THE TOP 6 MUSHROOM PAINT COLORS FOR CABINETS, WALLS, & EXTERIORS
Mushroom paint colors have been a hot topic lately as grays take a HUGE backseat to softer neutrals. What’s gray being replaced by? Trendy warm neutrals like greige, taupe, beige, and, you guessed it – MUSHROOM!
But you don’t get off THAT easy. I’m not just going to throw colors at you, slap you on the butt, and send you on your way. First, you’ll learn about mushroom paint colors so you can understand how to pick the best one for you and your home.
By the way, the differences between warm gray, beige, greige, and mushroom are tricky to explain, so you better get your
drinkin’ thinkin’ cap on (or both if you like).
ARE MUSHROOM PAINT COLORS GREIGE, TAUPE, OR BEIGE?
If you’ve read my blog post, Greige & Taupe: What’s the Big Difference? You’ll know the basic ins and outs. If you want the easy-peasy, here’s a quick recap…
WHAT’S A TAUPE PAINT COLOR?
Generally speaking, taupes are brown-gray blends with a slightly purple (or purple-pink) undertone, that isn’t always super noticeable.
Taupe paint colors favor violet.
These are all warm grays with violet undertones or taupes
Warmer taupes lean closer to beige/brown than gray. Taupes that cater more to gray are still taupe/warm; they just look a bit cooler than others.
WHAT’S A GREIGE PAINT COLOR?
Greiges are ALSO brown-gray blends, but unlike taupe, which tends to cater to violet – greige favors green.
Greige paint colors favor GREEN.
Greige will ALWAYS be a warm paint color. However, greiges that look warmer have more beige-brown in them. Those that look cooler are greiges with more gray in them.
The less committed a greige or taupe is to its undertones, the more likely it is to pick up the other. While this offers flexibility, it’s risky as you might end up with the one undertone you DON’T want! A color like Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray is a good example of a hybrid greige-taupe.
Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray is a hybrid
So, where does mushroom fit into the greige-beige-gray-taupe world? Let’s take a peek…
WHAT IS A MUSHROOM PAINT COLOR?
Mushroom is a paint color that’s brown or beige with gray in it – either a little gray or a LOT, depending on the color you choose! The most popular mushroom shades are light-medium to medium in depth (especially for kitchen cabinets), but a few are hovering in the lighter end. These neutrals don’t read as brown or gray but usually CATER to brown-beige (warmth) over gray.
As for undertone, mushroom paint colors are likelier to wink at a green undertone vs. a purple one, making them variations of GREIGE. If you’ve chosen a mushroom color and see violet or violet-pink, your painted surface will look more taupe – not mushroom. In the IDEAL world, your mushroom paint color will pick up little to no undertone.
Mushroom paint colors are browns and beiges with some gray in them – brown-beige is USUALLY the dominant neutral in today’s most popular shades of mushroom (more so than gray).
Now, SOME brown and beigepaint colors have a warmer, more golden look to them – we’re not talking about these shades – they’re too strong. We’re talking about muted, subdued browns and beiges; the ones that can’t aren’t totally committed to their warmth.
The TRICKY thing about mushroom…
If you get the wrong mushroom, you’ll hallucinate that Ryan Reynolds is painting your home in teal socks and a g-string (hallucinate/fantasize, whatever). If you get the RIGHT one, you’ll have a perfectly soft, neutral paint color for your walls, cabinets, trims, or exterior.
Benjamin Moore Pashmina (greige) and Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze – dark greige
However, the tricky thing is that MANY colors don’t start out OR end up looking like any mushroom shade…
- Some greige paint colors that cater to gray can look MORE mushroom-toned (warmer) in a south-facing room because the natural light will warm them up.
- Some super muted beige paint colors can look more mushroom-inspired in a north-facing room, as the cool light can gray them out.
- The best shades of mushroom really only look mushroom when they’re light-medium or medium-toned. Any lighter, and they read more like greige, or even tan. Any darker, and they can look more like brown or warm gray.
Confusing, I know – but that’s why you’ve got me in your back pocket (and I do pinch, upon request…). Now, let’s expand on those thoughts just a bit…
MUSHROOM PAINT COLORS IN SOUTH-FACING ROOMS
South-facing rooms have a warmer light coming in, and mushroom paint colors generally do well in these spaces. Yes, they will warm up visually, but many will hold their ‘shroominess, particularly if you choose a mushroom with a wink more gray in it.
However, some greige paint colors can LOOK like a mushroom color in a south-facing room (or west-facing in the afternoon). South-facing light is warm, so if your greige has a moderate amount of beige in it, and you put it in a south-facing room, that warm sunlight can have your greige looking more mushroom than intended (unless that’s what you’re going for).
