Advance in Pearl finish. I’ve tried the semi-gloss, but I found it a bit too reflective/shiny. We have the pearl on our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and it’s just perfectly wipeable with a small amount of sheen. Generally speaking, I find semi-gloss in MOST brands a bit too shiny and I’m inclined to go 1 step down.
Thanks for asking!
Kylie ~ Is that the Soapstone Sequoia with the kingsport gray? What is the countertop in your bathroom? Love both! Great colors…thanks for the very informative posts. I enjoy every one of them!
Thank you Valerie! With the Kingsport Gray, the countertop is Formica Silver Travertine which is a laminate. In our bathroom it is Caesarstone Bianco Drift which is a quartz that I’m MAAAADLY in love with. Hope that helps!
Hi Kylie, Where did you buy the vanity that you painted Kingsport Gray? Do you hire someone to paint it for you? Or do you paint the vanity yourself? I can’t seem to find simple cabinets at Home Depot or online. Please help!
Hi Ingrid! That cabinet was just via a building supplier in Surrey. The local builders are able to get these affordably as they order a lot of them! It was then painted with BM Kingsport Gray…
Love your ideas and photos. Love the Amherst Gray. Just painted our vanities that color. Looking for a soft gray/white wall color. Most samples come off as blue. Any suggestions?
Hi Debbie! When it comes to personal questions, I have to give priority to my e-design clients. If you are interested, I can look at photos of your room/questionnaire and come up with paint samples that actually make sense with your room and it’s flooring/lighting/etc…, rather than just guessing at it. If this interests you, here’s the link… https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Hi Kylie, I have relied on your blog many times for advice and it is always so great! Do you think a bathroom vanity painted Kingsport Gray would work in an east-facing bathroom with Edgecomb gray walls? Just wondering if you think Edgecomb and Kingsport would compliment each other well.
Hi Jill Anne, I can’t see that being a problem at all! It will just be a more soft, slightly lower-contrast look 🙂
Hi Kylie, love your site! It’s been very helpful. I’m in the process of “neutralizing” my ensuite bathroom. It has a forest green counter and almond fixtures. I found a shower curtain (soft blue/greens, off white and a sandy color) with pattern and a bath mat which is a soft blue/green color which seem to work. I think I will paint the walls either revere pewter or gray cashmere by Benjamin Moore…leaning more towards gray cashmere….I also have tiled floors that are sort of a almond with almost a slight peachy color to them. I was painting the cabinets White Dove by Benjamin Moore, just because I have some on hand really, but find it a bit too white. Would you say either a creamier white or darker brown like Kingsport gray for the cabinets would neutralize those colors more?
Hi Amanda, off the top of my head without seeing photos I’m going to say a darker tone would be a bit better at blending 😉
Hi Kylie – do you have a favorite Sherwin Williams gray color for cabinets? I’ve read so much about Dove Tail, but it looks like it has purple undertones in it. I really like SW Hammered Zinc, but haven’t read or heard any reviews on it. My kitchen will be painted Repose Gray. Thanks so much!
Hi Kacy! yes, Dovetail (in the world of gray) can lean that way (vaguely so, but yes, compared to blue or green undertones). For a medium toned gray, check out Classic French Gray 🙂
Hi! In your opinion what is the best gray color to paint kitchen cabinets, with dark wood floors and tan walls? Thanks!
Hi Tracy! Tan and gray can be tricky as gray can have undertones that can flash with SOME tans. I might lean toward a warm gray (so it has some beige in it) and perhaps with a touch of green…if you’d like me to take a look at your home, you might like to check out my E-design it is affordable and fun – this way I can look at photos of your space and spend some time with it! There’s more to consider, such as exposure, amount of natural light, furnishings, etc…and I don’t like to just guess! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Thank you for the info..on not stressing..I’m getting ready to paint
Sweet, I hope it turns out just how you hope!
Getting ready to do a master remodel. We are keeping countertops and tile around garden tub which are a lighter tan. We will paint cabinets and do new floor and are wanting to do more of a taupe/gray feel. Ideas on cabinet paint color and floor color. I’m thinking of choosing cabinet paint color first and then moving on to choosing floor? Any ideas would be so helpful…. feeling overwhelmed!!
Hi Robin, thank you for your note! I actually have an E-design service just for this! I try to give as much complimentary as I can on my website, but if that doesn’t work you might want to think about sending me photos and filling out the questionnaire so that I can spend some time with your home! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Loved your E-design help several years ago and have followed your blog all the time as I continue to update my house! Quick question, Kendall Charcoal. I painted my vanity that color. Can it go a bit green? Or is it because I have yellow light bulbs, dated cream linoleum, and cream counter top next to the vanity. (both of which will be replaced.) What white paint pairs well with it?
Oh you BET it can go a bit green, absolutely. As for teh best white, that’s ALLLL about the other finishes in your room and from the sounds of it, they won’t love a white so much (cream lino/cream counter). I mean, BM White Dove is a warm white, but even then…it could be a stretch :).
Hi Kylie: Getting ready to do a slight make over of our basement. Took out the bar area and am replacing with Bottom cabinets along the wall in that space. The problem is with the walls. They are Muslim BM and the bottom is wainscotted with white knotty pine that has turned yellow orange over time. I do not want to paint the pine and have decided to calm down the pine with the proper cabinet color and maybe wall color. I am leaning towards a dark grey with a touch of brown not a purple or steel grey. I do not want green or dark navy cabinets as over time I may tire of them. Which grey would best neutralize the pine walls. Thank you. Lynda Cody