JUST REMEMBER, once the sun goes down in the evening, you won’t have that natural light to moderate things, so make sure you like your paint colour all day!
MUSHROOM PAINT COLORS IN NORTH-FACING ROOMS
This can be a tough sell. Because north-facing light is slightly gray-blue, it will ADD gray to a mushroom paint colour – pulling it closer to warm gray/greige. And this can be okay if you like greige; however, if you prefer the slightly warmer side of things, you might find that a mushroom paint colour in a north-facing room loses the warmth you were hoping for. One way to remedy this is to choose a mushroom that caters more noticeably to beige.
Many people see Sherwin Williams Anew Gray as a versatile shade of mushroom. Personally, it’s just a WINK too gray. My case is proven in this north-facing foyer below. Anew Gray loses some of its lovely warmth and falls to the more gray end of things…
Again, this is okay if you like gray, but if you want the subtle warmth that mushroom offers, you’ll want to avoid this type of mushroom in a room with northern exposure.
If you’re struggling to find a mushroom that stays warm enough in your north-facing room, you may need to bump things up more to the subdued beige range, along the lines of Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige. Just remember, it will return to its regular warmth once the sun goes down.
MUSHROOM PAINT COLORS IN EAST & WEST-FACING ROOMS
East and west-facing rooms are a bit trickier as the light changes drastically throughout the day.
In a room with eastern exposure, a mushroom paint color will look lovely and ‘as expected’ in the morning light. However, the same shade could look a bit flat and drab in the afternoon. Often, choosing a slightly warmer version of mushroom is the best choice.
As for rooms with western exposure, it’s the opposite – mushroom can look flat in the morning hours but will WARM RIGHT UP in the afternoon sun. In fact, due to the golden look of the late afternoon sun, many mushroom tones pick up a TON of unexpected warmth. It’s best to find the color you love for most of the day and/or the time of day you’re in the room the most (aside from choosing the one that best suits your finishes, which is the TOP priority – always).
Now, I bet you’re ready to see some beautiful mushroom-inspired paint colors, so let’s get this party started! And let me say that many parties have started with mushrooms and ended up with a whole bunch of people talking to dogs and running naked down the street (story of my life, and I don’t do mushrooms), so let’s keep it PG here, people.
THE TOP 6 MUSHROOM PAINT COLORS
In this list below, you’re going to see some lovely mushroom colors, as well as a few mushroom-INSPIRED colors. This way, if your room has a tricky exposure or finicky finish, you can flex slightly outside of the traditional mushroom world to find your home’s best color.
1. SHERWIN WILLIAMS BALANCED BEIGE 7037
Balanced Beige is a beautiful example of a mushroom-inspired paint color. However, as we discussed earlier, putting a mushroom color in a south-facing (warm) room could make it look too brown-warm. However, put it in a north or east-facing room, and BAM, you might have your perfect mushroom paint colour!
- GOOD FOR: North and east-facing rooms
- NOT AS GOOD FOR: south and west-facing rooms (it could look more beige than mushroom)
Just LOOK at the fungi-inspired colour of these walls – the EPITOME of mushroom; I’m bustin’ out the garlic butter and pepper!
If we move up to Accessible Beige, Balanced Beige’s lighter version, it’s too light to give a REAL mushroom look, regardless of your exposure.
2. BENJAMIN MOORE NATURAL CREAM OC 14
Natural Cream is an interesting one. It can look like a very light shade of mushroom – if you consider light shades CAPABLE of looking mushroom-toned. Check it out in this kitchen below; looking like quite a fungi…
The slightly darker walls and brown quartz countertops encourage Natural Cream to look a bit mushroomy. HOWEVER, Natural Cream will look mushroom-inspired on a case-by-case basis. If you put it with white quartz countertops, it’s a bit less likely to lean mushroom. Check out Julie Blanner’s kitchen here (which is WICKED pretty). In this kitchen, the cabinets look more like a greige-cream blend.
At the heart of it, Natural Cream is like a greige and cream hybrid. So, while there are muted gray elements, this color is warm at heart. As for undertones, it’s a ninja, for sure. While it doesn’t CATER hard to one undertone or another, it can shift based on its environment between a green or pink. KEEP IN MIND, these undertones are so subtle that they’re hardly worth considering unless you’re super particular or have a fussy finish you’re partnering it with.
3. BENJAMIN MOORE PASHMINA
Pashmina is gorgeous. No matter your exposure, Pashmina is a great color to explore. This soft, medium-toned neutral WILL lean a bit more gray in a north-facing room. It will also look MUCH WARMER in warm afternoon western sunshine (nature o’ the beast), but overall, this is one gorgeous fungus.
While Pashmina CAN pick up a very (very) vague green undertone, it’s a great mediator between the beige and gray world.
- GOOD FOR: North, south, west, and east-facing rooms – she’s a beauty!
Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages
4. SHERWIN WILLIAMS LOGGIA 7506
In my IDEAL WORLD, both of these colors would be about 25% darker. However, the ‘darker versions’ of these colors (in the fan deck), pick up too much brown for this fussy girl. I would be more tempted to ask the paint store to darken Balanced Beige or Loggia by 25% if I want a wink more depth.
- GOOD FOR: North and east-facing rooms
- NOT AS GOOD FOR: South and west-facing rooms (it could look more beige than mushroom)
5. BENJAMIN MOORE GALLERY BUFF CSP-225
Gallery Buff is a beautiful take on mushroom and is comparable to Pashmina’s intentions. This gorgeous shade comes from Benjamin Moore’s Color Stories Collection, meaning you can’t use it on the exterior, but oh boy, is it a stunner for cabinets and walls!
Get your PEEL & STICK sample of Gallery Buff
- GOOD FOR: North, east, south, west – this paint color is the BEST! Or it could be!
I rely 100% on photos from my E-Design clients, so while I don’t always have JUST the photo I need, I do the best I can with what I have while still getting you the info you need!
6. SHERWIN WILLIAMS ANEW GRAY 7030
If you’re looking for a LIGHTER approach to mushroom and one that’s not as traditionally warm, check out Anew Gray. Anew Gray is a light-medium greige that IS a shade of greige – not mushroom. However, in a south-facing room or a west-facing room in the afternoon, it does lean that bit warmer and starts nodding towards a mushroom-inspired look! I also love the slightly darker, Mega Greige, coming up next.
- GOOD FOR: South and west-facing rooms
- NOT AS GOOD FOR: It could look more like a warm gray in north and east-facing rooms
SAMPLIZE offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER, and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots.
- Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1 DAY!
- They’re more affordable than the sample pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling.
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
7. SHERWIN WILLIAMS MEGA GREIGE 7031
Just like Anew Gray, Mega Greige is ‘open to perception’ based on how YOU see mushroom. If you have a north-facing room or one with flat afternoon eastern light, Mega Greige is more likely to look like a slightly flat greige-taupe. However, in south-facing or warm afternoon sunshine, it warms up a bit!
Check out Mega Greige on these built-in cabinets – BEAUTIFUL!
WHAT COLORS GO WELL WITH MUSHROOM?
Mushroom paint colors are reasonably flexible, with a range of colors that look good in a palette with them…
- very subtle, muted cream paint colors
- a wide range of warm, off-white paint colors
- NO grays that are lighter than them
- Grays that are darker than them, preferably with a green or blue undertone
- dark shades of greige
- a wide range of dark and navy blue paint colors, including darker gray-blue-greens
- most white paint colors, excluding cool ones
Now, I was surprised that Farrow & Ball didn’t a ‘typical’ shade of mushroom, seeing as these types of colors are definitely in their wheelhouse. What I did land on was something even a bit better…
8. FARROW & BALL LIGHT GRAY No. 17
You might be surprised to learn that Light Gray…isn’t light gray. Instead, Light Gray is a GORGEOUS mushroom-inspired color, with strong greige roots. While I have mild concerns about the degree of green in it, the overall look could definitely give you that muted, dusky approach that’s trendy on today’s cabinets!
Could it give a mushroom look on your cabinets or walls? You bet; just make sure your surroundings finishes suit the more noticeable green hue. You’ll also want to note that it’s a bit darker than the more modern approach to mushroom cabinets, but if you ask me, this makes it almost prettier!
Get your PEEL & STICK SAMPLE OF LIGHT GRAY
If you’d like to see Light Gray in action, check it out HERE by Oak Stone Homes (absolutely stunning).
9. FARROW & BALL STONY GROUND No. 211
Stony Ground is a stunner. This lighter mushroom shade has more depth than Natural Cream but isn’t as dark and moody as Light Gray.
I haven’t done much work with Farrow & Ball and don’t get many clients asking for it. This means I don’t have photos to show you (as I don’t take from other Designers and only use my own photos). However, I DO have some good info for you!
Stony Ground has an LRV of almost 55, putting it on the border of the light and light-medium depths. If you’re painting cabinets, the satin or pearl finish of the paint can make Stony Ground look a bit lighter. If you paint your walls in a matte or eggshell, Stony Ground reads more like a light-medium depth.
Get your PEEL & STICK SAMPLE OF STONY GROUND
Check out my E-Design – affordable and fun!
Kylie M Interiors Virtual Online Paint Color Consultant, E-Design Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams color expert